How to Add a New Activity in Primavera P6 Version 8.2

Adding New Activities in Primavera P6 Version 8.2

It is often quicker to create a schedule in a spreadsheet and import the data into the scheduling software. Primavera offers a spreadsheet import function found under File, Import… which is very user friendly.

eh.com.au warning symbol Some data associated with an imported activity must exist before the activity is imported from Excel otherwise it will not be imported. This includes items such as Roles, Resources, and Activity Codes. These data items may be imported using the Primavera SDK (which is loaded from the installation CD and instructions are available on the Administration Guide) and an Excel spreadsheet available from the Oracles Primavera Knowledgebase.

To add an Activity to a Primavera P6 project in the Activities Window you must first open the project, select the appropriate WBS Node and then:

  • Select Edit, Add, or
  • Press the Insert key on the keyboard, or
  • Click on the  Add icon on the Edit toolbar.

Default Activity Duration

The default activity duration for newly created activities is specified in the Admin, Admin Preferences…, General tab Activity Duration cell.

primavera p6 default activity duration

Copying Activities from other Programs

Activity data may NOT be copied from or updated from other programs (such as Excel) by cutting and pasting.

Copying Activities in P6

Activities may be copied from another project when both projects are open at the same time or copied from within the same project using the normal Windows commands Copy and Paste, by using the menu commands Edit, Copy and Edit, Paste, or by using Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V.

One or more activities may be selected to be copied by:

  • Ctrl-clicking, or
  • Holding the shift key and clicking on the first and last activity in a range, or
  • Dragging a range with the mouse. With this operation be sure to select the whole activity or activities, not just a cell.

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

The Best Way to Create “Views” in Microsoft Project

99 Tips and traps for microsoft project - ebookThe Smart Way to Create Views in MS Project Software

A Single Gantt Chart View is made from a Gantt Screen and includes a Table, an optional Group and an optional Filter. A View also holds the Bar formatting and Print settings.

If your project requires multiple but similar Views, for example, headers and footers may need to contain the same print settings and bar formatting consistent, then the following process is recommended:

– Create the first View and make sure the Bar formatting and the Print settings are correct.

– The print preview Header, Footer and Legend should read all the text data from the File, Properties form. Thus a change to the header or footer text can be made in one place for all Views, the File, Properties form.

– Ensure that you have hidden all the bars that you do not want displayed in the Legend, by placing an “*” in front of the bar name in the Bars form.

– Create new Views by copying the first View only after it has been checked, double-checked, and checked again.

– Each new View should have a unique name. This name is also used for the Table, Group and Filter names associated with the View, so each view has its own unique Table, Filter and Group.

These uniquely named Tables, Groups and Filters should not be displayed in the menus to avoid their inadvertent application and corruption.

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

Activity Types and Milestones in Primavera P6 Version 8.2

primavera p6 wbs activitiesActivity Types and Milestones in Primavera P6

An Activity may be assigned one of the following default Activity Types using the drop down box in the Project Defaults tab:

  • Finish Milestone
  • Level of Effort
  • Resource Dependent
  • Start Milestone
  • Task Dependent
  • WBS Summary
TASK TYPE DESCRIPTION
  • Task Dependent
These Activity Types have a duration and will only calculate the duration using the assigned calendar even when one or more resources are assigned to an activity.
  • Resource Dependent
These Activity Types have a duration and will calculate the duration only using the calendar assigned to the activity when NO resources are assigned to the activity.

These activities acknowledge Resource Calendars when resources are assigned.

This is similar to an Independent Activity Type in P3 and SureTrak.

They acknowledge the Activity calendar to calculate the Early Start date.

  • Level of Effort – LOE
This Activity type is similar to P3 and SureTrak Hammock activities. It spans from the start or finish of one or more predecessor activities to the start or finish of one or more successor activities which are linked by relationships.
  • Start Milestone
A Start Milestone has a start date and no finish date and is scheduled at the start of a time period and may not be assigned Resources.
  • Finish Milestone
A Finish Milestone has a finish date, no start date and is scheduled at the end of a time period and may not be assigned Resources.

Changing a milestone from Start to Finish would not affect a schedule when all the tasks are on one calendar but would move the milestone from the start of a day to the finish of the previous day.

  • WBS Summary
This Activity type calculates in the same way as P3 and SureTrak WBS activities and they span all activities with the same WBS code, but without relationships that are used with LOEs.
primavera p6 version 8-2 info button A Milestone has zero duration and is used to mark the start or finish of a major event. Primavera differentiates between Start and Finish Milestones in the same way as P3 and SureTrak, where a Start Milestone has a start date and no finish date and a Finish Milestone has a finish date and no start date. This is unlike Microsoft Project, which only has one type of Milestone. Later versions of Microsoft Project allow milestones with durations.

primavera p6 wbs activity types

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

Setting and Keeping Proper Date Formats in MS Project

99 Tricks and Traps for Microsoft projectDate Format Dangers in Microsoft Project

There is often confusion on international projects between the numerical US date style (mmddyy) and the numerical European date style (ddmmyy). For example, in the United States 020710 is read as 07 Feb ‘10, and in many other countries as 02 Jul ‘10. Consider adopting the ddmmmyy style, 06 Jan ’07 or mmmddyy style, Jan 06 ’07.

Select Tools, Options… to display the Options form and select the View tab Date format:

setting date formats in ms project

This option selects the display style of the dates for all projects.  The date format options available will be dependent on your system default settings. You may adjust your system date format under the Desktop Start, Control Panel, Regional and Language Options.

Preventing the Date Format from Changing on Other Computers

The date format selected in the Tools, Options…, View tab applies to all projects opened on one computer. Some projects may be required to display the day and time format and others day and month, so you have to keep changing the format each time you open a different project.

If you are in this situation, you may override the date format selected in the Tools, Options…, View tab by a date format selected in a View, Table:, More Tables… form:

stop dates changing on other computers in ms project

Each project could have its own set of tables all with their own project-specific date format.

When you send this project to someone else, they will have a better chance of seeing the same date format as you especially if their Start, Control Panel, Regional and Language Options are the same as yours.

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

Primavera P6 WBS vs P3/SureTrak Activity Codes

primavera P6 version 8.2 spiral bound training bookWhy a Primavera WBS is Important

People converting from P3 and SureTrak will be used to using Activity Codes and Activity ID Codes. Primavera does not have Activity ID codes.

You may be tempted to ignore the WBS and use Activity Codes instead. This paragraph will explain the main purposes of the WBS function:

  • User Access may be assigned at this level, so two schedulers may open the same project and one may only change activities in WBS Nodes that have been assigned to that user.
  • Earned Value calculations and Project Performance may be measured at this level.
  • Progress at the WBS level may be measured with the use of WBS Milestones.
  • WBS Activities are very useful as summary activities.
  • Anticipated Dates may be assigned at the WBS level to provide a bar when no activities have been added to a WBS Node.
  • The Tracking Window operates down to WBS Node level.
  • There are a number of standard Reports that function at WBS Node level.

A WBS Node is a term used by Primavera that is often called a WBS Code and is a single point in the WBS structure that activities are assigned to. A Primavera WBS Node may record more information than P3, SureTrak, or Microsoft Project including the following data:

  • Anticipated Dates, which are used to create a bar in the WBS Window when there are no activities under the WBS Node, but do not summarize in the Projects Window.
  • Notes, which are recorded under Notebook Topics,
  • Budget, Spending Plan and Budget Change Log,
  • WBS Milestones, which may be used for assigning progress at WBS Node,
  • WP & Docs that provide links to documents, and

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