Watch out for the Bug in Microsoft® Project 2016 Version 1906 affecting your Lean PlanDo® experience.

We recently discovered that there was a bug burrowed underneath the new Microsoft Project 2016 update to version 1906 (Build 11727.20230). It causes the MPP file to have inconsistent structure for the activities in its database inside. This data disruption directly affects the initial uploads to Lean PlanDo when the file is saved in this version of Microsoft® Project.

The bug is slimy as the inconsistency is not visible in the Microsoft® Project interface but it affects the file structure and hence the file uploads will not be handled by Lean PlanDo® and will throw a long list of errors (see image below). These errors restrict the MPP file from successfully being uploaded into Lean PlanDo®. When you compare these errors with the activities from your MSP, either these WBS numbers do not exist, or the activity names and the WBS numbers are inconsistent. Some of these activities are paired with the WBS numbers that do not exist.

Example of the bug when .mpp file from MSP v1906 is uploaded onto Lean PlanDo®
Example of the bug when .mpp file from MSP v1906 is uploaded onto Lean PlanDo®
Example of Activities in .mpp file from MSP v1906

The above figures show an extract from the file structure of the MPP file which was created using the MSP v1906 by Lean PlanDo and how it is visible in MSP interface, showing the invisibility of all child activities from MSP interface. There are parent activities and the children activities shown in the Lean PlanDo database (Eg. 1.3.8 to 1.3.9.1) when we upload the MSP file. However, in MSP, only the parent activities (1.3.8 and 1.3.9) were present, and the child activities did not exist. Moreover, in terms of context, the parent and children activities do not make sense together — Nobody puts “Water tank with pump” under “Casting” or “Upper roof Architecture” under “Side formwork” (you would understand this if you can understand construction sequences).

This bug only affects the latest build of Microsoft® Project version 1906 (Build 11727.20230) only. Kindly refrain from updating to this version if you have not updated it. Users using older versions of Microsoft® Project are not affected by this bug. While our team has notified Microsoft® about this bug and is working with the Microsoft® technical team on resolving this, the root cause of this issue is still unknown, we suggest you do not update your Microsoft® Project 2016 (or 360) to the last Version 1906 (Build 11727.20230). See section below if you have updated to this build and how to revert back to the previous stable build (version 1905).

What to do if you have already updated Microsoft® Project 2016 (or 360) to version 1906 (Build 11727.20230).

Please refer to this article from Microsoft Support on how to revert the update back to the older one, Version 1905 (Build 11629.20196). You can simply follow the step by step guide in the article to revert MSP back to its older Version 1905 (Build 11629.20196).

Step 1: Download Office Deployment Tool

Download and run the self-extracting executable file from the Download Center link. This file contains the Office Deployment Tool executable (Setup.exe) and a sample configuration file (Configuration.xml):

Step 2: Start Notepad and copy the following XML. Then, save the file as Config.xml in the same file location as the Setup.exe file from step 2.

<Configuration>

<Updates Enabled=”TRUE” TargetVersion=”16.0.11727.20230" />

</Configuration>

Step 3: Open an elevated Command Prompt window. To do this, click Start, type cmd in the Start Search box, right-click cmd.exe, and then click Run as administrator. Switch to the file location for the Setup.exe and Config.xml files.

Run the following command:

setup.exe /configure config.xml

Step 4: Start an Office application (such as Excel), and then select File > Account.

Step 5: In the Product Information section, select Update Options > Update Now.

Step 6: Disable automatic updates for Office Click-to-Run

This step is very important. The repair process re-enables automatic updates. To prevent the newest version of Office Click-to-Run from being automatically reinstalled, follow these steps:

1. Start Project.

2. Click File, and then click Office Account.

3. In the Product Information column, click Update Options, and then click Disable Updates.

We hope Microsoft® technical team can resolve this bug soon and provide a patch quick enough to address this issue. We shall keep you updated as soon as we have more information on this.