In a recent article we looked at a couple of Deltek Cobra fields that have basically the same name, but perform a slightly different function: i.e. “Percent Complete” and “% Complete”.
In summary the article explains that the “Percent Complete” column is displaying the value that is entered in the % Complete field of a % Complete EVT type work package, while the “% Complete” column is displaying a value calculated by Cobra at the time earned value is calculated.
The article prompted some insightful responses from Deltek Cobra users who had some interesting ideas as to how these two fields could be useful. The article pointed out that on some occasions slight differences in the values between the two fields have been observed.
For those of you who don’t follow the threads in the Deltek Cobra User Group, here’s a great comment from Jim Autrey regarding the differences between these two fields:
“Could it be due to escalation? You may have an activity that spans a change in the escalation rate, and thus the percent complete (physical) and the calculated EV/BAC could differ.”
Jim has hit the nail square on the head here, and other readers agree. Steven Delvizis put this wonderful example together:
“I agree with Jim. Rounding is not likely the culprit as it is quite possible for the values to be different in each column. By default, Cobra calculates EV based on ‘Budget Units’. Consider the following:
A work package spans two periods. It has one resource, labour, with total units (hours) of 100, 50 in each period. There is a rate increase from $50 an hour to $100 an hour with an effective date matching the start of the second period.
The total budget for the work package is $7500. (50*50 + 50*100)
If EV is calculated based on units, a Percent Complete of 25% equals an EV of 25 hours. This translates to $1,250 as the first 25 hours of the WP was costed based on the $50/hr rate.
Now using the ‘% Complete’ field’s method of calculating Percent Complete (PPC = EV/BAC) we get 16.67%.”
We’ve found other examples that can cause delta’s between these two fields. Take a look at the following screenshot of the sample Inter-Planet Shuttle project. A percent complete EVT type work package has been given an actual finish date when only 10% of the work has been completed. Therefore the % Complete field (calculated by Cobra as EV/BAC) has determined that EV is now equal to BAC and shows 100%. The posted Percent Complete value for the work package is just 10% however, and thus the two fields now show a very different value.
At the Control Account level you will frequently see differences in the two field values due simply to very different ways Cobra has to calculate the summary values. The % Complete column is showing the total EV/BAC at the control account level, while the Percent Complete field is showing a weighted summary of percent complete for the in-progress work packages; thus we see 25.51% and 11.00% in the two fields.
Our thanks to each of you for this deeper dive into the workings of these two fields, and to all who responded in the forum. It’s always good to get this kind of feedback from users who are down in the trenches with Deltek Cobra.
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