Actual Start fields

The Actual Start fields show the date and time that a task or an assignment actually began, based on progress information that you entered.

There are several categories of Actual Start fields.

Data Type     Calculated or entered

Actual Start (task field)

Entry Type    Null

How Calculated    The Actual Start field contains "NA" until you enter actual work information or enter a value greater than zero in the % Complete or % Work Complete field. Depending on your calculation options, Microsoft Project either changes the Actual Start date to the scheduled Start date, or calculates the Actual Start date based on the progress made in relation to the status date. If you enter the Actual Start date, the scheduled start date changes to match the actual start date.

Best Uses    Add the Actual Start field to a task view when you want to display, filter, or edit actual start dates for tasks. If you enter actual work or percent complete, Project calculates the actual start date. You can also type the actual start date in this field.

Examples    The "Develop estimate" task was started today. You add the % Work Complete field to the Tracking Gantt view, and then enter 10. Project changes the "NA" in the Actual Start field to the scheduled start date or backs it up from the status date, depending on your calculation options.

The "Write proposal" task has begun today. In the Actual Work field, you enter the time the assigned resources have spent so far on this task. Project recalculates the completion percentage and changes the "NA" in the Actual Start field to the calculated actual start date.

Today is Thursday, and you learn that the "Conduct client meetings" task was started on Monday. In the Actual Start field, you enter Monday's date. Project recalculates schedule dates from the Actual Start date you entered.

Remarks    If tasks are on schedule, you can copy the scheduled information into the actual fields for the tasks or the entire project in the Update Project dialog box.

When you enter actual start information, Project automatically adjusts the actual start date based on either the current status date or the scheduled start date. The date used depends on your calculation preferences. You can examine and set these preferences in the Project Options dialog box.

You can also set the status date to a date other than today's date, in the Project Information dialog box.

Actual Start (resource field)

Entry Type    Null

Best Uses    Add the Actual Start field to the Resource Usage view when you want to display actual start dates for assignments. No information is displayed in the Actual Start resource field; it merely makes the corresponding Actual Start assignment field information available.

Example    You are reviewing actual start dates for tasks assigned to various resources. You add the Actual Start field to the Resource Usage view. No information appears in the Actual Start field next to the resource names. However, the actual start dates for their assignments appear in the Actual Start assignment fields below each resource name.

Actual Start (assignment field)

Entry Type    Calculated or entered

How Calculated    The Actual Start field contains "NA" until you enter actual work information or enter a value greater than zero in the % Complete field for the task or % Work Complete field for the task or assignment. Depending on your calculation options, Project either changes the Actual Start date to the scheduled Start date or calculates the Actual Start date based on the progress made in relation to the status date. If you enter the Actual Start date, the scheduled start date changes to match the actual start date.

Best Uses    Add the Actual Start field to the sheet portion of the Task Usage or Resource Usage view when you want to display, filter, or edit actual start dates for assignments. If you enter actual work or percent complete, Project calculates the actual start date. You can also type the actual start date in this field.

Examples    Jamie has just started an assigned task today. You add the % Work Complete field to the Task Usage view, and then enter 10. Project changes the "NA" in the Actual Start field to the scheduled start date or backs it up from the status date, depending on your calculation options.

Sean has also started a new assignment. In the Actual Work field, you enter the time Sean has spent so far on this assignment. Project recalculates the percent complete and changes the "NA" in the Actual Start field to the calculated actual start date.

Today is Thursday, and you learn that Chris started a new assignment on Monday. In the Actual Start field, you enter Monday's date. Project recalculates schedule dates from the Actual Start date you entered.

Remarks    When you enter actual start information, Project automatically adjusts the actual start date based on either the current status date or the scheduled start date. The date used depends on your calculation preferences. You can examine and set these preferences in the Project Options dialog box.

You can also set the status date to a date other than today's date, in the Project Information dialog box.

Applies To: Project 2007, Project 2010, Project 2010 Standard, Project Professional 2013, Project 2013 Standard



Was this information helpful?

Yes No

How can we improve it?

255 characters remaining

To protect your privacy, please do not include contact information in your feedback. Review our privacy policy.

Thank you for your feedback!

Support resources

Change language