Microsoft Project Training Melbourne – What Are Negative and Free Float Bars?

99 Tricks and Traps for Microsoft projectNegative and Free Float Bars in MS Project in Melbourne

The Gantt Chart Wizard, available by clicking on the  icon or selecting Format, Gantt Chart Wizard…., is a straightforward method of formatting your bars but will not format and display the Negative Float (Slack) and Free Float (Slack) bars.

These will have to be added manually using the Bar Style form by:

– Selecting Format, Bar Styles…, or double-click anywhere in the Gantt Chart area except on an existing bar (this will open the Format Bar form to format an individual bar).

–  Then add two additional bars as indicated below:

ms project negative float bars

–  Negative Float is generated when the Late date is calculated earlier than the Early date and represents the amount of time that the schedule must catch up or how much earlier a project must start to finish on time in Melbourne. Setting a Late constraint or Deadline date earlier than the calculated Early Finish date normally causes Negative Float.

–  Free Float is the amount of time a task may be delayed without delaying a successor task.

Note: Unlike some other some software, the Negative Float is drawn from the Start Date of a task and not the Finish Date. Therefore one bar is required for Negative Float and one for Positive Float.

Eastwood Harris Supplies Project Management Training Manuals, Project Management Training Presentations and Consulting on Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project 2010 across Australia.

Primavera P6 Tips and Tricks – Primavera Software File Types

primavera P6 Version 8.2_e-book training manualTips and Tricks on Primavera P6 File Types

There are several Primavera propriety file formats that you need to be aware of:

  • XERUsed to exchange one or more projects between Primavera databases regardless of the database type in which it was created and exports all project data. Earlier versions of XER files may be imported into later version databases. A layout (formatting) is not part of an XER file.
  • PLFUsed to exchange Layouts between Primavera databases regardless of the database type in which it was created.
  • ANPUsed to save the position of activities in an Activity Network.
  • ERPUsed to exchange Reports between Primavera databases regardless of the database type in which it was created.
  • XMLA format introduced with Primavera Version 6.0 which is used to import data from the Project Manager module. This is the same software language but a different format to a Microsoft Project XML file.
  • PCF – Used to exchange Global Changes between Primavera databases.

Non Primavera File Types

Select File, Import… to open a wizard that will guide you through the process of importing projects into your schedule.

Project (*.mpp).This is the default file format that Microsoft Project uses to create and save files. Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Project 2007 and Microsoft Project 2000 – 2003 are three different formats.

Primavera Version 8 will not import any mpp file when Microsoft Project 2007 or Microsoft Project 2010 is installed as these disable the mpp import function.

Primavera will import and export to the following non Primavera file types using the wizards found under the menu commands File, Import… and File, Export…:

  • Project 2000 2003 (*.mpp).This is the default file format that Microsoft Project 2000, 2002 and 2003 use to create and save files. Importing these files requires Microsoft Project 2000, 2002 or 2003 to be installed on the PC.
  • MPX (*.mpx). This is a text format created by Microsoft Project 98 and earlier versions. MPX is a format that may be imported and exported by many other project scheduling software packages.
  • Microsoft Project XML format is supported in Version 6.2 and later. This allows import of a file created by Microsoft Project 2010, or 2007, or 2000 to 2003 XML without the installation of Microsoft Project.
  • Primavera Project Planner P3 and SureTrak files saved in P3 format. A SureTrak project in SureTrak format should be saved in Concentric (P3) format before importing.

To import files saved in P3 format you need Btrieve loaded on your PC. Btrieve is loaded when P3 is installed. A demonstration version of P3 will load Btrieve onto your machine and enable P3 files to be imported.

  • XLS. Primavera Version 5.0 has a new function allowing the import and export of data in Excel format.

Read the Administrators Guide carefully before importing a project as this is a very complex operation and may import unwanted data into your database. It is recommended that you establish a sacrificial database into which you import projects so that corporate databases are not filled up with unwanted data.

Eastwood Harris Supplies Project Management Training Manuals, Project Management Training Presentations and Consulting on Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project 2010 across Australia.

Primavera P6 Training Tips Sydney – How to Open a New Project

project planning and control using primavera p6 version 8.2CREATING A NEW PROJECT IN PRIMAVERA P6

There are several methods to create a new project from the Projects Window:

  • Run the Create New Project wizard, or
  • Copy an existing project and edit it, or
  • Import a project created from another Primavera database or created with another software program such as P3, SureTrak or Microsoft Project, or Asta Powerproject.

Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Version 8 Web has introduced project templates and dropped Methodology Manager/Project Architect.

Creating a Blank Project

You may create a new project at any point in time by selecting File, New…from the menu or clicking on the  icon on the Edit toolbar. You will be guided through the Create a New Project wizard which will require the following information:

  • The EPS Node the project is to be assigned to.
  • The Project ID, a code to represent the project (a maximum of 20 characters), and Project Name.
  • A Planned Start date, which is the earliest date any un-started activity will be scheduled to commence and an optional Project Must Finish By date.
    NOTE: Be sure to check the Start Time.
  • When a Project Must Finish By date is set the project float will be calculated to this date and not to the latest activity finish.

new project p6 tips

open new project in p6

  • The Responsible Manager is selected from the OBS structure. If the OBS has not been defined or the responsibility not assigned then Enterprise may be selected as the Responsible Manager.
  • The Resource Rate Type. Each resource may have five different rates. This is where the default rates are selected but may be changed after a resource has been assigned to an activity.

new project in p6Eastwood Harris Supplies Project Management Training Manuals, Project Management Training Presentations and Consulting on Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project 2010 across Australia.

Primavera P6 Software Tips Brisbane – Creating and Using Resources

Eastwood Harris_project management trainingCreating and Using Resources in Primavera P6 Software Brisbane

First, one would usually establish a resource pool by entering all the required project resources into a hierarchical table in the software. The required quantity of each resource is assigned to the activities. In an Enterprise environment in Brisbane, these resources may already be defined for you.

Entering a cost rate for each resource enables you to conduct a resource cost analysis, such as comparing the cost of supplementing overloaded resources against the cost of extending the project deadline.

Estimates and time-phased cash flows may be produced from this resource/cost data.

Creating and Using Roles

Primavera has an additional function titled Roles, which is used for planning and managing resources in Brisbane-based projects.

  • A Role is a skill or trade or job description and may be used as an alternative to resources during the planning period of a project.
  • Roles are defined in a hierarchical structure and hold a Proficiency Level.
  • Roles may be assigned to activities in a way similar to how resources are assigned. Roles can be replaced later by resources after it has been decided who is going to be assigned the work.
  • Primavera Version 5.0 introduced a function allowing a Role to be assigned a rate.

The Relationship Between Resources and Roles

Primavera has the ability to define roles and associate them with resources.

A role is a job title, trade or skill and may have many resources. A multi-skilled resource may have multiple roles. For example, a role may be a Clerical Assistant and there may be five clerical assistants in a company who would be assigned the Clerical Assistant Role. If one clerical assistant were also a data entry person, then this resource would be assigned two roles: Clerical Assistant and Data Entry.

Activity Type and Duration Type

Activities may be assigned an Activity Type and Duration Type, which affect how resources are calculated. Additional software features enable the user to more accurately model real-life situations. These features are covered in the Assigning Roles, Resources and Expenses chapter.

Budgets

The Budget function enables Top-Down Budgeting at a summary level against each EPS Node in an accounting style. Budgets may be compared to the detailed estimates calculated after resources have been assigned to Activities

Eastwood Harris Supplies Project Management Training Manuals, Project Management Training Presentations and Consulting on Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project 2010 across Australia.

Microsoft Project Training Tips – Which Calendar is the Task Using?

99 Tricks and Traps for Microsoft projectEver Set a Task in MS Project but Forgot Which Calendar the Task is Using?

Try the checklist below when it is difficult to understand which calendar is being used for calculating a task Finish date:

v  Check the Project Calendar in the Project, Project Information… form,

v  Then check the Task Calendar in the Task form Advanced tab or a Task Calendar column,

v  Next check if resources are assigned to the task,

v  Finally check the Resource Calendar for holidays.

The rules are as follows:

v  When NO Task Calendar and NO resources are assigned, then the Project Calendar is used.

v  When a Task Calendar is assigned and there are NO resources assigned then the Task Calendar is being used.

v  When Resources are assigned and NO Task Calendar then the Resource Calendar is used.

v  When Resources and a Task Calendar are assigned, then the commonly available time from both calendars is used to schedule the task.

v  When Resources and a Task Calendar are assigned and the Scheduling ignores resource calendars is checked, the Task Calendar is used.

Note: A common mistake is assigning a task an edited task calendar, then at a later date assigning resources without editing the resource calendars to match the task calendars and not realizing that the task durations no longer calculate the same.

Eastwood Harris Supplies Project Management Training Manuals, Project Management Training Presentations and Consulting on Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project 2010 across Australia.