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16 Critical Software Practices
 

Project Control Panel© FAQ

Can I customize the Project Control Panel© ?

Version 2.01 of the Project Control Panel© allows you to create custom control panel sheets in the Project Control Panel© workbook to display metrics not found on the main control panel display. You can combine custom bar and dial gauges with Excel charts and formatting to create a control panel (or panels) completely tailored to your project. See the Project Control Panel© User's Guide for instructions for creating custom control panel sheets and tying them to your project data.

What data can I import from MS Project into the Project Control Panel© ?

The MS Project import utility in Project Control Panel© 2.01 imports Earned Value data from the Earned Value Table in a MS Project 4.1 or MS Project 98 file directly into the "Project Data" worksheet. The values imported are: Budget at Completion (BAC), Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP), Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP), and Estimate at Completion (EAC). For more information see the Project Control Panel© User's Guide.

Is there a version of the Project Control Panel© for Excel 95 (or Excel 97)?

Project Control Panel© Version 2.01, currently available for downloading, is compatible with both Excel 95 and Excel 97. It was created in Excel 95, but has been tested to assure that it is upwardly compatible with Excel 97.

Help - I got a run-time error 1004 when I tried to refresh my custom control panel!

You must use the "Remove Gauge" command found in the "Control Panel" to remove a gauge from a custom control panel. If you select a gauge object and manually delete it, you will get this error the next time you try to "refresh" the panel. If this has happened to you, you must use the "Remove Gauge" command to properly remove the gauge that you attempted to delete (either whole or in part) manually.

Help - I get a "Type Mismatch" error when I try to access the "Project Control Panel© Help" from the Control Panel menu or when I click on a Help button on a chart sheet!

This problem is caused by a defect found in the initial release of the Project Control Panel© 2.01 and only affects Excel 97 users. All Project Control Panel© 2.01 files downloaded between April 1 and June 7 contain this defect. We replace the defective program with a corrected Project Control Panel© 2.01 download file on June 8. If you think you may have downloaded the Project Control Panel© between April 1 and June 7, you can determine if you have the defective program by checking the date on the original CP20.XLS file. The date of the defective file is 3-29-98. The date on the current corrected file is 6-3-98.

If you find that you have this error and you wish to have access to the Project Control Panel© 2.01 help file from within the program, you need to download a new copy of the Project Control Panel© 2.01 from the download area of this web site.

Microsoft Project does not compute Earned Value correctly.

Several users have brought it to our attention that MS Project versions 4.0, 4.1, and possibly 98 do not calculate Earned Value properly. We are working on a workaround for the next version of the Project Control Panel© . The problem, as described in the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article ID: Q75051, is as follows:

Project calculates the BCWP, or the "earned value" of the work performed, on an individual task using the following formula: BCWP = [% Complete] x [Planned Cost]

The Planned Cost is also known as Budget at Completion (BAC). Similarly, the BCWS, or the "planned earned value," for an individual task is calculated as follows: BCWS = [Planned % Complete] x [Planned Cost]

The planned percent complete is based on today's date and the task's Planned Start and Planned Finish dates. The planned percent complete is only calculated internally by Project; it is not available as a field that can be added to a task table. The BCWS and BCWP values for a Summary task are computed in exactly the same way:

Summary BCWS = [Summary % Complete] x [Summary Planned Cost]

Summary BCWP = [Summary % Complete] x [Summary Planned Cost]

However, this calculation is incorrect. The correct values result from the following formulas:

Summary BCWP = Sum of all BCWP's from the sub-tasks

Summary BCWS = Sum of all BCWS's from the sub-tasks

WORKAROUND: One way to work around this limitation is to export the earned value information from the non-summary tasks to another application, such as Excel, and perform the summarization there. If you are using Microsoft Project version 4.0, you can create a Visual Applications Edition macro that will rollup the BCWP and BCWS values from the sub-tasks to the summary level.

Email to: info@spmn.com


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