Primavera P6 Training Brisbane – Scheduling the Project

Project Planning and Control Using Oracle Primavera P6 - Versions 8.1 & 8.2 Professional Client & Optional ClientScheduling the Project in Primavera P6

The software calculates the shortest time in which the project may be completed, Activities are moved forward in time until they meet a Relationship or Constraint or a calendar nonwork time. Un-started activities without logic or constraints are scheduled to start at the Project Start Date or as permitted by calendar nonwork times.

Scheduling the project will identify the Critical Path(s) when there is a Closed Network.

The Critical Path is the chain(s) of activities that takes the longest time to accomplish; a delay to any activity in the chain will delay the end date of the project. The calculated completion date depends on the critical activities starting and finishing on time.

If any of them are delayed, the whole project will be delayed.

Critical Path

The Critical Path is the shortest duration that a project may be completed in and a delay to any activity will delay the end date of the project, activities A1000 to A1030 and A1060 below also shown in red are on the critical path:

primavera p6 critical path

Total Float

Total Float is the amount of time an activity may be delayed without extending the project end date.

  • An activity with Total Float may delay another activity,
  • May be displayed in a column and in the Gantt Chart, as per the thin black bar below and
  • May be negative.

primavera p6 total float

Free Float

The Free Float is the amount of time an activity may be delayed without delaying another activity.

  • Displayed only in a column and
  • Is never in the negative.

primavera p6 free float

P6 does not display Free Float as a br.

Relationship Colors

Relationship colors in P6 may not be formatted as with most other software:

  • Solid Red are Critical and normally do not have Total Float,
  • Solid Black are Driving Non-Critical and their successors have Total Float,
  • Dotted Black are Non-Driving Non-Critical and their predecessors have Free Float.

primavera p6 relationship colours

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

Primavera P6 Software Tips and tricks – Setting Up a New Project

Set Up a New Project Using Primavera P6 Software

To review or modify some of the basic Project or EPS information entered when a project was created, ensure that the Project Details form is displayed in the bottom of the screen:

  • Highlight a project or EPS Node,
  • The project must be open to edit some project data,
  • You must also have the appropriate access rights to edit data,
  • Select View, Show on Bottom, Details and click on the General tab:

set up project in primavera p6

  • The Risk Level may be used to sort and filter Projects and EPS Nodes.
  • The Project Leveling Priority is used when leveling a project to reduce peaks in resource requirements. Value of 1 is the highest and 100 the lowest.
  • Check Out Status enables the user to determine if the project is checked in or checked out (New to Version 4.1). Checked Out By and Date Checked Out enables the user to establish if the project is currently checked out.

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

Primavera P6 Software Training Melbourne – How to Add Logic Links

primavera P6 Version 8.2_e-book training manualAdding the Logic Links Using Primavera P6 Software in Melbourne

The logic is added to the schedule to provide the order in which the activities must be undertaken.

The logic is designated by indicating the predecessors to, or the successors from, each activity. There are two methods that Primavera software uses to sequence activities:

  • Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM), and
  • Arrow Diagramming (ADM).

Most current project planning and scheduling software, including Primavera, uses PDM. You can create a PDM diagram using the Network Diagram function.

There are several types of dependencies that may be used:

1.       Mandatory dependencies, also known as Hard Logic or Primary Logic, are relationships between activities that may not be broken. For example, a hole has to be dug before it is filled with concrete, or a computer delivered before software is loaded.

2.       Discretionary dependencies, also known as Sequencing Logic or Soft Logic or Secondary Logic, are relationships between activities that may be changed when the plan is changed. For example, if there are five holes to be excavated and only one machine available, or five computers to be assembled and one person available to work on them, then the order of these activities could be set with sequencing logic yet changed at a later date.

Both Mandatory dependencies and Discretionary dependencies are entered into Primavera P6 as activity relationships or logic links. The software does not provide a method of identifying the type of relationship because notes or codes may not be attached to relationships. A Note may be added to either the predecessor or the successor activity to explain the relationship.

  1. External dependencies are usually events outside the control of the project team that impact the schedule. An example would be the availability of a site to start work. This is usually represented in Primavera by a Milestone that has a constraint applied to it. This topic is discussed in more detail in the next section.

The P6 software will calculate the start and finish dates for each activity.  The end date of the project is calculated from the start date of the project, the logic amongst the activities, any Leads(often referred to as Negative Lag)or Lags applied to the logic and durations of the activities.

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

Primavera P6 Training Brisbane – Adding Activities to a Project in Brisbane

primavera_P6_V8.2 training using metrics brisbaneAdding Activities to Primavera P6 Projects in Brisbane

Project activities must be defined before they are entered into the schedule. It is important that you carefully consider the following factors:

  • What is the scope of the activity? (What is included and excluded?)
  • How long is the activity going to take?
  • Who is going to perform it?
  • What are the deliverables or output for each activity?

The project estimate is usually a good place to start looking for a breakdown of the project into activities, resources, and costs. It may even provide an indication of how long the work will take.

Activities may have variable durations depending on the number of resources assigned. You may find that one activity that takes 4 days using 4 workers may take 2 days using 8 workers or 8 days using 2 workers.

Usually project reports are issued on a regular basis such as every week or every month. It is recommended that, if possible, an activity should not span more than two reporting periods.  That way the activities should only be In-Progress for one report.

Of course, it is not practical to do this on long duration activities, such as procurement and delivery activities, that may span many reporting periods.

Good practice recommends that you have a measurable finish point for each group of activities.

These may be identified in the schedule by Milestones and are designated with zero duration. You may issue documentation to officially highlight the end of one activity and the start of another, thereby adding clarity to the project schedule.

Examples of typical documents that may be issued for clarity are:

  • Issue of a drawing package
  • Completion of a specification
  • Placing of an order
  • Receipt of materials (delivery logs or tickets or dockets)
  • Completed testing certificates for equipment or systems

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

Primavera P6 Training Queensland – Monitoring and Controlling a Project

primavare_P6 V82_training manualMonitoring and Controlling Projects Training in Queensland

After a project plan has been produced, it should be executed and the work authorized in accordance with the plan. If there is to be a change in the plan, then the plan should be formally changed. If necessary, the client should be informed and, if required by the contract, approval should be sought.

It may be difficult to obtain approval for extension of time claims when the plan is not followed then and furthermore this will make dispute resolution more difficult.

Monitoring a project records progress to date:

  • Records the start and finish dates of completed activities,
  • Confirms the required quality is met,
  • Thus confirms the deliverables/products that have been produced,
  • Confirms the deliverables/products are produced on time, with the planned resources and to budget,
  • Records the progress of started activities,
  • Applies the productivity to date to future similar activities,
  • Add or amend schedule to reflect changes, and
  • Historical data is recorded for use in planning future projects.

Controlling a project provides the next level of management with information that enables them to manage a project and make informed decisions on problems:

  • Ensure that the project is being executed according to the plan,
  • Compare the project’s progress with the original plan,
  • Reviews the productivity to date and how the current productivity will affect future activities,
  • Forecast problems as early as possible which enables corrective action to be taken as early as possible,
  • Review options to improve the schedule, and
  • Obtain data required for preparing extension of time claims and for dispute resolution.

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

Primavera P6 Training Course Sydney – Project Planning Levels PMBOK Guide

planning and control with the pmbok guideWhen attending a Primavera P6 training course in Sydney, you will learn about the project levels as outlined in the PMBOK Guide.

Projects are often planned at a summary level and then at a later date detailed out before the work commences. Smaller projects may be scheduled in detail during project planning, but large or complex projects may require several iterations before the project plan is fully detailed out.

The main reasons for not detailing out a project early are that:

  • There may not be enough information at that stage and
  • Preparing detailed schedules wastes time, as they may be made redundant by unforeseen changes.

The following planning techniques discussed in other well-known project management books may be considered:

PMBOK® Guide

The PMBOK® Guide, which is a project management reference book published by the Project Management Institute, discusses the following techniques:

  • The Rolling Wave. This technique involves adding more detail to the schedule as the work approaches. This is often possible, as more information is known about the scope of the project as work is executed. The initial planning could be completed at a high level in the Work Breakdown Structure(WBS). As the work approaches, the planning may be completed at a WBS Component and then to a Work Package level planning.
  • The use of Sub-projects. These are useful in larger projects where more than one entity is working on the project schedule. This situation may exist when portions of projects are contracted out. A sub-project may be detailed out when the work is awarded to a contractor.
  • The use of Phases. A Phase is different from a PRINCE2 Stage, as Phases may overlap in time and Stages do not. Phases may be defined, for example, as Design, Procure and Install. These Phases may overlap, as Procurement may commence before Design is complete. The Phase development of a schedule involves the detailing out of all the associated WBS elements prior to the commencement of that Phase.
  • The PMBOK® Guide does not have strict definitions for levels of plans but assumes that this process is undertaken when decomposing the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). There are some other models available that may be used as guidelines, such as the PMI “Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures.”

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