Primavera P6 Interview Questions

Q. What are the difference between free float, total float and what is different between Float and Slack?
Float and slack are the two different words for the same meaning.
Free Float : amount of time , an activity can be delayed without delaying the successor activity
Total Float : amount of time , an activity can be delayed without delaying the project finish date.

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Q. What is a constraint in primavera?
Constrains in primavera is to fix the start or finish date as per following options:
1) Project Must Finish by
2) Mandatory Start / Mandatory Finish
3) Start / Finish On or After
4) Start / Finish On or Before
5) Start / Finish On
6) Expected Finish

Q. How can you define the Critical Path in PRIMAVERA?
Its the longest path through the project with the least amount of float,Filter the activities with total float equal to or less than 0

Q. What is WBS?
WBS means Work Breakdown Structure. it represents a hierarchical breakdown of a Project into elements and deliverables.

Q. What is an open end activity in primavera?
The open end activity is the activity that does not have any successor. Normally open end activity is not accepted in schedule because the total float will be calculate from the end of the project and these entire activities late dates gather at the end of the project and can not be prepare a logical late start plan.

Q. What is the difference between Retained Logic & Override Logic in progress update?
If a project is generally running according to plan and activities are not progressed out of sequence then there will be virtually no difference between the two methods. BIG differences come when activities are progressed out of sequence.
I believe in retained logic. Invariably that will produce the longest critical path but if activities have been progressed out of sequence, there could be some resulting illogical dependencies remaining, in particular resulting from dependencies with durations.
Progress override invariably produces a shorter critical path and again there could be some illogical lack of dependencies resulting from activities having been progressed out of sequence.

Q. How do u measure & compare the progress using primavera?
Progress can be measured using EVM earned value management as per the following terms:
Budget at Completion (BAC)
Planned Value (PV) = budget at Completion (BAC) x Planned % Complete
Earned Value (EV) = budget at Completion (BAC) x Actual% Complete
Actual Cost (AC) = No formula What you’ve actually spent on the project
Schedule Performance Index (SPl) =Earned Value (EV) / Planned Value (PV)
Schedule Variance (SV) =Earned Value (EV) – Planned Value (PV)
Cost Performance Index (CPI) =Earned Value (EV) / Actual Cost (AC)
To Complete Performance Index (TCPI) =(Budget at Completion (BAC) – Earned Value (EV) ) / (Budget at Completion (BAC) -Actual Cost (AC) )
Cost Variance (CV) = Earned Value (EV)  -Actual Cost (AC)
For more information see this article: EVM EARNED VALUE MANAGEMENT

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Q. What is resource allocation and resource leveling?
Resource allocation is assigning resources to activities,determine the amount of labor, equipment and money required for any activity.
Resource leveling is Resource requirements of all scheduled activities are compared to the maximum quantity available at the time of leveling.An activity is delayed if too few resources are available at any time during the activity’s duration.The maximum quantity for a resource is determined through the Max units/time for a particular resource in the Resources Tab.

Q. What is an S – Curve and how to create S Curve in PRIMAVERA?
An S-curve is the cumulative cost function plotted on a histogram, which can vaguely resemble the letter S. BCWS, BCWP, and ACWP are frequently plotted and compared on a histogram as separate and “shadowing” S-curves.
Use the Activity Usage Profile to view cost or unit values for activities in the open project over time according to a timescale you specify. The Activity Usage Profile displays resource allocations for all activities or for the activities you select in the Activity Table, Activity Usage Spreadsheet, Gantt Chart, or the Activity Network.

Q. What are the difference between flag and milestone activity in primavera?
Mile stone & flags both are events rather then activities. Some client likes to use flags rather than mile stone due the following differences.
1- With the use of flags the logic of main event can be easily tracked as these can not be created without predecessor as stand alone allocating the constraint.Where as mile stone can.
2- Flags can not update manually as Primavera automatically update the status where as milestone can be update manually.
3- Flags can not be constraint only driven by predecessor where as milestone can.

Q. What are the early warning signs you look for when reviewing progress against a schedule?
Despite many efforts a schedule can quickly spiral out of control and this will determine if they  have a plan to minimize avoidable gaps and delays.

Q. What is a good use of lag on a project?
Find out if your potential scheduler knows proven best practices in planning and scheduling. Proven best practices across construction discourage any use of LAG OR LEAD TIME on projects.

Q. If given someone else’s schedule, how would you go about analyzing it?
You’ll discover how your candidate breaks large tasks into manageable pieces and how they deal with abiguity. Are they confident enough to ask for help on the pieces that fall outside their expertise? Do they have a system to follow for analyzing outside schedules? WE DO.

Q. How do you communicate the monthly schedule analysis?
A monthly schedule report has different information for different audiences. Can they recognize that not all audiences want to see the same data? Can the candidate analyze and understand the important issues and trouble spot.

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Q. How would you deal with an incomplete project or one that has missing information?
This question tells a lot about how they handle missing data and if they would be proactive in filling in the pieces from the team – trying to create a clear plan of action.

Q. How do you schedule, manage and track Permits, Right of Way and/or Utility Relocation?
Since these items fall into the “red-tape” of dealing with outside access, you want to find out how they are going to keep these items on track and in constant focus on the schedule. A couple of milestone may not be enough to make sure these items get continued focus.

Q. Tell me about your successes in a team environment.
This will help you work out how they view themselves in the context of a team. New research suggests that most of us can fall into 2 categories – givers and takers. Are they givers? Find out by listening to their language – are they using “me” and “I” or are they talking about their team in terms of “us” and “we”. Do they share the credit or blame someone else for mistakes. 

Q. What is your approach to delivering bad news so the message won’t destroy your relationships?
This shows how well they deal with confrontation – unavoidable and common in project environments. Are they thinking about fostering productive relationships or just covering their butts when things go wrong?

Q. How would you go about winning over a PM that doesn’t take your input into consideration?
Relationships stuff again. Are they able to tread lightly and be persuasive? When personalities clash are they able to rise above?

Q. How would you rate your level of enthusiasm about project controls?
People who are enthusiastic about their professional are going to uplift the team and help everyone stay optimistic. Having passion for what you do is contagious to those around you.

Q. How have you improved project controls processes at your previous company?
Project Controllers don’t necessarily get the chance to influence final project decisions but they do get the opportunity to offer suggestions. This shows if they have ideas and want to expressing them, hopefully making things a bit better for everyone.


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