First, some idea about project calculation as a whole:
Assuming the use of Schedule, Cost and Issue health with the weights set to 1:1:1 see the following examples:
The actual calculation is as follows (assuming all weights at 1)
Example 1: Schedule = Red, Cost = Red, Issue = Green Rules: Red = 5/6, Green = 1/6 (Yellow = 3/6). Total = sum(weight * color value)/sum of weight Total = (5/6 + 5/6 + 1/6) / 3 = (11/6) / 3 = 11/18 = 0.61
Example 2: Green = total < 1/3; Yellow = total < 2/3; else Red. In this case 0.6 < 2/3 = Yellow.
Example 3: Schedule = Red, Cost = Red, Issue = Yellow, results in Overall health of Red Total = (5/6 + 5/6 + 3/6) / 3 = (13/6) / 3 = 13/18 = 0.72
Example 4: Green = total < 1/3; Yellow = total < 2/3; else Red. In this case 0.72 > 2/3 = Red.
The part of the project health that you refer to is the ‚Schedule‘ as per project settings ‚Scheduling‘ settings.
If you look at page 44 of the ‘project management user guide’, it will show you that the estimated finish date is taken into account (if selected) for calculating the scheduling health of the project. This would be the setting ‘late estimated finish’. Per definition (also shown there), this is the date of the estimated finish date PAST the scheduled finish date. Thus, if you use ‘Estimated Remaining Effort’ which calculates the estimated finish taking actual data and scheduled date, you would have a late estimated finish if the estimated remaining effort takes you past the scheduled finish. You can determine how this affects the project schedule and thus overall health by making a setting on how many days you allow the estimated finish to pass scheduled finish date before it affects the schedule health.
Thus in a nutshell to answer your questions:
1) What does the estimated finish date reflect?
- If using Estimated Remaining Effort and based on actual effort already logged, the time management module will recalculate the schedule and give an estimation of when the task will be complete.
2) What is its use in determining project health?
- If ERE is used and ‘Late Estimate Finish’ is used, it can affect the project schedule health and thus overall project health based on settings and weight.
3) Is it part of the baseline?
- I have checked this and as far as I can determine, project health is not part of the baseline. The baseline does offer to give information on changes to start and finish dates as well as to duration changes but this is actual information as far as I’m aware and not scheduled or estimated information.
4) In what way is Late estimated finish related to estimated finish date?
- ERE calculation determines the estimated remaining effort and therefore duration of the task. This will affect the estimated finish date. If this is past the scheduled finish date, you have the option to determine how this affects project schedule and project overall health.
using the Estimated Finish date doesn't really make sense. PPM is calculating ERE to specifically allow to find automatically the scheduled finish-to-estimated finish difference by actual effort values. If you use estimated finish the way you point out, you have nothing different than the scheduled finish. Besides that, the Microsoft Project integration also uses ERE to (re-calculate) workplans and their task (remaining) effort and duration.
However, in case I got you wrong:
Estimated Remaining Effort: Calculation based on Actuals on how much EFFORT is remaining in the task until completion;
Estimated Finish Date: Based on ERE calculation, the day that the task will be completed.
If I got it ALL wrong, let me know what you need to know specifically.
Oh well – this does not help the way I hoped. We are not using time management and we are not assigning resources at the task level (only staffing profile). We were looking to base schedule health based on task slippage – i.e. when the end date slipped past a committed end date. We originally wanted to compare against baseline but that’s not an option so I was hoping I could use estimated finish date as the latest outlook and scheduled end date as the committed end date.