Streamline the Schedule Update Process
After all the effort you’ve put into the development of the plan, nothing is more frustrating than people not cooperating to keep it updated and maintained. So how can you get everyone on board and reduce the time and effort it takes to get update information? One suggestion, dumb it down. Really, simplicity is the key. The reality of it is these people are genuinely busy. In the mad rush of an ongoing project, you can’t slap a 26 page schedule on someone’s desk and ask them to update their tasks and have it back to you by the end of the day. You’ve got to pare it down. Make the process as direct and straight-forward as possible. Fortunately, Primavera P6 makes it easy to do just that. Use a combination of Activity Codes, Filters and Layouts, to create a very basic Update Request View tailored to each person.
Consider showing only the columns in the schedule that you need the update information for – Activity ID, Activity Name, Actual Start, Remaining Duration and/or Activity Percent Complete and Actual Finish. (For resource and cost loaded schedule’s, you’ll need a little more detail.) Filter for only that person’s activities that have not started or are in progress. Don’t include the layout activities that have been completed (you obviously already know the status of those) and if you’re two months into a ten month project, don’t show those activities that they’re responsible for but aren’t even scheduled to happen for six months. Use a look-ahead filter to display only activities that are likely to have progress on them in a more reasonable timeframe – let’s say six to eight weeks out. Lastly, increase your row height in the layout and choose not to show the Gantt chart in the print-out. By following these few suggestions, you will have created a very basic, spreadsheet looking report only a few pages deep that they can simply mark-up and return.
These recommendations won’t eliminate all schedule update resistance, but it should reduce the foot dragging considerably. Filtered layouts are just one tool in Primavera P6 to assist the update process. Explore some of the other options the program offers for updating like export to Excel, Reflection Projects, Auto Compute Actuals, and Progress Reporter (Timesheets). For more information on any of these update features, contact Critical Business Analysis, Inc. for assistance.