How to Use the Group, Sort and Layout Features in Primavera P6 Software

Project Planning and Control Using Oracle Primavera P6 - Version 8.2 EPPM WebUSING GROUP, SORT AND LAYOUTS in PRIMAVERA P6

Group and Sort enables data such as activities in the Activities Window, WBS Nodes in the WBS Window, projects in the Project Window, and many other data items to be sorted and organized under other parameters such as Dates and Resources or user defined Activity and Project Codes. This function is similar to Organize in P3 and SureTrak and Grouping in Microsoft Project and Asta Powerproject.

Layouts is a function in which the formatting of parameters such as the Group and Sort, Columns and Bars is saved and reapplied later. This function is similar to Layouts in P3 and SureTrak or Views in Asta Power Project and Microsoft Project.

A Layout may be edited, saved, or reapplied at a later date and may have a Filter associated with it. Layouts contain the formatting for all options of both the top and bottom pane.

Although Group and Sort is available in many forms, Layouts are only available in a few places including the following Windows:

This chapter will concentrate on how Group and Sort and Layouts are applied in the Activities Window but the same principles apply to the other windows. This chapter covers the following topics:

Topic Notes on the Function
  • Reformat the Grouping and Sorting of projects in the Projects Window or activities in the Activities Window by opening the Group and Sort form
  • Click on the  icon, or
  • Select View, Group and Sort by, Customize.
  • Create, save or edit a Layout
  • Click on the  icon, or

Select View, Group and Sort by, Customize.

Create, save or edit a Layout Select either:

  • From the menu View, Layout, Save Layout As…, or
  • From the Layout bar Layout, Save As….

The Layout bar location is indicated in the following picture:

layout window in primavera p6

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 Use Constraints in Primavera P6 V 8.2 Software

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

Using Constraints in P6 Version 8.2

Constraints are used to impose logic on activities that may not be realistically scheduled with logic links. This article will deal with the following constraints in detail:

  • Start On or After
  • Finish On or Before

These are the minimum number of constraints that are required to effectively schedule a project.

Start On or After (also known as an “Early Start” or “Start No Earlier Than” constraint as it only affects the Early dates calculation) is used when the start date of an activity is known and does not have a predecessor. Primavera will not calculate the activity early start date prior to this date.

Finish On or Before (also known as “Late Finish” or “Finish No Later Than” constraint as it only affects the Late dates calculation) is used when the latest finish date is stipulated. Primavera will not calculate the activity’s late finish date after this date.

The following table summarizes the methods used to assign Constraints to Activities or how to add notes to activities:

Topic Notes for Creating a Constraint
  • Setting a Primary and Secondary constraint with the Activity Details form.
Open the Status tab on the Activity Details form.
  • Setting Constraints using columns.
The following columns may be displayed and the constraints assigned or edited:

  • Primary Constraint
  • Primary Constraint Date
  • Secondary Constraint
  • Secondary Constraint Date
  • Expected Finish Date
  • Dragging an Activity in the Gantt Chart.
  • Dragging an Activity in the Gantt Chart.
Dragging an Activity in the Gantt Chart will open the Confirmation form where the user is able to confirm the setting of a Start On or After constraint.
  • Adding Notes, these could be about constraints or other activity information.
The Activity Details form has a Notebook tab, which enables Notes to be assigned to Notebook Topics.

Primavera P6 software will permit two constraints to be assigned to each activity. Asta Powerproject, P3, and SureTrak also allow two constraints but Microsoft Project only permits one except when a Deadline constraint is applied.

A full list of constraints available in Primavera:

  • <None>
This is the default for a new activity. An activity by default is scheduled to occur As Soon As Possible and does not have a Constraint.
  • Start On
Also known as Must Start On and sets a date on which the activity will start. Therefore, the activity has no float. The early start and the late start dates are set to be the same as the Constraint Date.
  • Start On or Before
Also known as Start No Later Than or Late Start, this constraint sets the late date after which the activity will not start.
  • Start On or After
Also known as Start No Earlier Than or Early Start, this constraint sets the early date before which the activity will not start.
  • Finish On
Also known as Must Finish On, this constraint sets a date on which the activity will finish and therefore has no float. The early finish and the late finish dates are set to be the same as the Constraint Date.
  • Finish On or Before
Also known as Finish No Later Than or Late Finish, this sets the late date after which the activity will not finish.
  • Finish On or After
Also known as Finish No Earlier Than or Early Finish, this sets the early date before which the activity will not finish.
  • As Late As Possible
Also known as Zero Free Float. An activity will be scheduled to occur as late as possible. It consumes Free Float only and does not have any particular Constraint Date. The Early and Late dates have the same date.
  • Mandatory Start
This relationship prevents float being calculated through this activity and effectively breaks a schedule into two parts. This is also sometimes called a Hard Constraint.
  • Mandatory Finish
This relationship prevents float being calculated through this activity and effectively breaks a schedule into two parts. This is also sometimes called a Hard Constraint.
  • Expected Finish
An Expected Finish sets the Early Finish to the Expected Finish constraint date and calculates the Remaining Duration from the Early Start date for an un-started activity, or Data Date if the activity is in-progress to the Expected Finish date.

Earlier Than constraints operate on the Early Dates, and Later Than constraints operate on Late Dates. The following picture demonstrates how constraints calculate Total Float of activities (without predecessors or successors) against the first activity of 10 days’ duration:

An activity assigned an As Late as Possible constraint in Primavera P6, Primavera Contractor, Primavera P3, and SureTrak software will schedule the activity so it absorbs only Free Float and will not delay the start of any successor activities, this is normally called a Zero Free Float constraint. In Microsoft Project, an activity assigned with an As Late as Possible constraint will be delayed to absorb the Total Float and delay all its successor activities which have float, not just the activity with the constraint.

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Setting Up Constraints in Primavera P6 Version 8.2

Project Planning and Control Using Oracle Primavera P6 - Version 8.2 EPPM WebConstraints in Primavera P6

Constraints are applied to Activities when relationships do not provide the required result and are often a result of External Dependencies.

Typical applications of a constraint are to constrain an activity to a date for:

  • The availability of a site to commence work.
  • The supply of information by a client.
  • The required finish date of a project.

Constraints are often entered against Milestone activities to represent contract dates and may be directly related to contract items using Notebook Topics.

Constraints are covered in detail in the Constraints chapter.

Understanding Relationships

There are four types of dependencies available in Primavera P6:

  • Finish-to-Start (FS) (also known as conventional)
  • Start-to-Start (SS)
  • Start-to-Finish (SF)
  • Finish-to-Finish (FF)

Two other terms you must understand are:

  • Predecessor, an activity that controls the start or finish of another immediate subsequent activity.
  • Successor, an activity where the start or finish depends on the start or finish of another immediately preceding activity.

The following pictures show how the dependencies appear graphically in the Bar Chart and Activity Network (also known as PERT, Network Diagram and Relationship Diagram Views):

The FS (or conventional) dependency looks like this:

contraints in primavera p6

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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How to Add Relationships in Primavera P6 Version 8.2

Project Planning and Control Using Oracle Primavera P6 - Version 8.2 EPPM WebADDING RELATIONSHIPS IN PRIMAVERA P6

The next phase of a schedule is to add logic to the activities. There are two types of logic:

  • Relationships (Dependencies or Logic or Links between activities), and
  • Imposed Constraints to activity start or finish dates. These are covered in the Constraints chapter.

The Primavera Help file and other text use the terms Relationships and Logic for Relationships but do not use the terms Dependencies or Links.

We will look at the following techniques in this chapter:

Topic Notes for creating a SF Relationship
  • Graphically in the Bar Chart.
Drag the  mouse pointer from one activity to another to create a dependency.
  • By opening the Activity Details form.
Predecessor and Successors may be added and deleted from the Relationships, Predecessor or Successor tabs.
  • By editing or deleting a dependency using the Edit Relationship form.
Double-click an activity link in the Bar Chart or PERT View.
  • Opening the Assign Predecessor form or the Assign Successor form from the menu.
  • Select Edit, Assign, Predecessors…, or
  • Select Edit, Assign, Successors….
  • By displaying the Predecessor and/or Successor columns.
Double-clicking in the Predecessor or Successor cells will open the Assign Predecessor form and the Assign Successor form.
  • Chain Linking or Automatically Linking activities with a Finish-to-Start relationship.
Select the activities in the order they are to be linked using the Ctl key, right-click and select Link Activities.

Relationships

There are two types of dependencies that are discussed in scheduling:

  • Hard Logic, also referred to as Mandatory or Primary Logic, are dependencies that may not be avoided: for example, a footing excavation has to be prepared before concrete may be poured into it.
  • Soft Logic, also referred to as Sequencing Logic, Discretionary Logic, Preferred Logic, or Secondary Logic, ,may often be changed at a later date to reflect planning changes: for example, determining in which order the footing holes may be dug.

There is no simple method of documenting which is hard logic and which is soft logic as notes may not be attached to relationships. A schedule with a large amount of soft logic has the potential of becoming very difficult to maintain when the plan is changed. As a project progresses, soft logic converts to hard logic due to commitments and commencing activities.

Microsoft Project allows one relationship between two activities, SureTrak and P3 two relationships between two activities and P6 four relationships between two activities.

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Activity Information in Bottom Layout – Primavera P6 Version 8.2

primavera P6 version 8.2 spiral bound training bookActivity Information – Bottom Layout Explained – Primavera P6 Training

The Bottom Layout in P6 has a number of tabs where information about the highlighted activity may be viewed and edited.

[like_to_read](These are not in any specific order as the tabs may be reordered on the screen.)

  • General
This form displays the:

  • Activity ID and Activity Description.
  • Project and Responsible Manager, these may not be edited here.

It also displays activity attributes including some which were set as defaults in the Project Window:

  • Activity Type, Duration Type, % Complete Type, Activity Calendar, WBS, and Primary Resource.
  • Status
This is where the following data is displayed/edited:

  • The Durations,
  • The Status, where Actual Dates and % Complete may be entered,
  • Where Constraints are entered, and
  • By selecting from the drop down box the Labor and Nonlabor Units or Costs and Material Costs may be displayed.

NOTE: It is possible to assign resource Units in the Status tab without a resource being assigned to the activity and the rate will be taken from the Project Properties Calculations tab.

  • Summary
This form displays summary information about the activity. It has three buttons that select which data will be displayed:

  • Units or Costs or Dates.
  • Resources
Resources and Roles may be assigned to activities and assignment information displayed.
  • Expenses
Expenses may be added and edited here. These are intended for one-off costs that do not require a resource to be created.

NOTE: These are often used for material costs on construction and maintenance projects to prevent clogging up the Resource Window.

  • Notebook
Notes about activities may be made here by adding a Notebook Topic and then adding notes about the topic.
  • Steps
This function enables an activity to be broken down into increments titled Steps that may be marked as complete as work on the Activity progresses.
  • Feedback
This is where comments made in the timesheet module may be viewed.
  • WPs & Docs
This is where files that have been listed in the Work Products and Documents Window may be associated with activities and then opened from this form.
  • Codes
Project Codes may be created and activities associated with these codes with this form. These codes are similar to P3 and SureTrak Activity Codes and activities may be organized in a similar way.
  • Relationships,

Predecessors &

Successors

This is where the activity’s predecessors and successors are added, edited, and deleted. This is covered in the Adding the Dependencies chapter.

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