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Version: Microsoft Project 2013 Standard (15.0.4420.1017)

Hello -

I am creating a report in MS Project 2013. When I create a time-phased line chart containing ACWP, the ACWP shown in the chart for the current status date does not match the ACWP shown in a table (same status date) or in a column chart within the same report. The table and the column chart show $10,401.45, while the line chart shows $90,401.45. Images provided below for reference. Also for reference - the ACWP shown in the report's tabular view exactly matches the ACWP shown in the Earned Value table in Project's Gantt chart view.

ACWP for 9/8/2014

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(Matches values shown in Gantt view and in a column chart in the report.)

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The difference between the two ACWP values is exactly $80,000. This precisely matches the value of a specific task in the schedule that is set up as a milestone and has no associated hours, but DOES have a cost resource assigned with an $80,000 cost. I am not certain why the chart is picking up this additional $80,000 when the tables do not show it. (Also note that when I export the data to Excel using "Visual Reports," the $80,000 task is not included in the exported ACWP.

Any idea why I am seeing this seeming inconsistency?

Thanks!

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I see exactly what you are reporting.

The ACWP over time (third picture down) appears to actually be Actual cost, not ACWP (which excludes the Cost resource). Usually cost resources are excluded from ACWP calculations as they are not performing any work. In the picture below, you see what you report - ACWP in the table = $184 ACWP over time in the Task Report shows $5,184 (which includes a $5,000 cost resource). However, the ACWP pulled from resource data shows the correct value - as it excludes the Cost resource.

Best recommendation I have is to use Fixed Costs and not Cost Resources where possible.

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  • Thanks Julie - I appreciate it. I tried a couple of different things based on your post. First, I removed the fixed cost entry for the task in question, and instead created a cost resource (with a per unit rate of $80,000). I assigned the cost resource to the task with an estimated usage of 1 unit, then re-baselined that task (with roll-up to summary tasks.) When I did this, for some reason, the Planned Value (BCWS) would not pick up the $80,000 cost, even when I set the status date well beyond the time for which I entered the actual usage. (cont'd below...) – Bill Cary Sep 19 '14 at 17:55
  • Neither did the Earned Value (BCWP). However, the ACWP did pick up the $80,000 cost. So it still left me with very large artificial variances. In the end, I simply decided to remove that element from the schedule entirely, since it has no potential to deviate from the planned value, and I am more concerned, at this time, with tracking the progress of the actual work effort. – Bill Cary Sep 19 '14 at 17:58
  • In addition, upon further reflection, I decided that the magnitude of the $80,000 cost was so large in proportion to the relatively small weekly labor costs of $3K-$4K that a positive schedule variance for that task (if completed ahead of schedule) would severely obscure any negative variances in the labor tasks when the project was viewed as a whole. (At least until the original planned date of the $80,000 task had passed.) This was an additional reason I chose to drop it. – Bill Cary Sep 19 '14 at 18:04
  • This results in an overall cost picture that is not entirely accurate since it doesn't include the $80,000, but it allows me to more effectively track the work being done on the project. And in case anyone is wondering, this technique is being used on a small project as a "work out the kinks" exercise before being applied to larger efforts. That is why I am spending so much monitoring effort on a set of tasks that is relatively small. – Bill Cary Sep 19 '14 at 18:05
  • And I meant to add... I rechecked and I truly was choosing "ACWP" from the list of available fields, rather than inadvertently choosing "Actual Cost" and inadvertently relabeling it "ACWP" in the chart. – Bill Cary Sep 19 '14 at 18:15

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