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Report to track Project Planned Completion Date Changes

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Former Community Member
Good Afternoon...wondering if anyone has any ideas here. We are trying to monitor how often we change a projects "Planned Completion Date". Ideally, we would like to force people to enter a reason as to why they do this and make it mandatory but...that is separate. Is there a way to pull out in a report when someone makes an update to this field? Any help here would be greatly appreciated Brett Robison Cengage
11 Replies

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Level 10
Hi Brett, You might be able to use a Notes report and filter for any changes to the Planned Completion Date, but that might depend on the vintage of your Workfront Instance (it's a "https://community.workfront.com/discussions/community-home/digestviewer/viewthread?GroupId=151&MessageKey=e607f3a0-7700-4131-b81c-f94b59539564&CommunityKey=aaafaff0-5e4e-4e38-8903-f1f990935567&tab=digestviewer&ReturnUrl=%2fparticipate%2fallrecentposts">long story ). Another option could be to target the Planned Completion Date specifically using the "https://support.workfront.com/hc/en-us/articles/217222387-Enabling-System-Tracked-Update-Feeds">Update From Feed feature so you can at least detect it in the Updates tab, possibly set up an "https://support.workfront.com/hc/en-us/articles/217202727-Configuring-Email-Notifications">email notification , and might also make it available in a Note report (...or not, as above). Alternatively, I just had an idea. You could: create a zero duration placeholder Task called "Confirm Project Completion Date" move that Task (using Fixed Dates) to the last day of the Project add an Approval Path to it that requires sign off for it to be marked as complete sign it off ("early"), leaving it in a complete state, AND giving you a line-in-the-sand to monitor adopted this convention throughout all such Projects In this way, you could then create a Task Report showing any "Confirm Project Completion Date" Tasks that are : either Not Complete (i.e. still in discussion) or are Complete, pending approval (i.e. need approval) or whose Completion Date does not match the Project's Completion Date (i.e. have slipped and need attention) Regards, Doug Doug Den Hoed - AtAppStore Got Skills? Lend a hand! https://community.workfront.com/participate/unanswered-threads

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Level 10
Doug, I have this same challenge / problem - users want to know (be notified) when the project's planned completion date change. Looking at your suggested solutions now. The fields are already in the update feed section. I'm trying to determine how to let particular persons be notified. Please expound more. thanks. Benetta Perry APS

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Level 10
Hi Benetta, Here's the technique I use to send an email out every day reporting the Projects whose Lat/Long coordinates (stored as custom parameters on the Project) have changed (if any), so the crews and trucks know where they're to drive. If you can see what you are interested in on the Updates tab (eg "planned Completion Date changed from...", I'd suggest writing a Notes report, filtering for the same phrase in the Notes Text (and/or Audit Text), where the Entry Date of the Note is Greater Than $$TODAY-1d. If you do a test (by changing a Project's Planned Completion Date) and the Notes report picks it up, you could then schedule the report to go out once per day to those who need to know. Now: the downside. The report goes out even if it has no rows, so if that is the usual case, to avoid spam fatigue, I typically set it up to one lucky user and set up an Outlook rule to then ONLY forward it to everyone else if the attachment is bigger than what a "no rows" file would be, in bytes. Regards, Doug

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Level 4
This type of information would be great to capture. Carrying your idea further, moving that task/date would essentially create mini-Project Change Requests and raise awareness throughout management as to challenges that could be brewing. In general, this is my biggest problem with the way modern platforms are doing things. Many platforms these days only focus on the "now" and have no interest in showing how things got to where they are. I have worked at multiple organizations that want weekly, point-in-time project status reports because they want to refer back to see how things got where they are, like Planned Completion Dates. In systems like Workfront, dates can change all the time and get overlooked because short of taking weekly baselines you can't easily flip back and see where things were last week or the week before. It is also why I find it very difficult to use a Dashboard to update executives because their first question is always, "right...but where we at compared to last week?" Jason Maust McGuireWoods LLP

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Former Community Member
Doug, I have tried the setup you describe. First, I realized that we did not track this Date Change, so I updated that in the feed. Then I setup a test project and updated the Due Date. I created the Note Report you mentioned. I am not getting any hits though? I did this with the project in "Planning" status and "In Progress" and did not see any hits on the report? I read the linked thread regarding the "4 checkboxes" and fear that maybe I am too new to have this data? Is there something I am missing? I feel like this is something that is pretty easy, so it would surprise me that WF couldnt do it Brett Robison Cengage

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Former Community Member
Jason, I think you are getting at what I am actually trying to do here. We are trying to get our project managers to indicate when they make a change to the projects Planned Completion date and then give us a reason why. This report that I am trying to setup is only going to indicate the situations where this reason has not been provided. Workfront is great at giving you the "this is where we are right now"...but we are really trying to use the system to make projects about where we are going to be and what the root causes are of why we arent there. Brett Robison Cengage

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Former Community Member
So just found two huge flaws in my criteria...of course I am not going to get any hits since I just made the addition to the feed today. I updated that and reran the report with this criteria...and still got nothing? Brett Robison Cengage

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Level 10
Hi Brett, Thanks for trying my suggestion. To see if we can get the edits you are after to show up in the Notes: Try broadening your filter to simply Entry Date Greater Than $$TODAY-1d If that does bring back Notes, you can then restrict it based on the Note Text Contains and/or Audit Text Contains If that doesn't work, it suggests to me that yes, your Projects are "too new" for the Notes auditing. In that case, I can think of a couple of options: Although the Updates (via the Journal Object) are not reportable, it might be possible to filter for Projects whose Journal Entries contain a particular text string of interest (some assembly required) If you're willing to try an experiment, I curious to see what would happen if we turn on the old Audit checkboxes via our private Audit solutions; just drop me a line at doug.denhoed@atappstore.com and we can set up a time to do so One other angle on this, as Brett pointed out, would be to take periodic "https://support.workfront.com/hc/en-us/articles/216674618-Creating-Baselines">Baselines , and then report (e.g. against the specific Confirm Project End Date Tasks) using a "https://support.workfront.com/hc/en-us/articles/217517647-View-Baseline-Variance-for-Duration-and-Planned-Work-in-a-Task-View">Baseline Task report. Regards, Doug Doug Den Hoed - AtAppStore Got Skills? Lend a hand! https://community.workfront.com/participate/unanswered-threads

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Level 3
I agree. We need to be able to maintain the original planned completion date and keep notes when the date changes. I saw some of the responses to this thread and the use of the "notes" field solves just one of my problems. i need to be able to maintain & report on that original planned completion date field also. Theresa Gibson Reed Technology and Information Services Inc.

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Level 10
Have you considered the Baselines. Of course they'd have to be set. We set the original Baseline and then whenever the date (or scope or budget) have to change, we do a Change Request via a custom form (with approval process). In this Change Request form is where they would enter the "why" the date has changed. And then, if approved, they reset the Baseline. Vic Alejandro, PMP, CSM | IT Program Manager Denver Water | t: (303-628-7262) | c: (303-319-6473) "http://www.denverwater.org/"> http://www.denverwater.org INTEGRITY | VISION | PASSION | EXCELLENCE | RESPECT

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Level 10
Hi Vic, As I just shared in this (somewhat tenuously) "https://community.workfront.com/discussions/community-home/digestviewer/viewthread?MessageKey=d49a5872-2ecd-4d93-8cb0-34f47fa22f9a&CommunityKey=aaafaff0-5e4e-4e38-8903-f1f990935567&tab=digestviewer&SuccessMsg=Thank+you+for+submitting+your+message.">related thread , another simple solution to this Planned Completion Date challenge would be to add a date calculated parameter to a custom form behind every Project of Interest called Original Planned Completion Date, with this formula: IF(Status='CUR',IF(ISBLANK(Original Planned Completion Date),Planned Completion Date,Original Planned Completion Date),Original Planned Completion Date) What this subtle gem does is to capture (forever) whatever the Planned Completion Date on every existing Current Project to which its custom form is already attached (e.g. up to "right now", in my client's case), and whatever the initial Planned Completion Date was when the Project was first set to Current on any Project to which the form is attached (e.g. from the Template, "going forward"). With that data in hand, you can then create a Project report that shows any Project whose Original Planned Completion Date is different from its Planned Completion Date. And (what the heck) even add some Project Level calculated parameters to show how many days different, what percentage of the whole timeline, etc. Geeky, but elegant. I like it on both counts. Thanks to Bonnie for helping me noodle it out! Regards, Doug P.S. the proper syntax is "IF" not "IIF" (whoops, my VBA dark roots are showing), and to get this formula to work, you'll need to add the parameter to the form with no formula, save (so Workfront "knows" that parameter exists), THEN add the formula (since it refers to that parameter) and save and close P.P.S. for existing Projects, remember to also Recalculate Custom Parameters to inject the initial values Doug Den Hoed - AtAppStore Got Skills? Lend a hand! https://community.workfront.com/participate/unanswered-threads