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.

Book Review Cont’d – “Project Planning & Control Using Primavera® P6 TM”

isbn#9781921059575 _Oracle Primavera P6 Training manual_V8-1Book Review Cont’d – “Project Planning & Control Using Primavera® P6 TM

Harris is thorough in that he covers the basics of Primavera P6 software and its advanced functions such as User and Administration Preferences and Advanced Scheduling Options, the 3 types of calendars (unlike P3’s 2 types), Roles and Resources and multiple ways of organizing the project (WBS, OBS, Contract, Phase, etc.).

Harris also does a particularly good job in explaining the differences between 3 ways of stating percent complete: Physical Percent Complete, Duration Percent Complete, and Units Percent Complete and the 4 Activity Types.

He has also introduces some new topics not covered in his previous Version 7.0 book , including “Resource Optimization” which includes “Resource Leveling”, “Multiple Project Scheduling”, “User Definable Fields”, “Global Change” and more information on “Managing the Enterprise Environment”.

Since scheduling requirements vary from project to project and company to company, Harris explains how to build and maintain project schedules both with and without resources (manpower, equipment, money, materials).

If you are embarking on migrating to Primavera P6’s complex and IT intensive scheduling system, I urge you to consider using Paul Harris treatise on “Project Planning & Control Using Primavera® P6 TM Paul Harris knows P6 and knows how to explain how to use it effectively and efficiently.

Review by

A. Larry Aaron CCE

President, T&M Concepts

Oracle Primavera P6 training courses are available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth

Buy the “Project Planning &Control Using Oracle® Primavera® P6 Version 8.1 – Professional Client and Optional Client” Training Manual Now!