Project Effort and Cost Tracking Views in AX 2012 R3


In a previous post, I described some of the new features available for editing work break structures in Dynamics AX 2012 R3. In this post, I’ll show the new project cost and effort tracking views that enable project managers to keep on top of the progress of their project. To demonstrate, I’ve created the simple two level work breakdown structure below.

I then posted a timesheet against the project tasks and navigated to the effort tracking view, as seen below. You can get to this view by clicking on the Effort tracking view button on the WBS form or directly via the Control tab on the project list and details forms.

The values in the Actual effort (hours) column display the hours logged against the tasks from the timesheet. The two columns labeled Progress percent and Remaining effort (hours) are calculated automatically by the system. In this example, 25 hours have been logged against Task 1 out of an estimated 40 resulting in a 62.5% completion percentage and a remaining effort of 15 hours. 50 hours were logged for Task 2, 10 more than the original estimated amount. The red icon in the last column is an indication that I am over the planned estimate for this task.

This information is also reflected in the cost tracking view, available via the ribbon.

Using the cost price of the reported hours from the timesheet, the system has derived a Cost to complete value for all of the tasks. As expected, Task 2 is exceeding the estimated cost amount and has a warning icon.

Not only can you view the remaining effort and cost in the these tracking views, you can also update them. In the example below, I have set the Remaining effort on Task 1 to 10 hours. The system calculates a Progress percent of 71.43 and sets the Effort at complete to 35 hours (25 actual + 10 remaining). This value is 5 hours below my Planned effort.

For Task 2, I have clicked the Mark as complete button. This sets the Progress percent to 100, Remaining effort to 0 and Effort at complete to Actual effort (50 hours). As you can see, this is 10 hours above my Planned effort. In addition to marking a leaf node task as complete, you can mark parent tasks and have it cascade to all child tasks.

You can do similar updates in the cost tracking view by updating the Cost to complete column for any task. Here you can see the impact of the updates I made above. Of course, all of the values roll up to the top level of the WBS.

Combined with the updated project budget tracking view for monitoring project financial performance, these new views give project managers a 360 degree view of their project performance and enable them to quickly make any necessary course corrections.

 

 

 

Comments (2)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hello,

    I have tried all this. But there is something missing.

    I take your example Task1.

    • 40 hours are planned.
    • then 15 hours are spent on this activity.

    A project manager is able to see in "Effort tracking View" what is remaining = 25 hours.

    Let us suppose the project manager says " unfortunately, we need to spend 35 hours remaining".

    He can change it on "Effort tracking view". But nothing has changed into "project planning view" : still 40 hours planned.

    If you change into "project planning view", (from 40 to 50), then in "Effort tracking view" you notice a remaining of 45 !

    Why do I change into "project planning view" ? because if you want to synchronise forecast (and budget) based on estimate, you need to change the planning view.

    Do you agree ?

    Best regards,

    Lionel

  2. Changes on the tracking view should not update the plan. Just because the task is taking longer than was expected doesn't mean that you can change the task dates or alter the critical path. Project managers may find additional resources to pitch in or find a way to compress the work to fit. Moving the end date of a project may have contractual implications. If you want to re-plan your project, you may do so by editing the WBS. In the future, we may assist the re-planning effort by using the to-date performance.