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PRIMAVERA
 
Primavera Training Technical Papers
 
 


   This page allows authors to publish any technical papers that are associated with Primavera software. Please email your papers to us in pdf or any other commonly used format including a title, author and description and we will load them on to the site.

The following technical papers are presented in Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF), you will need a copy of Acrobat Reader. You may download the software for free at www.adobe.com.

 
     
 

DELAY ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES USING ELECOSOFT POWERPROJECT
Many construction contracts specify that a delay must be calculated from the critical path of a program. Often project programs are completed Elecosoft Powerproject and therefore to demonstrate a delay the scheduler needs to add delays to the program to evaluate the delay. If you wish to understand the various techniques of assigning delays to activities in Elecosoft Powerprojet click on this link>>>.

 
     
 

SETTING PRIMAVERA P6 INDICATOR COLUMNS TO SHOW GOOD OR BAD VARIANCES
P6 Used Defined Fields has an Indicator option that allows four indicators to be displayed. These may be used in conjunction with a Global Change to indicate the status of an activity in respect to a Baseline.
If you wish to learn how to create a P6 Indicator column and set with a Global Chane then please read this article I have written by click on this link>>>.

 
     
 

Microsoft Project Delay Analysis Techniques
any construction contracts specify that a delay must be calculated from the critical path of a program.
Often project programs are completed Microsoft and therefore to demonstrate a delay the scheduler needs to add delays to the program to evaluate the delay.If you wish to understand why this happens and how to resolve this issue please read this article I have written by, click on this link>>>.

 
     
 

Oracle Primavera P6 P6 Resource Cost Calculations for LOE and WBS Task
It was brought to my attention recently that when LOE and WBS Summary tasks have progress, then the resource units are updated but the resource costs are not. If you wish to understand the issues and work around then, click on this link>>>.

 
     
 

What’s New in Oracle Primavera P6 Version 20 PPM Professional
Oracle released Primavera P6 Version 20 PPM for download from their eDelivery web site in late 2020.
I have written a document that expands on the documents published by Oracle and outlines the changes a PPM user will see in the software and add some comments on the usability of the features, click on this link>>>.

 
     
 

ORACLE PRIMAVERA P6 DELAY ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES|
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>>>

 
     
 

WHAT ARE P6EXTERNAL DATES?
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>>>

 
     
 

CREATING ELAPSED DURATION ACTIVITIES IN P6.
Activities like “concrete curing” and “process testing” that take place 24 hours per day may be modeled using a 24 hour per day calendar. The disadvantage of this option is that if the predecessor ends at 17:00 then a 5-day curing activity will start and finish at 17:00 and will have float when the successor starts the following morning. If you wish to understand another way of creating Elapsed Duration activities in P6 then down load an extract of my 99 Tricks and Traps book by clicking on this link>>>

 
     
 

MICROSOFT PROJECT TASKS WILL ALWAYS HONOR THEIR CONSTRAINT DATE.
Microsoft Project has a function titled Tasks will always honor their constraint date. This option is by default switched on and a schedule with this option on will not calculate in the way a Critical Path schedule should. If you wish to understand how Tasks will always honor their constraint date works and how to avoid this issue then download this article, which is an extract from the authors book 99 Tricks and Traps Microsoft Project 2013, 2016 & 2019, by clicking on this link>>>

 
     
 

MICROSOFT PROJECT TASK SPLITTING.
Microsoft Project has a function that allows multiple splits in tasks which is not available in Oracle Primavera P6. It is a useful function that may also get you into trouble. If you wish to understand how task splitting works then download this article, which is an extract from the authors book 99 Tricks and Traps Microsoft Project 2013, 2016 & 2019, by clicking on this link>>>

 
     
 

ISSUES WHEN P6 TASKS HAVE MIXED CALENDARS.
There are a number of issues when there are mixed calendars in a schedule, such as when some tasks have an 8 hour per day calendar and some with a 12 hour per day calendar. To read a short article which is an extract from my 99 Tricks and Traps book on the issues and solutions to this issue, please click on this link>>>

 
     
 

UNDERSTANDING P6 DATE FIELDS.
Primavera P6 has many more date fields than any competitor and the descriptions of these fields are sometimes misleading. If you wish to understand how the current schedule dates calculate then down load an extract of my 99 Tricks and Traps book by clicking on this link>>>

 
     
 

Displaying Primavera P6 Baseline Critical Bars.
When analysing project delays it is often useful to know where the Baseline Critical Path was. Click on this link>>> to read an article, which is an extract from the author’s book 99 Tricks and Traps for Oracle Primavera P6 PPM Professional, on how to display the baseline critical path on baseline bars.

 
     
 

Microsoft Project Ribbon Toolbar Issues & Solutions.
The Microsoft Project Ribbon Toolbar has a few issues including:
• It consumes a large area of the screen,
• The commands are not in logical groups, and
• Some commonly used commands, such as the Manual Page Break, are not on it at all.
It is often better to hide the Ribbon Toolbar, display the Quick Access Toolbar below the Ribbon Toolbar and import the Eastwood Harris Quick Access Toolbar which has the commonly used commands grouped into logical groups. This may be downloaded from the Eastwood Harris Website Software and Downloads page.

 
     
 

Microsoft Project Template Issues & Solutions.
It is natural to create a new project with Microsoft Project using the File, New, Blank Project command which will create a project with the Global.mpt file, but this template has a lot of short comings.
It is far better to use a Personal Microsoft Project Template with these issues resolved such as the Eastwood Harris template that may be downloaded from the Eastwood Harris website Software and Downloads page.

 
     
 

Ladder Scheduling with Microsoft Project.
Ladder scheduling is where series of tasks may take place in parallel with a short delay their start dates. This situation occurs in linear operations such as pipelaying, tunnel and railway construction.
Ladder scheduling is normally achieved in products like P6 and Powerproject by linking two tasks with both a Start-to-Start plus a Lag and a Finish-to-Finish plus a Lag relationship.
Microsoft Project only allows one relationship between two tasks making Ladder Scheduling difficult, but there is a technique that allows Ladder Scheduling with Microsoft Project. This article is an extract from the book Planning and Control Using Microsoft Project 2013, 2016 & 2019 by Paul E Harris and explains how Ladder Scheduling may be achieved with Microsoft Project,

 
     
 

Oracle Primavera P6 Database Setup.
When you have created a new P6 database the Database Default Settings are often not the best and it is my opinion that they should always reviewed and some changed. Read this article on P6 Database Settings that you should consider changing.

 
     
 

Oracle Primavera P6 User Settings.
When you created as a new user in a P6 database the User Settings are often not the best and it is my opinion that they should always reviewed and some changed. Read this article on P6 User Settings that you should consider changing.

 
     
 

Oracle Primavera P6 Percent Complete Types.
When you create a new project in P6 the default Percent Complete Type is Duration. Is this the best option and do you understand the difference between Duration, Physical and Units Percent Complete?
It is my opinion the this should always be changed to Physical for several reasons. Read this article on P6 percent Complete Types and how they calculate.

 
     
 

The Importance of Summarizing Projects and Understanding the Tracking Window.
I often review P6 databases and I am horrified that users do not Summarize their database, nor understand the importance of this function, or understand the P6 functions that affect how Summarized data is calculated or where Summarized data is viewed. This approach can be a career shortening step that should be avoided at all costs.
In summary when Projects are not Summarized then the information from unopened P6 projects seen in the Projects, Activities and Tracking windows will be blank when the project has never been Summarized or out of date if the project has been updated since it was last Summarized.
Read this article article on the importance of Summarizing P6 projects.

 
 

What’s New in Oracle Primavera P6 PPM Professional Version 19.
Oracle Primavera P6 Version 19 PPM Professional was released in December 2018 and introduced some new functions, including:
- Dissolve Activities with Lag using Retain Lag
- Project Code Maximum Length Increase
- Details, User Defined Fields tab
- Data Date Default for Apply Actuals
- Allow or Restrict Access to Resources from Multiple Parent Resources
- Activity Details, Task tab
Read this article on these new functions.

 
     
 

Calculate The Non Work Durations Of P6 Activities.
I was recently asked how if it was possible to calculate the non work duration of a P6 activities.
I found it was not as simple as I thought it would be but I have created a Global Change that will achieve this. .

 
     
 

Importing Activity Codes into Orical Primavera P6 using an XER file and Excel .
The process outlined in this paper shows how you may simply edit an XER with Excel and import the Activity Codes,

 
     
 

Microsoft Project Zoom Slider And Timescale Formatting.
The use of the Microsoft Project Zoom Slider may results in some very strange Timescale formatting results, as per the picture on the right, which are at times difficult to reverse. This article is an extract from the book Planning and Control Using Microsoft Project 2013, 2016 & 2019 by Paul E Harris and explains how the timescale should be formatted.

 
     
 

Primavera P6 Project Must Finish By Date .
The P6 Project Must Finish By Date must be used with caution as it may not operate in the way you think it should. Rread this article on this topic.,

 
     
 

How Does Microsoft Project Calculate Durations In Days.
Microsoft Project effectively records task durations in hours and the value of the duration in days is calculated from a parameter entered in the Options form.
This article is an extract from the book Planning and Control Using Microsoft Project 2013, 2016 & 2019 by Paul E Harris and explains how the duration in days is calculated.
,

 
     
 

Scheduling with Shifts in Primavera P6 .
The P6 inbuilt shift function is difficult to use and this article explains a simpler way to schedule with shifts in P6. ,

 
     
 

Microsoft Project Project Information form.
The Project Start date of a Microsoft Project schedule may be changed in the Project Information form, which is opened from the ribbon by selecting Project, Properties group, Project Information.
This article is an extract from the book Planning and Control Using Microsoft Project 2013, 2016 & 2019 by Paul E Harris and explains how these dates and fields operate, ,

 
     
 

Oracle Primavera P6 “Project Must Finish by Date”.
An absolute finish date may be imposed on the project using the Project Window, Dates tab. Imposing a Must Finish By date makes Primavera calculate the late dates from the Must Finish By date rather than the calculated early finish date. Click on this link to see an article on how this P6 operates.,

 
     
 

How Microsoft Project Calculates Durations in Days.
Microsoft Project effectively records task durations in hours and the value of the duration in days is calculated using the parameter entered in the Hours per day: field in the File, Options, Schedule tab, Calendar options for this project: section.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that all users understand that the durations in days are calculated using ONLY the one parameter and this parameter is used with EVERY calendar. This makes Microsoft Project difficult to use when calendars with a different number of hours per day are being used. ,

 
     
 

Understanding the P6 Scheduling Options“When scheduling activities use, Retained Logic, Progress Override or Actual Dates”.
The Oracle Primavera P6 Scheduling Options “When scheduling activities use” are usually not understood and this paper outlines how these options operate and demonstrate the issues with some of the options. These options are similar the Microsoft Project Schedule option “Split in-progress tasks” and Asta Power Project “Relink around completed tasks”.

 
     
 

Comparison of Microsoft Project, Oracle Primavera P6 and Asta Powerproject. The three mains scheduling and control software packages used in Australia in the building, construction and resources industries (BCRCs) are:
- Microsoft Project
- Oracle Primavera P6 and
- Asta Powerproject.

This document will discuss the similarities and differences amongst the products with the
objective of assisting:
- People to understand the capabilities and disadvantages of each product and
- Companies to select the most appropriate product for their business.

 
     
 

Understanding the Techniques to Update a Schedule. Microsoft Project, Oracle Primavera P6 and Asta Powerproject are three commonly used software packages in the building and construction industry.

There are many techniques used to update a schedule and the selected technique is influenced by many factors including:
• The contract specification requirements
• The software package being used
• The users’ knowledge and skill in the software package

This paper identifies and introduces three different principal techniques used in the building and construction industry to update a schedule.

The aim of this document is to outline:
1. Three techniques that are currently used to update a schedule,
2. The advantages and disadvantages of each technique, and
3. How Microsoft Project, Oracle Primavera P6 and Asta Powerproject support these three techniques.

Professional schedulers are usually familiar with Microsoft Project and/or Oracle Primavera P6, but many are unfamiliar with Asta Powerproject due to the lower market penetration of this software. This paper will give people who are unfamiliar with Asta Powerproject an insight into some the capabilities of this software.

 
     
 

Comparison of Oracle P6 Release 8 EPPM and PMM. The aim of this document is outline the main differences between the two versions of the software to allow companies to purchase and install the most appropriate version of the software for their organisation. This document is aimed at people familiar with P6 Version 7 Window Client and who are contemplating moving to P6 Version 8.

 
     
 

How to Colour P6 Bars Based on Activity Codes. Many people would like to color P6 Gantt chart bars based on an Activity Code. This is not a built in feature of the P6 Activity Window like other scheduling products such as Asta Powerproject. This may be achieved in P6 in two ways.....

 
     
 

Understanding Why the P6 Update Progress Function Changes Actual Dates. The aim of this paper is to explain why the P6 “Update Progress” function changes “Actual Dates” and offer suggestions to prevent this occurring.

 
 

How P6 Resource Driven Activities Calculate. The aim of this presentation shows how a P6 Resources Driven Activities calculate, it explores the interaction of the Resource and Task calendars and demonstrates that P6 calculates differently to other software scheduling software.

 
     
 

Notes for importing a Microsoft Project File into a P6 Database. This paper lists a number of points that users shuld be aware off when importing a Microsoft Project file into a P6 database. Please contact the Eastwood Harris if there are some points that you consider should be added to this paper.

 
     
 

Primavera P6 Bars formatting presentation. The P6 bar defaults may be misleading. For example the Baseline bars and the Negative Float bar have the same colour and are on the same line, the Level of Effort bars are not displayed and completed activities show Total Float. This presentation outlines changes to the Primavera default bar formatting that should be considered and as a result your schedule should be clearer.

If you want to save a lot of time formatting your own P6 Layout then you may wish to click here and download the primavera .com.au layout by clicking here>>> www.primavera.com.au_Layout.plf. THIS IS A ZIP FILE AND WILL NEED UNZIPPING. . The bars have been sorted out and minor changes have been made to the Page Setup so the header displays project information such as dates, project name and page numbers are seen on every page and the footer only contains information required on the first page such as the Gant Chart ledgend and Revision Box.

 
     
 

What Primavera P6 Baseline Bars am I Displaying? The aim of this presentation is to explain the different types of project schedule Baselines, how the Planned Dates are calculated, why the Planned Dates often display irrelevant data, the issues with the Planned Dates, what functions control the display of the Planned Dates as Baseline Dates, and how to ensure you have the Baseline dates and not the Planned Dates displayed as Baseline Bars.

 
     
 

AStep-By-Step Guide Using Software Development Kit(SDK) for Primavera Version 6.X schedule preparation by: Jeoffrey B. Reyes Sr.Planning Engineer Building Works / Road & Infrastructure Jubail Industrial City, K.S.

 
     
 

Importing Microsoft Project 2003 – 2010 files into Oracle Primavera P6 Version 7. - Microsoft Project and Oracle Primavera P6 Version 7 calculate differently. It is unlikely that a schedule will calculate the same dates and other values such as durations and resource data in both packages unless the schedules are very simple or a large amount of manual manipulation is applied after conversion, down load and read on............... Presented by Paul E Harris at several meetings in Australia in October and November 2010.

 
     
 

Cashflowing with Expenses in P6 by importing from an excel spread sheet. - Presented by Paul E Harris at the Insync10 conferance in MelbourneAugust 2010and updated in September 2011.
Download associated files.

 
     
 

Primavera Bars Tricks and Traps. - The defaults setting for the display of bars in Primavera P6 can be greatly improved with some formatting, this presentation outlines the issues and solutions. Presented by Paul E Harris at thePrimavera User Group in Melbourne June 2010.

 
     
  Issues and Solutions facing Construction Contractors Implementing Primavera P6. - Presented by Paul E Harris at the my PRIMAVERA09 Peak Project Performance conference in Melbourne. (633KB - June 2009 )  
     
  Asta Power Project to Primavera Version 5.0 Import and Export - Some notes written by Paul E Harris on the process of exporting schedules from Asta PowerProject to Primavera Version 5.0 (449 KB - July 2007)  
     
  P3 and Tilos data Interchange - A paper written by Paul E Harris on the import and export of data between Asta Tilos, a Linear scheduling software package from Germany. (1,356 KB - July 2007)  
     
  Theta Planning - This document has been compiled by Andrew Dick to assist in setting up a Primavera Enterprise project to enable resource scheduling to be achieved. (4,966 KB - July 2007). Click here to download associated XER files.  
     
  Asta Power Project - an introduction - This document is designed to assist people who are using SureTrak, P3, Primavera Enterprise or Microsoft Project to learn the basics of PowerProject to create an unresourced schedule. (1,525 KB - Updated July 2009v)  
     
  Using P3 Batch to Rebuild Corrupt P3 Files - The process used by Paul Harris to rebuild corrupt files. This is a zip file that includes instructions and bat files. ((32KB - July 2007)  
     
  Importing and Exporting data to and from P3 using Excel and DBF format - This is a step by step guide on how to complete this process. (278 KB - June 2007)  
     
  Comparison of EVM Standards - The comparison of AS4817 Project performance using Earned Value 2006, ANSI/EIA-748-A-1998 Earned Value Management Systems and PMI Practice Standard for Earned Value Management (163 KB - 3 July 2006)  
     
  Guidelines for training people in using Planning and & Scheduling software - The aim of this paper is to outline some guidelines for organizations to structure their training as part of implementation of Planning and Scheduling software for the planning and control of projects. (151 KB - May 2005)  
     
  Guidelines for Implementing P&S Software - The aim of this paper is to outline some guidelines for organizations to use when looking at implementing a corporate project planning and scheduling system. Many of these guidelines equally apply to the implementation of a stand alone planning and scheduling system. ( 314 KB - April 2004)  
     
  Practical Application of Earned Value Performance Measurement Using P3 - The aims of this presentation is to review practical methods that may be used for managing projects using Earned Value Performance Measurement methods.((307 KB)  
     
  Book Review Guide - A guide for people writing books reviews (158 KB - September 2003)  
     
  SureTrak % Calculation - This article explains how SureTrak calculates percent complete in the various fields available. ((102 KB)  
     
  Linking P3 Database with Excel or Access - This article demonstrates how a P3 schedule database may be linked to Excel or a dbf file using the Pervasive ODBC drivers. (278 KB)  
     
  Techniques for Managing Complex Projects with Planning and Scheduling Software - This paper will discuss techniques that may be used for developing and managing schedules that have a large number of activities and a number of complex relationships. (246 KB)  
     
  Converting P3 and SureTrak files to and from Microsoft Project - This article looks at the various methods of converting files to and from Microsoft Project and P3 or SureTrak. (226 KB)  
     
  Selecting Project Management Software - This article is aimed at assisting companies in the process of selecting new project management software but could be applied to the selection of many other types of software. (28 KB)  
     
 
Issues and Solutions facing Construction Contractors Implementing Primavera P6. Presented by Paul E Harris at the myPRIMAVERA09 Peak Project Performance conference in Melbourne. (633KB - June 2009 )
 
     
   
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