As many times as I have conducted Primavera P6 training, I am always surprised by the under use of one of the basic P6 tools.
A Scheduler painstakingly builds a schedule to reflect reality and then after the project starts, neglects to take advantage of the opportunity to be proactive in managing negative float and variance trends. The tool is the P6 Baseline. Sure, most Schedulers create a baseline at the onset of a project and, if following best practices, assign it to the Project Baseline to make it globally available for all users to view. Assigning to the Project Baseline ensures that any P6 User comparing the “BL Columns and Gantt Bars” is viewing data from the original Baseline.
But how about Updated Baselines for trend analysis?
With all the focus on managing negative float within a schedule, the Finish Date variance trends sometimes get lost in the shuffle. It is extremely important to understand that, even when an activity has positive float, if the Finish Date Variance is trending in a negative path, the activity may soon have negative float. The ability to see the negative trend and adjustment the schedule accordingly can prevent the activity from ever having negative float.
Consider the following:
Utilizing data in the table below, at what point would you recognize that the Foundation activity had a negative float issue? CYCLE 5??
|Update #||Update Date||Activity||Float||BL1 Finish Date Variance|
If you were capturing updated baselines each cycle and monitoring the negative Finish Date Variance trends, it is likely that you noticed a potential problem on Cycle 3. Being the proactive person you are, you take action to mitigate the negative trend activity from ever getting into negative float territory.ly
So what is the suggested best practice?
- Capture a baseline each time you update the schedule and assign it to the Primary Baseline
- Use variance analysis layouts to monitor trends using Activity Table columns such as BL1 Finish Date and BL1 Project Finish Date Variance.
- Consider capturing past period Finish Date Variances in User Defined Fields to watch for trends occurring over multiple Update cycles.
- Design P6 Report Writer reports to use color coded conditionally formatted cells to highlight negative float/negative finish date trends as red and positive float/negative finish date trends as yellow.
- Take action on the scenario where positive float activities have multiple Update Cycles with negative Finish Date Variances.
Let’s assume you have made an enterprise decision to manage all of your projects using Oracle’s Primavera software. Smart move! Let’s also assume that you have spent considerable amounts of dollars purchasing the product along with Oracle Maintenance. You have decided to have CBA, Inc. install your product and are ready to send your users to our terrific training classes.
Everything is installed, users are trained and it’s time to get to work – but wait…the system isn’t configured yet…the users cannot manage their projects yet…what to do?
Consider software configuration a time saver that each new customer to the Primavera software product line should seek out. Having a professional qualified provider, like CBA, work with you and your users to identify, develop and implement best practices for your unique business and configure the system according to your specific requirements will allow your team to not miss a beat when they return from training. Being proactive and pre-determining configuration services will allow your newly trained staff to know exactly were to find those very powerful tools they just learned about and know exactly were to begin.
As a part of your overall project plan, CBA’s Primavera Implementation services are extremely beneficial, cost-effective and an efficient solution to the learning curve blues.
Sure, you could try to configure the system yourself; but you’ll most likely end up wasting valuable time and spending more money trying to figure everything out by a process of trial and error than if you just paid to have the system configured ahead of time.
CBA, Inc., will make certain that your investment works from day one!
Call me: Donna McLean, Account Executive CBA, Inc. 567-202-9289read more
Dumping Expenses to Excel and Filtering by year.
Being able to manipulate P6 data in Excel can sometimes be helpful. Here is a case where I copied expenses from Primavera P6 and pasted them into Excel to filter out a certain year’s data.
1. In the Expense view, type Ctrl A to select all
a. Right click and choose Copy
2. In Excel, right click and choose Paste
3. Select the top row containing the column titles, Row 1
a. Select the AZ funnel icon, then Filter
4. Select the Fiscal Year drop down arrow and select the year you would like to see data on:
5. Now data from only 2011 is selected:read more
Wouldn’t it be nice if in P6 you could add coding to expenses? Expense can become a jumbled mess in the Expense view. Being able to sort through the mess can be difficult because grouping and sorting are limited. Many times I have wanted to separate my expenses by year to bring some sort of order to the mess. Finally, I came across a work around that would help me through this issue.
Here is my solution:
Create a UDF (User Defined Field) for Expenses called Fiscal Year.
1. Select Enterprise, User Defined Fields…
2. Select Project Expenses from the drop down arrow
a. Click “Add” on the right hand side
b. Title the UDF “Fiscal Year”
c. Choose “Text” as the Data Type
d. Close the window
3. From the Expense view add a column:
4. Add the appropriate fiscal year designation for each expense.
5. Finally, to sort, click the column header titled Fiscal Year to sort your expenses.
One by-product of the Oracle acquisition of Primavera in 2008 is that now it is relatively easy to become an Oracle partner and sell Primavera products, however it is very difficult to become an Oracle SPECIALIZED Primavera Partner. This status means that you have provided the highest level of expertise and customer satisfaction in the industry today. Customer testimonials are an integral part of this process, so experience and competence matters. CBA is the only Specialized Primavera reseller based in Ohio and Michigan.
Since the 2008 acquisition of Primavera by Oracle we have seen many nameless faceless “groups” appear by virtue of the Oracle Open Market Model, which allows virtually anyone to become an Oracle software reseller. With Oracle’s excellence in marketing anyone can easily create a compelling website using their content. However the devil is in the details.For example we know of one “group” of one, who has proclaimed 12 years of experience (even though they have only been in existence for several weeks) while never having delivered the stated services or training to any company or organization. The website for this “group” contains not one single name of a principle owner, executive, salesperson, consultant, trainer, or implementation specialist although they boast to have a well-schooled team of people claiming those skills. However they do show stock photos of nice looking people in business dress that exist only in a photo shop somewhere. This “group” continues to claim experience in multiple verticals, however offer no customer success stories, references, or any other evidence that any company in any of the industries they list has ever done business with them. This “group” also claims to offer training and even has an inoperable link to a non-existent class schedule.
At CBA we are proud of our heritage of providing real value to real companies for 26 years. On our website you will find the names and bios of our ownership and management team, consultants and certified training professionals. We also offer real training classes with a real class schedule for all levels of Primavera training, for which you can really register. Why do sham companies like the one referenced above exist? It is because they try to make easy money selling software cheap to unsuspecting customers and then try to back-fill services through the independent consulting community. Because they don’t invest in their business the way real companies like CBA and our true peers in the industry such as Evans Technologies, DR McNatty and Associates and CDP have they can sell software at unsustainable margins. Unfortunately all you get is low-priced software. The faceless, nameless man behind the mask is not going to help you with maintenance or licensing issues, or help you to receive the support and training necessary to be successful. This is a very dangerous shell game because as any savvy project manager knows project management solutions are not “out of the box” ready products and qualified training and consulting specialists are hard to come by. Just like the wild west hucksters selling snake oil what they are really selling you is deception.
CBAcan lead you out of that wilderness. Only a company with the depth and breadth of knowledge that CBA possesses can offer you the lowest Total Cost of Operation for Primavera products via our Software Advantage Program. As an innovator in project management services and a Oracle Primavera Specialized Partner we have developed the CBA Software Advantage Program. For no additional cost when you purchase 5 or more Oracle Primavera software licenses from CBAwe will enroll you in the CBA Software Advantage Program. This program entitles you to up to 4 hours of product support and assistance from one of our senior consultants at no cost, a 15% discount for enrolling in any of our scheduled training classes conducted by one of our certified Primavera trainers, and a 15% discount on any additional professional services you may need for implementation and administration of your Primavera environment. This is our way of thanking you for your business and ensuring that you have the necessary help you need to make your project management initiative successful and affordable. Save yourself from the wild west of project management and make the prescient choice to call CBA. Please contact CBA for further details.read more