MS Project Training Tips – How to Set Up Start and Finish Milestones

99 Tricks and Traps for Microsoft projectUnderstanding Start and Finish Milestones in Microsoft Project

A Milestone is created by assigning a task a zero duration:

–  A Milestone is a Start Milestone when it has no predecessors.

–  A Milestone is a Finish Milestone if it has one or more predecessors.

–  A Start Milestone is at the Start of a Time Period, for example, 8:00 am.

–  A Finish Milestone is at the End of a Time Period, for example, 5:00 pm, see Task 3 and 5 below.

ms project set up start milestones

– A task may also be made to look like a Milestone by checking the Mark as a milestone in the Task Information form General tab, see Task 2 below.

The Milestone may be set to display at the Start or Finish of the Tasks by editing the From and To fields of Milestones in the Bar Styles form:

start milestones in ms project

Note: Unlike some other scheduling software it is not possible for the user to assign a Milestone as either a Start or Finish Mile Stone in Microsoft Project.

Converting a Finish Milestone into a Start Milestone

Sometimes it is important to have a Start Milestone with has a predecessor. For example, Task 5 in the picture below may be required on Friday morning not Thursday afternoon:

ms project - converting finish milestones 1

One workaround to achieve this:

–  Assign a short duration to the intended Start Milestone. The duration is not important, say I min.

–  Check the Mark as a Milestone in the General tab of the Task Information form.

– Ensure all successors of the Start Milestone are Start to Start, otherwise all successors will span 1 day longer than their assigned duration:

Without a Start to Start successor:

ms project converting finish milestones 2

With a Start to Start successor:

ms project converting finish milestones 3

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

P6 Training – How to Use Mixed Calendar Schedules in Primavera P6 version 8.2

ebook primavera p6 version 8.2 training manualTips for Using Mixed Calendar Schedules in Primavera P6 version 8.2

When a project has mixed calendars, say an 8- and 10-hour per day, then a change of calendar from a predecessor on an 8-hour per day calendar to successor on a 10-hour calendar, the successor activity may have one hour of work on the same day as the predecessor and span 2 days.

This situation leads to interesting Float calculations and confusion to schedulers.

how to use mixed schedules in primavera p6 version 8.2

Primavera P6 does not have a “Start on a New Day” function found in other products such as Asta Powerproject, but which in itself brings on a new set of calculation issues.

Techniques that may be considered to ensure one-day activities span one day and two-day activities span two days, etc. are:

  • Apply an appropriate lag to the relationship, or
  • When the Start and Finish Times are not an important scheduling consideration then assign all the calendars the same Start and Finish time but adjust the duration of the lunch break so the days have the desired number of hours. For example, a 10-hour day calendar could start at 07:00 and finish at 17:00 without any lunch break and an 8-hour calendar could start at 07:00 and finish at 17:00 and be assigned a 2-hour lunch break.

The picture below shows how 8-hour a day and 12-hour a day calendars in the same project may be set up to ensure all activities start and finish on the same day:

using mixed calendars in p6 version 8.2

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

Project Planning and Control Using Oracle Primavera P6 Version 8.2 EPPM Web – Book Reviews

Primavera P6 Version 8.2 Training manual by Paul harrisBook Reviews for Project Planning and Control Using Oracle Primavera P6 Version 8.2 EPPM Web

Primavera Systems Inc. originally asked the author to write this book and this publication is ideal for people who would like to gain an understanding of how the software operates up to an intermediate level.

It only covers the Primavera Versions 8.2 Web tool. It explains some of the differences from the Professional tool, SureTrak, P3, Microsoft Project and Asta Powerproject to assist people converting from other products.

The book is designed to teach planners and schedulers in any industry how to setup and use the software in a project environment.

It explains in plain English and in a logical sequence, the steps required to create and maintain an unresourced and resourced schedule. It tackles some of the more complex aspects of the software that the user manual does not address.

It highlights the sources of information and the methods that should be employed to produce a realistic and useful project schedule.

Book Reviews

Reviewer:

Jan Hanak

Managing Director

Keen Science Pty Ltd

Review:

The Oracle Primavera P6 Version 8.2 Web manual adds to the already impressive collection of project management concepts and project management software training manuals written by Paul Harris.

The Oracle Primavera P6 Version 8.2 Web manual expands the previous version of the Primavera P6.1 Web manual to create a comprehensive guide for creating and managing projects using the P6 8.2 EPPM Web client. The book follows a logical approach to project schedule development, enabling the user to progress from the definition of project attributes, to the definition of WBS, activities and relationship, and the subsequent creation of resource assignment and the development of the project coding structures.

Common to other guides written by Paul, the manual allows the user to learn through self-paced training as well as allowing the content to be delivered in a classroom workshop environment. The extent of the material covered by the book ensures that the manual remains a source of useful reference even after the initial training has been completed.

Paul’s many years of experience as project controls practitioner is reflected in the content of the book, with informative tips on the practical use the software features incorporated throughout the book’s chapters.

I recommend Paul’s book to anyone who wants to enhance their knowledge about Oracle Primavera P6 application. The presence of Paul’s books in many organisations focused on successful project delivery is recognition of their value to all project management practitioners.

Reviewer:

Michael Jack

Managing Director

Nietzsche Pty Ltd

Review:

Once again Paul has produced a readable and understandable manual (for novices and experts alike) to navigate through Oracle Primavera’s flagship web based project scheduling tool.

Paul has a long association with project planning and controls manuals targeted at users that are looking for more than just the text book approach to using the software without understanding the underlying concepts.

Paul’s book gets the heart of the issues experienced by users, that has been built upon by years of experience using the software to achieve realistic outcomes and not just solely focused on producing a pretty picture.

More often than not when I turn up at a client’s office I commonly find copies of Paul’s books lying around the office as a reference guides with many of the users having already taught themselves how to use the tool using the book.

As a project controls professional with 15 years of experience I always recommend Paul’s books to anyone that is looking to master project controls using Oracle Primavera’s tools.

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How to Define Calendars in Oracle Primavera P6 Version 8.2

Primavera P6 Version 8.2 Training manual by Paul harrisDefining Calendars in Primavera P6 Version 8.2

The finish date (and time) of an activity is calculated from the start date (and time) plus the duration of the calendar associated with the activity.

Therefore, a five-day duration activity that starts at the start of the workday on a Wednesday, and is associated with a five-day workweek calendar (with Saturday and Sunday as non-work days) will finish at the end of the workday on the following Tuesday.

defining calendars in primavera p6 version 8.2

Primavera has three categories for calendars:

  • Global – These calendars are available to all Projects and Resources.
  • Project – These calendars are only available to the projects they are created in. These may only be created for a project when that project is open.
  • Resource – There are now two types of resource calendars: Personal, new to Primavera Version 8.1, and Shared, which is the same as the earlier Resource calendar.

Ø  A Personal calendar is created for a specific individual resource.

Ø  A Shared Resource calendar may be assigned to one or more Resources, which in turn may be assigned to an activity in any project.

A Resource will be scheduled according to a Resource Calendar when the Activity Type is set to Resource Dependent; otherwise the activity is scheduled according to the Activity calendar.

eh.com.au warning symbol When an activity is made Resource Dependent, unlike in some other software, it still acknowledges the Activity Calendar for calculating the start of the resource work. Some software ignores the Activity Calendar and ONLY acknowledges the resource calendars when an activity is made resource-driven. You may wish to consider placing resource-driven activities on a 24-hour, 7-day per week calendar in circumstances when resource calendars have start times that are earlier in the day than the activity calendar start times. This prevents a delay to start of resource-driven activities by an Activity Calendar.

You may create a new, or edit an existing, calendar to reflect your project requirements, such as adding holidays or additional workdays or adjusting work times. For example, some activities may have a 5-day per week calendar and some may have a 7-day per week calendar.

This chapter covers the following topics:

how to define calendars in primavera p6 version 8.2

Eastwood Harris Supplies Project Management Training Manuals, Project Management Training Presentations and Consulting and Training on Primavera P6 Software and Microsoft Project 2010 in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, Australia.

New Book Release – Project Planning and Control Using Oracle Primavera P6 Version 8.2 EPPM Web

primavera p6 version 8.2 training book

Project Planning and Control Using Oracle Primavera P6

Version 8.2 EPPM Web

NAME OF AUTHOR Paul E Harris
SHORT DESCRIPTION ON FRONT COVER A user guide, reference book and two-day training course written for Project Management Professionals who wish to learn how to plan and control both an unresourced and resourced project in an established Oracle Primavera environment.

This book is an update of the author’s unpublished book titled Planning and Control Using Primavera P6.1 Web and includes the new features of Oracle Primavera P6 Version 8.2 Web.

SHORT DESCRIPTION OF SUBJECT MATTER The book is packed with screen shots, constructive tips and contains workshops with solutions at the end of each chapter for the reader to practice the skills taught. It has been written so it may be used with then EPPM Web tool.
READERSHIP The book is aimed at:

Ø  People who wish learn the software but are unable to attend a training course and find the software reference manual hard going.

Ø  Project management companies who wish to run their own software training courses or provide their employees with an alternative text to the vendor supplied user manual.

Ø  Training organizations requiring a training manual to run their own training courses.

This book is a PMI Approved course and instructors PowerPoint slide shows are available to training organizations. PMI REPs may apply to have this course licensed to them and award 21 PDUs to each attendee.

BACKGROUND ON BOOK Primavera Systems Inc. originally asked the author to write this book and this publication is ideal for people who would like to gain an understanding of how the software operates up to an intermediate level.

It only covers the Primavera Versions 8.2 Web tool. It explains some of the differences from the Professional tool, SureTrak, P3, Microsoft Project and Asta Powerproject to assist people converting from other products.

The book is designed to teach planners and schedulers in any industry how to setup and use the software in a project environment. It explains in plain English and in a logical sequence, the steps required to create and maintain an unresourced and resourced schedule. It tackles some of the more complex aspects of the software that the user manual does not address. It highlights the sources of information and the methods that should be employed to produce a realistic and useful project schedule.

BACKGROUND ON BOOK Continued

The book provides advice on how on how the many software options may be applied to projects environments and it aims to teach readers how to plan and control projects created within the software package and stays focused on explaining how to use Primavera to schedule projects by:

Ø  Concentrating on the core functions required to set up an enterprise environment and how to plan and control projects.

Ø  Providing command lists at the start of each chapter as a quick reference.

Ø  Providing a comprehensive table of contents and index of all topics.

The book is intended to be used:

Ø  As a self teach book, or

Ø  A user guide, or

Ø  A training manual for a two day training course.

This book is written by an experienced scheduler, who has used the software at the sharp end of projects and is not a techo. It draws on the author’s practical experience in using the software in a wide variety of industries. It presents workable solutions to real day to day planning and scheduling problems and contains practical advice on how to set up the software and import data.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Paul Harris holds an Honours Degree in Civil Engineering obtained in the UK and is a Certified Cost Engineer through AACEI International, a PRINCE2 Registered Practitioner, an Approved PRINCE2 Trainer and a “Managing Successful Programmes” Registered Practitioner. He has worked in the project controls industry for a number of years and has assisted many companies in a range of industries to set up and run project controls systems. His Melbourne, Australia based company, Eastwood Harris Pty Ltd, offers project controls consulting and training services world wide with a strong focus on Microsoft Project and Primavera software.
AUTHOR’S COMMENT As a project controls consultant I have used a number of planning and scheduling software packages for the management of a range of project types and sizes. The first books I published were user guides/training manuals for Primavera SureTrak®, P3 and® Microsoft Project users. I was then approached in 2002 by Primavera Systems Inc. to write a book on Primavera Version 3.5. I have now refined this original book over the years and recently converted to cover the Web tool as well. This book follows the same layout as my other books and I trust this book will assist you in understanding how to use Primavera P6 Web to plan and control your projects.