The Activity Network, also known as the Program (or Project) Evaluation and Review Technique – PERT View, displays activities as boxes connected by the relationship lines. Activities may be added, deleted and linked in this view in the same way as in the Gantt Chart View. This article is an extract from the book 99 Tricks and Traps for Oracle Primavera P6 PPM Professional explaining how to use the the Activity Network View:


Many construction contracts specify that a delay must be calculated from the critical path of a program.

Often project programs are completed in Oracle Primavera P6 and therefore to demonstrate a delay the scheduler needs to add delays to the program to demonstrate and calculate the delay.

If you wish to understand the various techniques of assigning delays to activities in an Oracle Primavera P6 program, click on this link>>>.


I am writing a new book titled 99 Tricks and Traps for Oracle Primavera P6 PPM Professional and this will be a Casual User’s “Survival Guide”. One of the new topics I will include in this book is scheduling with shifts.

The P6 inbuilt shift function is difficult to use and this article explains a simpler way to schedule with shifts in P6. Click on this link to read this article.

To see more explanations like this then please consider purchasing books by Paul Harris written on:

  • Microsoft Project,
  • Oracle Primavera P6 and
  • Elecosoft (Asta) Powerproject

These are available in many formats including paperback, spiral, Kobo, Kindle and iTunes.

These books are intended to be used:

  • As a self-teach book and user guide, or training course handouts.
  • Instructor PowerPoint slide shows are available and free pdf versions are supplied to educational organisations on request.

More information and links to sellers at this web site:

Paul E Harris

Director Eastwood Harris Pty Ltd

Project Management with Primavera P6 – Estimating or Planning for Control Sydney

primavare_P6 V82_training manualEstimating or Planning for Control Using Primavera P6 in Sydney

There are two modes that the software may use at Level 3:

  • Estimating – In this mode, the objective is to create a schedule with costs that are used only as an estimate. The schedule will never be updated. Activities may have many resources assigned to them to develop an accurate cost estimate and include many items that would never be updated in the process of updating a schedule.
  • Planning for Control – In this mode, the intention is to assign actual units (hours) and costs to resources, then calculate units and costs to completion, and possibly conduct an Earned Value analysis. In this situation, it is important to ensure that the minimum number of resources are assigned to activities, and preferably only one resource assigned to each activity. The process of updating a schedule in Sydney becomes extremely difficult and time consuming when a schedule has many resources per activity. The scheduler is then under threat of becoming a timekeeper and may lose sight of other important functions, such as calculating the forecast to complete and the project finish date.

The Balance Between the Number of Activities and Resources

When Planning for Control on large or complex schedules in Sydney, it is important to maintain a balance between the number of activities and the number of resources that are planned and tracked. As a rule, the more activities a schedule has, the fewer resources should be created and assigned to activities.

When a schedule contains a large number of activities and a large number of resources assigned to each activity, the result may be that no members of the project team are able to understand the schedule and the scheduler is unable to maintain it.

Instead of assigning individual resources, such as people by name, consider using “Skills” or “Trades,” and on very large projects use “Crews” or “Teams.”

This technique is not so important when you use a schedule for estimating the direct cost of a project (by assigning costs to the resources) or if you are not using the schedule to track a project’s progress (such as a schedule that is used to support written proposals).

Therefore, it is more important to minimize the number of resources in large schedules that will be updated regularly, because updating every resource assigned to each activity at each schedule update is very time consuming.

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

Project Management Training – Planning and Scheduling Software

isbn#9781921059575 _Oracle Primavera P6 Training manual_V8-1Understanding Planning and Scheduling Software

Project Planning and scheduling software enables the user to:

  • Enter the breakdown structure of the project deliverables or products into the software. This is often called a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) or Product Breakdown Structure (PBS),
  • Break a project down into the work required to create the deliverables and enter these into the software as Activities under the appropriate WBS,
  • Assign durations, constraints, predecessors and successors of the activities and then calculate the start and finish date of all the activities,
  • Assign resources and/or costs, which represent people, equipment or materials, to the activities and calculate the project resource requirements and/or cash flow,
  • Optimise the project plan,
  • Set Baseline Dates and Budgets to compare progress against,
  • Use the plan to approve the commencement of work,
  • Record the actual progress of activities and compare the progress against the Baseline and amend the plan when required, allowing for scope changes, etc.,
  • Record the consumption of resources and/or costs and re-estimate the resources and/or costs required to finish the project, and
  • Produce management reports.

There are four modes or levels in which project management planning and scheduling software may be used:



Without Resources LEVEL 1

Planning without Resources


Tracking progress without Resources




Planning with Resources


Tracking progress with Resources

As the level increases, the amount of information required to maintain the schedule will increase and, more importantly, your skill and knowledge in using the software will increase.

Enterprise Project Management

Primavera is an Enterprise Project Management software package that enables many projects to be managed in one database.

These projects may be summarized under a hierarchical structure titled the Enterprise Project Structure (EPS). This function is similar to summarizing activities of a project under a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

An EPS is used for the following purposes:

  • To manage user access to projects within the database.
  • To manage activities over multiple projects that have a common interest, such as a critical resource.
  • Top-down budgeting of projects and resources that may later be compared to the bottom-up or detailed project estimates.
  • To allow standardized reporting of all projects in the database.

Primavera has a function titled Portfolios that enables a limited number of projects to be viewed at a time. For example, Portfolio would enable you to view projects in a physical area, or of a specific type or client.

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