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Primavera P6 Tutorial - Learn Primavera P6 Step By Step

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  • Last Updated April 23, 2018

Introduction:

Primavera is the leading Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solution provider for project-intensive industries. It is offering best solutions with a focus on critical PPM requirements of key vertical industries such as construction and engineering, utilities, public sector, aerospace and defense, oil and gas, high tech and manufacturing, and IT services.

Oracle Primavera P6

What is Primavera P6?

The official name of P6 is Oracle Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, which accurately reflects the software’s scope and purpose. Primavera Eppm products along with Oracle’s project financials, supply chain management, business intelligence, product lifecycle management and infrastructure software are expected to provide comprehensive and best Project Portfolio Management solutions for Enterprises. The solutions help companies optimize resources and the supply chain, manage changes, reduce costs, make better decisions and meet delivery dates using real-time data.

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Primavera directly reflects the organization with its International project management standards in meeting and deadlines and managing budget and step towards its performance and success. Project planning is essential to value as many business opportunities as possible at low costs during a shorter period, considering 4P- Predicting, Planning, Progress and Performance output including, which has a direct impact upon the recommended Primavera success and durability of the organization. Primavera is exclusively designed to work with one organization at a time.

Primavera P6 Project Management

Predicting project management support is one of the crucial factors conditions the project success and forecasting all the complex investments. Thus the situations could interfere with its execution and change the desired flow becoming an international one. Primavera provides advanced planning and forecasting preferably for managing this activity. Primavera considers standardization needs using templates organization’s templates and collaborates, analysis with distinct reference projects, supported by a Methodology Manager.

Why Primavera Project Management?

Primavera helps organizations to minimize risks identified providing a chance to learn both from the project’s successes and mistakes of each project with perfect planning. So that, it is clear for the project managers to predict based on analysis, cost forecasting and previous experiences.

Primavera allows project management regardless of their complexity, coordination between designers, contractors, and beneficiaries. Primavera enables viewing the execution stages of the ongoing projects and the system cases, project comparison with charts, forecasted project data and facilitating quick and documented decision implementation.

With its user-friendly interface, Primavera provides the best planning and controlling solutions for even the most complex projects.  It features a Gantt in case of charts, resources, cost histograms, PERT network charts, and predefined refinery. The project duration filters specific to each field and presets the report formats for providing involving operation downtime with the clear insight on each project.

Primavera’s Project Management Consists of:

  • An Enterprise Structure (includes managers at highest levels to individuals at the primary level of an organization. Multiple users can concurrently access the same projects).
  • Centralized Resource Management
  • Integrated Risk Management
  • Threshold Management
  • Issue Management
  • Tracking feature to enable dynamic cross-project roll-ups of earned value, cost, and schedule
  • Report Wizard

Enterprise

P3 being a standalone application designed for a single-end user on a dedicated machine while P6 is a multi-tier system intended to work with multiple users at a time with a backend database and a web server in the front-end with application layer in the middle. The web server enables the system to connect with users via a web interface like Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. The system is very scalable and supports millions of activities, allowing companies which are diversely and geologically spread and workforce across the globe.

Project

P6 supports Projects. In the body of knowledge, a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a service or a product in a unique way. It means different things in distinct industries and comprises a large part of the commercial world surprisingly. For instance, Project is not only related to construction but making a movie is also a project, creating entertainment is also a project in the present day scenario. A large number of people involved in creating a movie or a television show or an album. 

P6 Architecture

Developing a drug also comes under a project. With primary research, clinic trials, government approval, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution are the parts involved in that particular project of Drug manufacturing.

A Project consists of 

  • Work scope
  • Resources and 
  • Timeline

All these constraints measured within the project boundaries. P6 allows the users to make these measurements and provides the ability to react to these measurements to ensure that each of these goals accomplished in the project.

Portfolio

A project cannot be standalone with few exceptions. 

Employing entire EPS system is a massive task as it contains data from multiple systems on your computer memory. The portfolio feature of Primavera enables users to focus only on the working projects and helps free up computer memory. The other vital function of Primavera portfolio is whenever you insert a new project or copy any other project, P6 will automatically insert the particular one into the existing portfolio that makes it easy to search and find instead of seeking every single project.

For example, if you have a portfolio called Project drug, P6 will automatically include the new projects to the drug projects portfolio whenever you add a new project.

The users can use the group to sort by options to remove unnecessary clutter. Primavera inserts new files automatically into the current portfolio, regardless of the same EPS node when you add a file, appears in both the current and non-current portfolios. “All Projects” contains the portfolio of every project in the EPS.

Management

Oracle Primavera P6 Professional Project Management provides control, which today’s project managers and scheduler’s values most. Primavera P6 designed to handle large-scale, multifaceted and sophisticated projects, and is on tools to provide distinct ways to organize which are capable of handling 100,000 activities. It gives unlimited target plans with unlimited resources.  In short, Primavera P6 is designed to help organizations maintain their coherent manner, offering them the power to focus on better strategies and to take better decisions.

P6 Core Concept

As we have discussed earlier, P6 is a scheduling application which means vary greatly. Each project shares some common characteristics through the output changes. Here is the list of P6 Core Concepts:

  • Deliverables
  • Work Scope
  • Time Management
  • Cost Management
  • Resources including People, equipment, and Materials
  • Project team communication
  • Purchases

Project Management Life Cycle

Primavera P6 project Management includes planning, securing, organizing, and managing of the resources which are required to complete the project on time within the budget. The primary purpose of project management is to achieve all the project goals considering the constraints. The external goal of project management is project management streamline process to ensure whether appropriate resources are allocated and processes are streamlined to make sure that the project is completed on time within the budget.

The five phases of Primavera’s Project Management Life Cycle(PMLC)

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Controlling
  • Closing

Stage 1: Initiation

Primavera PMLC’s initial step involves the initial start-up project processes. The project’s scope and purpose are defined, justified and implemented in this phase.

  • Appointing Managers and Team members 
  • Studying Project Feasibility
  • Documentation Collection
  • Setting up the Project Office

Primavera’s software helps streamline the initial phase by offering the ability to store documents, configuring the member’s access, and provide an overall phase review before beginning the planning phase.

Phase 2: Planning

Planning is the critical phase in the entire PMLC. Here, the documents are finalized in Primavera P6 software and are provided to the project team to complete the project. The project planning involves the creation of five smaller plans as follows:

  • The project plan
  • Resource plan
  • Financial plan
  • Quality plan
  • Acceptance and communications plan

 The planning phase in Primavera P6 is started by creating a work breakdown structure, designing a schedule for cost load, assigning project resources, and basement establishment.

Primavera P6 Project Management Lifecycle

Phase 3: Execution

The execution phase is where the work is started and completed in PMLC. After setting project plans, construction beings and the process compared against the baseline throughout the project building. The Primavera P6 software is used in the sequences as follows:

  • To report work in process
  • To schedule the status
  • To compare between projected and actual cost
  • To distinguish between expected resource usage and actual resource usage

Phase 4: Control

The control phase in PMLC is where the project team members look at the results and decide whether it is on the proper track or behind. After this, project team member’s uses a management tool like Primavera P6 software, to schedule, analyze and project evaluation. The project members will compare between baseline schedules an actual plan and then make a recommendation to improve project’s health. If the project is behind schedule, team members will go into Primavera software application, modify the project data and then re-forecast the plan. The team members then go into Primavera P6 software and utilize Clamdigger functionality to outline the modifications made between the two scheduled updates.

Phase 5: Closing

The Closing is the final phase in PMLC, the primary functions in this phase are

  • Learning project team members document lessons
  • Determine whether the project is a baseline for other projects
  • Deliver the end product to the stakeholders

It is a known fact that effective project management is essential for the accurate outcome. Any problem that exists in the schedule could through the entire project off track and cost your organization million dollars. Primavera software is for solving all the project management problems and keeps you on track within the budget. 

Activities

After creating work breakdown structure (WBS) in Primavera P6 EPPM, defining events will take place. An activity is a logical element that can occur independently or depend on others. The core strength of Primavera P6 is managing operations.

Primavera P6 provides six types of activities and is very important to understand. They help to calculate and determine the start and finish of the activity. They are listed as follows:

  • Task-Dependent 
  • Resource Dependent 
  • Start Milestone
  • Finish Milestone
  • Level of Effort
  • WBS Summary

Describing activities is the significant step in Primavera’s project scheduling process as they deliver WBS deliverables. An experienced primavera scheduler is essential to define a successful activity. Identifying an activity accurately and estimating corresponding planed durations is very important for schedule development.

Resources

Resources are the primary requirements for any activity. Workforce, equipment and other materials those are necessary to complete the task. Material resources in P6 require the definition of a unit of measure in addition to a standard rate. Labor resources may be trade specific individuals or skills. Until the resource manager assigns each to a task, the trade skill will insert as a placeholder. 

Resources can also have calendars. For people, the calendar will be the task assigned to a particular point in time. For equipment, there are some limitations or measures where it can be used based on whether or schedule maintained.

For instance, let’s consider that you are sending a group of people to East Alaska to assemble a new telescope, the logistics can be daunting, with an available number of trips available in a particular season. 

Some mundane calendars also exist in this regard like minimizing the time spent on an overpaid job, some religious holidays for the employees working that affect the work schedule. Primavera P6 places resources in the first place and treats as first-class citizens of project scheduling. It offers resource management ability and high-level decision making power.

New Features in Primavera P6 Version 8

Primavera versions 7 and 8 have several changes. Some of the highlights are as follows:

  • Oracle BI is the reporting engine of P6 enterprise, which also reports the full range of Oracle products.
  • Using IBM WebSphere, Weblogic, and JBoss for supporting P6 version 7, which is an open source application server. JBoss is unable to help Version 8 and WebLogic is a standardized product for Oracle. 
  • Unlike prior versions, Version 8 consists of templates as a part of the central P6 database. One can manage and secure them through a web interface. (Professional P6 does not support templates).
  • Oracle’s Business Process Management Suite allows a set of tools that enable product communication. Development of customized workflows to interact with distinct productions is one of the functionalities of this suite. BPM is a well-documented technology explained on several websites and books like Getting Started with BPM Suite 11gR1- A Hands-On Tutorial, Packt Publishing.
  • P6 Version 8 comes with enhanced risk management tools. For monitoring and tracking risks, included a risk register and risk scoring matrix.
  • EPPM version is ultimately a web-based interface. Users can quickly create and manage their project schedules through the web, using Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer.
  • It is a customized version with Tabbed views and configurable toolbars for easy navigation.
  • To emphasize logical connections between project activities, version 8 is Time-scaled with logical diagrams for viewing schedules.

Frequently asked Primavera P6 Interview Questions

Additional Features in Primavera P6 Version 8.2

There are several new features which have been added to release 8.2:

  • It is a challenge to find a particular column or customizing layouts in P6 as it consists of several fields (probably dozens). Version 8.2 come up with a new feature called “Search Columns,” each column screen includes a search text box to make search easy.
  • The installer in 8.2 has made more accessible. The installer can walk through setting up P6 and several other applications, which is the primary drawback in earlier versions. It includes UPK, P6 Help, OCM, Integration API, Progress Reporter, Team Member and Web Services.
  • Creating a new resource directly from a user account is easy in version 8.2. Unlike previous versions, 8.2 is enabled with a new user management feature to copy all their current toolbars and preferences with standard settings.
  • The older version of 8.2 is not capable of checking out a project in P6 Web. In 8.2, had an additional feature called exclusive mode, it enables users to check out a new project that tags with a lock icon providing access to only the user who locked it.
  • P6 Version 8.2 has “Under filter” is a new property to filter data by item location within a hierarchy.
  • Version 8.2 supports Microsoft 2010 to update P6, and the user can manage the enterprise data in P6.
  • Still, now we have two windows desktop clients 8.1 and P6 professional, which are alike but with specific administrative features stripped away. Now there is one and only one P6B Unified version that supports stand-alone as well as running connected to the enterprise system.
  • Line numbering is another essential feature added to 8.2. With this, we can choose line numbers to display on the P6 professional screen. These numbers are helpful to create your project screenshots and while talking about specific lines.
  • P6 Version 8.2 provides advanced Mobile Support with Progress reporter to optimize to perform this on tablets. Even iPhone applications have gotten new features and email-based status.

Still, there are several features in 8.2 such as group data ability by UDF and others. To takes e use of these features, using 8.2 is an easy decision.

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