Project Planning and Control Using Oracle Primavera P6 Versions 8.1, 8.2 & 8.3


Project Planning and Control Using Oracle

Primavera P6 Versions 8.1, 8.2 & 8.3

Professional Client & Optional Client

3 July 2013
Paul E Harris
ISBN 978-1-921059-80-3 – B5 Paperback
ISBN 978-1-921059-81-0 – A4 Spiral
ISBN 978-1-921059-82-7 – eBook
eBook with embedded video and
On-Line courses will also be published
442 (approx) pages, 103,500 (approx) words,
690 (approx) computer screen shots.
A user guide and training manual written for Project Management Professionals who wish to learn how to plan and control projects in an established Primavera Enterprise environment with or without Resources and Roles.

This book is an update of the author’s Primavera P6 Version 7 book and contains updated workshops, new content and an Earned Value chapter. It has been written so it may be used with any software industry version.

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 either the Professional Project Management Client version or the Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Optional Client.
The book is aimed at:

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

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 covers only Primavera Versions 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3 Professional Client and Optional Client Due to the new menus and toolbars release in Version 8. It explains some of the differences from SureTrak, P3, Microsoft Project and Asta Powerproject to assist people converting form 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.


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:

  • Concentrating on the core functions required to set up an enterprise environment and how to plan and control projects.
  • Providing command lists at the start of each chapter as a quick reference.
  • Providing a comprehensive table of contents and index of all topics.

The book is intended to be used:

  • As a self teach book, or
  • A user guide, or
  • A training manual for a three 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.

Planning and Control Using Oracle Primaver P6 Versions 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3

Live Online P6 Training in Australia

Primaskills has partnered with New Horizons to present Primavera P6 Version 7 to 8.3 Professional and Optional Client courses using On Line Live technology.

What is Online LIVE (OLL)?

New Horizons’ Online Live training model allows students to experience live instruction from expert trainers, access live, hands-on labs and use authorised vendor curriculum, all from a remote location. Please go to to see more details on OLL courses.

When are the P6 Training Courses?

Courses have scheduled on Australian East Coast time zone on the following dates:

  • 15-17 October 2013
  • 11-13 February 2014
  • 8-10 April 2014
  • 10-12 June 2014

How to Book

Click on this link to book into an OLL P6 course, select any State and City and select an OLL course:

How to Make Calculation Options Work in Microsoft Project

ms project tips and trick - how to make calculations workWhy Do Calculation Options in MS Project – Move End of Completed Parts…Not Work?

These new functions were introduced in Microsoft Project 2002 intended to assist schedulers to place the new tasks as they are added to the schedule in a logical position with respect to the Status Date. This function is difficult to use and some practice is required to make it work properly.

Here are some tips if you are unable to get it to work:

  • Select the Tools, Options…, Calculation tab and these options are found under the Calculation options for ‘Project Name’:
  • If the Status Date has not been set then the Current Date is used.

For all these options to operate all four of the following parameters must be met:

  • The Split in-progress tasks option in the Schedule tab must be checked, and
  • The required option on the Calculation tab must be checked before the task is added or edited, and
  • The Updating task status updates resource status option on the Calculation tab must be checked, and
  • The Task MUST NOT BE assigned Task Duration Type of Fixed Duration.
  • These options may NOT be turned on and off to recalculate all tasks. The options only work on new tasks when they are added to a schedule or when a task is updated by changing the % Complete.
  • This function will ignore constraints even when the Schedule Option Tasks will always honor their constraint dates has been set.
  • This function may not be applied to existing schedules, but only to new tasks if the options are set before the tasks are added or when a task % Complete is updated.

This function has some restrictions:

  • Existing schedules may not be opened and the function applied.
  • When the Move start of remaining parts before status date forward to status date is used, it will change any Actual Start date that you have entered prior to entering a % Complete. Changing an Actual Date is not a desirable event.

Note: This option should be used with caution and users should ensure they fully understand how this function operates by statusing a simple practice schedule multiple times.

Paul Harris writes training manuals for MS Project and Primavera P6 and Delivers Project Management Training Courses Throughout Australia and the world.  His books are available on Amazon and Kindle.

How to Set the Project Current and Status Dates in Microsoft Project

99 Tricks and Traps for Microsoft projectCurrent Date and Status Date

Microsoft Project has two project data date fields that may be displayed as vertical lines on the schedule. These dates may be edited from the Project, Project Information… form:

  • Current Date – This date is set to the computer’s date each time a project file is opened. It is used for calculating Earned Value data when a Status Date has not been set. The time of the Current Date is set by default to the start time of a day, see the picture below.
  • Status Date – This field is blank by default with a value of NA. The Status Date will not change when the project is saved and reopened at a later date. It overrides the Current Date for calculating Earned Value data and is set by default to the finish time of a day, see the picture below.

set current status date in ms project

I recommend that the Status Date is set and displayed as a vertical line on a progressed schedule and the Current Date not displayed, because the Current Date represents the date today and does not normally represent any scheduling significance.

Auto Statusing Using Update Project

The Microsoft Project facility titled Update Progress is used for updating a project as if it had progressed according to plan. This function sets Actual Start and Actual Finish dates, % Complete and Renaming Durations in proportion to a user-assigned date, and also sets the Status Date.

Select Tools, Tracking, Update Project… to open the Update Project form:

update project in ms project

There are two options under Update work as complete through: which apply to in-progress tasks only.

  • Set 0% – 100 % complete and this is the recommended option which sets the progress in line with the Status Date, or
  • Set 0% or 100 % complete only. This option leaves the % Complete at zero until the task is 100% complete. This option supports the progress measurement philosophy of not awarding progress until the task is complete, but tasks often look behind schedule.

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