Updated: Mar 7, 2021
Activities are the fundamental elements of the project.
These are the lowest level of WBS structure. Let us understand about activities in detail in this chapter.
Use the activity table or activity network layout to add activities. Activity information can be defined in the activity details at the bottom layout of the activities window.
Go to General tab of the activity details section and for any selected activity, you can change/modify the information of the activity like you can define or choose the activity type from options
Level of Effort
You can then select the Duration type from the below options:
Fixed duration &units
Fixed duration &units/time
% Complete Type:
This will define how to calculate an activity’s percent complete, to choose among duration, physical and Units.
You can select the existing calendars for your project or else you can create a new calendar as per the requirement
You can also change the assigned WBS element by clicking the browse option.
Assign the responsible manager for each activity from the existing OBS using this function.
You can select the resources as per the requirement of the project, the primary resource is the person responsible for the overall work on the activity and for updating activity status.
You can click on the display options bar to select and filter all the active resources before assigning the resources.
“Status” Tab :
Here we have details of duration, status,constraints, labor units and floats
“Relationships” Tab :
Predecessor and successor relationships – here we can define relationships with other activities in the same project or in different projects in the enterprise project structure (EPS).
In the predecessor or successor layouts, click on “assign” to relate any activity as the predecessor or the successor.
After assigning, you need to select the relationship type from the drop down options of Finish to Finish, Finish to Start, Start to start, Start to finish.
Lag is the number of time duration units from the start or finish of an activity to the start or finish of its successor, it can be either positive or negative. Positive lag will be used for activity to start no. of days after the start of its predecessor.
You can select a calendar to calculate the lag between predecessors and successors among activities.
To display the relationships on the activity layout, Click the Layout Options bar, then choose Bars. Click Options in the Bars dialog box. Click the General tab in the Bar Chart Options dialog box and mark the Show Relationships checkbox, then click OK.
Directly click the relationships icon in the menu bar.
This is how, it will look like when you click on the icon to display the relationships. Place the mouse to the left or right end of the activity bar and drag the mouse between any two activities that you want to connect. The mouse pointer changes to a as you define relationships.
You can view the network view by selecting the network layout from the menu bar.
“Activity codes” Tab:
Click the Codes tab in Activity Details. Click Assign. Select the activity code value you want to assign. If you want to assign multiple codes and values, hold down the Ctrl key, then click each code value. Click the Select button, then click Close.
You can maintain Notes about performing the activity. You can as well categorize them by topic wise. This will provide additional information that further describes the activity.
Activity can be further divided into smaller units called steps. You can apply a weightage to each step, which can be linked to the activity’s physical percent complete for the completed steps.
This will allow you to exchange notes with an activity’s primary resource.
“WPs & Docs” Tab:
This will enable you to catalog and track all project-related work products and documents. You can click on assign and browse the document for uploading.
All one-time expenditures can be defined and associated here with the predefined cost accounts.
This displays all the detailed cost and unit information for the selected activity.
Modify Activity Details tabs:
If you need to modify activity details, go to the Activities window, click the Layout Options bar, then choose Show on Bottom, Activity Details. Click the Layout Options bar, then choose Bottom Layout Options. In the Available Tabs column, click the tab that you want to display, then click the right arrow button to add to the display. To shift the tab to the left in the Activity Details display, select the tab name in the Display Tabs column and click the up arrow button; to shift the tab to the right in the display, click the down arrow button.
Assigning Resources and Roles:
In the Resources tab, Click Add Resource to assign a resource to the selected activity; click Add Role to assign a role to the selected activity. Select the resource or role you want to assign. To assign multiple resources or roles, hold down the Ctrl key, then click each resource/role you want to assign. Click the Select button, then click the Close button.
Assign resources to activities by role:
Click Assign by Role; the Assign Resources by Role dialog box lists the roles assigned to the selected activity. The resources who can fulfill each role are listed below it. Select the resources you want to assign. Click the Select button, then click the Close button.
Assigning Resource Curves to Resource Assignments:
Choose Project, Resource Assignments. Select the resource/role assignment to which you want to assign a resource curve
To display the Curve column, click the Display Options bar, then choose Columns, Customize. Select Curve from the General group and add it to the Selected Options list.
Assigning Activity Codes:
Select the activity to which you want to assign a code. Click the Codes tab in Activity Details. Click Assign. Select the activity code value you want to assign
In the Activities window, select the activity to which you want to add an expense. Click the Expenses tab. Click Add, then type the expense’s name
You can divide an activity into smaller units, and then assign weights to the steps to calculate the activity’s percent complete. This will help you to track the progress of an activity based on the number of steps completed along with weights.
Using Global Change:
The Global Change function enables you to make changes to all activities, or a filtered group of activities, at one time. This is similar to that of writing a query or rule or formula to run and apply to make the necessary changes at a time.
Choose Tools in the menu bar and select Global change and then select any rule that you would like to use and modify, then click on modify button.
You get the modify window. Need to use first “IF” condition to select the activities where there should be a change to occur. Here in this example, let us see how to double the duration, for all the activities which are not started yet. See the below figure in detail for the parameters.
Once you are done with the modification/ creation of the global change, you can click ok and then in the global change window, click on “Apply Change”, so as to see the changes effective. And you will notice to see the report generated once the Global change has been executed, as shown in the below figure, here you can either accept the changes or cancel the changes.
This Global Change feature will be very helpful when you intent to renumber your activity IDs, because there may be cases after Activity IDs are established, you may need to renumber them at some later stage suiting the project.
Here is the detailed video tutorial for your better understanding:
Part -1 of 2:
Part -2 of 2:
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