Primavera vs MS Project

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by Keerthana Jonnalagadda
Last modified: April 15th 2021

In this fast-running world, companies are required to handle more number of projects. For this reason, managers are willing to have the best-suited software to manage, schedule, and organize the details of their particular project. Primavera and MS projects are well-known project management software for project planning, progress updating, tracking, reporting, and execution to mitigate the project's bustles and hustles. Many companies were using one of these two software to organize their project with utmost convenience. In this article, we will discuss ‘Primavera vs MS Project’ in detail.

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In this article, we have enlightened the essential aspects of Primavera p6 Vs MS Project which will help you understand both Primavera p6 and Microsoft Project.

Primavera Vs MS Project: Which is better?

In this Primavera Vs MS Project, we would be covering the following topics:

So let us get started with this Primavera vs Microsoft Project article,

Major Difference between Primavera and MS Project

Primavera and MS Project are the most widely used Softwares used for scheduling, planning, tracking, and reporting. The major differences between this two software are discussed below in detail.

#1. User Interface

Oracle Primavera has an excellent user interface, including graphs, but Primavera P6 Professional and other versions have a weaker User Interface. Whereas, MS Project is a powerful Graphical User Interface with captivating progress graphs, resources graphs, and histograms in MS Project and other packages. 

#2. Architecture

Primavera has Professional and web-based architecture. In comparison, MS Project has three versions, such as Standard, Web-based, and Professional.

#3. Multiple User Access

Primavera enables multiple user access and offers users to specify the feature of Primavera a user is required to use. Whereas MS Project does not allow multiple user access, but the server supports several projects simultaneously, but the user lacks a project when it is in use.

#4. Multiple Activity Relationships

Primavera can establish more than one relationship between activities. We can have Start-to-Start (SS) and Finish-to-Finish (FF) between the same two activities. Whereas, MS Project can establish only one relationship between two activities.

#5. Web Support

Primavera documents, plans, and other project information can be converted to HTML directly from the software. In comparison, MS Project does not have such options.

#6. Baselines

In Primavera, users can display and assign unlimited Baselines to a schedule used for analysis. Whereas, in MS Project, the Baselines are limited to 11 for assigning tasks.

#7. Hint Help

Primavera offers a Hint Help feature that defines the column's calculations and values whenever the cursor is placed on the field. Whereas, in MS Project, there is no such feature called Hint Help.

#8. Database Connection

Primavera supports SQL or Oracle databases, and it allows users to install the database as standalone or a part of a server. Whereas, MS Project supports both Stand-alone and as a part of EPM. In Stand-alone, project details are saved in the .mpp format. In EPM, it works with the combination of MS SharePoint Server or Project Server. Project details are saved in the SQL database. 

#9. Custom Fields

Primavera allows users to build a blank custom field without setting any formulas in the columns. In comparison, MS Project allows creating different custom fields from various project categories such as tasks, projects, or resources.

#10. WBS

In Primavera, WBS is created separately from activities. Once WBS has been created, then we can add activities for each element. Whereas, in MS Project, activities are indented to make them look like a WBS.

#11. Issues and Risks

Primavera allows users to record issues and risks. Whereas, in MS Project, the feature of tracking project issues and risks is lacking.

#12. Columns

Primavera offers several useful columns around 200 that are installed, and each column represents information. It defines each category, such as budgeting, dates, variances, relationships, costs, etc. In comparison, MS Project supports over 500 default columns for resources and tasks.

#13. Import/Export Function

In Primavera, the import/export function allows users to communicate the project data with other applications. It also allows exporting the data in various formats such as HTML, XLS, XER, XML, etc. Importing function enables to create of a new project from scratch by updating the existing project plan or XLS file. On the other hand, MS Project has a similar import and export logic function. 

#14. Reports

Primavera allows users to create sheet-like reports with default formats that can be customized easily. The reports are created in a tabular form only without having dashboards and graphical charts. In comparison, the graphical reports can be customized in any format and allow to insert of chart elements and allows users to create dashboards and charts.

#15. Expenses Field

In Primavera, users can add indirect expenses such as travel and training. It allows them to choose from assignment options such as the start, distribution, and finish date of a task. Whereas in MS Project, it allows users to define fixed costs for tasks, costs for material resources and rate-based resources costs. It also enables adding from the resource sheet and assigned tasks.

----   Related Article: Primavera P6 Tutorial for Beginners   ----

Primavera Features 

The key features of Primavera Software are discussed below:

  • Multiple Project Management
  • Portfolio and Program Management
  • Business Process Automation
  • Multi-user Access
  • Project Status Email Updates
  • Configurable forms
  • Gantt Charts
  • Role-Based User Functions
  • Graphical Workflow Modelling
  • Resource Analysis and Allocation
  • Risk Management
  • Real-Time Analysis and Reporting
  • Information Dashboard
  • Resource Allocation and Analysis
  • Calendar and Activity Views

Pros and Cons of Primavera

Advantages of Primavera

The main benefits of using Oracle Primavera are discussed as follows:

  • Reduces Risks: Primavera is great at signalling and identifying the risks of overrun issues, schedule inconsistencies, or the eros that might increase the cost of the project immensely.
  • Easy to create forecasts: It allows project managers to easily create accurate forecasts for the project and share them with business executives or stakeholders.
  • Access and Responsibility: It allows workers to create schedules, request, and submit timesheets wherever and whenever possible.
  • Great Visibility: It enables users to analyze the data in a single location to ensure that the project does not violate any regulations or rules.
  • Good communication: It provides C-level staff access to all the project areas to communicate with the workers wherever they are. Project Reader helps to enhance communication and reduces the need for a constant internet connection.
  • Breaks down the complex project: It enables users to break down the huge project into smaller ones to achieve activities and tasks.
  • Easy to use: Primavera is an easy learning curve tool for planning and scheduling the project. It can handle complex data and generate analysis and reports quickly. Even a junior project manager can work efficiently with all the basics.

----    Related Article: Primavera Interview questions for freshers     ----

Disadvantages of Primavera

The following are the limitations of using Primavera:

  • Primavera lacks advanced UI and organized options. Also, the tools are not arranged properly.
  • It is an expensive tool than other Project Management applications.
  • Printing PDF Project Reports is the most challenging task using Primavera.

Features of MS Project

The following are the features of MS Projects.

  • Project Portfolio Management
  • Access from anywhere virtually
  • Communicate in real-time
  • Simplify IT Management
  • Anticipate changes
  • Deliver projects 
  • Improves collaboration
  • Effective Presentations
  • Discover and share information
  • Organized
  • Work seamlessly across tools
  • Select optimal portfolios

----    Related Article: MS Project Tutorial    ----

Advantages and Disadvantages of MS Project

Advantages of MS Project

The following are the MS Project Pros:

  • Intuitive Interface: MS Project is a highly intuitive tool that provides the best features and functions. It helps users with new tasks or project revisions anytime without any disruptions.
  • High Visibility: It gives a 360-degree view of project details with scheduling tools such as Gantt charts and adaptable menus for quick project planning. 
  • Customized templates: It offers Pre-installed templates as per user requirements to help users create a project plan very quickly.
  • Integration: MS Project can integrate with other Microsoft applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. To improve communication, project managers are using Skype effectively. Also, It can integrate with Power BI Pro to achieve business intelligence analytics.
  • Flexibility: It provides access to both Desktop and mobile devices that enables users to view the project data.

Disadvantages of MS Project

The following are the MS Project Cons:

  • MS Project is an expensive tool. Because of the high price, many users can only purchase a few licenses, resulting in low productivity.
  • It includes a lot of advanced features or new features that might cause the high price. 
  • MS Projects does not provide real-time updates without integration. 

----    Related Article: MS Project Interview Questions and Answers     ----

Primavera vs MS project Comparison Table

S.No. Primavera
MS Project
1. Primavera is a database based project management software. MS Project software is a file-based project management software.
2. It supports unique ID features and helps projects using ID systems. It does not support unique ID features, and activity ID is based on the positions of the activity.
3. It enables multiple users to work on a project and specify the features required to use It does not enable multiple user access to work on a single project
4. It supports creating multiple activity relationships that are more than one type of relationship can be made between the activities. It does not support such a feature, but it can establish one type of relationship between activities.
5. It enables users to create sub-activities by breaking down the main activity into several steps, along with start and finish dates. It does not allow such a function of creating sub-activities.
6. It supports unlimited baselines. It is restricted to 11 baselines.
7. It allows issue and risk recording. It lacks this feature of recording issues and risks of a project.
8. It allows activity sorting through various fields such as by activity ID, date, etc. It allows flexible activity control in which the individual activities can be moved from the positions to positions to display.
9. It supports around 200 columns along with custom columns; each column provides useful information. It supports around 40 columns only on the contrary part.
10. It allows users to create a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) to add the activities.
In MS Project, activities are made to appear like WBS.
11. It is best suited for developed countries.
It is best suited for developing countries.
12. It supports the Progress spotlight feature to highlight table rows in a specific color.
It does not support any such feature; rather, it allows creating filters for the same.

Conclusion

While concluding, both Oracle Primavera and Microsoft Project are well-known project management tools that assist project goals and organizational requirements. It’s not easy to pick one tool from another, as they both have their strategies and features. Based on the project requirements, we should determine which software helps to meet the specific type of project services to provide a high-quality CPM schedule. Each tool has unique features, and both aim for one goal to achieve Professional construction management services.