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Primavera P6 Tutorial

Primavera P6 Tutorial

This tutorial gives you an overview and talks about the fundamentals of Oracle Primavera P6.

What is  Primavera

The product that we all know as P6 is officially named Oracle Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, but the name accurately reflects the scope and purpose of the software:

Enterprise: Unlike P3, which was a standalone application designed to b used by a single user on a dedicated machine, P6 is designed to facilitate multiple users across a large organization. It is a true multi-tier system, with a database on the back end, an application server in the middle, and a web server to which users can connect through an interne browser client such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. This means that the system is very scalable, and can support hundreds of users working on thousands of projects with millions of activities. This also means that it can support companies with geographically diverse projects and a workforce spread across the globe.

Project: At its heart, P6 supports projects. In the Project Management Body of Knowledge, a project is defined as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service. A project can mean different things in different industries, but projects comprise an amazingly large part of the commercial world. Traditionally we think of construction with respect to projects. But making entertainment is also a project. Think of all the people and equipment and coordination required to make a movie, television show, or album. Developing a new drug is a project as well, starting with basic research and moving to clinical trials, government approval, marketing, manufacturing, and distribution. Each of these is a project by itself.

Portfolio: With very few exceptions, a project does not stand alone. A studio creates many movies over the course of a year. A pharmaceutical company develops many different drugs. An energy company has facilities ranging from the frigid tar sands of northern Alberta to the tropical coastline of Brazil. When making strategic decisions about what projects to pursue, which ones to pour more resources into, and which ones to halt, you need to see the larger picture. This is the grouping of projects into a portfolio. P6 ran handle thousands of projects and has analytical capabilities to roll up information across projects and perform analysis across the enterprise. This allows decision makers to understand their business from abroad perspective, and to take action on that information.

Management: There is an old adage that says: only what can be measured can he controlled. P6 is about planning projects and measuring progress as the project moves forward. Although P6 is very flexible in how it can be used, it is also designed to help you manage projects well. And when used properly, you can maintain a reliable budget, anticipate cash flow and resource usage, and record and react to changes as they arise. What’s more, you can bring the various members of the project team together, set standards, and define the right way to run projects at your specific company.

In a nutshell, P6 is designed to help organizations manage their projects in a coherent manner, giving them the power to make better decisions and allowing them to focus on the best strategies.

P6 core concepts

What is P6? At its heart, P6 is an application for scheduling projects. Yet as we mentioned earlier, what a project means can vary greatly. And though the end product is varied, every project shares some common characteristics:

  • There are deliverables (what the customer is paying for)
  • There is scope of work to meet the requirements of the deliverables
  • There is the management of:
  • Time
  • Cost
  • Resources (people, materials, and equipment)
  • Communication among the project team o Project Documentation Risks
  • Purchases

Project Management Life Cycle

A project has many phases, and these phases can be grouped in many ways using different terminologies and methodologies. One widely used and generally accepted categorization is as follows:

  • Initiation — deciding whether to proceed finding funding and resources
  • Planning — enumerating scope, creating the schedule, and planning resources
  • Execution — performing the work to create the project deliverables
  • Controlling — measuring progress and making corrective actions as the project Progresses
  • Closing — delivering the project and reviewing lessons learned While many people associate P6 with the Planning stage, it can be used throughout the life cycle:

Initiation: An initial project can he created to estimate the schedule, cash flow, and resource usage for projects that are still in the initial “what if’ stages.

Planning: Obviously, P6 can be used to create the project plan. This ability should never be underestimated, as the intelligent implementation of the CPM scheduling algorithms is the heart of what makes P6 the highly-valued tool that it is today.

Execution: As the project progresses, the schedule is updated and adjusted as actual work is performed. Updated statuses can be entered directly into P6 and/or can be driven by timesheets.

Controlling: As the situation on the ground changes and activities are completed, the scheduling algorithms will update the schedule to reflect new realities. P6 will show changes in anticipated resource usage and cash flow, so that you can alter the planned work as needed to stay on target.

Closing: As the scope is completed, resources can he released to other projects. The completed project can then he converted to a project template, using the actual durations and resources expended to complete the project. Basing new projects on completed ones gives a well-grounded basis for estimating new projects.

At its core, P6 helps you manage these entities by breaking a project down into two main components: Activities and Resources.

Activities

An activity is a logical element of work to be done. Activities can occur independently, or can depend on one another. Managing the dependencies of activities is core strength of P6.

Activities track the disparate tasks require, and the relationships between activities from a net work of dependencies that can be managed and modified with P6.

Resources

An activity can also have resources. Resources can be the people assigned to work on the task, the equipment that is needed to perform the work, or the materials to install. Each of these resources has an associated cost, and potentially limited availability. Knowing what resources you will need when and where is crucial in being able to make long-term plans on complex projects. For example, if you are sending a team to the South Pole station to assemble a new telescope, the logistics can be daunting, with a limited number of trips available in a given season. Heaven forbid that you send that team down and neglect to provide them with an essential piece of equipment. They can hardly drive down to the nearest Home Depot! Resources also have calendars — when a given resource is available. For people, this is their work schedule. For equipment, there may be limitations on when it can be used based on weather, or a maintenance schedule. For the previous example, there is a calendar of when supplies and people can arrive at the station. If your team is working in arctic regions, there are seasons when the grnund is ton muddy to move equipment, and getting to the site can only be done during months when the ground is frozen. There are also more mundane calendars. You may want to minimize the amount of overtime paid on a job, which ran cut into profits. Certain employees may have religious holidays that affect the work schedule.

P6 posts resources as first-class citizens of the scheduling world. And it gives you the ability to manage resource across all of your projects, giving you the ability to make decisions from a high level.

Primavera P6 is an integrated project portfolio management (PPM) application that includes role-based functionality to match each team member’s needs and responsibilities. It provides executives with a real-time view of their organization’s project performance, equips project participants with the right blend of usability, power and flexibility to effectively execute projects, and enables workers across all levels of an organization to analyze, record and communicate reliable information and make timely decisions.

Primavera P6 covers the full project management lifecycle – from project initiation to project close-out. Project team members can easily communicate activity status updates, issue resolution, scope changes and revisions to documents.

Primavera P6 is ideal for organizations that need to simultaneously manage multiple projects and support multi-user access, since it provides multi-user, multi-project functionality (with the ability to extend functionality based on user-definable data). It also offers scheduling and resource control capabilities and support for multi-tiered project hierarchies, resource scheduling, data capture and customizable views. We would be discussing all these features in primavera p6 training. 

By providing a graphical analysis of resource and role utilization, Primavera P6 helps project teams manage resources in a dynamic environment. This allows managers to see where resources are being used across all programs and projects, as well as their forecasted future use. Because all information is located in one centralized system, resource conflicts become apparent to project and resource managers, eliminating unexpected delays or unforeseen resource limitations. The result: greater visibility into resource demand and capacity means maximized resource use.

Oracle’s Primavera Gateway is an extensible integration solution with configuration and customization options for each business application that provide enterprise-wide project, portfolio, and resource management transparency and ensures data consistency between applications. Oracle’s Primavera Web Services provides enterprise-level integration capabilities to connect Primavera solutions to existing line-of-business systems, to help increase productivity and project success. Oracle’s Primavera Integration API provides scalability, security and performance for realtime application integrations, integrates with large, complex data sets, and supports simple, standalone applications through complex remote integrations.

Taking advantage of the powerful security features available in Primavera P6 , organizations can protect data from unauthorized changes and ensure that only users with the appropriate permissions can access project-related information. As a result, multiple users in an organization can work simultaneously on the same projects – without worrying about access or version control. Organizations can also implement field-level security to provide complete control and flexibility needed when project participants are providing real time status updates to the project schedule.

Depending on your organization’s specific deployment, P6 EPPM generally consists of the applications, functions, and databases depicted below.

p6-architecture

Primavera Software

The easiest way to obtain P6 is to visit edelivery.oracle.com. If you do not already have an Oracle account, go ahead and make one, as it costs nothing and gives you access to a wide variety of resources, such as forums.oracle.com and support.oracle.com, which contains a rich variety of knowledge articles and allows you to communicate with other Primavera users and the Oracle support team. Once you have logged-in and read and accepted the licensing terms and restrictions, you may search for and download many Oracle products. Choose the Product Pack called Primavera Applications and then choose the proper platform that you need. Note that the screen will show many Primavera products besides P6, and will show many versions of P6 as well. By default, the products are arranged by release number. It is helpful to click on the Updated column twice so that the products are sorted by the one most recently updated. In the following screenshot we have highlighted P6 Enterprise version 8.2

primavera-p6-training

P6 Professional is in general much easier to install an your own system. P6 Enterprise (the web version) will require a greater deal of technical know-how, as you will be installing WebLogic and BI Publisher as well as P6.

If your company already has an installation of P6, then see if you can have someone create a database instance just for you to work with as you go through the book. This will allow you to try out all of the functionality of P6 without the risk of altering the production-level system.

P6 Architecture for Enterprise Reporting & Analytics Native view reporting directly from P6 Web client Threshold Alerts Developer PPM Business Projects.

oracle-priamvera-p6-analytics


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