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What Is Status Date In Microsoft Project And How To Set Status Date

Want to learn about the Status Date in MS Project? Want to learn how to set Status Date in Project? You are on the right page. In this article i will tell you what status date is in MS Project, why you need it and how to use it. 

What is Status Date in Microsoft Office Project?

Now that you have already used different features of MS Project, and also worked with activities, entered costs and resources. It is not time to move from the planning stage to the execution phase. Remember tracking? Baselining? Yes?  I hope you have no confusion on how to create a baseline after adding activities and then saving (creating a baseline).

If you are OK with adding the activities, saving the baseline, you are good to go to learn, and use Status Date in Microsoft Project. So what is Status Date in MS Project, coming straight to the question. Status Date in MS Project is the date when you get the latest update on the actual progression of the project's activities.

The activity that you planned, and that which has now physically started must be tracked so that we can compare the real results with our plan. And for comparing the real result with your plan, we first need to tell MS Project that results of which date you want to compare your plan with. For example, you will tell MS Project that you want to compare today's activity progression (its final result) with what you planned earlier. So, if you want to compare today's results of your activities, you will set the Status Date to today's date. If you want to compare's some other day's result with you plan, you will set Status Date to that date.

Note: I have used words "results", "actual progression" above. Here i mean, the actual date, actual cost, actual duration and all the other actual values of the activity.

Setting And Using Status Date

Now you know what Status Date is, now let's learn how to set Status Date in MS Project, and then how to make use of it:

1. Set Status date.

First of all, we will set Status Date. Do this by going to the Project Tab and click on Status Date. Now you can change the Status Date of your project.

Note: The status date will be days ahead of the project start date. It could be the same date, if you want to track status on the same date when the project started. But now you choose a later date.

2. Insert a new column called Status.

3. Double-click on any activity to open the Task Information box (or through other method you are used to), and change the task percentage complete to 50%.

4. Notice what is shown in the Status column for the selected task.

If the task is running according to plan, the Status column will display "On Schedule". If it is not completed enough (e.g it should had been 10% completed everyday to finish in 10 days but it hasn't) the Status column will show "Late".  And if you set the status date, which is before the date when the task actual starts, then the Status column will show "Future Task"" in the cell.

Rescheduling After Setting Status Date

Once you have set the Status Date and viewed the activities' status, you should reschedule your plan. Rescheduling is required to adjust the plan according to the activities' status. If an activity is late, MS Project will extend the duration according to the no. of days it is late (by looking at the Status Date). And if the activity is on schedule, MS project will not do anything to it. And of course if the activity is a future task (meaning it hasn't started yet), MS Project will not need to change its duration  (plus or minus) also.

A Little Experiment

Now that you know what is Status Date in MS Project, let me just give you a task you can experiment now. Set a status date and make the task late by making very little

complete, i.e 5% complete.  See that the status column shows "Late".  Now click on "Reschedule Work" on the tracking bar, and see that the selected task has moved ahead. It is because MS Project knows the task is progressing slow, and it will be delayed, so it has automatically moved the finish date to a later date.

This was about MS Project Status Date. I hope this article explained "what is Status Date in MS Project", and how to set Status Date in MS Project well.

If you were seeking information on "what is Status Date in MS Project", this article explained that to you. I hope it is now clear to you what is Status Date and how to set Status Date in MS Project.

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