How to Fix the Formatting Bars Issues in Primavera P6 8.2

Formatting Bars Issues in Primavera P6 8.2

There are a number of issues with the Primavera P6 standard bar formatting in version 8.2 that need to be understood so the user may display the activity bars logically:

Actual, Remaining Critical and Remaining Critical Bars

It is recommended that you use the Primavera default bar display options displaying the Actual Work (this bar is displayed from the Start date to the Data Date), Remaining Work and Critical Remaining Work bars (these bars are displayed from the Data Date to the Finish date with the appropriate filter).

This is because the Early bar will not display actual progress as in other software packages. Please read the Understanding Dates section in the Tracking Progress chapter to understand how the dates are calculated that are used to draw each bar.

Total Float Bar

The Total Float Bar is called the Float Bar in the Bars form which is inconsistent terminology.

By default a Total Float bar is displayed on a completed task, but the Float value is set to “Null” (which is displayed as a blank). It is not logical to display a float bar when there is no float value:

formatting total bar float in p6

  • To prevent this from happening you should edit the total Float Bar Filter in the Bars form so it is only displayed for Not Started or In Progress activities:

formatting bars in p6 8.2

formatting bars in p6 version 8.2

  • This is what it should look like now:

formatting bars in primavera p6

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Setting Up Activity Types and Milestones in Primavera P6 Version 8.2

Activity Types and Milestones in Primavera P6 Version 8.2

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
Project Planning and Control Using Oracle Primavera P6 - Version 8.2 EPPM Web
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.

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Setting Up a Resource Schedule in Microsoft Project

How Many Resources Should I Have in a Project Using Microsoft Project?ms project 2010 training manual - spiral edition

A resourced schedule may be created for the following purposes:

  • Estimating. This type of schedule is used for estimating the cost and duration of a project or part of a project, such as a repeatable process. Many resources may be assigned to each task in an estimating schedule because it is not intended to status the schedule.
  • Control. This type of schedule is used to monitor and control the progress of a project. In this situation the number of resources should be minimized as far as possible. This is because each resource assignment should be reviewed and possibly updated when the schedule is statused.

Statusing a large schedule in Microsoft Project 2010, with many tasks and many resources assigned to each task, becomes a very time consuming operation. In this situation the scheduler may lose sight of their primary aim of forecasting the project end date, resource requirement and possibly the Final Forecast Cost.

The schedule is now in danger of becoming an expensive time recording system and thus unable to provide essential forecast information. Thus the number of resources in a control schedule should be limited to the maximum number required to satisfy control and reporting requirements.

On large or complex schedules, you need to maintain a balance between the number of activities and the number of resources that are to be planned and tracked. As a general rule, the more activities a schedule has, the fewer resources should be created and assigned to tasks.

When a schedule has a large number of tasks and a large number of resources assigned to each task, the scheduler may end up in a situation where project team members are unable to understand the schedule and the scheduler is unable to maintain the schedule.

You may consider in this situation using resources that represent skills or trades instead of individual people, and on very large projects using crews or teams.

Updating a project with resources is substantially harder than without resources. The software is hard enough to use without adding the complexity of lots of resources that may not add value to the schedule.

It is critical to enter the minimum number of resources into a schedule because they consume a substantial amount of time to update.

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Setting Default Percent Types in Primavera P6 Version 8.2

Default Percent Complete Type

The Default Percent Complete Type for each new activity in each project is assigned in the Defaults tab of the Details form in the Project Window:

default percent type in primavera 8.2

  • A new activity Percent Complete Type is set to the Default Percent Complete when created and may be changed at any time.

Percent Complete Types

  • Physical % Complete – This field enables the user to enter the percent complete of an activity and this value is independent of the activity durations. This is similar to the way P3 and SureTrak calculates the % Complete when the Link Remaining Duration and Percent Complete option is NOT selected.
  • Duration % Complete – This field is calculated from the proportion of the Original Duration and the Remaining Duration and they are linked. A change to one value will change the other. When the Remaining Duration is set to greater than the Original Duration this percent complete is always zero. This is similar to the way Primavera P3 and SureTrak calculates the % Complete when the Link Remaining Duration and Percent Complete option is selected
  • Units % Complete – This is where the percent complete is calculated from the resources’ Actual and Remaining Units. A change to one value will change the other and when more than one resource is assigned then all the Actual Units for all resources will be changed proportionally. This will be covered further in the Updating Resources chapter. This is similar to the Microsoft Project % Work Complete.

Activity % Complete

The Activity % Complete field is linked to the % Complete Type field assigned to an activity in the General tab of the Details form in the Activities Window or the % Complete Type column:

activity percent complete setting primavera 6

The Activity % Complete is also linked the % Complete Bar and this value is represented on the % Complete Bar.

percent complete bar primavera 6 8.2

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Setting New Activities in Primavera 8.2 – Duration Type and Percent Complete

New Activity Defaults

After creating a new project and before adding activities it is important to set the defaults such as the Activity ID Numbers and Calendars.

By setting them correctly before adding activities you will save a significant amount of time because you will not have to change a number of attributes against all activities at a later date.

These defaults are set in the Defaults tab of the Project Details form:

Setting New Activities in Primavera 8.2

Duration Type

None of the Duration Type options affects how the schedule calculates until one or more resources is assigned to an Activity. The following options are available:

  • Fixed Units
  • Fixed Duration & Units/Time
  • Fixed Units/Time
  • Fixed Duration & Units

If you do not plan to add resources to Activities, then you do not need to assign a Duration Type and it may be left as the default.

This topic will be covered in detail in the Assigning Roles and Resources Expenses chapter.

Percent Complete Type

The Percent Complete type should be understood if it is intended to be used to update (status or progress) the schedule. This option may be set for each activity individually in Primavera and the default for new activities is set in the Percent Complete Type drop down box. Primavera has many Activity Percent Complete fields that may be displayed in columns and we will discuss four of them now:

Activity % Complete, which may be linked to one only of the three following % Complete fields and is always linked to the % Complete displayed on the Gantt Chart bars:

  • Physical % Complete, which is independent of activity resources and durations,
  • Duration % Complete, which is linked to activity durations, and
  • Units % Complete, which is linked to resource units.

There are three percent complete options; each new activity is assigned the project default Percent Complete Type and then this may be edited for each activity as required.

Therefore, for example, when the option of Physical % Complete is selected for an activity then the Activity % Complete and the Physical % Complete are linked and a change to one will change the other and this value would be displayed on the Gantt Chart.

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

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