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Way to determine variance of planned project assignments against actuals?

Question asked by mark.morrow on Aug 1, 2013
Latest reply on Aug 5, 2013 by mark.morrow
We have struggled with this one for a while. Is there a way to leverage a database field that would maintain planned hours on a task and compare that against actual hours? Today, we look at ETCs, however, ETCs spend down as actuals get posted to a task, so there is no original "plan" ETC to use. By the time the task is complete, ETCs would be zero, thus, any variance could not be calculated. We also looked at potentially using the baseline of project schedules, but that creates a bigger process for all of our PMs to do the baseline at the same time, stage, etc., in order to ensure that any type of variance could be captured. The real need is to determine what the plan/forecast is for a given task, right before work begins, lock that number in when work begins, and then leverage that number to compare against actual hours. Perhaps that is the only way to go, but I wanted to find out what others have done to compare plan task hours against actuals, so folks can plan better for future projects.