There are various ways to record progress on your tasks:
You use the ‘Actuals’ inspector
You enter the completion % in the ‘plan’ inspector
You enter the completion % in the according column in the outline.
You select a completion % in the according sub menu of the context menu you get, when you right click a task.
Should you go for the first approach…
You enter first the actual start date and then the progress by entering the percentage of completed work or the absolute work done as explained here.
If you choose to directly enter the progress on the task (without defining an actual start date), Merlin assumes the actual start was the same as the planned start and enters this date as actual start.
Should there be a difference between the planned and actual start of the task, a grey Gantt element will be shown in addition (for the planned values).
Should you go for approach 2, 3 or 4…
Merlin assumes (as explained above) that the actual start was the same as the planned start and enters this date as actual start.
As a Merlin user editing a shared Merlin project on the iOS device with Merlin iOS app, you tap the button of a task, switch to the ‘Actuals‘ and tap on ‘Edit‘… Depending on what you want to log, you enter actuals in ‘percentage‘ or ‘absolute‘ mode.
Use percentage, when the total work expected for this task matches the planned entry. Means, you entered 3 planned days, you expect the task to be done within 3 planned days, and have currently a 25% progress to record.
Use absolute, when the total work expected for this task does not match the planned entry. Means, you had 5 planned days, but after having worked for 4 days onto this task you realize that it really needs 3 more days.
If the task is completed, enter the correct amount of actual work for the task, for example 7 days in the ‘normal‘ field and enter 0 days in the ‘remaining work’ field.
Updating actual values in the ‘Actuals’ inspector and ‘absolute’ mode
Which means, you enter the percentage of completed work and the actual start date. Whenever planned work does not match the actual work, you update the tasks in absolute mode, and enter actual work or remaining work and duration values in time units.
How to proceed next time your resources work on their task, and your want to update your Merlin project to record the new progress?
Just update existing actual values (in the ‘Actuals’ inspector or the columns):
When updating in ‘percentage’ mode, enter the new ‘% complete’ value.
For tasks updated in ‘absolute’ mode, just edit the new amount of actual work done and remaining work so far. If the task is completed, enter 0 h in ‘remaining work’ field.
Merlin keeps track of the following three kind of values: planned, expected and actual.
You can enter planned and actual values, expected values will be automatically calculated by Merlin. When you have a task and you enter a given planned earliest start in the inspector or the according column, you place your task on a specific start date in the time line.
Move not started activities:
If you move the Gantt chart element of a not yet started activity, Merlin will understand that you are changing the planned values, and adjusts the given planned earliest start date accordingly.