P6 has dates that are called External Dates. Do you know that they are a constraint, they may significantly change your program and may be created without you knowing?

External Dates can be career shortening if you do not know how they are created, how to find them, delete them or turn them off!

If you wish to understand about External Dates then look at this paper with is an extract from my Planning and Control Using Oracle Primavera P6 PPM book by clicking 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

Primavera P6 Training – How to Assign Calendars to Activities

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

Primavera P6 Training Tips – Assigning Calendars to Activities

In P6, project activities often require a different calendar from the default Project Calendar that is assigned in the Project Information form. Primavera enables each activity to be assigned a unique calendar.

An Activity Calendar may be assigned by the General tab of the Bottom Layout or by displaying the Calendar column.

Assigning a Calendar Using General Tab of the Bottom Layout Form

  • Select one activity that you want to assign to a different calendar. Multiple activity selection may not be used. Open the General tab of the Bottom Layout,
  • Click on the  icon in the Activity Calendar box to open the Select Activity Calendar form,
  • Select either Global or Project from the drop down list in the top left menu, and
  • Select an Activity calendar by clicking the  icon.

Assigning a Calendar Using a Column

You may also display the Calendar column and edit the activity calendar from this column. The process of displaying a column is covered in the Formatting the Display chapter.

Edit, Fill Down may be used to assign a new calendar to multiple selected activities.

assigning activities with calendar columns - primavera p6

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

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 &


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]

Primavera P6 Training Perth – Understanding Project Management Software

primavare_P6 V82_training manualUnderstanding Project Planning and Scheduling Software Training in Perth

Planning and scheduling software, like Primavera P6, 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,
  • Optimize 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 planning and scheduling software may be used.

Planning Tracking
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 project management software will increase.

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