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Construction

Scheduling With
Primavera P6
Jongpil Nam
AuthorHouse UK Ltd.
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403 USA
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Phone: 0800.197.4150



2016 Jongpil Nam. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without the written
permission of the author.

All screenshots taken from the Primavera P6 PPM 8.3 (2014) are copyrighted and used with permission.

Published by AuthorHouse 04/15/2016

ISBN: 978-1-5246-3049-2 (sc)
ISBN: 978-1-5246-3050-8 (e)


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Preface
Project scheduling is one of the vital factors that contributes to a projects success or
failure. A project schedule provides a pathway towards the completion of a project as
scheduled, and continuous feedback on how the project is progressing. However, schedule
controllers are often frustrated when their schedules are impeded by unexpected events, or
at colleagues failure to comprehend their schedules correctly and communicate with
schedulers efficiently. Thus, a primary concern of schedulers today involves developing
comprehensive schedules as early as possible, and using them efficiently to best
communicate with their clients and colleagues. Furthermore, a good schedule has to
provide schedulers and project management team members with an opportunity to
anticipate any risks so that the project management team can prepare countermeasures to
mitigate them.
This book focuses on planning and scheduling for construction projects and presents field-
site-based best practices related to schedule management and Primavera P6, and offers
strategies that utilise scheduling methodologies and tools. These strategies are based on
the theory of schedule management and features of scheduling software packages, which
can be applied in every field site no matter what the construction project type is. This book
introduces examples and tips, as well as suggestions for developing efficient schedules
and management methods that ensure immediate improvement in schedule controlling.
This book is designed to be Primavera P6 user-friendly, so readers using P6 can
understand P6-based schedule management with ease.
This book covers all matters schedulers should know and understand regarding schedule
management. It also includes the missing manuals of schedule management textbooks and
Primavera P6 manuals. Therefore, I recommend that those who want to be a skilled
scheduler make use of this book, along with schedule management textbooks and
Primavera P6 manuals.
I wish you success in schedule management.
Jongpil Nam
Schedule Manager, PMP
kity0607@gmail.com
About the Author
Jongpil Nam

He began his career at Korea Rail Network Authority in South Korea in 1995. As a
scheduling engineer and project planner, he worked on the construction of the Korea
High-Speed Line (an 11 billion USD project) and other sizeable railway construction
projects, cooperating with the staff of Bechtel, Inc.
Between 2011 and 2012, he studied for a masters degree in Railway System Engineering
and Integration at the University of Birmingham, UK. His masters dissertation, entitled
Time Management in Railway Construction Projects, explored efficient ways to develop
and control the master schedule of railway construction projects, and earned him the
University of Birminghams award for Best Technical Dissertation.
Based on his vast experience of project schedule planning and controlling, he published a
book on the subject in 2014, entitled How Railway Systems Work, which introduces
various basic knowledge of railway and railway construction project planning and
controlling methods. The book was adopted as a textbook by Woosong University in
South Korea.
In December 2014 and March 2015, he conducted lectures for government officials at the
Egypt Railway School, which were organised by the Egyptian government. The theme of
these lectures was managing construction schedules for efficient railway construction
projects.
His current job involves managing the master schedule of the Enhancement Programme of
the national railway infrastructure. He lives with his wife, son and daughter.
Contents
OVERVIEW OF SCHEDULE MANAGEMENT
What is schedule management?
Overview of the schedule management process
Schedule and documents typically required for a project
Schedule types in terms of presentation technique
Schedule Management Techniques and Methods
Critical Path Method (CPM)
Earned Value Method (EVM)
Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
Rolling wave planning
Applications for Schedule Management
Primavera P6
MS Project
MS Excel
Primavera Risk Analysis
Project Management Information System (PMIS)
Organisations & Requirements for Schedule Management
Schedule Management Team (Project Management Team) and other departments
Is a scheduler a Primavera P6 operator?
Contract type affects schedule management methodology
Schedule levels and types
Procedures
Schedule-related standards
Schedule management of portfolio and programme
Schedule development process at the programme level
Schedule structure in a multi-contractor project
Preparing to develop a schedule
Defining users and security profiles as well as layouts
Sharing layouts
Settings in P6
Fifteen must-remember keyboard shortcuts in Primavera P6
Settings for a new project
How do P6 users select duration types?
How do P6 users choose Percent Complete Types?
Columns and layouts
Handy Tip Finding missing activities
Handy Tip Customising names of timescale
PLANNING & PUBLISHING
Strategies in planning
Requirement-oriented project management
Schedule-related requirements in contract documents
The dos and donts of developing a schedule
Deceptive schedules are not allowed
Requirements for counterparts
Importing P3 files into P6
Data backup is the most important activity for P6 operators!
Establishing a sandpit database
Easy regular backup
Handy Tip Finding out who has changed a schedule in Primavera P6
Define scope and develop WBS
Advance preparations
Define scope and develop Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Handy Tips Various WBS development methods
Organisation Breakdown Structure and responsibility assignment matrix
Developing schedule management documents
Develop activity list and sequences
Recommendations for activity numbering and naming structure
Ways to rename activity IDs
Creating an activity list (or draft of a schedule) and sequences under a work package
Setting steps
Handy Tip Importing data from Excel to P6
WBS summary activities and level of effort (LOE)
Using filters efficiently
Loading resources
Properties of resources
Role, resource and work crew
Developing a quick S-curve (Top-down resource allocation)
Resource loading (Bottom-up resource allocation)
Monitoring the progress of Physical (deliverables), Units (resources) and Duration
Easy resource loading and project statusing
Handy Tip Erasing all units assigned to activities in one go
Developing activity duration and relationships
Duration units and activity duration estimation
Graphical evaluation and review technique (GERT) for inspections and tests
Schedule contingency
Suspending and resuming an activity
Activity relationships between work packages
Negative value lag (lead)
Handy Tip Removing multiple relationships
Assigning calendars
Working hours per day
Workable days per week
Non-working days of the year
Handy Tip Viewing 12 months at once
Assigning constraints and activity codes
Assigning constraints
Activity codes
Comparing activity codes and UDFs (User Defined Fields) and global change
Handy Tip An easy way to change the order of columns in an activities table
Refining the schedule
Check the basics
Scheduling
Schedule log review
Finding missing relationships
Spatial constraints review
Intentional delay
Levelling resources
What-if scenarios
Analysing the schedule
Defining critical activities
Critical path and near-critical path
Handy Tip Showing near-critical activities graphically
Risks analysis
Handy Tip Finding lag
Remaining early cost curve and payment curve
Organising milestones
Checklist before submitting schedule to client in the planning phase
UPDATING, ANALYSING AND REPORTING
Methodologies and processes of progress updating
Data to maintain in the implementing phase
Communication types for collecting progress data
Collecting progress data by means of XER files
Handy Tip Importing a higher version XER file
Collecting progress data by means of an Excel file
Collecting progress data by means of a Project Management Information System
Updating the schedule
Prior to updating progress in Primavera P6
Progress updating for each type of activity
Summarising and storing period performance
Handy Tip Updating progress (EV) using Activity % complete
Setting the Data date
Technique for computing Performance percent complete
Handy Tip Computing the workload of schedule updating
The reasons why Actual Cost should be updated
Analysing progress
Comparing schedules
Earned Value Method
Payment calculation
Performance analysis
Controlling the revision number of the master schedule
Corrective actions and schedule revising
Activity delay
Delay by retaining logic
Corrective actions for delayed activities
Example of crashing based on Minimum Cost Expediting
Process for revising the project schedule
Reporting
Effective progress report
Developing reports with Primavera P6
Sample monthly progress report
Printing
Probability of on-time project completion
Handy Tip Displaying all activity names when printing out
SCHEDULE-RELATED CLAIMS AND ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES
Delay analysis
As-planned versus As-built
Window analysis method
Impacted As-planned
Time Impact Analysis
Detail process of Time Impact Analysis
Dispute resolution and FIDIC
FIDIC
Schedule-related conditions
Issuing claims
Dispute Adjudication Board (DAB) and the dispute resolution process
Advanced technologies for schedule management
4D schedule management tool
Schedule presenting methodologies Line of balance
XML format
Recommendations for upgrading Primavera P6 PPM
NAM A new approach to analysing the project schedule
Defining the priority of near-critical paths to monitor
Monitoring near-critical paths
Conclusion
APPENICES
Acronyms
Calculation of data fields used in Primavera P6
References
OVERVIEW OF SCHEDULE
MANAGEMENT
What is schedule management?
The aim of schedule management is to complete a project within the timeframe set by a
contract agreement or approved by a project owner. When it comes to contractors, time
management is one of the biggest challenges because:
Delivering projects on time is the top priority, as project claims often centre on
schedule issues.
Time is not procurable, except when contractors procure it by claiming an extension of
time (EOT) for delays caused by the client.
Time passes, no matter what; contractors cannot stop it like they can adjust costs and
resources.
Schedulers are required to develop a project schedule that will be used not only for
managing project time, but also for analysing risks and communicating with all project
participants. Thus, many projects require schedulers to have abundant experience and
knowledge of schedule management.
To develop a reasonable project schedule and manage it efficiently, schedulers use
schedule management methodologies (CPM, EVM, PERT, etc.) and software packages
(Primavera P6, MS Project, MS Excel, Primavera Risk Analysis, etc.). When it comes to
larger projects, it is almost impossible to manage all of the schedule data without software
packages. Sometimes schedule management means utilising scheduling applications based
on the schedule management theories and methodologies.
Thanks to advanced technology, scheduling applications have become more sophisticated.
Accordingly, schedulers have to deal with greater amounts of schedule data, and
understand data flow to manage them. Above all, it is critical to understand the relations
between data; schedulers are sometimes bewildered when they update their schedules only
to find that the project progress does not show what they expected. Figure 1 shows the
structure of progress data for cost in Primavera P6. If a scheduler understands this
structure, he or she can easily find any data that have been input by mistake.
Figure 1 Structure of cost progress data in Primavera P6

OVERVIEW OF THE SCHEDULE MANAGEMENT PROCESS
The schedule management process consists of two phases planning and performing. The
planning stage comprises defining, decomposing, assigning, scheduling, and analysing
processes, as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2 Planning phase

A project starts with the signing of a contract by which quantities of deliverables,


payment and project duration are set.
Based on the contractual documents, the projects objectives, scope of work and
additional requirements are identified.
To find any constraints (contractual dates and benchmarks) to be taken into account in
developing a project schedule, schedulers should carefully review contractual terms
and conditions, as these will be critical in issuing and resolving any project claims
later.
With the requirements and constraints found in the contract conditions, schedulers
decompose deliverables by creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) that will be
the basis for communication between the client and the contractor. Components at the
lowest level of WBS are called work packages, and they should be measurable and
assignable for responsibility assignment, progress monitoring, project controlling, and
communication between project participants.
Organisation breakdown structure (OBS) will be developed based on the project type
and size, and work packages are assigned to it.
The work packages will be divided into tasks (activities) by schedulers or staff at
departments and field sites, or by subcontractors, and activities will be linked with
each other.
Resources (personnel, equipment, or materials) and calendar are assigned to activities
to compute proper durations.
Appropriate activity codes will be assigned to the activities for easy grouping, filtering
and sorting.
To optimise a projects master schedule, schedule engineers have to develop multiple
scenarios to meet the schedule-related requirements suggested by the contract
agreement, considering construction methods, resource and staffing plans, and the
constraints of the workplace.
Prior to being submitted to the project owner or client, the master schedule will be
reviewed to assess schedule-related risks.
After approval from the client or project owner, the master schedule will be issued to
relevant organisations, departments, and project participants (e.g., subcontractors).
Since a project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product or service,
schedulers will experience an iterative planning process (decomposing, assigning,
scheduling, and analysing) before the master schedule is approved by the client or project
owner.
As shown in Figure 3, the performing phase involves four processes actualising,
monitoring, analysing and revising (if necessary).
In the performing phase:
In accordance with the master schedule, departments, field site offices or
subcontractors will perform activities to actualise deliverables; their performance, and
completed and/or progressed deliverables, are monitored periodically.
Based on the collected progress data, schedulers update the schedule and analyse the
project status (scheduled dates and activity progress); the baseline and updated
schedule will be compared to find any variances between planned duration and actual
duration, and planned dates and as-built dates (start and finish).
Figure 3 Performing phase

To evaluate performance with Earned Value Method (EVM) technique, resource


productivity and cost usage are also monitored.
When there is any delay in the project schedule, the impact of the delay will be
analysed; if the delay has been caused by the client, the contractor will prepare
documents to issue a claim for an EOT.
If necessary, the project schedule will be revised; to revise the project schedule, a
scheduler will incorporate approved change orders and prepare a recovery plan (fast-
tracking or crashing) with the help of counterparts at departments, field site offices,
and subcontractors.
During the preparation of a progress report, schedulers will perform additional tasks,
including trends identification and forecasts development.
Then the progress report will be submitted to the client.
Figure 4 illustrates a summary of a typical process of schedule management in terms of
transmitting data, information and reports between organisations.
Figure 4 Typical process of schedule management


SCHEDULE AND DOCUMENTS TYPICALLY REQUIRED FOR A
PROJECT
Below are the documents and information required by clients regarding schedule
management:
Schedule Management Plan This provides outlines for the schedule management of a
project. It generally consists of the schedule management approach, schedule control,
schedule changes and thresholds, scope change, procedures for developing and
changing the schedule and progress monitoring, and standards for creating and
managing schedule data.
Baselines These are the aggregated values of planned progress over the project
period. Theoretically, there are two types of baselines: schedule baseline and cost
baseline. The schedule baseline is used as a basis for measuring the project progress,
and the cost baseline is used for monitoring the monthly payment plan. These baseline
values refer to the Planned Value (PV) in EVM. While applying EVM in progress
monitoring, schedule baseline and cost baseline are not clearly separated.
Schedule (Master Schedule) A schedule typically consists of activities, their dates
(start and finish), and a bar chart. From the perspective of a contractor, the master
schedule and baselines are not separated; however, if client staff is not proficient with
electronic scheduling files, the master schedule and baselines can be processed in
different ways the Master Schedule in P6 format and the baseline in Excel format,
for example.
Network Diagram This shows the relationships between activities, and is used to
judge the impact of predecessors delay. If a schedule is created using scheduling
software, the network diagram is not necessary in deed; however, if the client staff is
not proficient with electronic scheduling files, the diagram should be prepared.
Analysis Report When the master schedule or the project progress report is
submitted to the client, analysis reports for the master schedule are attached. Analysis
is typically performed on critical path and schedule-related risks. Critical path analysis
focuses on finding the critical activities on the critical path which defines the project
duration, as well as the near-critical activities which are not on the critical path but can
become critical activities due to activity delay. Although it is very difficult to find
schedule-related risks, schedulers can manage them with Primavera Risk Analysis, a
software package developed by Oracle.
Regular Progress Report Progress reports are prepared and submitted to the client or
project owner to apprise the project status. The progress report will contain physical
progress (Earned Value), which will be the basis for identifying the actualised
activities and delayed activities and calculating the payment amount. Clients usually
require a monthly progress report and a quarterly progress report, and sometimes a
weekly progress report.
SCHEDULE TYPES IN TERMS OF PRESENTATION TECHNIQUE
As schedule management techniques and tools have been improved, many types of
schedule presentation techniques have also been devised. A project schedule can be
represented as follows:
Figure 5 Sample Gantt Chart
Gantt Chart A type of bar chart (see Figure 5), suggested by Karol Adamiechi in
1896 and independently developed by Henry Gantt in the 1910s, that illustrates the
start and finish dates of activities in a project. The Gantt Chart shows no relationships
between activities, thus it is difficult to check whether start and finish dates are correct
in a mega-scale project; however, current scheduling software packages (Primavera
P6, MS Project, etc.) adopt this schedule representation method assigning relationships
to activities, resulting in automatic date calculation.
Network Diagram This currently uses Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM),
also known as Activity on Node (AON), and was devised to help understand
relationships between activities, as shown in Figure 6. Although scheduling software
has a function to represent a network diagram, this method also has constraints in
illustrating a large number of activities and their relationships. Thus, schedulers
generally use this only when printing out a network diagram to identify the impact of
an activity delay.
Figure 6 Sample Network Diagram

Time-Distance Diagram This is a schedule that has a Y-axis for time scale and an X-
axis for distance, as shown in Figure 7. It is apt for projects with long, narrow sites,
such as railways and roadways. It consists of multiple graphic symbols. Once a user
gets used to the symbols, it becomes easy to understand the whole project and project
status.
Figure 7 Sample Time-Distance Diagram
Computerised Database (or File) Schedule Current schedule management software
packages, such as Primavera P6, MS Project, Primavera Risk Analysis and Tilos, use a
database or file with schedule data used for calculating the start and finish dates of
activities, and graphical representations such as a Gantt Chart, Network Diagram, or
Time-Distance Diagram. Schedule management software packages also allow users to
load resources on activities so that schedulers can manage resources. Figure 8 is a
screenshot of an activity usage profile in Primavera P6 that shows the budgeted cost of
a project, which the financing team can use to develop a financing plan or ask the
project team to make changes to the project schedule in order to meet the S-curve, for
example. The horizontal red line on the lower left indicates funding constraints. Since
a schedule generally has graphic elements, people tend to accept only schedules that
are illustrated graphically; however, for performing tasks correctly and resolving
claims in a dispute, schedule data (start and finish dates, predecessors and successors,
lag and lead, etc.) and progress data (remaining duration, per cent of completion,
actual units, etc.) are more critical than bar chart schedules, diagram schedules, etc.
Schedule and progress data are created with the help of a computerised schedule.
Figure 8 Activity usage profile
Schedule Management Techniques and Methods
Since all schedule-related software packages, contract conditions, and processes and
procedures are based on schedule management techniques and methods, schedulers need
to understand them well.

CRITICAL PATH METHOD (CPM)


Generally speaking, the contract scheduling specifications mandate the use of critical path
method (CPM) in developing schedules for construction projects. An understanding of the
underlying mathematics that form the basis of critical path methodology is a necessary
prerequisite to understanding schedule management and its requisite skills.
CPM is a project planning and scheduling technique to calculate the float of each activity
with forward pass method (FPM) and backward pass method (BPM), revealing the critical
path on which the critical activities lie. The critical path is the longest sequence of
activities in a project schedule (which refers not to the number of activities on a path, but
to their total duration). This defines the duration of the project.
Below is a network schedule (see Figure 9) for an overseas business trip, illustrating how
to define critical activities and calculate early start and finish dates, late start and finish
dates, and the float of each activity using CPM.
Blue boxes show various activities, and each has a letter and a number corresponding to
the activity name and duration, in days. According to the schedule, preparation for the
business trip begins with getting permission for the trip (Activity A) and has three paths
buying a bag, renewing the passport, and booking airs. The traveller has three paths by
which to prepare his journey prior to taking the trip (Activity G).
Figure 9 Schedule for an overseas business trip

Even if he has completed booking (E) and reserving (F) early, he cannot start his journey
because the passport has not been renewed yet a process that takes 11 days to complete.
As a result, the critical path of the schedule is A-D-G and the total duration of the path is
17 days, meaning that the project will take 17 days to complete from the beginning (A) to
the end (G).
What if the duration for renewing his passport decreases to five days? In that case, the
critical path will change from A-D-G to A-E-F-G, and require a total of 13 days. What if
activity B is delayed 10 days, taking 13 days in total, while activity D takes 11 days? In
this case, the path A-B-C-G will become the critical path. As such, duration changes can
change the critical path, which depends on each activitys float. Float, also known as
slack, is the amount of time that an activity can be delayed without causing a delay of the
project completion. The float that does not delay project completion is called total float,
and the float that does not cause a delay of subsequent tasks (successor activities) and
project completion is called free float. The float of each activity can be computed by FPM
and BPM.
Figure 10 Forward pass method

FPM is used to estimate early start and finish dates for each activity. The red numbers
above the boxes in Figure 10 indicate the early start and finish dates of each activity.
Activities B, D and E can begin on day 2 after Activity A is complete, Activity B will be
finished on day 4, and then Activity C can start on day 5. Activity G can begin after all of
the preceding activities (C, D and F) are completed.
Figure 11 Forward pass with SS relationship

When the relationships are start-to-start (SS), the early start date of the successor activity
always depends on that of its predecessor(s). Figure 11 shows an example of FPM, where
activities A and B have FS (Finish-to-start) relationship and activities B and C have SS
relationship. Even though Activity A finishes on 7 May, Activity B may need to start on
12 May due to a lag between activities A and B, or calendar setting including non-
workable days, for example. Consequently, Activity C can start on 12 May because its
predecessor (Activity B) starts on 12 May.
BPM is the opposite of FPM in that it computes the dates by calculating from the final
activity (Activity G). The blue numbers below the boxes in Figure 12 are the late start and
finish dates. Activities C, D and F can be completed on day 12, before Activity G begins,
and Activity C can start on day 11 because it requires two days.
Figure 12 Backward pass method

For finish-to-finish (FF) relationships in BPM, calculation is slightly different. If there are
no successors, the late dates depend on the date of the final activity. Figure 13 shows an
example of BPM, where activities A and B have FS relationship and activities B and C
have FF relationship. Since Activity C has no successors, the late finish date depends on
that of Activity A.
Figure 13 Backward pass with FF relationship

The difference between early start and late start (or early finish and late finish) is called
total float. As mentioned earlier, total float is the float time within which an activity can
be delayed without affecting the completion date of a project. In Figure 12, the total float
of Activity C is 6 days, which means that Activity C can be delayed 6 days without
causing a delay in project completion. On the other hand, Activity D has no float, which
means that if Activity D is delayed, the completion of the project will also be delayed.
Generally, the sequence of activities with zero float is considered the critical path, and the
activities on it are called the critical activities or critical path activities. Thus, the critical
path on the schedule is A-D-G.
In a working schedule that has a calendar set with non-workable days and a lot of
activities with complicated relationships and constraints, a critical activity can have any
number other than zero (0), so Primavera P6 provides two options to find the critical path
Total Float less than or equal to 0 (days) and Longest Path. When you choose
Longest Path, you will find more realistic critical activities.
On the other hand, what if activity F is delayed 7 days? The critical path will be changed
from A-D-G to A-E-F-G, as shown in Figure 14. In a project, the critical path changes
frequently. Therefore, schedulers should continuously monitor and manage any paths that
could become the critical path. The path that has the greatest likelihood to become the
critical path is called the near-critical path, and the activity on the near-critical path is
called the near-critical activity. They all are defined based on the amount of the total float.
Figure 14 Changed critical path

EARNED VALUE METHOD (EVM)


EVM, also known as earned value management, is a project management technique to
measure project performance, progress and cost in an objective manner.
What is value in EVM?
An activitys value can be calculated from its assigned resources or, if there is no resource
assigned, a weight factor based on its relative importance compared with other activities.
Figure 15 shows how to calculate value for each activity the upper table is based on
resources and its quantities and unit price, and the lower table is based on weight. Value in
EVM is presented as money or cost.
Figure 15 Calculating values

In Primavera P6, weight factor is used to assign value to the Steps of an activity. For
instance, if a contract has been made to produce 20 newly designed chairs at 2,000 USD,
each chair can be 100 USD (5%) in terms of value; however, all products are usually
delivered in a lump after going through designing, manufacturing and testing, so the value
(cost) should be restructured as: designing 200 USD (10%), manufacturing 1,200 USD
(60%), testing 400 USD (20%), and delivering 200 USD (10%). Since there is no standard
for defining Steps, schedulers should discuss and define Steps with the client prior to
developing the schedule.
EVM requires three basic values:
Planned Value (PV) PV can be defined as scheduled progress. When developing a
schedule, a scheduler assigns resources (or a weight factor based on cost) to each
activity. After scheduling, an activity will have start and finish dates as well as value
over the activity duration; this is called PV or planned progress.
Earned Value (EV) EV is measured progress for a product on the basis of the
predefined value of deliverables.
Actual Cost (AC) AC is the cost incurred for the actual tasks completed.
In Primavera P6, PV has slightly different definitions. PV is the planned value based on
the data date (DD). The DD is the progress point or as-of date used as the basis for
calculating project progress and remaining durations. You can set the DD when you
schedule the project. PV and EV have different names in Primavera P6 Planned value
cost and Earned value cost, respectively.
Figure 16 Example of computing PV and EV

Figure 16 shows an example of computing PV and EV in Primavera P6. The Budget at


completion (BAC) of an activity is the planned (baseline) cost through its completion and
the Schedule % complete specifies how much of the activitys project baseline duration is
complete as of the project DD. Figure 17 shows how to calculate the Schedule % complete
of an activity. The yellow bar shows the baseline duration, the blue bar is the actual
(progressed) duration, the red bar shows the remaining duration to complete the activity,
and the red vertical dashed line is the DD. As of the DD, the Schedule % complete is
calculated as a (progressed baseline duration) divided by b (the total baseline
duration).
PV is calculated as BAC multiplied by Schedule % complete. The Performance %
complete of an activity is the percentage of its performed work as of the DD. EV is
calculated as BAC multiplied by Performance % complete. And AC is the actual total cost
(labour costs plus non-labour costs plus actual material costs plus expense costs) incurred
leading up to the DD.
Figure 17 Computing Schedule % complete of an activity
To conclude, below are processes through which to use EVM to monitor and analyse the
progress and performance of a project:
The scope of a project is decomposed into numerous tasks and value (budget,
resources, or weight factor) for each task is defined and assigned to each task.
A project baseline (or Planned Value) is established through scheduling.
Then the project progress is measured as of the DD in terms of EVM PV (work
planned to be completed), EV (work actually completed), and AC (cost incurred for
work completed).
SV (Schedule variance) and SPI (Schedule performance index), CV (Cost variance)
and CPI (Cost performance index), Estimate to complete (ETC) and Estimate at
completion (EAC) and others are computed based on these three values (PV, EV and
AC).
PROGRAM EVALUATION AND REVIEW TECHNIQUE (PERT)
PERT was devised to analyse projects that have a lot of uncertainties in scheduling, and to
help reduce risks in schedule management. Based on PERT, the average duration of each
activity will be computed as shown in the equation below.

With the optimistic duration and the pessimistic duration, standard deviation for each
activity can be calculated as shown in the following equation:

Based on average duration and standard deviation, each activity has a Z-score, also known
as a standard score, for target duration as shown in the equation below:
With a Z-score and Standard statistical table (See Figure 18), schedulers can calculate the
probabilities of target durations for each activity. According to the Standard statistical
table, if a Z-score for a certain activity is 0.34 for a target duration, the probability is
63.31%. This means that the activity has a 63.31 % chance of completion for the target
duration.
Figure 18 Standard statistical table for Z-score

The current version of Primavera P6 does not provide a feature to utilise PERT in
calculating activity durations or project duration, while Primavera Risk Analysis, a
software package for schedule analysis, does. Primavera Risk Analysis estimates a project
duration using Monte Carlo Simulation, suggesting probabilities of project completion for
various project duration scenarios. For instance, it shows that the probabilities that a
project is completed on time, a month early or a month late will be 47%, 5%, and 78%,
respectively; however, when applying PERT, schedulers should take into account that:
It is not easy to judge the optimistic duration and the pessimistic duration for each
activity; they vary due to working conditions.
Indeed, duration can be shortened easily by recovery methods such as crashing and
fast-tracking.
ROLLING WAVE PLANNING
Rolling wave planning is a method of scheduling by which tasks to be done in the near
term are planned for a higher summary level. Near-term in construction projects typically
implies several months from the current date, and this technique is frequently used in
mega-sized construction projects with long durations.
When a project begins, a contractor is required to develop a master plan which covers all
components of the project within two or three months. Within such a short duration, it is
not possible to develop a reasonable and robust master schedule that includes all tasks
fully detailed enough to carry out. Thus, the master schedule will first be created as a
summary level schedule. Each month, the contractor will develop the detailed rolling
schedule in which all near-term (e.g., three or four months) tasks are planned to a lower,
discrete level of detail. Activities at a lower level of detail in the rolling schedule include
those that can help schedulers identify project problems, conflicts, and risks.
The rolling wave method is frequently used in gigantic construction projects, as well as
long-term development projects, because it helps schedulers:
Have time to review contractual conditions which should be included in the project
schedule as detailed activities.
Have enough time to take into account on-site situations relevant to staffing, procuring
resources, etc.
Minimise low-level schedule changes.
Applications for Schedule Management
Schedulers deal with many activities every day. Even a small mistake in processing
schedule data can affect the entire project schedule. Thus, schedulers should try to
manipulate schedule data not manually but systematically, or automatically, if possible.
The software packages and add-ins introduced here are used world-wide for schedule
management; they help schedulers deal with schedule data rapidly and prevent them from
making mistakes.

PRIMAVERA P6
P6 is one of the most powerful schedule management tools. As it has a lot of features that
require various data types, its data structure is very complicated, so users need to
understand the structure before using it. There are two types of Primavera P6 products
P6 PPM (Professional Project Management) and P6 EPPM (Enterprise Portfolio Project
Management). P6 EPPM is a web-based application more focused on the enterprise as a
whole strong portfolio management, enterprise dashboards, a future project selection
tool, etc.
On the other hand, P6 PPM is used as a standalone application accessing a locally
installed database, such as Oracle XE or Microsoft SQL Server. It provides a multi-user
system if database server can be shared. The usages and tips in this book will be mainly
for Primavera P6 PPM. Primavera P6 PPM (Release 15.1) has eight menu groups, which
have commends to operate P6, twelve windows, ten dictionaries and lots of dialogue
boxes to control data (see Figure 19).
Figure 19 Screenshot of Primavera P6 PPM (version 15.1)

As various schedule data is manipulated in the windows, users need to know the function
of each window.
Projects Used to view the Enterprise Project Structure (EPS), and to navigate to
specific projects. It provides the programme-level overview of all the schedules that
exist in the Primavera P6 database.
WBS Used to view, create, and manage the databases various work breakdown
structures.
Activities Used to view, create, and modify activities in an open schedule. This
window is used the most, and provides six views: activity details, activity usage
spreadsheet, activity usage profile, resource usage spreadsheet, resource usage profile,
and activity logic.
Resources Used to view, create and manage resource items at a global level.
Properties of resources can be manipulated in this window.
Reports Provides access to the preformatted, text and graphical reports, and to the
report-writing functions.
Tracking Used to display and create tracking layouts for the open project.
Resource assignments Used to view, add, and delete resources assigned to activities.
This window provides a similar view with activity usage spreadsheet of Activities
window.
WPs & Docs Used to create and assign work products (WPs) and documents (Docs)
for an open project.
Project expenses Used to manage indirect costs and expenses for a project.
Risks Used to add, delete, or calculate risks and their impacts for an open project.
The overall risk score varies from 0 to 72 based on the values of three fields:
probability, cost, and schedule. Cost and schedule fields are the impact fields;
whichever is higher is used to compute the score.
Project thresholds Used to add or delete thresholds for an open project. A threshold
is a variance range on a given parameter, such as start date variance, which can be
applied to a specific work breakdown structure element. Thresholds can be used to
monitor performance.
Project issues Used to add, delete, or modify issues for an open project. Issue files
are useful for tracking the ongoing history of a specific activity.
Dictionaries in Primavera P6 PPM have codes and settings to be assigned to projects or
activities. P6 operators can manage codes and settings in the dictionaries, and dictionaries
for calendars, activity step templates, activity codes, user defined fields are commonly
used. If you want to view the dictionaries toolbar, you can select it in Toolbars from the
View menu.
Figure 20 illustrates the hierarchy used in Primavera P6. New projects can be created in
the lowest levels of EPS; these levels will contain different versions (or copies) of the
project. Each project will have a WBS, and its lowest level will be a work package. Under
each work package, activities will be created (some activities have Steps).
Figure 20 Hierarchy in Primavera P6

MS PROJECT
MS Project (see Figure 21) is a schedule management software package with an interface
similar to MS Excel, so any user who is familiar with Excel may easily learn how to use it.
Figure 21 Screenshot of MS Project

It performs almost all the functions Primavera P6 PPM does, with the following
exceptions:
MS Project changes activity numbers automatically when inserting or deleting an
activity, as shown in Figure 22. The original activity numbers of Construction Plan
was 48 but it has been changed to 49 due to an inserted activity (New Task).
MS Project does not allow multiple users to work on a single project at the same time
because it does not operate based on a database. Recently, MS Project has been
upgraded with database functions.
In MS Project, there is no need to separate WBS or activities. Any element at the
lowest level becomes an activity, and accordingly any entity (activity) with child
activities becomes WBS.
MS Project does not have a feature to create Steps for an activity.
Figure 22 Revised activity numbers due to an inserted activity

MS Project is currently used in many projects, so Primavera P6 users will probably


experience using MS Project schedule files from time to time. Indeed, it is impossible to
import files (.mpp) directly from MS Project version 2013 into Primavera P6 version 15.1.
According to Figure 23, XML and XLS formats are the only ones that Primavera P6 and
MS Project users can share; however, XLS formats have limitations in transferring
schedule data, so users mainly use XML.
Figure 23 Exportable and importable format

To import an MS Project file into Primavera P6:


In MS Project, save a schedule with extension XML.
With Primavera P6 open, go to the File menu and click Import.
When the Import dialogue box appears, choose Microsoft Project, select XML, and
then click Next.
Choose the XML file that you have saved and click Next.
In the next dialogue box, add a new template and click Next.
If you click Finish, you will see Primavera P6 start transforming automatically.
Click Close and review the imported schedule to confirm that it looks correct.
MS EXCEL
Put plainly, Excel does not have any features for schedule management; however, it can
play a significant role in schedule management. Although Primavera P6 provides
functions that help schedulers review and analyse schedule and progress data, the features
in the application are limited, while Excel allows users to manipulate data in unlimited
ways. Furthermore, lots of mini applications (with wonderful features), such as XER File
Parser and P6XL Bridge, exist as add-ins in Excel. MS Excel supports the following
features:
Manipulating and importing data It is much easier to create and manipulate schedule
data in Excel than in P6. Most P6 users use Excel to prepare schedule data and P6 to
schedule it.
Dashboard P6 has rudimentary graphic reports. Once you created a dashboard with
graphics in Excel, all you need to do is copy data in P6 and paste it in Excel.
Developing cost curves With Remaining early cost and Remaining late cost,
schedulers can create early cost curves and payment curves in various ways in Excel.
PRIMAVERA RISK ANALYSIS
Primavera Risk Analysis, developed by Oracle, is useful to analyse and find schedule-
related risks in a project schedule, using Monte Carlo simulation for the optimistic
duration, most likely duration, and pessimistic duration of each activity. People use
Primavera Risk Analysis (PRA) because:
It has features to define the probability of success for a project in terms of schedule
(see Figure 24).
Figure 24 The probabilities of success

It helps identify high risk areas in the project schedule and project management to
focus key resources where attention is needed.
It helps schedulers prepare a reasonable mitigation plan on the basis of quantitatively
identified risks.
It provides on-going risk management strategies by reviewing schedule risks in the
implementing phase.
The mitigation plan and the risk management plan that you have prepared on the basis of
risk analysis may help assure your client that you are looking ahead and prepared for any
potential impacts.
Tilos
Tilos is time-location chain scheduling tool showing the status and progress of
deliverables graphically over the project period. It is useful for construction projects which
have narrow and long field sites such as railways and roadways. One of the advantages of
using Tilos is that it can illustrate a graphical schedule (see Figure 25), which allows
schedulers to view the whole project schedule easily and identify any schedule-related
interferences between disciplines.
Figure 25 Time-Distance Chain Schedule

Small applications
The following utilities help P6 users communicate with the P6 database or manipulate
schedule data (they are available on websites and some are free):
XER File Parser An Excel file provided by Oracle that can read the data contained in
a .xer file, and gives the users the ability to modify information and build a new
XER file to import to Primavera P6.
P6XL Bridge An Excel file using the P6 SDK (Software Development Kit) to help
users communicate with P6 SQL database.
XER Reader An Excel Macro file to run DCMA (The USA Defense Contract
Management Agency) 14 point checks. The DCMA 14 Point Metrics were developed
to identify potential problem areas with a contractors master schedule.
ASAP Utilities An Excel add-in that fills the gaps in Excel. When manipulating
schedule data in Excel, it provides users with very convenient functions.
Change Inspector This helps users find updates in P6 XER files, such as activities
added or deleted, dates changed, changes to calendars, etc., by comparing the updated
XER file and original XER file.
XER Manager This helps users see the details of XER files and clean them by
deleting unnecessary data prior to sending to others and/or importing it.
XER Toolkit An Excel add-in that provides a lot of features for XER analysis, such
as statistic of activities, relationships, etc.
If you can use the SDK (Software Development Kit) which is an optional component of
Primavera P6, you will save time because it makes the P6 database available to external
applications.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (PMIS)
Although schedule development is performed by the schedule management team (or
schedulers), progress monitoring requires supports from departments or field site offices.
On some mega-scale projects, the Project Management Information System (PMIS, also
called Progress Management System) is designed for defining Physical (deliverables in
P6) or Steps, helping staff in field site offices input progress data and descriptions of
delay, and illustrating summarised progress for the client.
Figure 26 Screenshot of PMIS (SAP)

In the case of the Korea High Speed Rail project, a progress management system called
KPROMIS was developed around 1998. KPROMIS was a client-server-based system used
in the first section of the line. In 2005 it was converted into a web-based system for the
second section of the line. The database architecture of KPROMIS was designed to be
somewhat simple in order to help schedulers manipulate the database with ease, but it still
provided powerful features.
After establishing or revising the project master schedule, schedule data for progress
monitoring is entered into the system as a planned schedule, which includes the activity
number, activity name, WBS number, WBS name, start and finish dates, and activity
owner name. At the end of every month, activity owners (counterparts at departments or
field site offices) input progress data, which includes actual start or finish dates, per cent
of completion, expected start or finish dates, and reasons for delayed activities and their
recovery plans. Any activity below 85% of performance compared to planned progress
(Physical or Steps) or the activities that have not started or finished on time are identified
as delayed activities. After activity owners complete the updates, schedulers summarise
the project progress and analyse the project status based on the progress data in the
system.
Organisations & Requirements for Schedule
Management
Note that this book frequently explains the concepts and theories of schedule management
from the perspective of a scheduler of a big construction project as if he or she has
numerous field site offices and subcontractors to control at the same time. This standpoint
has been selected because it covers all aspects of schedule management the jobs of
Primavera P6 operators, schedule and progress data collectors, and schedule managers.

SCHEDULE MANAGEMENT TEAM (PROJECT MANAGEMENT


TEAM) AND OTHER DEPARTMENTS
On a big project, the schedule management team generally consists of a planner (or
planning engineer), a lead scheduler, and P6 (or MS Project) operators. The planner is
responsible for defining the work scope of the project and developing WBS identifying
work packages, as well as preparing the progress reports. The lead scheduler and P6
operators work on scheduling, progress monitoring, and schedule updating and
controlling.
The schedule management team cannot manage the project schedule alone. From the
beginning of schedule development to the end of the project, the schedule management
team needs the help of departments, field site offices and subcontractors. Thus, the
member of the schedule management team should frequently communicate with a Project
Manager and staff of other departments and field site offices to lead project schedule
smoothly.
Here are some strategies for building your schedule management team and developing
good relationships with other teams:
Share all information with your team members, as well as their counterparts, including
departments, field site offices and subcontractors.
Secure as many communication channels with your counterparts as you can and
maintain them. The key to schedule management is to communicate effectively with
your counterparts.
Eliminate unnecessary steps or processes in cooperating with other teams.
Record all events related to schedule management, such as submission and approval of
schedule, etc. The records will be useful in issuing claims or resolving disputes.
If possible, produce electronic files instead of paper-based documents. MS Word,
Excel or any other software will help you process electronic files automatically and
systematically all at once, saving time and preventing mistakes. Furthermore, the
electronic files can easily be shared with others.
Remember that any repetitive manual work can be processed automatically without
your effort. By leaving it to the computer, you or your team members can save time
and focus on more productive work.
Do not be afraid to ask your counterparts for help, no matter what kinds of problems
arise (including those related to Primavera P6). No one knows everything.
IS A SCHEDULER A PRIMAVERA P6 OPERATOR?
Schedulers are not just Primavera P6 operators. They should have the ability to depict an
entire project processes (see Figure 27) and control all the activities at the same time
because activities in a project have very close relations with each other, affected by their
predecessors and affecting their successors. A project schedule will be loaded with
resources, and all the risks and issues will be identified there. A scheduler sometimes
needs to take the role of a coordinator between counterparts at departments,
subcontractors, etc. Consequently, schedulers should focus on all areas of a project, not
just time management.
Figure 27 Example of the process of a railway project

Since clients now require more elaborate schedules than they used to, schedulers must
have diverse skills and experiences. Below are the proficiency levels schedulers should
have in using applications (1 is high and 5 is low):
Primavera P6 (or MS Project) 1
MS Excel 2
PMS (or PMIS) schema 2
Primavera Risk Analysis (or Pertmaster) 2
Word and PowerPoint 3
Tilos (for the schedulers of railway or roadway projects) 3
CAD (Computer Aided Drawing) software package 4
CONTRACT TYPE AFFECTS SCHEDULE MANAGEMENT
METHODOLOGY
Since schedule management methodology has a close relationship with payment type for
the contract deposit, schedulers should take the type of contract into account. Contract
types can be categorised as follows:
Fixed-Price Contracts (FPC): The FPC type is commonly used in the construction
industry and provides for a firm price or, in appropriate cases, an adjustable price. This
type includes Firm-Fixed-Price Contracts, FPCs with Economic Price Adjustment,
Fixed-Price Incentive Contracts (ICs), FPCs with Prospective Price Redetermination,
and Fixed-Ceiling-Price Contracts with Retroactive Price Redetermination. Under
FPC, Percent Complete Type of activities in P6 should be Physical.
Cost-Reimbursement Contracts (CRC): The CRC type provides for payment of
allowable incurred costs, to the extent prescribed in the contract. This type includes
Cost Contracts, Cost-Sharing Contracts, Cost-Plus-Incentive-Fee Contracts, Cost-Plus-
Award-Fee Contracts, and Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee Contracts. Based on CRC, Percent
Complete Type of activities in P6 should be Units.
Incentive Contracts (IC): The IC type is appropriate when the required supplies or
services can be procured at lower costs and, in certain instances, with improved
delivery or performance. Under the IC type, some activities will have Physical and
others will have Units for Percent Complete Type, according to task type.
Indefinite-Delivery Contracts (IDC): The IDC type is a contract that does not specify a
firm quantity of supplies or services and provides for the insurance of order for the
delivery of supplies or the performance of tasks during the period of the contract. This
type includes Definite-Quantity Contracts, Requirements Contracts, and Indefinite-
Quantity Contracts. Under IDC, some activities will have Physical and others will
have Units for Percent Complete Type, according to task type.
Time-and-Materials Contracts (TMC): The TMC type is used only when it is
impossible to estimate accurately the extent or duration of the work. Based on TMC,
some activities will have Duration and others will have Units for Percent
Complete Type, according to task type.
Labour-Hour Contracts (LHC): The LHC type is a variation of the TMC, differing
only in that materials are not supplied by the contractor. Under LHC, Percent
Complete Type should be Duration.
SCHEDULE LEVELS AND TYPES
There are three types of schedule levels for different level of reviewers as follows:
Level 3 Schedule A master schedule used by schedulers and the staff of the
departments of a contractor. It will be basis for all measurements, analyses, and
calculations for the project progress and status. The number of activities depends on
the size and characteristics of the project.
Level 2 Schedule Summary schedule of Level 3 schedule. It is used by the staff of
the client. The number of activities is approximately 300 to 500.
Level 1 Schedule Summary schedule of Level 2 schedule. It is reported to the
clients management. To help management understand the whole process of the
project, graphical elements (photos and symbols) or time-distance diagrams can be
used in creating the schedule. The number of activities is approximately 30 to 50.
There may be three types of schedules submitted to the client for review, according to the
contract:
The Initial Schedule A schedule to be submitted at the beginning of a project with a
four- or six-month detail schedule.
The Master Schedule A schedule to be submitted after submitting the Initial
Schedule.
The Detailed Rolling Schedule A schedule covering a two- or three-month detail
schedule. To print a three-month detail schedule, any activities in progress and the
activities that will start or finish within three months can be filtered, as shown in
Figure 28.
Figure 28 Filtering activities


PROCEDURES
In case of construction projects that involve many participants and various organisations
that have numerous contracts to control, and the role of Project Management Consultancy
(PMC) is to coordinate schedules, it is essential to prepare procedures for good
communication in schedule management. Generally, three types of procedures for
schedule management are shared among the project management team and department,
subcontractors, and the client schedule development, progress management, and
schedule change.
Figure 29 Schedule development process

Figure 29 illustrates a schedule development process for a construction project with


multiple contractors. Each coloured area shows the job area to be performed by the Client,
PMC, Supervisor, and Construction Contractors. The rectangles show the tasks for each
team, the arrows demonstrate the flow of information or deliverables, and the blue big
rectangle shows the work scope of the schedule development.
Since the project has multiple contractors, PMC should prepare an Integrated Project
Schedule (IPS), a Level 2 Schedule, in order to integrate with the contractors schedules.
With the IPS, contractors will develop their own Contractor Working Schedules (CWS), a
Level 3 Schedule, to be reviewed by a supervisor. If there is only one contractor in the
project, it is not necessary to prepare the IPS prior to CWS. Instead, CWS serves as the
basis for the IPS. A Milestone Summary Schedule (MSS) is a Level 1 Schedule.
Figure 30 Progress management process
Figure 30 shows a sample progress measurement process in which the coordination
meeting (or a monthly meeting) may be held to review project progress and discuss
critical issues. After executing the tasks, the contractor will input progress data into the
system or update their schedule, and then the supervisor will review the project progress.
If there are any issues related to EOT or changes to the master schedule due to delayed
activities, the contractor will issue a letter to require the EOT and/or prepare a schedule
change proposal. The supervisor will review the schedule change proposal and decide to
accept or deny it. If the supervisor denies it, the contractor should prepare a recovery plan
for delayed activities and their successors to meet the project duration approved by the
client. In the meeting, the client and PMC will review the preliminary monthly progress
report, including the schedule change proposal, if applicable.
Figure 31 Schedule Change process

Figure 31 shows an example of the schedule change process. Schedule changes can arise
due to delayed activities or various requests from the client. On projects that have multiple
contractors, the IPS should be changed before any of the contractors schedules is
changed, in order to best integrate all schedules. All changes to CWS should be reviewed
by the supervisor, who should confirm that CWS have been revised based on the IPS.
SCHEDULE-RELATED STANDARDS
For easy schedule management, a project team needs to prepare schedule-related standards
or criteria that will be shared with counterparts at departments, field site offices, and
subcontractors. Details will be introduced in later chapters.
Structure for schedule levels
Structure for schedule revision number
Structure for WBS IDs and names
Structure for activity IDs and names
Creating and erasing activities
Activity duration, relationships and constraints
Setting calendars
Baseline maintenance
Schedule management of portfolio and programme
PMI (2013) suggests a hierarchy of strategic plans, portfolios, programmes, projects and
sub-projects, as shown in Figure 32. Each level of the hierarchy is a collection of its lower
levels. Portfolios or programmes do not need to be interdependent or directly related to
each other, while projects and sub-projects are essential elements of their higher levels,
and have close relationships with other elements at the same level.
Figure 32 Hierarchy of portfolios, programmes and projects

The role of managers for schedule management at each level is different. Project managers
or sub-project managers have full responsibility for their projects or sub-projects schedule,
and they try to trade off between time and cost to complete their tasks on time and within
the budget. On the other hand, portfolio managers and programme managers are only
interested in the necessity and the completion dates of their programmes and projects.
While the responsibilities of project managers and sub-project managers begin after a
project charter is issued or a contract is made, that of portfolio managers and programme
managers begins before a project is created and mainly focuses on study to decide whether
to begin a programme or a project. Thus, schedulers at the programme level have a
different approach towards schedule management.

SCHEDULE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS AT THE PROGRAMME


LEVEL
Mega-scale infrastructure construction projects, such as housing complex development
and conventional railway construction, consist of numerous sections and require various
disciplines. Such projects should be redefined as programmes because they involve
multiple contractors that can be defined as a project.
Figure 33 illustrates the approach to developing the programme master schedule, which is
a collection of the project schedules. First, the programme management team prepares a
draft programme schedule that is created with assumptions such as approximate project
scope, budget and schedule. Next, each project team develops its own schedule based on
the draft schedule. When developing a project schedule, the activities that need to be
linked with other activities in other projects have to be documented. After collecting
schedules from the project teams, the programme management team will put them
together into a master schedule template and connect activities as per the documented
relationships prepared by the project teams. If the draft master schedule does not meet the
programme duration, the programme management team will communicate with project
teams to adjust the schedules. When schedule adjustment is complete, a new master
programme schedule will be published. With the master programmed schedule, each
project team will develop its detail master schedules.
Figure 33 Programme schedule development process


SCHEDULE STRUCTURE IN A MULTI-CONTRACTOR PROJECT
As mentioned above, coordinating schedules between projects is one of the biggest issues
for schedulers of a programme management team in a multi-contractor project or multi-
disciplinary programme. Thus, they need to set a hierarchy of schedules as follows:
MSS MSS is the highest level of schedule to manage a programme or a multi-
contract project. It is created based on the IPS and includes only the major milestones
of projects.
IPS IPS is the second level of schedule used by schedulers of a programme
management team.
CWS CWS the lowest level of schedule developed by contractors based on the IPS
and will be a part of contractual documents.
Preparing to develop a schedule
There are lots of settings and options in Primavera P6. Each setting and option affects the
schedule; thus, prior to developing the schedule, schedulers need to understand the options
and settings in order to develop an appropriate schedule and manage it with ease.

DEFINING USERS AND SECURITY PROFILES AS WELL AS


LAYOUTS
Prior to planning, the users who will operate Primavera P6, as well as its security profiles,
should be defined. If the P6 database is shared among P6 users on a big project, users can
be classified as follows:
P6 users of the schedule management team They should have all privileges to access
and control the database.
Counterparts at departments, field site offices, and subcontractors They should have
privileges to update the progress of their own activities only.
Counterparts at the client They should have privileges to view P6 data only.
Primavera P6 provides features to configure screen layouts and save those settings for
reuse. Schedulers, clients and staff in field site offices should prepare different layouts that
allow P6 users at different levels to set layouts according to their use of P6. The client will
use P6 to view the project schedule and progress, while staff in field site offices will use it
to input progress data. To develop the layout for each counterpart, filter, columns, and
bottom view should be set, which helps narrow down the data to be viewed in P6.
For counterparts at departments, field site offices, and subcontractors:
Filter To filter the activities which belong to a certain counterpart, you have to create
Activity codes for the responsibilities for each counterpart, assign them to activities,
and then use Filter function to narrow down activities to view.
Columns Columns in the activities table should include Activity ID, Activity Name,
Original duration, Start, Finish, Performance % complete, Variance-BL project
duration, Variance-BL project start date, and Variance-BL project finish date.
Bottom view Activity details should have Status, Relationships, Resources, Steps,
Expenses, Notebook, Risks, and WPs & Docs.
For counterparts at the client:
Filter Filter setting should be All Activities.
Columns Columns in the activities table should include Activity ID, Activity name,
Original duration, Start, Finish, At completion duration, Performance % complete,
Planned value cost, Earned value cost, AC, Schedule variance, and Schedule
performance index.
Bottom view The Activity usage profile should be displayed. You have to customise
the shape of the Activity usage profile for the client.
SHARING LAYOUTS
Sharing layouts with other P6 users is easy. Follow the steps below to share your layout
files:
Set the current view by adjusting filter, activity columns, and bottom view, and then
save the current view by selecting Save layout as in the View menu.
Open the layouts dialogue box by clicking Open of Layouts in the View menu.
When you get a pop-up asking you to save changes to the current layout, select No if
you do not want to save it.
Select the layout to export and hit the Export button in the dialogue box.
Choose what to name the file and where to save it. You will see the file you have just
saved with extension .plf.
Now you can email that file to your colleagues.
Recipients can import the file into their Primavera database as follows:
Save the .plf file that you have received to your computer.
Open the layouts dialogue box by selecting Open of Layouts in the View menu.
When you get a pop-up asking you to save changes to the current layout, select No if
you do not want to save it.
Hit Import in the dialogue box, and select the saved file.
Name the layout and save it.
Choose the layout in the Open layout dialogue box and hit the Open button to use it.
SETTINGS IN P6
Primavera P6 provides schedule engineers with multiple options to help them organise and
manage project activities properly. When setting options in Primavera P6, users should
take into account the contract type and the current project phase. P6 users can set the
following options:
Admin Preferences (Admin menu)
Time Periods All durations in P6 are stored as hourly-based data. Hours/Day in the
option Hours per Time Period is for specifying the number of work hours for a given
day. If Hours/Day is eight, five to twelve hours will be shown as one day due to
rounding. Accordingly, 13 to 20 hours will be two days.
Earned Value Users should specify methods for computing performance percent
complete, Estimate to Complete (ETC), and the Earned Value from a baseline use.
Industry This option is for selecting terminology and default calculation settings
according to industry types.
Admin categories (Admin menu)
P6 users can add or delete types and categories for baseline, expense, WBS, document,
risk, and notebook. Types will be used for defining the type of each item.
Units of Measure Users can add or delete units of measure for weight, length, area,
and volume. Units defined in this option will be used as units of resources, especially
for materials.
Currencies (Admin menu)
P6 users can add or delete currency types. For viewing monetary values in the
schedule or report, you can select Currency in the Currency tab of User Preferences in
the Edit menu.
User preferences (Edit menu)
Time Units For choosing time formats for resources and activities. Units Formant is
for setting the time unit of resources and Durations Format is for setting the time unit
of activity duration (see Figure 34). If you select Day for Durations Format, activity
durations will show day-based durations.
Dates For selecting date format, 24-hour format, 4-digit year, and etc.
Currency For choosing a currency for viewing monetary values.
Figure 34 User preferences dialogue box


FIFTEEN MUST-REMEMBER KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS IN
PRIMAVERA P6
There are 29 keyboard shortcuts in Primavera P6 PPM (version 15.1). Among them, the
following 15 shortcuts are most commonly used:
Commit changes to the database F5
Refresh screen data from the database F10
Schedule F9
Re-schedule F9 + Enter
Level resource Shift + F9
Spell-check F7
Search Ctrl + f
Search and replace Ctrl + r
Undo last action Ctrl + z
Fill down a value Ctrl + e
Select all objects Ctrl + a
Delete the selected objects Delete
Cut/Copy/Paste an object Ctrl + x / Ctrl + c / Ctrl + v
SETTINGS FOR A NEW PROJECT
Prior to creating a new project, you must organise the EPS of the Enterprise menu group.
The EPS is the hierarchical structure of the database of projects, which helps P6 users
group and organise projects in a manner meeting the organisations needs. When
constructing EPS, it is recommended that the lowest level of EPS be rooms where various
versions of a project will lie. It is very convenient to put all versions of a project under the
same room, such as the latest baseline and old baselines, current version and backups, and
reflection versions. Below are naming structures and sample names for each version of a
project:
Baselines: Project name + B01 (baseline version) + purpose (e.g., approved) + date
= Korea High Speed Line B01 Approved 05 Jun 2017.
Backup: Project name + Backup + purpose (e.g., submitted) + date = Korea High
Speed Line Backup Submitted to client 10 Aug 2017.
Reflection versions: Project name + Reflec. + status (sent/from) + counterpart + date
= Korea High Speed Line Reflec. Sent Seoul office 20 Nov 2017.
Status in the reflection version name indicates whether the schedule has been sent out or
received. Reflection versions are created to update the schedule; a scheduler on a project
management team creates it and sends it to counterparts at departments, field site offices,
and subcontractors, and they update the project progress and send it back to the scheduler.
After comparing the updated file with the original and confirming there are no problems,
the scheduler reflects it to the original.
After creating a new project, you can set six options in the Project window General,
Dates, Defaults, Settings, Calculations, and Resources. If you cannot view any of those
tabs, you can customise tabs. Many options for activities lie in the Defaults tab. The
following options in the Defaults tab are related to schedule management tactics. (The
options in the Defaults tab are for new activities only; thus, changing this setting does not
affect existing activities.)
Duration Type affects the correlation between duration, units/time (performance), and
units. There are four types of duration, and each type is used for a different purpose
Fixed Duration & Units (FDU), Fixed Duration and Units/Time (FDUT), Fixed
Units (FU), and Fixed Units/Time (FUT). FDU and FDUT are generally used in the
construction phase, while FU and FUT are generally used for developing scenarios in
the planning phase.
Percent Complete Type defines the actual progress of an activity. The option has three
types Duration, Physical, and Units. Under the fixed price type contract, Physical is
recommended.
HOW DO P6 USERS SELECT DURATION TYPES?
Duration type determines the relations between remaining duration, units assigned to
activity, and remaining units per time as follows:
Fixed Units/Time This is used if the activity has fixed productivity output per time
period. When the duration of an activity with this type increases, the amount of
budgeted labour units also increases while resource units per time remain constant.
Fixed Units This is used when the amount of the units is fixed. Decreased units per
time causes the activity duration to increase. When a user updates the duration or units
per time, the units remain constant.
Fixed Duration and Units/Time This is used when the duration and resource
performance have constraints.
Fixed Duration & Units This is used when the duration and the amount of the
resources have constraints.
In order to choose the appropriate duration type in accordance with schedule management
tactics, schedulers must first understand following formula:
In the implementation phase:
When duration is shortened, performance (Units/Time) should increase in order to
complete the planned quantities (Units) on time [1].
When performance decreases, duration will increase [2].
When the quantity decreases, duration will decrease because a client will probably
require to complete the tasks earlier [3].
On the other hand:
When duration increases, performance will decrease [4].
When performance increases, duration will decrease [5].
When the quantity increases, performance should increase because a client generally
will require to complete the tasks on time by increasing performance [6].
In the perspective of mentioned above, Fixed Units seems more desirable. Figure 35
demonstrates the correlation between duration, performance (units/time), and quantity
(units). The basis activity is A0000 (Original) with 12 days, 32 units/time, and 384 hours
(units).
Figure 35 Changes according to duration types

However, in terms of schedule management, Fixed Units is not a good choice because:
Doubled Units/Time does not always mean double performance and schedulers do not
care changes of Units/Time but those of durations or units.
Durations or units should not be changed unexpectedly because successor activity
owners can hardly follow up predecessor activities change. The duration of the
activity with Fixed Duration & Units type only will not change when units change, and
vice versa.
To conclude, Fixed duration & units is recommended in the implementation phase, and is
commonly used in managing schedules.
HOW DO P6 USERS CHOOSE PERCENT COMPLETE TYPES?
Percent Complete is an estimate of the amount of work that has been completed on an
activity. In Primavera P6, each activity must have one of the following Percent Complete
types:
Duration Used when progress for the activity can best be reported based on original
planned work days and scheduled work days remaining. In other words, if an activity
had an original duration of 10 working days, and it is estimated that there are four
work days remaining, the activity is estimated to be 60 % complete. This is computed
as:

Physical Used for activities whose progress can be assessed most accurately based
on the complete of deliverables. This is calculated as:

Units Used when actual work effort accomplished and actual work effort remaining
can be used to accurately represent progress for the activity. For example, if an activity
was allotted 100 hours of work and the contractor has spent 30 hours, the activity is
estimated at 30 % complete. This is computed as:

Each activity must have one of the Percent Complete types in accordance with its task
types. So, what type of Percent Complete should be assigned to each activity? To answer
the question, it is necessary to consider the clients point of view. Duration and units are
not usually important for clients because:
Duration is not what the client wants to get, although Duration can be an element of
the clients requirements.
Units are the quantity of resources that a contractor will spend. On the other hand,
there are some contract types that require monitoring units to estimate payment.
Physical in Primavera P6 represents deliverable for which the client has made contract
and the client will pay in accordance with complete of deliverables. Progress data of
Physical indicates EV in EVM in case of that Physical is selected in Activity complete
option. Figure 36 illustrates the relations of progress data and deliverables. As previously
mentioned, what client wants to get is the information about completed quantities
(completed deliverables) on time and it will be indicated by means of EVM EV and PV.
PV is calculated from schedule (actually, activities loaded with resources) and EV comes
directly from Activity complete that is indicated from one of Physical, Units, and
Duration. For instance, if an activity has Physical for its Percent Complete type, value of
Physical will be that of Activity complete for the activity. When schedule is updated,
values of completed deliverables, spent units, and elapsed time will be progress of
Physical, Units, and Duration respectively. In conclusion, Physical of Percent Complete
is frequently recommended in construction projects.
Figure 36 Relations of progress data and deliverables

If EV and activity percent complete are not linked together, please check EV preference in
Admin Preferences at Admin menu (See Figure 37).
Figure 37 Earned Value preference

When choosing an activity percent complete type, you must check the activity
characteristics.
Physical is generally used to assign Percent Complete Type. Since there is no standard
measurement method for Physical, you must determine, with the client, weight for
each process. If you cannot use steps in the schedule, please check the option Activity
percent complete based on activity steps in Calculations in the Project window.
Units is usually used for Cost-Reimbursement Contracts that provides for payment of
allowable incurred costs.
Duration is assigned to the activities that are not component of deliverables and do not
have resources. It is generally used for activities in Labour-Hour Contracts.
COLUMNS AND LAYOUTS
Since Primavera P6 users change columns set in the activities table frequently, the
columns should be saved as a layout. Saved layouts help P6 users save time when setting
columns; however, users tend to make lots of layouts unnecessarily for columns set. If
there are numerous layouts, it may be difficult for users to determine which columns a
layout has based on the layout name. In that case, it is best to print out a layout list with
each items columns set and keep it on your desk for reference.
Below are the columns and filter sets needed in each layout. Note that all layouts must
have an Activity ID and Activity Name.
When developing a new schedule, use:
Remaining duration: To view the duration assigned to activities.
Start: To view the assigned start date of activities on the basis of schedule logic.
Finish: To view the assigned finish date of activities based on the remaining duration
of activities.
Calendar: To assign a calendar to activities.
Activity codes: To assign activity codes to activities.
When analysing constraints, use:
Primary constraint: To view the primary constraint assigned to activities.
Primary constraint date: To adjust the primary constraint date assigned to activities.
Secondary constraint: To view the secondary constraint assigned to activities.
Secondary constraint date: To adjust the secondary constraint date assigned to
activities.
When analysing the critical path, (filter critical activities by selecting Critical in the filter
dialogue box), use:
Performance % compete: To view the current progress.
Actual duration: To view the actual time spent on activities. This is the total working
time from the actual start date to the data date for in-progress activities, or the actual
finish date for completed activities.
Remaining duration: To view the amount of time to be spent on activities.
Start: To view the assigned start date of activities on the basis of schedule logic.
Finish: To view the assigned finish date of activities based on the remaining duration
of activities.
Total float: To view the level of criticality of activities.
To look ahead, filter activities using the filter dialogue box as shown in Figure 38, and set
columns to When analysing critical path.
Figure 38 Filtering activities to look ahead

When comparing a schedule with the baseline, use:


Performance % complete: To view the current progress.
At completion duration: To view the forecast duration of activities.
Start: To view the assigned start date of activities on the basis of schedule logic.
Finish: To view the assigned finish date of activities on the basis of the remaining
duration of activities.
Schedule % complete: To view the baseline % complete status of activities.
BL project duration: To view the baseline duration of activities.
BL project start: To view the baseline start date of activities.
BL project finish: To view the baseline finish date of activities.
Variance BL project duration: To view the difference between activities baseline
durations and the current schedule.
Variance BL project start date: To view the difference between activities baseline
start dates and the current schedule start date.
Variance BL project finish date: To view the difference between activities baseline
finish dates and the current schedule finish date.
When analysing near-critical activities, filter activities using the filter dialogue box as
shown in Figure 39, and set columns to When analysing critical path.
Figure 39 Filtering near-critical activities

When assigning resources, use:


Performance % complete: To view the current progress.
At completion duration: To view the forecast duration of activities.
Start: To view the assigned start date of activities based on schedule logic.
Finish: To view the assigned finish date of activities on the basis of the remaining
duration of activities.
Budgeted labour cost: To view the cost of labour resources assigned to activities.
Budgeted total cost: To view the cost of labour and non-labour resources as well as
resources assigned to activities.
When setting columns in the resource tab, use:
Resource name: To view resource names.
Remaining units/time: To view the amount of resources per time available to work on
an activity.
Price/unit: To view resource prices.
Budgeted units: To view planned units to be spent on an activity.
Actual units: To view actual labour units spent by resources on an activity.
Remaining units: To view outstanding labour units to be spent by resources on an
activity.
Budgeted cost: To view the planned cost of resources assigned to activity.
Actual cost: To view the cost incurred by resources assigned to an activity.
Remaining cost: To view the outstanding cost to be spent by resources assigned to an
activity.
When reviewing Earned Value, use:
Performance % complete: To view the current progress.
At completion duration: To view the forecast duration of activities.
Start: To view the assigned start date of activities based on schedule logic.
Finish: To view the assigned finish date of activities on the basis of the remaining
duration of activities.
Schedule % complete: To view the baseline % complete status of activities.
BL project duration: To view the baseline duration of activities.
BL project start: To view the baseline start date of activities.
BL project finish: To view the baseline finish date of activities.
Planned value cost: To view the budgeted cost of work scheduled.
Earned value cost: To view the budgeted cost of work performed.
Actual cost: To view the actual cost of work performed.
Schedule variance: To view the difference between achieved schedule performance
and planned schedule performance.
Schedule performance index: To view how the progress of work performed compares
to the progress of work planned.
Cost variance (or Accounting variance): To view the difference between the spent cost
of work performance and planned cost performance.
Cost performance index: To view how the cost of work performed compares to the
cost of work planned.
Estimate at completion cost: To view the forecast cost at completion of activities.
Budgeted at completion: To view the planned cost at completion of activities.
Variance at completion: To view the difference between the forecast cost at completion
of activities and the planned cost at completion of activities.
To complete performance index: To view the projection of the future cost performance
required to achieve either BAC or EAC cost.
HANDY TIP FINDING MISSING ACTIVITIES
When opening your project, you may find that all activities are missing. They are actually
not missing. Check the filter status as shown in Figure 40. If the status is not All
Activities, check All Activities in the Filters dialogue box (see Figure 41). Activities
are never missing until you delete them.
Figure 40 Filter status

Figure 41 All activities

HANDY TIP CUSTOMISING NAMES OF TIMESCALE


You can customise the names of timescale in the chart area as shown in Figure 42 M 1,
M 2, and M 3.
Close Primavera P6.
Find the file comStrins.en-us at c:\Program Files (x86)\Oracle\Primavera P6\P6
Professional\Languages.
Backup the file before opening it.
Open the file and find the strings 4251|JAN.
Change JAN as you want like M 1, for example, as well as other month names.
Run Primavera P6. You will find the names of the months have changed.
You can customise other strings by changing strings in the file.
Figure 42 Customising timescale
PLANNING & PUBLISHING
Strategies in planning
In planning process, a Project Master Schedule is developed. For better schedule
development, schedulers should take the following strategies into account:
Schedule methodology, technique, and tools should be documented and approved for
efficient communications.
Schedulers should spend enough time defining the work scope and developing WBS to
reduce the need for rework on scheduling. In other words, if the work scope is changed
or redefined, WBS and activities should also be changed or redefined.
WBS in a schedule should cover 100% of the scope. WBS is not a collection of the
tasks but of the deliverables.

REQUIREMENT-ORIENTED PROJECT MANAGEMENT


Beginners in Primavera P6 have difficulty scheduling not because they do not know
schedule management theories or how to operate P6 but because they do not fully
understand project management. To understand the properties of schedule management
and apply them in the workplace, it is essential to look over the nature of project
management first. Project management requires various techniques and tools to tackle
requirements suggested by a project owner, a client, or stakeholders. A construction
project has a clear target building or infrastructure designed to provide a function or
service, which will be delivered in terms of requirements for: (1) the object itself, (2) the
object-related or project-related information produced during the project lifecycle
(maintaining documents, drawings, and records), and (3) the manner of working.
(1) Deliverables shall be completed with designed physical quantities meeting a
predefined level of quality.
(2) All documents (plans, drawings, specifications, calculations, etc.) and records
produced during the project period shall be stored and maintained systematically, and
the documents for maintenance work for buildings or infrastructure (plans, procedures,
criteria, manuals, etc.) shall be prepared.
(3) All activities relevant to the project shall be performed according to laws, regulations,
HSE (Health, Safety, and Environment), procedures, codes, etc.
Figure 43 Satisfying clients requirements
Figure 43 shows an example of a flow satisfying a clients requirements in a construction
project. The client will be satisfied with deliverables that meet appropriate quantities and
quality codes, and these should be completed as planned. Appropriate quantities will be
achieved by design review, and completed as planned will be accomplished through
schedule control. As for quality management, there are two categories correctable and
uncorrectable items in the test and commissioning phase. An uncorrectable item, for
example, would be concrete strength that cannot be estimated accurately after concrete
work is completed. Even if concrete strength of structure could be measured correctly in
the test phase, reworking columns or girders would cause serious problems for the
contractor, as well as the client, if they later fail to meet a quality code. Thus, this type of
work must be monitored, checked, and tested by a supervisor in the constructing phase. In
the test and commissioning phase, punch lists will be made for items that have failed to
pass the test, and these items will undergo corrective actions until they pass the test.
On the other hand, a project manager will have the budget and time to complete a project.
Even though budget and time can be defined as resources, they can be also constraints
(requirements) for the project manager and project participants at the same time because a
project has to be completed within the timeframe and budget defined by the contract
agreement. Project management can be defined as a process by which to actualise the
planned deliverables and tackle requirements.
When a contract is settled between a client and a contractor, the client has the authority to
be delivered the target building or infrastructure, and the responsibility to pay for it. The
contractor has the responsibility to complete the required deliverables on time in a proper
manner, and the authority to receive the amount of money stated in the contract.
Therefore, from the contractors point of view, requirements can be categorised as follows:
Deliverables physical quantities satisfying quality codes, documents, and anything
for stakeholders interests.
Constraints budget, schedule (duration) and any required constraints from clients or
stakeholders.
Manner of working laws and regulations, HSE, and codes.
In dealing with scheduling and monitoring progress, schedule engineers should be most
concerned with quantities, budget, and schedule. In order to understand the options set in
Primavera P6, readers should remember that physical quantities belong to requirements
for deliverables, while budget and schedule (duration) belong to constraints.
SCHEDULE-RELATED REQUIREMENTS IN CONTRACT
DOCUMENTS
Below are the major schedule-related requirements that you may find in contract
documents:
Submission of the Initial Schedule This shall have detail tasks for the first four
months (or six months) of the project, including an outline for the remaining period of
the contract.
Submission of the Master Schedule This shall have the Inception reporting,
designing, procuring, manufacturing, constructing, fitting out, testing, and
commissioning, as well as initial maintenance tasks, if necessary.
Submission of the two-month (or three-month) detail schedule The contract shall
submit the two-month detail schedule using rolling wave planning technique at the end
of every month.
Methodology Schedules shall be computed by CPM (Critical Path Method) using the
Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM).
Software and version Schedules shall be prepared using CPM scheduling software
(Primavera P6 or MS Project).
Schedule Analysis Report (SAR) SAR shall include assumptions, risks, constraints,
WBS dictionary, etc.
Calendar The calendar shall include all public holidays and non-work days. Non-
work days generally reflect weather conditions, such as temperature, snow, rain, and
wind.
Activity duration limitation Activity shall not have a duration of more than 20 work
days (or 30 work days), for example.
Progress measurement methodology The contractor shall suggest methodologies for
monitoring, controlling and updating schedules.
Resource Activities shall be loaded with resources.
Organisation Breakdown Structure (OBS) An OBS dictionary with responsibilities
shall be prepared.
Responsibility The contractor shall assign activities to departments, engineers, field
site offices and subcontractors.
Start-to-Finish (SF) relationship Use of SF relationships shall be avoided.
Constraints Only the constraints provided by the client shall be assigned to activities.
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Schedules shall be organised in a logical WBS.
Activity number Activity numbers shall reflect the high level of WBS numbers.
Activity code If any activity codes are provided by the client, they shall be used in
the schedules.
Monthly Progress Meeting (MPM) MPM shall be held to review monthly progress
and performance regularly.
Monthly Progress Report (MPR) MPR shall be submitted covering all aspects of the
execution of tasks: schedule (actually started and finished activities, and delayed
activities and reasons), EV analysis (PV, EV, AC, ETC, EAC, etc.), photographs,
issues of the three-month rolling schedule.
THE DOS AND DONTS OF DEVELOPING A SCHEDULE
It is important to establish dos and donts in developing schedules, and to share them with
the schedule management team because schedule management requires schedulers to deal
with a lot of schedule-related data in a limited time. Following are dos and donts that
clients usually suggest for efficient schedule management:
Activity
Activity name Since activities are tasks for work packages, they should have unique
names that include a verb; for example, Prepare shop-drawings for the fifth floor.
Additionally, work packages should clarify the target deliverable without verbs.
Less abbreviations in names The more abbreviations in the names, the greater the
potential for confusion. If you want to use abbreviations, share the abbreviation list
with others.
Uniformity in naming structure Standards should be prepared for developing activity
descriptions.
Activity relationship
Relationship All activities should be linked to identify critical activities and calculate
the project duration. Some clients suggest that the number of activities without
predecessors and/or successors should not exceed 5% of the total activities, while
others allow the project start and finish milestone to have one successor or predecessor
activity.
Relationship types There are four types of activity relationships (Finish-to-Start
[FS], Start-to-Start [SS], Finish-to-Finish [FF], and Start-to-Finish [SF]), and some
clients require that at least 90% of the total predecessor relationships to total activities
be the FS type, while others ban the use of the SF type.
Lag Some clients prohibit using lag, while others allow less than 5% of activities
with lags.
Lead (negative lag value) Since leads can distort the total float and the critical path,
and cause resource conflicts, they are not allowed in the schedule.
Constraints
Hard constraints (Must Start On, Must Finish On, Start On or Before + Start On or
After, and Finish On or Before + Finish On or After) Some employers maintain that
more than 5% of the total activities are not allowed to have hard constraints because
they prevent activities from moving forwards or backwards as per changes of
predecessors dates.
Permitted constraints It is recommendable to assign the permitted constraints not to
activities but to milestones.
Miscellaneous
High float High float can be defined as the floats outnumbering 44 working days.
Some clients allow less than 5% of the total activities to have high float.
High duration High duration can be defined as the duration outnumbering 44
working days. Some employers allow less than 5% of the total activities to have high
duration.
Splitting activities Some scheduling software provides a feature for splitting
activities; however, some clients require contractors not to use it because split
activities can distort the critical path. Instead, contractors should separate an activity
into two.
DECEPTIVE SCHEDULES ARE NOT ALLOWED
Some skilled schedulers (claim-oriented contractors) use numerous methods to create
deceptive schedules to their advantage in solving disputes, as follows:
Illogical activity relationships Schedulers can pull forward or push back an activity
by assigning unnecessary relationships to activities.
Calendar manipulation Schedulers can extend or shorten the calendar duration of
activities by assigning inappropriate calendars to them.
Lead-lag manipulation Schedulers can make change to the start date of an activity by
assigning lead or lag to relationships.
Over-progressing Schedulers can distort the total per cent of completion by over-
progressing activities that are on the critical path but have large weight (budget).
However, if their intention is not for claims but to encourage the project team members to
meet the project deadlines, manipulations may be excusable. To inspect and prevent
deceptive schedules with evil intentions, clients should perform schedule validation and
schedule auditing.
Schedule validation is an external evaluation to ensure that a schedule is correct in its
scope and assumptions, as well as free from pitfalls. Validation occurs when the initial
or revised baseline schedule is submitted prior to the start of any tasks. An inspection
should ensure that the schedule incorporates appropriate construction methods,
calendars, production rates, and resource availability compatible with the environment,
as well as review that its goal is meeting the projects requirements in terms of scope,
time and resources.
Schedule auditing should occur several times during the execution phase of the project
in order to maintain transparency in the schedule by ensuring that the project has
proceeded according to plan, and that the progress in the period has impacted the
project completion date.
REQUIREMENTS FOR COUNTERPARTS
From the standpoint of a scheduler who needs to exchange XER files and collect progress
data, it is important to establish requirements to control the project schedule produced or
updated by counterparts. Below are recommended requirements for counterparts to follow:
Duration type of each activity should be Fixed duration & units because the dates of
this type do not change when units and performance (units/time) change.
Percent complete types for each activity should be Physical because this type
indicates the progress of deliverables.
Hours per time period in Admin preferences should be set to Primavera P6s default
because changing one of the options may change activity durations and dates.
Critical activities shall be on the longest path (scheduling option).
Activity ID and name should follow Activity ID structure and naming standards.
Exchanging XER files involves the risk of making your Primavera P6 database become
entangled with global data coming along with XER files from your counterparts. Below
are XER data that will update your database but you may not want to: WBS IDs and
names, activity codes and code values, relationships to external projects, calendars, work
products and documents, project expenses, issues and risks, and thresholds. Therefore, the
following requirements should be added:
Activity codes should be Project level because Global activity codes can overwrite
each other.
Calendars should be Project level because Global calendars with the same name can
overwrite other project calendars.
Exchanging Excel files instead may prevent spoiling your database; however, you cannot
import all data this way. Below are the data you can import (more data types can be
imported in three areas resources, resource assignments, and expenses):
Activity area Activity IDs and names, activity codes, actual start and finish dates,
primary and secondary constraint and its dates, original and remaining durations,
calendar names, WBS codes, activity status, percent complete type, activity %
complete, variance-BL project labour and non-labour units, and variance-BL 1 labour
and non-labour units.
Relationship area Relationship type, predecessor and successor, predecessor free
float, and lag.
IMPORTING P3 FILES INTO P6
Sometimes schedulers refer to or use historical schedules. What if you have a P3 format
file and you are now operating only Primavera P6 (Version 8.0 or higher)? When no
version of Primavera P3 is installed in your computer, the option for P3 importing in the
Import dialogue box is not activated. To import P3 files to Primavera P6, follow the steps
below:
Search for W32MKDE.exe and other files in the website and download it in your
computer. (The files may be zipped.)
When you unzip them, you will find the instruction file and other files.
Follow the instructions to make folders C:\P3WIN, C:\P3WIN\P3OUT,
C:\p3win\P3PROGS, C:\P3WIN\P3WORK, and C:\P3WIN\PROJECTS.
Follow the instructions to copy the files into the folders you made.
Copy the P3 file into \P3WIN\P3PROJECTS. If the file has a .prx extension, unzip it
into the folder.
When you start Primavera P6, you can find the option for P3 in the Import dialogue
box, which is activated (see Figure 44).
Import the P3 file into P6.
Figure 44 The activated option for importing P3 files

DATA BACKUP IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ACTIVITY FOR P6
OPERATORS!
If you are in a busy editing period, it is very important to backup often because we all
make mistakes, and some mistakes cannot be undone in Primavera P6. If you accidentally
import a file updating your project, run a global change, or delete a large section of the
schedule, you are in trouble unless you have a backup copy. Therefore, you should make a
copy for backups whenever you have a chance. There are three data backup types:
database copy, project copy, and reflection project creation.
Database copy Since the database in Primavera P6 contains all projects and settings,
schedulers must backup the database every day by copying the database file. In
SQLite, the database file name is PPMDBSQLite.db (C:\Users\[Computer
name]\Documents). In SQL, the database file names are pmdb_DATA.mdf and
pmdb_LOG.ldf, or pmdb$primavera_DATA.mdf and pmdb$primavera_LOG.ldf (64
bit C:\Program Files (x86)\MSSQL\Primavera \MSSQL.1\Data, 32 bit C:\Program
Files\MSSQL\Primavera\MSSQL.1\Data). To copy the database file of SQL, you need
to stop the SQL Server (PRIMAVERA) in the SQL Server Configuration Manager
prior to copying it.
Project copy Whenever analysing a project schedule, you must use the copied
project because the Undo feature in P6 cannot cover all of your Oops! such as
scheduling and resource levelling. You can copy and paste a project in the Projects
window.
Reflection creation This is similar to copying a project; however, it provides a
powerful feature that allows you to merge a reflection with the source project if you
determine that the reflection has no problems. Reflection provides a feature to
compare the reflection schedule with the original schedule.
If you understand the detail relations between Primavera P6 and its database (see Figure
45), you will know how to deal with the P6 database properly. Primavera P6 is a software
package that controls a P6 database, as SQL is controls a database in a database
management system.
Figure 45 Relations between software packages and database management system

ESTABLISHING A SANDPIT DATABASE


It is a good idea to make a sandpit database where you can create or copy, simulate and
perform any project you like. Another advantage of the sandpit database is that you can
prevent your Primavera P6 database from becoming entangled with global data coming
along with XER files from other companies or counterparts when importing them in your
project schedule. You can import the XER files to your sandpit database and cleanse the
imported projects associated global data, then re-export and import them to your project
database. It may seem like a lot of work, but you can process it automatically with tools
like XER Manager or even Global changes. (Google the XER Manager for more
information.)
To create a sandpit database:
Copy SQL database files as previously explained and paste them in the same folder
with a different name.
Run the SQL Server Management Studio Express.
In the login dialogue box, input SQL Server Authentication for Authentication, sa
for Login ID, and Prima123Vera for password.
Hit the New Query icon.
Input EXEC sp_attach_db@dbname = N[database name], at the right section.
Input the second query @filename1 = N[path name and file name].
Input the third query @filename2 = N[path name and file name].
Save, close and rerun the SQL Server Management Studio Express.
Figure 46 Login dialogue box
Check whether a new database has been created and close it.
Run Primavera P6 and click the button, as shown in Figure 46, to display the Edit
database connections dialogue box.
In the Edit database connections dialogue box, hit Configure and you will see the
Database configuration dialogue box, in which you can input the Database name for
Database alias, and select Microsoft SQL Server for Driver type.

In the next dialogue box, Configure SQL Server Connection, input [computer
name]\PRIMAVERA for Host name and Database name.
In the next dialogue box, Enter Public Login Information, input pubuser for
Username and pubuser for Password.
In the next dialogue box, Validate Database Connection, click Next.
If you see the message Connection Successful!, hit Finish.
Now you will see a new database in the Edit Database Connections dialogue box.
Select it and input a password.
Note that creating a new database with SQLite is much easier; however, the use of its
features is limited.
EASY REGULAR BACKUP
Here is handy tip for automated regular backups for those who cannot use Job Services in
Primavera P6. If you follow these steps, you can make your computer work for you (it
works in Primavera P6 8.x and up).
Be aware of the project IDs that you want to make XER files. You can check the
project IDs in the Projects window in Primavera P6.
Create a new text file (.txt) and input the code below. You have to change XXXXX-
01 and XXXXXX-02 to the project IDs that you want to back up. If you want to
back up more projects, just add the line <ProjectID>XXXXXXX</ProjectID>.

Your backup file will be saved with a name according to the line
C:\pathto\yourfile.xer. Change the path and the name in the line as you like, and
then save it.
Rename the file with the extension .xml.
Create a new text file (.txt), input the code below with no spaces between lines, and
save it as follows:

(1) Primavera P6s path and file name. If the Windows system is based on 32 bit, the path
is C:\Program Files\Oracle\Primavera P6\P6 Professional\PM.exe
(2) Login Name (you can see it when you log in to Primavera P6)
(3) Password
(4) Database name (you can see it when you log in to Primavera P6)
(5) The path and the name of XML file that you made.
(6) The path and the name of the log file that will be created while executing. You can
check any errors with this file.
Rename the file with the extension .bat and run it.
After executing the batch file (.bat), open the log file and check it. If you see the
message Returning Exit Code: 0 in the log file, the XER file has been exported from
the database successfully.
If you want to run the batch file regularly and automatically, you can set Windows Task
Scheduler to do so.
HANDY TIP FINDING OUT WHO HAS CHANGED A SCHEDULE IN
PRIMAVERA P6
You may have had the experience of having one of your colleagues make changes to your
project schedule without leaving any comments in a Primavera P6 notebook. In that case,
you can find out who did it. Add the following columns to your layout Added by, Added
date, Last modified by, and Last modified date, as shown in Figure 47. They will show
you who has made changes to the schedule.
Figure 47 Adding columns
Define scope and develop WBS
WBS is a product-oriented grouping of project components that defines the total scope of
the project. Schedulers should spend enough time studying the work scope to minimise
rework on WBS development because redefining WBS also requires rework on activities.
Prior to defining scope and developing WBS, a code of accounts (COA) should be
prepared. COA is a project management tool which assigns a code made from numbers,
letters, or a combination of the two to every element on the WBS, OBS, etc. COA allows
you to easily identify components, and is best used in PMIS.

ADVANCE PREPARATIONS
Prior to developing the schedule, a scheduler should prepare or define some elements as
necessary. Below are the elements that the schedule team should prepare or define to keep
the integration of a schedule:
Resources information Information for resources needed in a project can be obtained
from a Bill of Quantity (BOQ), drawings, etc. Resources are classified into three types
in P6 (labour, non-labour, and material). In terms of procurement, they can be
categorised into two types: secured resources (staff and machines), and the resources
to be hired, purchased and leased.
OBS OBS should not be limited to a project team, but include any organisations and
stakeholders that can affect a project schedule.
Cost accounts sheet.
Activity codes These are used to classify and organise activities on the basis of
specific categories (disciplines, construction sections, phases, locations, etc.).
Accordingly, they can play a role as WBS codes, OBS codes and cost accounts.
Assigned activities with activity codes can be grouped, sorted, filtered and summarised
in P6.
Standardised Steps for Physical type activities Project progress will be monitored
based on the progress of Steps assigned to activities.
When using Primavera P6 EPPM, it is important to limit user privileges at the EPS and
WBS levels.
DEFINE SCOPE AND DEVELOP WORK BREAKDOWN
STRUCTURE (WBS)
To define the work scope, a planner will study the contract agreement, drawings,
specifications, and any other related documents. After the work scope is clearly defined, it
will be decomposed into WBS. The level of detail for WBS depends entirely on the size
and characteristics of a project, as well as the organisational structure. There are two
things to consider in developing WBS: WBS should be as simple as possible to help the
project participants comprehend whole components of the project; when decomposing the
work scope, the lowest levels (Work Packages) should be countable and assignable:
Countable Work Packages should be clear. For instance, Planning a new
transportation system is not specific. Instead use, Developing a Feasibility Study or
Establishing an Environmental Impact Assessment, for example.
Assignable A work Package should be assigned to only one team (team leader) or
one person in order to clarify where the responsibility lies.
Note that it is impossible to add WBS values at the top level, which is automatically
named with the project name in the WBS window in Primavera P6, even though P6 users
can create WBS by clicking Add and organise it by hitting the left and right arrow keys on
the Command bar to promote and demote, as well as the up and down keys to move up or
down.
HANDY TIPS VARIOUS WBS DEVELOPMENT METHODS
To build the optimised structure, WBS will be revised frequently in planning phase. If you
build it in MS Word using Outline before entering it into P6, you can easily revise it as
many times as you like. Another advantage of creating WBS with MS Word is that you
can share it in compatible formats for others to review. Below are the steps to create it in
MS Word (2013 version):
Choose Outline in the View menu.
Put the cursor on the line or the sentence that you want to level up or down.
Hit the Tab button on the keyboard to level down, or press Shift+Tab to level up.
You can move sentences using icons in the Outline Tools, or by dragging and dropping
using the mouse.
Figure 48 Outline view of MS Word

Another approach to WBS is to create it in Excel and import it into P6 using SDK or XER
Parser. Excel files for the SDK add-in and XER Parser are available on the websites.

ORGANISATION BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE AND
RESPONSIBILITY ASSIGNMENT MATRIX
OBS is a hierarchical model describing the established organisational framework for a
business or project. Since every work package has to be assigned to a team, department, or
staff, it is best to develop a responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) which shows the
responsibility assignments of work packages, as shown in Figure 49. RAM can be also
used to determine whether or not all work packages have been assigned.
Figure 49 Responsibility assignment matrix

DEVELOPING SCHEDULE MANAGEMENT DOCUMENTS


Contractors on construction projects over a certain size need subcontractors no
individual company fills all disciplines and trades. Since projects involve many
participants, miscommunications can occur, and schedules can be created in different
(non-standardised) formats. Below are recommended documents and guidelines to help
schedulers integrate schedules and people communicate efficiently:
Schedule Management Plan This should contain an introduction to the plan, work
scope of schedule management, definitions and abbreviations, roles and
responsibilities, project overview, WBS, Cost Account Structure, OBS, the schedule
management strategy including schedule management levels and schedule controlling
procedures, schedule-related risks analysis and management, schedule management
software and systems, and schedule-related reporting and communication
methodologies.
Schedule Controlling Procedures As mentioned earlier, these will include schedule
development procedure (SDP), progress measurement procedure (PMP), and schedule
change procedure (SCP). SDP introduces processes for developing, reviewing and
approving schedules, as well as the roles and responsibilities of each participant. PMP
illustrates how to monitor project progress, gather progress data, and control and
update project schedules. SCP mainly focuses on responsibilities for proposal, review
and approval for changing the master schedule.
Schedule Development Criteria This aims to maintain the integration of the schedule
format and will be used not only by the schedule management team but also by
subcontractors. Therefore, the criteria should reflect the requirements provided by the
client, plus any requirements to control subcontractors schedules. It supplies
guidelines for the qualifications of lead scheduler, schedule software and version,
activity number format, activity name format, limitation of activity duration, use of
activity relationships, lag and lead (negative lag), use of constraints, and revision
control of schedule.
Schedule Assessment Checklist This should be developed for the review of CPM
schedules made by subcontractors.
Each document should be updated as needed and have, at minimum, its own document
number, revision number, creation date, drafter and approver.
Develop activity list and sequences
When creating a draft schedule, it is important to identify critical items that will affect
developing activity list and sequences.
Process The physical or procedural sequences of tasks, activities performed by
organisations outside the contract company (e.g., local government and third party
vender), and essential advance preparation and activity sequences for performing tasks
with ease.
Resources The expected lack of resources and efficient use of resources (e.g.,
machine rental).
Environmental factors These could include constraints of the working area (e.g.,
narrow space or crowded area), or expected opposition from residents or NGO (Non-
Governmental Organisations).

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTIVITY NUMBERING AND NAMING


STRUCTURE
Before beginning activity development, the scheduler should prepare the standard activity
numbering (ID) and naming structure to ensure the integration of activity numbers and
names. You will see numerous ID types and code types used to identify data in Primavera
P6, but what are the differences between them? IDs are unique names of items such as
activity ID, resource ID, and project ID, while codes are used to classify items, and
include activity code, resource code, etc.
When it comes to an ID for a task-dependent activity, as well as fragnet for delayed
activities, it is recommended that activity IDs have two halves:
The first half of an ID should have letters that are parts of WBS, where the activity
belongs.
The second half of an ID should have numbers showing the sequence of an activity.
Numbers should start with 100 or 1000 to leave room from 000 to 099 or 0000 to 0999
for non-task dependent activities (milestones, level of effort [LOE], etc.).
If you want to use long activity IDs, you should change the maximum number of
activity IDs in the ID lengths tab under Admin preferences in the Admin menu.
Figure 50 Adjusting activity ID maximum characters
For an ID of non-task dependent activities:
The first half should have letters indicating which WBS the activity belongs to.
The second half should have numbers between 000 to 099 or 0000 to 0999.
When it comes to naming a task-dependent activity:
Use verbs plus an objects name and location. If the object is for the whole of the
project, its location is not necessary.
As mentioned earlier, avoid using abbreviations whenever possible. If you want to use
them, make an abbreviation list and share it with all participants who deal with the
project schedule to avoid misinterpretation of activity names.
When naming non-task dependent activities, as well as fragnets for delayed activities:
Use capital initials followed by a dash for each activity in the first part of the
activity name to distinguish them from normal activities, for example: SM (Start
milestone), FM (Finish milestone), LOE, SUMMARY (WBS summary), DELAY
(fragnet).
Put descriptions after the dash, for example: SM NTP, LOE GVB10010 to
GVB10050 (activity IDs or names), SUMMARY KEGVB (WBS ID or name),
DELAY GVB10030 (activity ID or name).
WAYS TO RENAME ACTIVITY IDS
Schedulers may want to rename activity IDs when:
The order of activity IDs does not match the activity sequences. If a scheduler created
an activity with ID A130 for construction and later made ID A140 for design, he
or she may want to rename one of the IDs to keep schedulers from misunderstanding
activity sequences; design has to begin prior to construction.
There is no room between two IDs to insert an activity. If a newly created activity
should be inserted between two activities (A110 and A111, for example), schedulers
may want to change them.
Activity IDs are not systematic. If there are activities with different ID structures in a
WBS, such as A110, CHG32, T54KTR97, etc., schedulers should probably change
them immediately.
How can you prevent or minimise the need to rename activity IDs? Here are some tips:
Prepare criteria suggesting standard activity ID and naming structure.
Increase the Increment of Defaults tab in the Project window. The default value is
10, but 100 is preferable in the planning stage.
In the following example, WBS B has some activities with an incoherent set of ID
numbering: WBS A A1010, A1020, A1030, A1040, and A1050; WBS B A1070,
A1080, A1200, A1300, and A1400; WBS C A1110, A1120, and A1130. If you want to
renumber the activities of WBS B to align them with those of WBS A and WBS C, you
can Renumber Activity IDs (see Figure 51):
Select all activities of WBS B, right-click the mouse, and click Renumber Activity
IDs.
Choose options in the Renumber activity IDs dialogue box, select Auto-number and
define Prefix with a letter (for example, B) that any activity does not have in order to
avoid duplication.
Hit OK.
Renumber them again to align the renumbered activity IDs, and click Commit
Changes in the File menu to refresh the database and avoid making duplications for
A1070 and A1080.
Right-click the mouse and click Renumber Activity IDs again. In the Renumber
activity IDs dialogue box, select Auto-number, and define A for the prefix and
input 1060 for the suffix.
Hit OK.
If you have a lot of activities to renumber, you can use Export as follows:
Export activities from Primavera P6 to Excel and change activity IDs in Excel.
Delete the activities being changed from P6.
Import the new activities from Excel to P6. Check whether each activity has a WBS
ID before importing. If it does not, it will lose its WBS ID in Primavera P6.
If you want to export activities with a small number of data, there is an easier way. Right-
click the mouse in the activity table, and you will see the Export to Excel menu, as
shown in Figure 51. Click it, and save the Excel file.
Figure 51 Right-click


CREATING AN ACTIVITY LIST (OR DRAFT OF A SCHEDULE) AND
SEQUENCES UNDER A WORK PACKAGE
While WBS development is a process of decomposing the work scope, activity
development is a technique for defining the processes of tasks (work packages); anyone
who is trying to develop activities should understand the process involved in tasks. Before
creating an activity list, milestones should be defined. Milestones are certain key events;
they represent important immediate goals with the network. A milestone has zero duration,
and is typically used to represent the beginning or end of a group of activities. Project
documents may identify some, not all, milestones that a contractor is required to track and
report.
There are two ways to develop an activity list (or draft of a schedule). The first one is that
the scheduler prepares activity list by himself referring to a project master schedule of
other similar projects, if possible. The draft of the activity list (or draft of the schedule)
will require the review of departments or engineers. The second way involves departments
or engineers preparing their own activity lists according to assigned work packages.
There are six types of activities in Primavera P6:
Task dependent This is used when the work needs to be accomplished in a given
period regardless of the assigned resources availability. The activitys resources are
scheduled to work according to the activity calendar, and the duration is determined by
the assigned calendars workweek.
Resource dependent This is used when the work is to be accomplished depending on
the assigned resources availability. The activitys duration and resources are
scheduled according to the primary resources individual calendar. This is typically
used when multiple resources assigned to the same activity can work independently.
Start milestone This is used to mark the beginning of a phase or to communicate
project deliverables. This activity is a zero duration activity with a start date only.
Constraints and expenses can be assigned to this activity type, but roles or resources
cannot.
Finish milestone This is used to mark the completion of a phase or to communicate
project deliverables, such as final inspections, etc. This activity is a zero duration
activity with a finish date only. Constraints and expenses can be assigned to this
activity type, but roles or resources cannot.
Level of effort This is a summary activity which summarises the earliest start and
latest finish dates of its predecessors and successors. It is typically used for ongoing
tasks dependent on other activities, as its duration is determined by its predecessor or
successor activities. It should be noted that constrains cannot be assigned to this
activity type.
WBS summary This is used to roll up dates, duration, and per cent complete values
for a group of activities that share a common WBS code level. This is similar to a level
of effort activity, but provides more summarisation functionality.
Schedulers sometimes ask themselves how many activities are appropriate for a project.
There is no correct answer because the number of activities in a project depends entirely
on the projects size and characteristics, as well as the number of staff who will deal with
schedule data. Some say 3,000 activities per scheduler is reasonable; however, the
schedulers job scope varies with each project.
SETTING STEPS
Prior to assigning steps, you have to do two things. First, you should prepare standard
steps for tasks that have weight (percentage), and have them approved by your client. If
your client has no preference, you can establish them yourself. Second, check the option
Activity percent complete based on activity steps in Calculations tab of the Project
window. There are two ways to create steps: by using a step template, and by setting steps
directly. Below are the processes for creating steps:
Go to Activity step templates (Enterprise menu) and you will see dialogue with three
sections. (see Figure 52)
Hit the Add button on the right side and create a step name.
Add as many numbers of steps as you like by hitting the Add button, name them, and
assign weight to each step. You can make more step groups by clicking the Add
button.
When you finish making steps, click Close, and then go to the Step tab in the
Activity window.
Select an activity you want to assign, hit Add from template, and choose a step
template. Now you can see steps in the steps tab.
Figure 52 Activity step template dialogue

HANDY TIP IMPORTING DATA FROM EXCEL TO P6


Importing Excel files into P6 is useful; however, Primavera P6 does not recognise data
without an apostrophe () in front of each cell in Excel. Thus, when you create data, you
have to add apostrophes manually. ASAP Utilities is a powerful Excel plug-in that
offers many features, such as the ability to add apostrophes to cells by means of ASAP
Utilities (see Figure 53). Of course, you can also do this in Excel by using Text to
Columns in the Data menu of ASAP Utilities.
Figure 53 ASAP Utilities

WBS SUMMARY ACTIVITIES AND LEVEL OF EFFORT (LOE)


WBS summary activity is used to summarise all activities belonging to the same WBS. If
you do not have enough time to assign all activities with resources in a project but want to
assign resources roughly and make S-curve quickly, you can use a WBS summary activity
by assigning it with all resources belonging to the WBS.
A LOE activitys duration is dependent on its predecessor and/or successor activities, so it
is usually used to summarise several activities. LOE can be used for many purposes, and
many schedulers use it for expenses, such as travelling expenses. If you want to assign
indirect cost (expense, for example) that is not assigned to a specific activities, you can
make a LOE activity and assign it with expenses. When naming the LOE activity, it is
recommended to indicate the range of linking, for instance, A1010-A1530.
USING FILTERS EFFICIENTLY
A commonly used menu in Primavera P6 is filter, which helps narrow down the range of
activities displayed in the activity table. Figure 54 shows default filters commonly used by
schedulers, which cannot be deleted or modified. Some of them are currently used for bar
chart settings.
Figure 54 Default filters

If schedulers create a filter (see Figure 55) to fill a gap in the default filters, they can save
time by using combinations of filters, selecting options of Filter dialogue box and
selecting multiple filter sets (see Figure 56).
Figure 55 Examples of user-defined filter sets

Figure 56 Filter dialogue box


Below are example using combinations of filters multiple choice filter set:
To filter activities that are both design activities and critical activities, select All
selected filters in the filters dialogue box, and then check Item [2] from the default
filters (Figure 54) and Item [d] from the user-defined filters (Figure 56).
To filter activities that are milestones and will start or finish within three months,
select All selected filters in the filters dialogue box, and check Item [6] from the
default filters and Item [a] from the user-defined filters.
To filter activities that are near-critical activities or have free float, select Any
selected filter in the filters dialogue box, and check Item [b] and Item [c] from the
user-defined filters.
Loading resources
The purpose of resource loading on activities is to compute activity durations and identify
resource constraints (Max units) in the planning phase, and to document financial records
for analysis (cost management and progress monitoring) in the performing phase. There
are two types of resource allocation methods: top-down and bottom-up. The former is
mainly used in the planning phase and the latter is used in developing schedules.
To load resources to activities, (1) create resources in the Resources (window) of the
Enterprise menu, (2) assign them to activities in the Resources tab of the Activities
window, and (3) review resource assignments in the Resource assignments (window) of
the Project menu.

PROPERTIES OF RESOURCES
There are three types of resources in Primavera P6 labour (reusable), non-labour
(reusable but depreciable), and material (consumable) and they are procured as follows:
Labour is man-power, and it can be procured by redeploying employed staff or
employing new staff.
Non-labour is equipment or subcontractors, and it can be procured by redeploying
retentive machines, purchasing or renting new machines, or making contracts with
subcontractors.
Material includes all materials used in the project. Labour and non-labour share the
same unit (h/d) while material has predefined units (e.g., ton, ea.). To use materials,
you need to predefine units of measure in the option (Admin Admin categories
Units of measure).
ROLE, RESOURCE AND WORK CREW
Role in Primavera P6 is used as a plan for resource assigning, and it defines the level of
skills required to perform a task, while resource is an actual item assigned to activities.
There is a column for roles in the resources window in P6, which means that resources can
be categorised into roles. Thus, roles can be regarded as a type of code for resources. A
resources employed in a company are presented with its name, for example, John Doe, in
P6 while a resource to be hired is presented with its role name, for instance, carpenter.
Work crew is a collection of resources used to calculate activity durations based on
performance and units (quantities). RSMeans is a good example of source for applying
work crew. RSMeans is the industry source for accurate and expert information on
materials, labour and construction costs, and crew. Each crew in RSMeans has a task
description, crew composition, daily output (performance) and total cost. Schedulers
compute activity durations as the quantity divided by performance (quantity per day) of
crew. The information for quantities comes from the BOQ, which has resources (labour,
equipment, and material) and its quantities for each component of deliverables.
DEVELOPING A QUICK S-CURVE (TOP-DOWN RESOURCE
ALLOCATION)
If you want to make a quick S-curve for accumulated progress, payment or other items
related to the contract price, you can use WBS summary activity. First, you need to create
an activity with activity type WBS summary (Activities window General tab Activity
Type) at the highest level of WBS assigned with the total amount of the contract price.
The resource is used for showing price or cost only; the activity should have a resource
curve that you can manipulate.
If it is possible to divide the resource into the next highest level of WBS because the plan
has advanced and costs are divided into the next level, create activities with activity type
WBS summary at the next highest level of WBS and allocate resources to the activities.
Next, adjust the budget of the activity (at the top) and the activities at the next level of
WBS in order to meet the total amount of the project cost. As time goes on, the cost
structure will become clear, and you can breakdown costs further and assign them to
activities.
RESOURCE LOADING (BOTTOM-UP RESOURCE ALLOCATION)
In bottom-up resource allocation, resources and quantities for activities can be obtained
from Bill of Quantity (BOQ) and assigned to activities as follows:
Analyse BOQ to define a coefficient (weight factor) since the total amount of a
contract price consists of direct costs for tasks and indirect costs for offices (e.g.,
operating expenses) and headquarters (e.g., profit). The total amount divided by direct
costs gives the coefficient.
Reorganise BOQ in accordance with WBS (Work packages) and activities. There are
three types of relations between activities and items on the BOQ: One to One one
activity represents one pay item on the BOQ; One to Multiple one activity is the
summary of many pay items (in other words, all viaducts of different sizes can be
grouped under one activity; and Multiple to One in many cases the BOQ has the
total quantities, however in the schedule you need to split the work into more detailed
sections. You do not need to load all resources to activities. Instead simplify each
activitys resources into at most two or three labour and representative non-
labour/material. Representative non-labour or material means a resource with the
highest cost among non-labours or materials; this will include other minor non-labour
and/or materials costs, such that each activity has one or two resources (labour, or
labour + non-labour/material).
Multiply the quantity of resources by unit prices by the coefficient (weight factor) to
determine the budget of each activity.
If you want to set a resource curve for each activity, duration type of an activity must be
fixed only Fixed duration & units and Fixed duration and units/time types can be
assigned. Nevertheless, if you want to assign a resource curve to Fixed units and Fixed
units/time type activities, you can use Expenses (Activity window Expenses tab)
instead. Expenses has three types of curve:
Start of activity The entire expense costs are accrued at the start date of the activity.
End of activity The entire expense costs are accrued at the finish date of the activity.
Uniform over activity The expense costs are accrued uniformly over the duration of
the activity.
MONITORING THE PROGRESS OF PHYSICAL (DELIVERABLES),
UNITS (RESOURCES) AND DURATION
The progress of Physical (deliverables) can be monitored in terms of Planned Value Cost
(PV), Earned Value Cost (EV), and Actual Cost (AC) in Primavera P6.
What about units (resources)? Only labour has values for EVM monitoring Planned
value labour units, Earned value labour units, and Actual labour units. This is because that
most work is done by people (labour), so labour units should be used as the basis for
monitoring the progress of resources.
When you status your project, you will see that Unit % complete and Duration %
complete display their values rolled up to WBS and project level, as shown in Figure 57.
Figure 57 Progress

The Physical % complete and the Activity % complete cannot be rolled up at the WBS or
Project levels because it is a value added manually by a user. If you want to obtain a rolled
up Physical % complete, use Performance % complete instead. On the other hand, it is not
possible to get an accurate value on summary level from Duration % complete because it
computes project percentage based on baseline duration and remaining duration, rather
than actual duration and remaining duration.
EASY RESOURCE LOADING AND PROJECT STATUSING
If a resource type or item is not important and the only purpose of resource loading is to
monitor progress, you can manage it in a simple way as follows:
Create a resource with $1/d price (rate) and then assign it to activities.
Define Budgeted Units in P6 (Activities window Resources tab. If there is no
column for Budgeted Units, you can customise it in the Columns dialogue box)
according to the total amount of the activity cost multiplied by the coefficient (weight
factor).
If there is any resource that needs to be controlled due to, for example, supply
constraints, create a new resource for the item with $1/d price and assign it to the
activities. Define budgeted units for each considering the total amount of the activity
cost.
The method mentioned above is known as the weighting factor method, and you can
create just one resource to be used for all activities or multiple resources according to the
project cost account (CA) structure if needed. If you want to classify costs into the project
CA structure, you can compose a project CA structure in resources window and compute
the totals of each CA.
What if there is no precise budget for each activity so you cannot assign budget to them?
In that case, the budgeted units will be defined on the basis of the activity duration until
you convert it into other basis.
HANDY TIP ERASING ALL UNITS ASSIGNED TO ACTIVITIES IN
ONE GO
If you want to erase all units of resources assigned in a project, you can use Top Down
Estimation (Tools Top down estimation) by inputting 0 in Estimated Units and hitting
the Apply button.
Figure 58 Top down estimation
Developing activity duration and relationships
The most important thing in schedule management may be activity relationships.
Inappropriate relationships can spoil a project schedule and, moreover, it is very difficult
to find an inappropriate relationship in a big schedule. Relationships, also referred to as
logic ties or network connectors, hold the various activities and milestones together and
are noted by arrows in the network diagram.
Predecessor activity: An activity falling prior to another activity in an activity
sequence. In Figure 59, Activity A is the predecessor activity of Activity B, and
Activity B is the predecessor activity of Activity C.
Figure 59 Sequence of activities

Successor activity: An activity falling behind another activity in an activity sequence.


Activity B is the successor activity of Activity A, and Activity C is the successor
activity of Activity B.
Driving predecessor activity: An activity affecting the start or finish date of the
successor activity. In Figure 60, Activity A and B are the predecessors of Activity C,
and they will be finished on 7 May and 12 May, respectively. Since Activity C can
start only when all predecessors have finished, it will start on 13 May. In this case,
Activity B is the driving predecessor activity for Activity C. When analysing a project
schedule, this is an important technique for tracking the driving predecessor activities
from the end of the activity sequence. You can see the driving activity check in the box
of predecessors (see Figure 61).
Figure 60 Predecessors of an activity

Figure 61 Predecessors of an activity


Non-driving predecessor activity: An activity not affecting the start or finish date of
the successor activity. Activity A is the non-driving predecessor activity in Figure 60.
Lag: The duration assigned to a relationship between a predecessor activity and a
successor activity to delay the start or finish date of the successor.
Lead (negative lag): The duration assigned to a relationship between a predecessor
activity and a successor activity to accelerate the start or finish date of the successor.
DURATION UNITS AND ACTIVITY DURATION ESTIMATION
Some common methods and sources for deriving or enhancing duration estimates include:
Parametric analysis: Schedulers use established standards, such as RSMeans, which
suggest daily rates per required quantity based on historical records of
accomplishment. Duration is computed as budgeted units divided by performance
(units/day). The budgeted units can be derived from the BOQ.
Analogous analysis: Schedulers reflect experts experiences and judgements, and
historical or related data.
When using analogous analysis, it is best to ascertain the optimistic duration, the most
likely duration, and the pessimistic duration in order to apply PERT.
Prior to estimating durations, a determination should be made as to the unit of
measurement and level of accuracy required. From a schedule analysis perspective, it is
highly recommended to make all duration time units alike within the same schedule. The
reason for this recommendation is that mixing time units within the same schedule may
result in slight differences and inconsistencies to float values that are internally calculated.
For example, if a schedule management team sets eight hours per day as standard work
hours for their schedules but a subcontractor sets twelve hours per day, schedulers in the
team will find that activity durations are lengthened when they import the subcontractors
schedule into their schedules at the ratio of 150% (= 12 / 8). This is because all duration
data is stored on an hourly basis in the P6 database. When the subcontractor submits a
schedule including an activity with duration of 10 days, its hourly duration is actually 120
hours. However, schedulers on the schedule management team will find that the activity
takes 15 days because their duration basis is eight hours per day (120 hours / 8 hours per
day = 15 days).
GRAPHICAL EVALUATION AND REVIEW TECHNIQUE (GERT) FOR
INSPECTIONS AND TESTS
GERT is a network development technique used in schedule management that allows
probabilistic treatment of both network logic and estimation of activity duration. Since
GERT allows loops between tasks, it is mainly used for the activities that depend on the
results of inspections or tests. In other words, certain components need to pass a test, and
if some of them fail, the rework will be performed again and again until successful, as
shown in Figure 62.
Figure 62 Workflow of GERT

In this case, duration for the task should be calculated as the total duration of tasks (ready
for test, test, and rework) divided by the probability of passing the test; however, because
Primavera P6 does not provide this feature, schedulers should compute the expected
duration of the task themselves, and take it into account when calculating activity
durations.
SCHEDULE CONTINGENCY
Schedule contingency (also known as schedule reserve or schedule margin) should be
based on project risks and duration uncertainty, and be clearly identifiable when included
within the master plan. For clarification, it should be understood that schedule float, which
is a calculated value based on network logic, should not be considered as a schedule
contingency. Thus, it should fall on the critical path.
Figure 63 Schedule adjustment based on CCPM

One of methods to secure schedule contingency is Critical Chain Project Method (CCPM),
also known as Critical Chain Method (CCM). The purpose of CCPM is to secure a buffer,
preventing project delay. This technique is based on methods derived from Theory of
Constraints (TOC), introduced by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. CCPM is based on the idea that
task owners try to secure more time and resources than their tasks actually need
(Parkinsons law), and they will only start to apply themselves to a task at the last possible
moment before its deadline (Student syndrome). Thus, a scheduler should collect slack
time from each task and use it as buffer by putting it at the end of the schedule, as shown
in Figure 63, to use as a measure by which to monitor project schedule and performance,
and as a buffer in case of project delay.
However, in applying CCPM to schedule management, there are some issues to consider:
Generally, schedulers do not have the capability to judge the amount of slack time
each task has. Only task owners (engineers) know the exact amount of slack time for
their tasks, and it is unlikely that they will yield the slack. To secure the buffer,
schedulers can reduce the durations of all activities by a ratio of 2% or 3%, for
instance, in a lump.
Even though schedulers have succeeded in securing slack time from task owners, they
may continuously experience project delay because there is no buffer mitigating delay
at the beginning or in the middle of the schedule. If the delayed activity lies at the
beginning of the schedule and none of its successor activities have slack, they may
have to change their schedule. To ease off, schedulers should divide secured
contingencies into smaller blocks of buffers, and insert them in the middle of the
schedule at regular intervals.
SUSPENDING AND RESUMING AN ACTIVITY
Sometimes schedulers feel the need to suspend and resume an activity. Only activities in
progress can have suspend and resume dates; however, suspension is not recommended
because it distorts total float.
What if you need more suspending periods on an activity? MS Project provides such a
feature, but Primavera P6 does not. If needed, you can use LOE. If a task will require three
periods of suspension, make four activities linking them, with FS relationships and lag for
the task. Then create an LOE activity and link it with the activities you have created.
Assign a SS relationship with the first activity, and a FF relationship with the last one. Do
not assign resources to the LOE activity; only do so for the four activities.
Figure 64 Suspending and resuming an activity

ACTIVITY RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN WORK PACKAGES
It is not difficult to assign relationships to activities belonging to the same work package,
but linking activities belonging to different work packages can be complicated. To help
establish reasonable relationships between activities, a scheduler should first develop a
network diagram (see Figure 65).
Figure 65 Sample network diagram for a railway project

As you know, there are four types of relationships in scheduling Finish to Start (FS),
Start to Start (SS), Finish to Finish (FF), and Start to Finish (SF). FS relationship is
frequently used to link activities; however, some P6 operators use FS for no other reason
than to secure duration contingency in case of a schedule delay, even though they can use
SS. When they need to recover delayed activities or finish tasks earlier, they can change
the relationships from FS to SS with lags. In that case, the predecessor activities are just a
precondition for the successors to start. Changeable relationships from FS to SS are called
soft logic, and unchangeable relationships are hard logic. Soft logic is set for cost-saving
and convenience in performing, so take note of all soft logics in UDF (User Defined Field)
in P6 for easy search in case of finding points for fast-tracking to recover delayed
activities.
Below are examples of hard logics:
Physical sequence: The structure of the second floor can be built only after that of the
first floor is finished.
Procedural sequence: Construction can begin only after the supervisor has approved
the construction plan.
Constraints in working: Permanent way work and catenary work in a railway project
cannot start at the same time due to the narrow space.
Constraints of resources: If there are five tasks that require a certain special machine
and only one is available, the tasks should be processed one by one.
Orders from the client or licensing from local government.
Below are examples of soft logics:
Efficient use of resources: To utilise construction machines at multiple sites instead of
buying additional machines.
Convenience: It is reasonable to perform painting work before wallpaper work.
NEGATIVE VALUE LAG (LEAD)
In many guidelines, negative value lag (lead) is prohibited in scheduling because it is hard
to anticipate the successors start date. For example, suppose Activity B began ten days
prior to the completion date of its predecessor (Activity A) and an unexpected event
occurred two days before the completion date of Activity A, causing it to be delayed five
days.
Figure 66 Change of activity relationship

In that case, Activity B should have started five days later because the completion date of
its predecessor (Activity A) has been delayed five days. To prevent this situation, many
guidelines recommend using SS with positive lag value, instead of FS with negative lag
value, as shown in Figure 66.
HANDY TIP REMOVING MULTIPLE RELATIONSHIPS
Go to the relationship tab in the activity window and open the Assign Successors
window. Select multiple activities in the activity window and those in activity assignment
pop-up window. Then click the Remove button, as shown in Figure 67.
Figure 67 Removing multiple relationships
Assigning calendars
Calendars are an important part of project schedules because they directly affect the
duration of the project (specifically, the activities). Changing an activitys calendar or
Time period in Admin preferences can cause problems with activity durations from time
to time. Thus, schedulers should fully understand the nature of both.
When used properly by contractors, the calendar will demonstrate all working and non-
working days for a project. There are three types of calendars:
Global calendars These calendars are accessible to all projects in the EPS network
and are available for all resources and activities.
Resource calendars These are used to determine when the resource can work, and the
limits for that period are determined from the shift definition on that resource. They
are used only for resource dependent activities.
Project calendars These are similar to global calendars, but are available only within
a specified project.
It is best to create a new calendar for a new project, copying from a calendar, because
sharing calendars may cause serious problems in scheduling. Calendars should be set in
terms of three different time levels: working hours of the day, working days of the week,
and non-working days of the year.
(1) Working hours per day (e.g., 8 hours per day) Select Total work hours/day and
click Workweek in the calendar dialogue box, and then adjust work hours per day in
the Calendar weekly hours dialogue box.
(2) Workable days in a week (e.g., Monday to Saturday) Select Detailed work
hours/day, click Workweek in the calendar dialogue box, and then adjust Standard
work hours in the Calendar weekly hours dialogue box. It is best to input eight (8)
for workable days and zero (0) for non-workable days.
(3) Non-workable days of the year (e.g., public holidays and non-working days due to
bad weather conditions) Select a day and click Non-work for non-workable days in
the calendar dialogue box.
Figure 68 Defining workable hours and dates

WORKING HOURS PER DAY
Since work time is not usually visible in the activities table or Gantt chart, schedulers
sometimes make of mistake of combining working hours per day and Hours/Day in the
Time periods in the calendar set.
All durations in Primavera P6 are stored as hourly-based data, so when an activity is
assigned a calendar that has, for example, eight work hours per day and the original
duration of the activity is ten days, its original hourly duration is actually 80 hours.
What if you want to change the work hours per day from eight to ten? First, you need to
select a method by which to specify work hours/day. In the Time periods tab under Admin
preferences in the Admin menu, you can see the option Use assigned calendar to
specify as shown in Figure 69. If you check the option, each assigned calendar will
define the daily work hours of an activity individually. If you uncheck it and change
Hours/day, you can see changed daily-based durations in the activity table immediately;
however, hourly durations will remain the same.
Figure 69 Admin preferences

If you want to use a different daily work hour basis, you will need to define the work
hours per day in both the Workweek and Time periods of each calendar, as shown in
Figure 70. If the Hours/day of Time periods is changed from eight to ten, work hours in
the Workweek should be ten; workable days should have 10 hours, and non-workable days
should have 0 hours.
Figure 70 Work hours per day

What will happen if work Hours/day in the Time periods of a calendar have been changed
from 8 to 16, but daily work hours in the Workweek remain at 8? The durations of all the
activities assigned with the calendar will be halved. For example, if the activity has 10
days as its original duration, its hourly duration will be 80 hours, as previously mentioned.
When work Hours per day in Time periods is 16, the daily duration will be 5 (80 = 16 x 5)
because Time periods is just the setting option to display work hours per day. If you select
Hour for Durations format in the Time units tab under User Preference (Edit menu), you
will never see changes to the original hourly duration in the activity table, even if
Hours/day in Time periods are changed.
If you want to make activity durations appear to be increased or decreased without
changing their actual original hourly duration, you need only to alter work hours/day in
the Time periods of the assigned calendar. (Note that as long as all participants who deal
with the schedule count durations on a daily basis, duration changes due to changes in
Time periods will cause real changes to activity durations.)
WORKABLE DAYS PER WEEK
P6 users set workable days per week by defining work hours in the Workweek of the
calendar set, as previously explained. When setting workable days, schedulers should
consider the working environment of the site. Many countries have five work days per
business week; however, construction projects usually allow for six or seven work days.
When there are non-workable days in a week in the assigned calendars, the amount of
delay of a predecessor activity does not always equal the delay days affecting the
successor activitys start date. Figure 71 shows an original schedule on the left, and a
revised schedule on the right. The dark grey-coloured dates are non-working days. At first,
Activity A is scheduled to finish on 9 December and Activity B to start on 10 December.
Later, Activity A has been delayed by two days and finished on 11 December. In addition,
the start date of Activity B is delayed four days, even though the predecessor has been
delayed only two days. The initial calendar duration (not the working duration) of Activity
B was six days from 10 to 15 December; its revised calendar duration is four days
(reduced by two days).
Figure 71 Work days and calendar days

If you want to define the activities that are most affected by a calendar setting, you need
only to calculate the difference between original duration and calendar duration:
Calculate calendar durations (calendar duration = finish date start date).
Compute the difference between calendar duration and original duration (= calendar
duration original duration).
The benefit of identifying the most-affected activities by calendar setting is that it allows
you to take them into account when analysing a project schedule or developing a recovery
plan.
NON-WORKING DAYS OF THE YEAR
To set non-workable days of the year, schedulers should collect two data the national
calendar for public holidays, and statistics for weather conditions. When it comes to
weather conditions, it is helpful to use long-term statistics to increase probabilities;
however, schedulers also have to take the latest local weather trends into account, due to
climate change. Prior to setting non-workable days of the year, tasks should be classified
according to their sensitivity to the impacts of weather conditions and holidays. You can
find in the specifications the weather conditions affecting certain tasks. Below is a sample
classification for impacts and tasks:
Affected by low temperature any tasks using water, such as concrete.
Affected by rain exterior paint work.
Affected by wind outdoor spray work, elevated work.
Affected by no weather conditions indoor work, tunnel work.
Affected by holidays review and approval process by client and central or local
government.
Affected by no weather conditions or public holidays shipment.
Below are typical weather conditions and criteria under which certain work is prohibited:
Rainfall The daily total amount is 80 mm or more.
Snowfall The daily total amount is 50 mm or more.
Wind The daily maximum speed is 13m/second or more.
Temperature The daily average temperature is 0 degree Celsius or less.
Each task should be assigned an appropriate calendar type since each task is affected
differently by weather conditions and holidays. Figure 72 shows sample calendar types
where X means non-reflection and O means reflection. For example, Calendar C has
non-working days for low temperatures. By the way, there should be as few calendar types
as possible, to minimise interruptions in schedule analysis. Errors of float calculation can
occur between activities with different calendar types.
Figure 72 Sample calendar types

For the countries that have warm temperatures throughout the year, you do not need to
create a calendar that has non-workable days for low temperatures. In Middle Eastern
countries, Ramadan (a fast and prayer period) is a considerable factor in setting a calendar.
To reflect Ramadan in developing a calendar, additional review is required because not all
foreign labourers follow it.
HANDY TIP VIEWING 12 MONTHS AT ONCE
Schedulers sometimes feel the need to view 12 months at once to quickly review the
settings for non-working days throughout the year. There is a way. Download XER-
Reader from the website and follow the steps below:
Make an XER file of your project from Primavera P6.
Open XER-Reader, hit Load XER, and find the XER file you created.
After loading the XER file, select the project by clicking the drop button, and you will
see the project information.
Hit Calendar, and you will see a pop-up box.
Input the year and select the calendar you want to see.
In the calendar sheet, you will see 12 months, with comments corresponding to grey-
coloured days (non-working days), green-coloured days (exceptions), and red-coloured
days (inherited exceptions from the global calendar), as shown in Figure 73.
Figure 73 Calendar showing non-workable days over 12 months
Assigning constraints and activity codes
Sometimes constraints interrupt scheduling and identifying critical path, for example, so
schedulers should use as few constraints as possible. On the other hand, activity codes
provide convenient functionalities for dealing with activity data, so schedulers should
create, assign and use as many activity codes as possible.
ASSIGNING CONSTRAINTS
Normally, an activitys start and finish dates are defined by its relationships with
predecessor activities; however, P6 users can adjust the dates arbitrarily by assigning
constraints to the activities. Constraints should be assigned to activities only as required
by the client. Most clients do not allow constraints because constrains affect an activitys
total float. Thus, any constraints assigned to activities must be documented with reasons
and sources.
There are nine constraint types in Primavera P6:
Mandatory start This forces early and late start dates of an activity or milestone to be
equal to the constraint date, regardless of schedule logic and calculations.
Mandatory finish This forces early and late finish dates of an activity or milestone to
be equal to the constraint date, regardless of schedule logic and calculations.
Start on This forces an activity or milestone to start on the constraint date, regardless
of the calculations of the schedule, overriding schedule logic entirely.
Start on or before This places a deadline on the start of an activity or milestone and
forces the activity or milestone to start no later than the constraint date.
Start on or after This sets the earliest date on which an activity or milestone can
begin and forces the earliest start date to be equal to the constraint date; however, if the
calculated start date is after the constraint, the later date will apply.
Finish on This is used to force an activity or milestone to finish on the constraint
date, regardless of the calculations of the schedule.
Finish on or before This places a deadline on the completion of an activity or
milestone, forcing the activity or milestone to finish no later than the constraint date.
Finish on or after This sets the earliest date on which an activity milestone can
finish.
As late as possible This consumes the free float of an activity or milestone, and
pushes the activity or milestone as late as possible without impacting the start of the
successors (free float).
The nine constraint types fall into two categories in terms of their ability to fix the dates of
activities soft constraint and hard constraint. Soft constraint allows an activity to move
back and forth, or in one direction, and includes Start On, Start On or After, Start On or
Before, Finish On, Finish On or After, Finish On or Before, and As Late As Possible.
Hard constraint is the constraint (or combination of constraints) that allows no movement,
or movement only within a given range. It includes Mandatory Start, Mandatory Finish,
Start On or Before + Start On or After, and Finish On or Before + Finish On or After.
If, for instance, you want an activity to start between 3 January 2017 and 17 January 2017,
you need to set two constraints select Start on or after in the Primary constraint on 3
January 2017 and Start on or before in the Secondary constraint on 17 January 2017, as
shown in Figure 74.
Figure 74 - Constraints


ACTIVITY CODES
Activity codes are like tags, and help P6 users group and filter activities. They represent
broad categories of information, such as phase, division of work (department or
discipline), or location, building, floor, activity owner (responsible team, department, or
staff). Activity codes can act like WBS codes, organising activities in a hierarchy and
providing even more powerful features to organise them in various ways by combining
several activity codes at the same time. Figure 75 shows an example of organising
activities based on activity codes Building and Floor. In grouping activities, the activity
code for Building is located at a higher level than that of Floor in the image at left, and
vice versa in the image at right. Thus, some P6 users prefer to use activity codes instead of
WBS codes, which are less flexible and versatile than activity codes; however, there are
features in WBS that activity codes cannot provide. You can summarise activities based on
WBS, but not based on activity codes. Similarly, you can create a WBS summary activity
in each WBS level, which shows a summary of WBS directly. Furthermore, most software
packages share WBS format; thus, you can easily merge WBS outlines into other
software, while activity codes can create problems.
Figure 75 Organising activities based on activity codes
Below are the steps to create activity codes and assign them to activities:
Open the Activity codes dialogue box (Enterprise Activity codes).
Click Modify in the dialogue box and you will see the Activity code definitions
dialogue box (See Figure 76).
Hit Add in the dialogue box, name it, and then define Max length of code value for the
activity code you created. Click Close.
In the Activity codes pop-up, click Add to create as many Code values as you like, and
name them. Click Close.
Figure 76 Creating activity codes

Below are the steps to assign activity codes to activities:


Display the Columns dialogue box by right-clicking on the columns of the activity
window.
Search the activity code in the Available options area and move it to the Selected
options area by double-clicking it. Hit OK.
In the activity window, select an activity, click the cell of the activity code, and you
will see a pop-up asking you to select a value, as shown in Figure 77.
Double-click the value.
If you want to assign the value multiple activities, you can use the Fill down
command.
Figure 77 Dialogue box for selecting an activity code value

COMPARING ACTIVITY CODES AND UDFS (USER DEFINED


FIELDS) AND GLOBAL CHANGE
Even though UDFs (User Defined Fields) look similar to activity codes, they differ in
usage an activity code has a code value used in grouping and filtering activities, while a
UDF has no code value, as shown in Figure 78. UDF is generally used for taking a note or
recording data temporarily while using Global change.
Figure 78 Activity code and UDF

Global change is commend allowing P6 users to make batch changes to activities and their
attributes, including durations, activity codes, expenses and more. Below are data types
that are commonly used in schedule management and can be changed with Global change:
Activity area Activity ID and name, activity type, duration type, percent complete
type, and WBS.
Duration and date area Original and remaining duration, calendar, expected finish,
primary constraint and constraint date, and secondary constraint and constraint date.
Progress area actual start and finish, duration % complete, physical % complete, and
units % complete.
HANDY TIP AN EASY WAY TO CHANGE THE ORDER OF
COLUMNS IN AN ACTIVITIES TABLE
You can click and drag any column that you want to move.
Refining the schedule
Refining the schedule means optimising the project schedule by reviewing network logic
and removing constraints on the working space or resources, as well as performing what-if
scenarios as necessary. In this stage, schedulers will experience a lot of repetitive work
scheduling and adjusting to find the optimised project schedule. In this phase, the level
of experience and knowledge of each scheduler will be revealed. The quality of the project
schedule is dependent on this stage.
Before you begin refining your project, you need to preserve the original in case you end
up needing to go back.
Create a copy of your project and re-name the copy as suggested in the preparation
chapter: Project name + Backup + Analyse + date.
Reschedule the copy: many calculated fields and log files will be updated.

CHECK THE BASICS


Prior to scheduling, you need to review all relevant documents: The Contract Agreement,
the Project Charter (if any), the Project Management Plan, guidelines for schedule
management (if any), the approved Work Estimate, and any work scope-related
documents, drawings, specifications, etc. Go through each document and tag on any page
that has schedule-related information or requirements.
Check whether the WBS of the schedule covers all of the work scope.
Check four key dates in Primavera P6 and confirm that they are set in the Dates tab of
the Projects window (see Figure 79) Planned start date (project start date), Planned
finish date, Must finish by date, and Data date. The Planned finish date should fall on
or before the Must finish by date so that activities do not have negative float. When the
project is still in the planning phase, the DD should not exceed the Planned start date.
Figure 79 Dates tab of the Projects window

Activity types have to be reviewed. Normal tasks should be of the task-dependent


type.
Calendars seriously affect project duration; thus, schedulers should make sure that
each calendar has proper non-working days and working hours/day, and each activity
is assigned to the proper calendar.
Generally speaking, only the start and finish milestone activities are allowed to have
an open-ended relationship. Fix other activities with open-ended relationships by
linking them with other activities, if possible.
Does your client allow the schedule to have leads or lags? If not, get rid of them. You
can find them by using the P6 Report Wizard. Finding lags using the Report Wizard is
discussed in another chapter.
Check constraints in the schedule. Are they all allowed by your clients? If so, record
reasons in UDFs.
SCHEDULING
Scheduling aims to determine whether or not the draft schedule to meet the project
completion. Current DD and Schedule options. Current DD should not exceed the project
start date.
Figure 80 Schedule dialogue box

Before scheduling, users must set some options in the Schedule option dialogue box. To
view the Schedule option dialogue box, click the Options button in the Schedule dialogue
box.
Ignore relationships to and from other projects This determines whether Primavera
P6 will take into account logic relationships between the active project and any other
projects while scheduling. This relates to the ability of P6 to have logic links between
multiple projects.
Make open-ended activities critical This determines whether the software will show
activities without successor relationships as critical.
Use expected finish dates This determines whether P6 is accounting for expected
finish dates.
Schedule automatically when a change affects dates This determines whether P6 will
recalculate the schedule automatically whenever any date is changed.
Level resources during scheduling This determines whether resources will be
levelled while scheduling.
Recalculate assignment costs after scheduling This determines whether assigned
costs will be recalculated after scheduling.
When scheduling progressed activities use This determines whether the schedule is
calculated using retained logic, progress override, or actual dates. This is related to
processing out-of-sequence activities. The retained logic setting means that if an
activity starts out of sequence, the remaining duration of that activity will be delayed
until all of its predecessors have finished. This option can affect the project duration in
updating the schedule; therefore, some clients define this option in their requirements
related to schedule management. Details are introduced in another chapter.
Calculate start-to-start lag from This determines how SS relationship lag is
calculated. The early start setting means that the amount of lag is dependent on the
early start date of its predecessor.
Define critical activities as This determines whether the software is calculating
critical activities as the longest path, or as a function of a certain value of total float.
Calculate float based on finish date of This determines how P6 will take into account
multiple projects linked together.
Compute total float as This determines how total float is calculated.
Calendar for scheduling relationship lag This determines how P6 will calculate
relationship lag. Since a lag is assigned to a relationship, users have to choose one of
the options. A lag is created because of a successor activity; therefore, the successor is
responsible for the lag.
Calculate multiple float paths in the advanced option is to determine how P6 will trace
multiple logical paths to specified activities.
SCHEDULE LOG REVIEW
The schedule log shows key schedule-related statistics. The schedule log is a text file that
can be generated automatically while scheduling. You can view it by hitting View log in
the Schedule dialogue box (see Figure 81).
Figure 81 Sample schedule log
Scheduling/levelling settings show the settings for schedule options.
Statistics (Among statistics, data of activities, not started, in progress, and completed can
be used as information in the regular report.)
Projects Shows how many projects were scheduled using P6.
Activities Defines the total number of activities in the schedule.
Not started Shows the number of activities that have not yet started.
In progress Shows the number of activities in progress.
Completed Defines the number of activities completed.
Relationships Provides the total number of relationships used in the schedule.
Activities with constraint Provides a count of the total number of activities with
constraints.
Warnings (Data of warning is used in analysing a schedule)
Activities without predecessors Shows the number of activities that lack
predecessors.
Activities without successors Shows the number of activities that lack successors.
Out-of-sequence activities Shows the number of activities that have started before
their predecessor activity has finished.
Activities with actual dates > data date Shows the number of activities that have
actual dates later than the DD.
Milestone activities with invalid relationships Checks the legitimacy of logic
relationships to milestone activities.
Finish milestone and predecessors have different calendars Shows whether finish
milestones and their predecessors have different calendars.
Scheduling/levelling results
Projects scheduled/levelled Relates to how many projects were scheduled.
Activities scheduled/levelled Provides the number of activities scheduled.
Relationships with other projects Shows relationships by which activities are linked
with the activities in other projects.
Data date Show the data date.
Earliest early start date Shows the earliest early start date in the project after
calculation.
Latest early finish date Shows the latest early finish date in the project.
FINDING MISSING RELATIONSHIPS
The most difficult aspect of developing a schedule is probably accurately linking activities
with each other with appropriate relationships, without omitting. Incorrect relationships
can easily distort total float, resulting in an incorrect project duration. To develop a proper
project schedule, schedulers have to prepare network diagram of work package level in
advance. An ex post facto method is to draw a graphical summary schedule that will be
used in checking the omission and failure of network logic.
Figure 82 shows an example of a graphical summary schedule for a railway project. The
horizontal orange lines are permanent ways work (track), and the vertical rectangles
represent civil works (earth work, viaducts, and tunnels). Track work cannot start before
all civil works are completed; thus, all civil works should lie under track work in the
schedule. If any relationship is missing between civil work and track work, track work
will start before the civil work in that section is finished. This summary schedule is
prepared on the basis of the draft schedule, and its graphical icons help to clarify the
schedule and check activity dates.
Figure 82 Example of a graphical summary schedule


SPATIAL CONSTRAINTS REVIEW
Sometimes work interferences occur between disciplines in a small work space.
Schedulers can find these types of constraints by grouping activities that will be performed
at the same time and place. Figure 83 shows an example of grouping by floor.
To do this review, follow these steps:
Identify the areas, spaces, floors, and rooms that are expected to be crowded by
different subcontractors.
Create activity codes and assign them to activities according to location, such as
floors, rooms, and areas.
Reorganise activities in accordance with activity codes by using Group and Sort.
Review Gantt charts at each area, space, floor, and room. If there is any place where
multiple tasks will be performed at the same time and it is expected to be crowded
with different subcontractors, link the activities with Finish to Start relationship to
prevent overcrowding.
Figure 83 Grouping by Floor (third floor)


INTENTIONAL DELAY
On railway construction projects, some infrastructure or facilities do not need to be
completed early. Railway construction projects usually have long construction durations;
the buildings and facilities of depots (which are used to keep and maintain trains) used to
be completed one year prior to opening, even though they have no successor tasks. In
terms of economics, the plan should be rescheduled to reduce the project cost. Depots tend
to have sizable infrastructure requiring huge budgets; thus, if a depot is finished one year
early, its interest cost for one year cannot be ignored, and its buildings and facilities will
be maintained unnecessarily until opening, increasing the project cost.
LEVELLING RESOURCES
Levelling resources is a technique by which the start and finish dates of activities are
adjusted on the basis of resource constraints (or resources limitations). The purpose of
levelling resources is to balance the demand for resources with the available supply. There
are some cases in which multiple activities requiring the same resources, such as
machines, are performed at the same time, causing a resource shortage. The tasks should
be rescheduled to resolve the resource shortage to adjust resource usage profile. Figure 84
shows the usage profile of plasterers (R-10); the black line represents the maximum units
per time, and the red bars represent over-allocation.
Figure 84 Resource usage profile

Even though levelling resources is a useful feature in Primavera P6, its use is not
recommended because levelling resources sometimes generates unintentional changes in
the schedule. Actually, Primavera P6 processes resource levelling by moving schedule
tasks mechanically, not only for solving resource constraints but also for achieving a more
consistent level of resources throughout the schedule duration. Since levelling resources is
not controllable, P6 operators prefer to adjust activity dates manually. The following steps
are for manual resource levelling:
Display columns of Free float and Total float to view.
Go to Resource Usage Profile view and check any over-allocated resources.
Adjust the activities, beginning with those with a large Free float, by adding
relationships or lags.
If you have finished adjusting the activities with free float and there are still over-
allocated resources, adjust the activities with a large Total float first.
If you have finished adjusting the activities with Total float and there are still over-
allocated resources, see if there is any room to change the schedule without modifying
the completion date of the project.
All activities moved due to levelling resources should be recorded in order to be
reviewed when developing the recovery plans.
WHAT-IF SCENARIOS
To find the optimised schedule, schedulers develop various what-if scenarios in the
planning phase, which can also be used in catch-up planning. The optimised schedule
reflects the working environment and resource management strategy. So what is a
scenario? A scenario involves a question and an answer. Here are some examples of
questions for scenarios:
How many people per day will be needed to complete this activity in three weeks?
If we increase work time from 10-hour to 12-hour shifts, how much time will we save?
The budget for this task is $20,000. How quickly can it be done with six men per day?
To optimise duration and performance, activities should be assigned with resources, and
the duration type should be Fixed units.
Go to the Projects window and select the project for which you want to create what-if
scenarios.
Right-click, and click Create Reflection in the popup menu.
You will see a project with a question mark (?) at the project icon, and its project name
has Reflection additionally.
Figure 85 Preview dialogue box for merging changes

Open the project, find critical activities, and change its units/time.
You can see changes of duration when you change the units/time of critical activities
as well as the project duration.
If you have built the optimised schedule, right-click, and click Merge Reflection into
Source project.
You will have a dialogue box (see Figure 85) in which to review changes to the
project. Select the activities to merge them with the original project.
Hit Merge Changes to apply.
Analysing the schedule
The schedule development phase and the analysis phase are not separated when
establishing a schedule. A scheduler should repeat the cycle of developing, analysing, and
revising a project schedule alternately in order to produce a robust and detailed schedule.
Participants in a construction project will encounter unfamiliar environments; thus, a
schedule needs to reflect as many risks as possible by repeating schedule development
cycle.

DEFINING CRITICAL ACTIVITIES


Do you know the difference between the critical paths revealed by Total float less than or
equal to and Longest path in the scheduling options box? The critical path presented by
Total float less than or equal to is determined on the basis of total float. If the option has
one day, any activities that have total float less than or equal to one will be critical
activities. As for the Longest path option, the chain of activities that has the longest
duration will be the critical path. In a simple schedule, you will find that both options
present the same number of critical activities while different numbers of critical activities
in a big schedule. Sometimes we feel like comparing the two. Here are the steps:
Go to the editing dialogue box for columns in the activity table.
Search for one called Critical and another called Longest path.
Add them to the Selected options area.
You may see that the longest path has more activities than does the critical path with
zero (0) total float.
Points you have to review for the critical path:
Compare the critical path revealed by scheduling with the critical path you expected.
Check whether any activity on the critical path has unnecessary or incorrect
relationships or lag.
Check whether any relationships are missing for the critical activities.
Check whether the critical activities have proper durations and calendars.
Check whether any critical activity has constraints.
CRITICAL PATH AND NEAR-CRITICAL PATH
In the executing phase, any activity path can become the critical path due to a delay of the
activities on the non-critical path; thus, the scheduler should monitor near-critical paths,
too. You can draw critical paths and near-critical paths with scheduling in Primavera P6.
To filter near-critical activities, you can use float path and float order. Float path
demonstrates the order of a group of total float value; the lower the number, the lower the
amount of floats; thus, a float path with number 1 is the critical path. Float order is the
sequence of the activity relationships in the same float path, as shown in Figure 86. Float
path and float path order provide powerful features to analyse the critical path and near-
critical path.
Figure 86 Float path and Float path order

You can organise the critical path and near-critical paths in different ways without
changing any data, if you follow these steps:
Go to the Group and sort dialogue box, delete WBS in Group by column, and click
OK.
Filter only the last activity (the project completion activity) with Activity ID for
Parameter and equals for Is, and click OK. You will see only the activity in the
Gantt chart window.
Go to the Relationships tab and select the activitys predecessor that drives the dates of
successors. If you do not see the Driving column in the Successors section, you can
display it by customising columns.
Hit the GoTo button below and you will see the activity you selected. Select the
activity that appears, and then repeat displaying other activities by using the GoTo
button.
When completing displaying all activity you want in the Gantt chart window, sort
activities by clicking the Start column. You may need to create a UDF to record these
orders. If you use Activity network view, it will give you a beautiful graphic view.
HANDY TIP SHOWING NEAR-CRITICAL ACTIVITIES
GRAPHICALLY
Critical activities are usually shown red in the bar area, but near-critical activities are not.
Use these steps to show near-critical activities in other colours:
Go to the Filters dialogue box and create a new filter by clicking Add.
Name it (e.g., TF 13) and click Modify.
Choose Total float for Parameter and within range of for Is.
Input 1d in the Value column and 3d in the High value column.
Save it by hitting OK, and close the Filters dialog box.
Go to the Bars dialogue box and create a new bar by hitting Add.
Name it (e.g., TF 13), and select Remain Bar for Time scale.
Choose TF 1-3 in the filter column.
Select the bar type and colour at the Bar style below.
Make sure Display for the new filter is checked and save it by hitting OK.
You will see that activities with a total float of 1 to 3 have the bar type and colour you
have set. You can also make more near-critical bars, such as TF 46.
If you want to show near-critical activities graphically in the activity table, follow the
steps below:
Go to the UDF dialogue box and create a new UDF.
Name it TF 13 and close the dialogue box.
Display the column you create in the activity table.
Go to the Global change dialogue box and create a new change.
Click Modify, and select Total float for Parameter and within range of for Is.
Input 1d in the Value column and 3d in the High value column.
In the section named Then, choose the Critical indicator for Parameter, = for Is,
and Green for the Parameter/Value column.
Save it by hitting OK, and run the Global change you have made.
You will see the Global change report. Review it and, if everything is OK, hit Commit
changes.
You will see green indicators in the UDF column TF 13 in the activity table.
RISKS ANALYSIS
In terms of schedule management, all activity delays can be risks. Schedule risks that
impact schedule duration include design issues (design changes and design errors),
fluctuating resources, resource experience, etc. However, not all issues have the same
impact on the schedule:
A delay of the activities on the critical path has a stronger impact on the schedule than
that of other activities which have positive total floats. The activities having positive
total floats can be delayed within the range of total floats, causing no delay of a project
completion date.
A delay of the activities lying on the front of the critical path has a stronger impact on
the schedule than that of activities lying on the back of the critical path because the
former has more successors than the latter.
A delay of the activities with numerous successors has a stronger impact on the
schedule than that of activities with a sole successor.
Unfortunately, schedulers cannot analyse the impact of each activitys delay (risks)
quantitatively with Primavera P6. Instead, you can analyse schedule-related risks with
Primavera Risk Analysis, which provides four powerful analysis functions, as follows
(Figure 87 illustrates the relationships between factors and analysis):
Figure 87 Relations between analyses

Duration Sensitivity computes the correlation between the duration of each activity
and that of the entire schedule, using Pearsons product moment. If an activity ranks
high in this calculation, delay of the activity will highly affect the project completion.
Criticality Index the proportion of the iterations in which an activity was on the
critical path. If an activity ranks high in this analysis, the activity will likely become a
critical activity.
Duration Cruciality calculated by multiplying its duration sensitivity by criticality
index.
Schedule Sensitivity Index computed by multiplying its criticality index by the ratio
of its variance against the variance of the whole schedule. Variance means standard
deviation ([pessimistic duration optimistic duration] / 6).
HANDY TIP FINDING LAG
You can see most schedule-related data in the database of Primavera P6 by customising
the columns of each window; however, some are not visible, such as lag. If you want to
see lag, you have to review the activities one by one, which can take a long time. To easily
find the lag of an activity using Report Wizard:
Open the project for which you want to find lag.
Go to the Reports window (Tools Reports Reports) and select the report (AD-02
Activity Relationships). Primavera P6 PPM (version 15.1) has the report.
Run Report Wizard (Tools menu), and you will see the Report Wizard dialogue box
(Modify Wizard Report will be checked). Hit Next.
You will see a second dialogue box. If there is no Activity relationships in the
section Selected Subject Areas, bring it from the section Available Subject Areas.
Click Next.
When you see the third dialogue box, hit the Columns button and bring lag from the
Available options section to the Selected options section, as shown in Figure 88. Hit
OK.
In the Report title dialogue box, create a name and hit Next.
If you can see the Report generated dialogue box, hit the Run report button.
You will see the Run report dialogue box. Hit OK.
You will see the lag of activities in the report.
Figure 88 Report Wizard and the columns dialogue box

REMAINING EARLY COST CURVE AND PAYMENT CURVE


Figure 89 shows an example of a remaining early cost curve and payment curve.
Contractors use remaining early cost curves to calculate budgets and anticipate workloads
over the project period, while clients use payment curves to calculate the funds to secure
over the project period.
Figure 89 Early cost curve and payment curve
The two curves do not synchronise because the client pays the contractor the advance
payment (284) at the beginning of the project (Month 1), and deducts part of the advance
payment and retention from every payment; invoice processing takes time, as well. To
make a payment curve, schedulers should manipulate the remaining late cost data in
Excel.
Go to the Resource assignments window in Primavera P6 and set up Spreadsheet fields
to display remaining early cost.
Change the timescale according to the time units of the graph.
Select all the remaining early cost data and copy and paste it into Excel.
Sum up the cost over the period in Excel.
Go back to the Resource assignments window and set up Spreadsheet fields to display
remaining late cost.
Select all the remaining late cost data and copy and paste it into another Excel sheet.
Sum up the cost over the period.
Define the total amount of the advance payment and retention, if any, and put it in
Month 0 (at the beginning of the period).
Deduct part of the total amount of the advance payment and retention from the
monthly remaining late cost.
Combine both summaries into a table, make cumulative date by adding values, and
draw a graph based on the table.
ORGANISING MILESTONES
The bigger the project, the greater the number of activities. On a big project, it may be
difficult to identify milestones, which are usually important activities for estimating
project progress. It will usually be most efficient to group milestones and put them at the
top of the schedule, as shown in Figure 90. There are some contracts that suggest to pay
based on the actualised milestones. In that case, grouping milestones will help the client
and contractor communicate smoothly.
Figure 90 Milestones

CHECKLIST BEFORE SUBMITTING SCHEDULE TO CLIENT IN THE


PLANNING PHASE
Schedule management
What are the requirements related to schedule management?
Have the requirements been defined by reliable documents (e.g., contract agreement
and contractual documents, international standard codes, etc.)?
Work scope
Has the work scope been defined by reliable documents?
Has WBS been reviewed by participants (e.g., departments, field site offices,
subcontractors, suppliers, etc.)?
Do the work packages cover all the work scope and all requirements of the client?
Have all work packages been assigned to responsible teams or organisations (e.g.,
departments, field site offices, subcontractors, suppliers, etc.)?
Schedule
Does the end date of the schedule meet the completion date of the project?
Do activities follow the standard activity ID and name structure?
Has the schedule been created based on schedule-related requirements?
What is the basis for activity durations and relationships?
Have constraints and lag/lead of activities been recorded?
Have resource allocations been reviewed to prevent over-allocation?
What are the milestone activities in the schedule?
What are the critical and near-critical activities in the schedule?
What are the schedule-related risks in the schedule?
UPDATING, ANALYSING AND
REPORTING
Methodologies and processes of progress updating
After a project baseline (planned schedule) is published, engineers in departments and site
offices carry out their tasks according to the project baseline and update the progress
status. The main purposes of progress updating are to (1) understand the project status, (2)
anticipate the finish date of the project by computing performance, and (3) calculate the
payment.
When updating the project schedule, it is necessary to define progress based on as-built
schedule information, such as daily field reports, project meetings, progress photographs,
etc. Progress can be defined by schedulers, department staff, counterparts at field site
offices, or subcontractors. When defining progress, relevant documents, photos, and
records should be procured as evidence.

DATA TO MAINTAIN IN THE IMPLEMENTING PHASE


Primavera P6 has many kinds of data, so it is no exaggeration to say that schedule
management is P6 database management. Schedulers should understand data types and
their relations with other data. To analyse and maintain progress data, schedulers should
know controllable data from uncontrollable data. Figure 91 illustrates the relationships
between progress data. As the diagram shows, controllable data are Original duration,
Remaining duration, Actual labour units, Actual non-labour units, Remaining labour units,
and Remaining non-labour units.
Note that once an activity has started (its start date has been actualised), you can change
its finish date, not by changing the original duration, but by changing the remaining
duration or At completion duration. Original duration is used only for computing Duration
% complete. In other words, once an activity has started, original duration becomes
planned duration, which is the basis for calculating Duration % complete.
Figure 91 Relationships between schedule progress data

Primavera P6 (version 8.3) has 671 data types; however, users do not need to understand
all of them because P6 has been developed for various types of projects to support various
users. Figure 92 shows recommendable data types and names for P6 operators to
understand and monitor in the updating phase.
Figure 92 Data types to monitor in the updating phase

COMMUNICATION TYPES FOR COLLECTING PROGRESS DATA


Progress and as-built information will be gathered to reflect actual progress as of the DD
or contractors monthly progress payment estimate date. There are several types of
methods for communication between counterparts and schedulers to transmit progress
data:
Using a network version of Primavera P6 (EPPM) P6 EPPM gives the project team
anytime, anywhere access to their project information through web-based user
interfaces. It also provides various interfaces such as PC (or tablet), iOS, Android, and
email.
Sharing a Primavera P6 (PPM) database If counterparts at departments, field site
offices, and subcontractors can access the Primavera P6 database using a network, they
can update the project schedule directly.
Submitting progress data in XER format .xer is a file format created from the
database of Primavera P6. Engineers can submit it by email or other media to a
scheduler, who then imports it into his or her own Primavera P6 database.
Submitting progress data in Excel format If engineers (departments and site offices)
do not have the P6 application, they may use Excel to update their activities.
Using network solutions (3rd party applications) A project management team can
develop their own progress management solution or customise a SAP application for
progress management.
Other types On smaller projects, a project team can use phone, email or other media
to update schedules and communicate.
To share information conveniently, many people use cloud services, which are designed to
provide easy access to applications, resources and services, and are fully managed by a
cloud services provider. Examples of cloud services include online data storage and
backup solutions, Web-based document collaboration services, and more.
Figure 93 Structure of sharing files using cloud services


COLLECTING PROGRESS DATA BY MEANS OF XER FILES
Collecting progress data by transmitting XER files is a classic method among P6 users.
Figure 94 shows the process of updating a schedule using reflection files (XER files).
A scheduler on a project management team makes reflection files for counterparts with
different name based on naming standard if any.
Using filter, a layout for each counterpart should be created to help them focus on their
own activities when updating.
Figure 94 Schedule updating using reflection files

The scheduler exports the reflection files in XER format and distributes them to
counterparts at departments, field site offices, and subcontractors.
Counterparts update the schedule (reflection file) based on actual performances and
send it back to the scheduler.
The scheduler imports the XER file into the Primavera P6 database and converts the
schedule into a reflection.
He or she then analyses the updated schedule by comparing it with the original
schedule prior to merging it into the source schedule. If there are any unsatisfied
updates in the reflection schedule, he or she can ask the counterpart about it.
If the updated schedule is OK, the scheduler can merge it into the source schedule.
There may be a problem when importing XER files from other users (subcontractors or
staff of field sites). Their global data comes along for the ride any calendars, resources,
codes, etc. used in a project go with the project when it is exported and may end up
polluting your P6 database when you import an XER file they have sent you.
HANDY TIP IMPORTING A HIGHER VERSION XER FILE
What if a counterpart has sent you a higher version .xer file than your Primavera P6 can
import? There are two solutions to this problem. The first is to call the counterpart and ask
him or her to save it as a lower version that your P6 can process, and send it again. The
second is to change it yourself, as follows:
Open the XER file in Windows Notepad.
You will see the version of Primavera P6 on the very first line, for example,
ERMHDR 15.1 (see Figure 95).
Edit the number in the line to match the version of P6 installed on your computer.
Save it without changing the file extension.
Import the file into Primavera P6 as usual.
(This fix is not guaranteed to work every time because there may be version differences
that will no longer be handled properly, but results are most often favourable.)
Figure 95 XER file opened in Windows Notepad

You may be wondering how this works. An XER file is a simple database file with Tab as
a delimiter. Thus, you can open and modify it in any text editor or program that can read a
text file, including Excel: Open a new sheet in Excel, and then go to data menu. You will
see From text. Click it and then select the XER file. You will see a pop-up asking you to
choose the file type. Select Delimited and hit Next. In the second dialogue box, if Tab
is selected, click Next and hit Finish in the third pop-up. You will see XER data in the
sheet.
COLLECTING PROGRESS DATA BY MEANS OF AN EXCEL FILE
If field site offices and subcontractors have no Primavera P6 package, a scheduler who
needs to centrally collect all schedule-related data from them should use Excel files as
follows:
Export the Excel file from P6 and modify it for data collecting, as shown in Figure 96,
and then distribute it to them.
Excel files are updated by counterparts at site offices and subcontractors.
Gather updated Excel files.
There are two ways to import data in Excel to P6 modifying the format of the
collected files to import into a Reflection schedule in P6, or typing the progress data
into a Reflection schedule manually.
Reschedule the Reflection schedule. If you find any problems when comparing it with
the original, for example, delay of activity, contact counterparts to fix the problem.
When all problems with the Reflection have been fixed, merge it with the original
schedule.
Figure 96 Example of Excel format for progress data collection


COLLECTING PROGRESS DATA BY MEANS OF A PROJECT
MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM
If you plan to run a self-developed PMIS for schedule management, the following should
be taken into account when planning, designing, developing and operating the system:
When it comes to network systems, there are two types: client-server and web-based.
The client-server system is much faster than the web-based system; however, it
requires installation of the system on each personal computer, while the web-based
system does not.
It should provide at least four types of access modes (security and privilege): super
user, scheduler, counterpart, and management. Super user mode is for the system
administrator who will assign security profiles to each user and manipulate planned
schedule data. Scheduler mode is for the schedulers on the project management team,
who will manipulate planned data and actual data. Counterpart mode is for the
counterparts at departments, field site offices, and subcontractors, who will input
actual data into the system. Management mode is for the management or client who
will only view the plan and actual data of the project.
The data types processed in the system should be similar to the data types previously
introduced in Collecting progress data by means of an Excel file.
The user-interface for inputting plan data should be similar to Excels, and the user-
interface for inputting progress data should be similar Primavera P6s. User-interface
should not require much training of its users.
Manuals should be prepared for system maintenance, input of plan data, input of actual
data, data maintenance, etc.
Below is the process for running PMIS:
(1) Establishing a plan A scheduler exports the approved project baseline in Excel
format from Primavera P6 and inserts Excel data into the PMIS as a plan.
(2) Opening the system A super user opens the system to let the counterparts input
actual data.
(3) Updating the schedule The counterparts input progress data into the system.
(4) Closing the system After inputting all actual data, a super user closes the system.
Counterparts will not be able to change any data while schedulers at the project
management team analyse the project schedule.
(5) Analysing progress The scheduler exports progress data from the system, updates
the project schedule, and analyses it. If a problem is found with the updated
schedule, counterparts should be contacted.
(6) Updating baseline or actual data If a master schedule is changed or actual data in
the system needs to be fixed, data should be changed.
(7) Repeat (1)(6) at the next updating period.
Updating the schedule
When updating the schedule, schedulers should make a copy of the current project
schedule. This is to ensure that each and every update has a unique schedule file
associated with it.

PRIOR TO UPDATING PROGRESS IN PRIMAVERA P6


If you have finished gathering information and data related to project progress, use Filter
for the activities that have not started or are in progress, as shown in Figure 97.
Figure 97 Filter setting

If you want to narrow down the range of activities in terms of start and finish date on the
basis of DD, you can use another filter option. Figure 98 shows a filtering set to narrow
down the activities for monthly progress updates. DD in the Value column means DD (the
latest update date).
Figure 98 Filtering activities

PROGRESS UPDATING FOR EACH TYPE OF ACTIVITY


There are three items (duration, physical, and units) related to progress updating in P6, and
each manner of updating is slightly different. The following steps are for the activities
assigned with Physical for percent complete type (see Figure 99):
(1) Check Started (or Finished if the activity is in progress), and then select the
date. Any date can be actualised, even if the date is a non-work date.
(2) Update remaining duration. Do not make changes to At completion, which will be
updated automatically based on the original and remaining durations.
(3) Go to the Step tab and check completed step(s), or update percent of step(s). If there
is no step there, you can update Physical % in the Status tab. The value of Physical
will affect that of Earned Value Cost (B).
(4) Go to the Resource tab and update actual and remaining units. The value of Units
will affect that of Actual Cost (C).
Figure 99 Statusing for Physical type

When updating activities, using Expected finish date is sometimes preferable to entering
remaining duration for the activities that are not completed. P6 operators frequently make
a mistake when inputting remaining days because of non-working days. Therefore, many
P6 users prefer using Expected finish date. To use this, P6 users have to check whether
Use Expected Finish Dates is activated.
The following steps are for the activities assigned with Duration for percent complete type
(see Figure 100):
(1) Check Started (or Finished if the activity is in progress), and then select the
date.
(2) Update remaining duration. Do not change At completion, which will be updated
automatically based on the original and remaining durations. Remaining duration is
linked with Duration %; thus, you do not need to update the percentage. The value
of Duration % will affect that of Earned Value Cost (B) because it is linked with
Activity complete type.
(3) Go to the Resource tab and update actual and remaining units. The value of Units
will affect that of Actual Cost (C).
Figure 100 Statusing for Duration type
The following steps are for the activities assigned with Units for percent complete type
(see Figure 101):
(1) Check Started (or Finished if the activity is in progress), and then select the
date.
(2) Update remaining duration. Do not change At completion, which will be updated
automatically based on the original and remaining durations.
(3) Go to the Resource tab and update actual and remaining units. The value of Units
will affect those of Earned Value Cost (B) and Actual Cost (C).
Figure 101 Statusing for Units type

If you want to input actual overtime units (actual overtime cost), follow the steps below:
Go to the resources window and select any resources except Material type resources.
Hit the Details tab, check Overtime Allowed and enter a value in the Overtime
factor. The overtime factor must be between 0.0 and 10.0.
Then go to the Resources tab of the Activities window and display three columns
called Overtime Allowed, Actual overtime units and Actual overtime cost by
customising columns.
Enter values in Actual regular units, as desired. Actual overtime cost will be computed
as Actual overtime units multiplied by cost per time (Price / Unit) multiplied by
Overtime factor. And Actual cost will be calculated as Actual regular cost plus Actual
overtime cost.
If you want to view the relationships between Overtime cost and regular cost, display two
more columns called Actual Regular Units and Actual Regular Cost.
SUMMARISING AND STORING PERIOD PERFORMANCE
Performance data in the Activity usage spreadsheet is not actual progress data, it is just the
distributed total values of actual performance over the period. Therefore, you need to save
progress data regularly into the predefined financial period. To store actual performance
after updating the schedule, create financial periods, as follows:
Figure 102 Financial periods dialogue box

Open the financial periods dialogue box, select a start date, and then click Add to
create.
If you want to create multiple financial periods at the same time (see Figure 102),
follow the steps below:
(1) Choose the start date of the financial period.
(2) Select the end date of the financial period.
(3) Define the interval of the financial period.
(4) Click Batch create to create.
(5) You will see the financial periods you have just created.
Open the Store period performance dialogue box (Tool menu), and then click Financial
period.
Select a financial period and hit Store new to save performance.
Figure 103 Storing performance


HANDY TIP UPDATING PROGRESS (EV) USING ACTIVITY %
COMPLETE
Prior to following this tip, you must check that Activity % complete is selected in the
option Technique for computing performance percent complete of the Earned Value tab
under Admin preferences in the Admin menu. Note that only the activities that are in
progress (have the actualised start date) can be updated, and any activity that has Steps
cannot be updated.
Display the Activity % complete column in the activity table, and then input progress data
as needed. Thats it! If an activitys Percent complete type is Physical, its values of
Physical and Activity % complete will be synchronised.
Note that the remaining duration of a Duration type activity is affected by the value of the
Activity % complete. Also, when updating a Unit type activity, only the remaining units of
resources are changed. In other words, if a Unit type activity has 30 actual units and 70
remaining units, indicating 30%, when you update it from 30% to 50%, the remaining
units will be 30.
To conclude, updating the Activity % complete requires many conditions that often do not
work as we would like, so it is not recommended.
SETTING THE DATA DATE
When scheduling, you need to be careful in setting the DD. The DD hour has to be set
later than the working hours in the assigned calendar, for example, 10 p.m. Schedulers
sometimes make the mistake of skipping the hour setting of the DD; its default hour is 0
a.m., as shown in Figure 104. What if you have assigned an activity in P6 to be finished at
4 p.m. on 31 March and you are scheduling as of 31 March with a default hour of 0 a.m.?
Its successor activity that is scheduled to start 1 April will be shown as starting 31 March.
Figure 104 Setting the Data date

Note that DD setting affects your project. The start dates of all activities that have not
started (their start dates have not been actualised) will be delayed to the DD, and the finish
dates of all activities that have not finished (their finish dates have not been actualised)
will be the DD plus the remaining duration.
TECHNIQUE FOR COMPUTING PERFORMANCE PERCENT
COMPLETE
If EV does not equal what you expect after updating the project progress, check the option
Technique for computing performance percent complete of EV (Admin Admin
Preferences), as shown in Figure 105.
Figure 105 Earned value options

There are six options. Among them, Activity % complete, 50/50 % complete, and 0/100 %
complete are commonly used in defining progress. Activity % complete is the default
option, and it reflects the progress of activities whenever updated. On the other hand, the
0/100 % complete option reflects progress only when an activity is completed. Any
percent complete will represent zero (0) percent progress until the activity is completed. In
the case of 50/50 % percent, once an activity has started (actualised), the tasks is marked
as 50% completed, and when it is completed, the progress will be 100%.
Figure 106 illustrates comparisons between the accumulation of real project progress and
that of measured progress in Primavera P6 for each option. In the case of Activity %
complete, measured progress equals real project progress at every DD when project
progress is updated. In the case of 0/100 % complete, the measured progress never equals
the real progress except when the project is completed (all activities are completed). When
it comes to 50/50%, although the measured progress exceeds the real progress, it is
reasonable because its excess compensates for the undervalued progress between DDs.
Figure 106 Comparison of real progress and measured progress for each option

On the other hand, applying progress measurement varies based on task type. Below are
examples of progress measurement method assigned to activities in a project:
Engineering tasks (e.g., design, feasibility study) 0:100 % complete.
Procurement tasks Issues for procurement order (20%), manufacturing and shipping
(40%), delivery (20%).
Construction Activity % complete.
HANDY TIP COMPUTING THE WORKLOAD OF SCHEDULE
UPDATING
Below are the steps to calculate the workload for schedule updating:
Copy the master schedule and delete units assigned to resources of activities by using
Top-down Estimation.
Create a resource with $1/d price.
Assign as many units as original duration to each activity using Global change.
Display Activity usage profile view at the bottom of the Activities window and adjust
the time scale as desired.
At the top of the Activity usage profile view, you will find the total budget of the
project based on the time scale.
THE REASONS WHY ACTUAL COST SHOULD BE UPDATED
As you can see in Figure 107, the client does not need to know the status of AC, which
comes from the value of Units in P6 under the Fixed-price-contract type; however,
schedulers should update it. Why?
Figure 107 Relationships between EVM values and other data

Some contract agreements have a condition stating that when the contract is
terminated, AC will be the basis for payment. This is not a good condition for
contractors because AC is generally smaller than EV.
In the case of Force Majeure, compensation can be calculated on the basis of AC.
Projects that do not allow for time to calculate exact quantities, such as disaster
recovery projects, will have a Cost-reimbursement type contract, in which AC is used
to compute payment.
The client (actually, the supervisor) requires to analyse productivity for a contractors
work performance to increase performance in advance.
In the case of an in-house project, AC is the most important factor by which to analyse
productivity. Productivity can be defined as the ratio of output to all of the resources
used to produce that output.
Analysing progress
Progress analysis aims to find any problems in implementing the project, and prepare
countermeasures. Analysing progress involves comparing the updated schedule with the
baseline. To compare them, P6 users have to create the project baseline and assign it to the
updated schedule. You will see two types of baselines in Primavera P6: Project baseline
and User baseline. A project baseline is the baseline that is set for all users who will access
that particular project, while a user baseline can be set for a current user. User baseline has
three types: primary, secondary, and tertiary user. While a Primary user baseline has
features that compare a projects costs and resourcing, secondary and tertiary user
baselines do not.
COMPARING SCHEDULES
Claim digger, in the Tools menu, helps schedulers compare the current schedule with the
updated schedule and view a detailed listing of the changes between them. It provides a
means for developing a report which shows detailed information about the changes
between the schedules. Schedulers should pay attention to the following:
Changes in relationship types, especially changes from FS to SS relationships. This
can indicate that departments, field site offices, or subcontractors are trying to reduce
the overall planned duration of the schedule by fast-tracking the schedule.
Changes to the durations of remaining activities, particularly activities on the critical
or near-critical path. This can indicate that departments, field site offices, or
subcontractors are trying to reduce the overall planned duration of the schedule by
crashing the remaining durations.
Changes in activity names. Changing activity names can change the perception of the
scope of the work contained in an activity. Without associated changes in duration or
resources, it is possible that the newly named activity no longer presents a reasonable
duration for the execution of the new scope of work.
Added activities, especially activities which represent alleged delays. Representation
of delays in an updated schedule is not appropriate until a Time impact analysis (TIA)
has been submitted and accepted by the client.
Added constraints, particularly when they appear to fix the start of activities in the
future. Activities should be driven by the logic of the schedule, not constraints.
EARNED VALUE METHOD
With three values (PV, EV, and AC), Primavera P6 computes Schedule Performance Index
and Cost Performance Index, etc. as follows:
Budget at completion (BAC) The total amount of money that you expect to spend to
complete a task or the entire project.
Schedule variance (SV) The difference between EV and PV (SV = EV PV). It is a
number that tracks how long you thought a task would take during planning versus
how long it actually took, and how that affects costs you are spending.
Schedule performance index (SPI) Ratio of EV and PV (SPI = EV / PV). It allows
you to take a closer look at the overall schedule efficiency of a project.
Cost variance (CV) The difference between EV and AC (CV = EV AC). It allows
you to see the discrepancy between the amount of value that you earned on a task and
the AC it required to perform. You can see the value in the column called Accounting
variance.
Cost performance index (CPI) The ratio of EV and AC (CPI = EV / AC). It lets you
look at how well that money is being utilised, and provides an instantaneous check on
cost performance at any point in the project.
Estimate at completion (EAC) The ratio of BAC and CPI (EAC = BAC / CPI). It
allows you to estimate the total cost of a project as of the DD, taking into account the
work that already done.
Estimate to complete (ETC) Theoretically, this is the difference between EAC and
AC (ETC = EAC AC); however, Primavera P6 provides various formulas to apply in
calculating ETC, as shown in Figure 108.
Figure 108 Computing options for ETC

So, what option do schedulers have to select to compute ETC for their projects? Below are
some examples schedulers should take into account:
[ETC = EAC AC]: when you expect that the remaining work will be done by the
remaining cost.
[ETC = BAC EV]: when you expect that the remaining work will be done by the
remaining EV.
[ETC = (BAC EV) / CPI]: when you expect that the remaining work will be done by
the remaining EV, affected by CPI.
[ETC = (BAC EV) / CPI x SPI]: when you expect that the remaining work will be
done by the remaining EV, affected by CPI and SPI.
[ETC = (BAC EV) x arbitrary number]: when you expect that the remaining work
will be done by the remaining EV, affected by a factor you define.
Figure 109 EVM view

Figure 109 shows an example of EVM view. Generally speaking, clients are not interested
in cost-related information; therefore, contractors hardly use this format in reports
submitted to the client.
Although EVM is a good technique for measuring project progress and performance, there
may be cases in which exceeding progress, as measured by EVM, does not guarantee that
a project will be completed before the completion date provided by the project owner.
Figure 110 Example of project progress

Figure 111 Progress as of the Data date


Suppose a project consists of three components that need to be completed according to
different budgets and durations, as shown in Figure 110, with budgets of 500m, 100m
and 400m for Components A, B and C respectively. Before the beginning of the project,
Component A was anticipated to have the longest duration; thus the completion date of
Component A would be the designated the completion date for the whole project. As the
project progresses, Components A and C are completed early, while Component B is
delayed. At a certain point (DD), the progress of the project will be exceeded (SPI is 1.4),
even though Component B is delayed, and the overall project will have been completed
behind planned schedule.
PAYMENT CALCULATION
The payment amount will be calculated on the basis of EV. If the contract includes
advance payment and/or retention, a portion will be deducted from every payment, as
shown in Figure 112.
Figure 112 Payment calculation

PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS
There are two important considerations regarding performance analysis: It allows the
contractor to view the project status correctly and increase performance to recover delayed
activities; a client can require a contractor to increase performance in advance in order to
prevent the contractor from abandoning the project later due to a lack of profitability. The
following is an example of the process of performance analysis:
A project has foundation work and its calculation in the BOQ is as follows:
[A] Quantity of the foundation work is 10,000 CM (cubic metres)
[B] The total amount of man-hours for the work is 900,000 mh
[C] Accordingly, the planned productivity for the work is 90 mh/CM [B / A]
Performance for the work at the DD has been measured as follows:
[D] Planned progress is 18% (1,800 CM) [A x 0.18]
[E] Actual progress is 15% (1,500 CM) [A x 0.15]
[F] Spent units is 160,000 mh
[G] Actual productivity for the work is 106.7 mh/CM [F / E]
Analysis and revised productivity plans are as follows:
[H] Actual performance factor is 0.84 [C / G]
[I] Coefficient to recover performance is 1.19 [1 / H]
[J] Revised productivity plan is 107.1 mh/CM [C x I]
Forecasting is as follows:
[K] Remaining quantity is 8,500 CM [A E]
[L] Additional units to complete is 145,350 mh [(J C) x K]
[M] Budgeted units at completion is 1,045,350 mh [B + L]
CONTROLLING THE REVISION NUMBER OF THE MASTER
SCHEDULE
After approval from client, the master schedule will be published as a schedule baseline.
The published baselines should have version numbers. The version number should have
three digits, and each digit should be changed as follows:
X _ _ : when the completion date is changed.
_ X _ : when any milestone is changed.
_ _ X : when activities are changed.
Corrective actions and schedule revising
ACTIVITY DELAY
There are three types of activity delays start, progress, and finish. Typically, a start delay
does not come from an activity itself, but is due to the finish delay of its predecessor(s).
While progress delay can be recovered by crashing, delayed finish cannot be recovered.
Therefore, schedulers should concentrate on finish delays.
Figure 113 Variances of finish date

To check activity delay, P6 users must first display some columns in the activity table of
the activities window: Variance BL Project Start Date, Variance BL Project Finish
Date, Total Float, and Activity % Complete. You must first delete WBS level in the
Group and Sort dialogue box (right-click the activity table to view) and then sort
activities by clicking the Variance BL Project Finish Date column of the activity table.
Now you can see ascending variances of the finish date, as shown in Figure 113.
Below are examples of analysis on delayed activities:
The activities which have been delayed all activities with minus value in variance
(from C70 to C50).
The activities which have delayed the project deadline all activities with negative
total float (S10, G20, and G40). Completed (finish date is actualised) activities have
no total float.
The activities which can be recovered all activities that have not been actualised
(C70, S10, C30, and G40, with G20 being a milestone activity).
The activities which should be recovered to prevent delay of the project deadline all
activities that have a zero (0) or negative value in total float whose finish dates have
not been actualised (S10 and G40, with G20 being a milestone activity).
If you want to check the project progress, you can use the Progress line. To turn on the
progress line, select it from the View menu, and you will see a red line around the DD
line, as shown in Figure 114. If the progress line falls on the left side of the DD line, the
activity is delayed, and vice versa. If activities have been completed (finish date is
actualised), the progress line will be situated on the DD line. There are four options for
presenting the progress line (you can change the options in the Progress line tab in the Bar
chart options dialogue): Based on difference between current and baseline activitys (1)
finish and (2) start date; By connecting progress points on the basis of activitys (3)
Percent complete or (4) Remaining duration.
Figure 114 Progress line

When a scheduler finds updated progress data with delayed activities, he or she should
first review the catch-up plans, and then check whether the delayed activities affect the
completion date of the project or whether they become critical activities. If the catch-up
plans show they will recover the delayed tasks, the scheduler should reduce the remaining
duration of the delayed activity in the master schedule. On the other hand, if the catch-up
plans show that they cannot recover and the delayed activities affect the completion date
of the project or become critical activities, the scheduler may want to adjust successor
activities durations to meet the original completion date. If the client has caused an
activity to be delayed, the scheduler should prepare documents to claim an EOT
(Extension of Time).
DELAY BY RETAINING LOGIC
After updating, Primavera P6 users sometimes encounter an activity that cannot start as
soon as all predecessor activities have finished; there is a reason, but it is difficult for
novice users to find. Figure 115 below shows an example of activity delay. Initially,
Activity C60 is scheduled to start 1 March, but it is automatically delayed when
scheduling, even though its predecessor (C50) has already finished.
Figure 115 Sample schedule
The following reasons may account for this: (1) The start date of activities that have not
started will be delayed to the DD; (2) lag is assigned to the relationship with its
predecessor activity; (3) the assigned calendar has a non-work day on the date when the
activity should have started; (4) the start date of the activity is constrained; (5) if the
activity is Resource dependent, it can be delayed due to its resources constraints; (6)
when P6 operators perform levelling resources, the activity can be delayed.
However, none of these reasons applies to Activity C60. What happened to the activity?
The answer is that its predecessors predecessor (C40) has not yet finished. The reasons
listed above are related to the activity itself; however, delay caused by retaining logic can
be found only when tracking its predecessors. On the other hand, a similar situation
applies to Activity S10. Even though it has no Suspend and Resume date, its activity bar
has been split because its predecessors predecessor (C40) has not yet finished. If you
prefer to avoid these situations, select Progress Override in Schedule options, instead of
Retained Logic.
Figure 116 Schedule options

Usually, schedulers do not know all the details of tasks (activities), so they link activities
with FS relationships mostly; furthermore, clients require (recommend) contractors to use
these types of relationships. However, in construction projects, a high rate of activities that
are linked in FS can be linked in SS with lag. Progress override is recommended.
CORRECTIVE ACTIONS FOR DELAYED ACTIVITIES
When the project schedule is delayed, schedulers should try to reduce or remove any lag
in the schedule prior to performing corrective actions, as these actions may cause issues in
terms of project cost, or interferences between predecessor and successor activities.
Therefore, schedulers should add buffers to the project schedule to mitigate activity
delays.
The corrective actions in schedule management are techniques by which to recover the
delayed activities so as to adhere to the project completion date. For efficiency, the
corrective actions should be performed on critical activities first. There are two types of
corrective actions for recovering delayed activities: crashing and fast-track. Crashing is a
technique for reducing the durations of remaining activities by adding more resources
based on Minimum cost expediting (MCE); fast-track is a technique for performing the
remaining activities in parallel to compress the schedule.
Figure 117 Calculation of acceleration cost per day

To implement the crashing technique, costs for crashing should be analysed, as shown in
Figure 117. If all activities on the table are on the same critical path, Activity E should be
crashed first because its acceleration cost per day is the lowest ($10); this is the MCE
technique. The acceleration cost per day is calculated as (Crash cost Normal cost) /
(Normal time Crash time). Below are crashing methods for recovering delayed critical
activities:
Conduct overtime Change calendar work hours/day from 8 hours to 12 hours per
day, for example.
Enlarge working days Change calendar working days from 5 days to 6 days per
week, for instance.
According to schedule management theory, the fast-track technique does not increase
costs to implement; however, rework can arise due to communication failure between
predecessor activities and successor activities. Fast-tracking methods used in Primavera
P6 change relationships from FS to SS with lag, as shown in Figure 118.
Figure 118 Example of fast-track

EXAMPLE OF CRASHING BASED ON MINIMUM COST
EXPEDITING
In Figure 119, a project has been delayed 10 days and a scheduler has to crash 10 days to
meet the original project completion date. The blue boxes in the network schedule above
the table are activities, and each of them has a letter and a number as its name and
duration. The table below the schedule shows acceleration cost per day and remaining
crash-able days.
The critical path of the project is A-E-G-H, which will be reviewed first to apply the
crashing technique. It is reasonable to reduce the duration of the critical activities because
the project duration is dependent upon them. Activity E is the best one to reduce since it
has the smallest acceleration cost ($10) among the four options (A, E, G, and H).
Schedulers should minimise the increased cost when reducing durations.
Figure 119 Original schedule

The duration of Activity E can be reduced by only one day because the path A-B-C-D-H
has also become a critical path, due to the reduced duration of Activity E. If Activity E is
reduced by two days or more, the path A-E-G-H will become a non-critical path.
Reducing a non-critical activity is not efficient. Now the total crashed duration is one day
and the total cost for crashing is $10 in the first crashing, as shown in the table of Figure
120.
Figure 120 First crashing
Since there are two critical paths in the project, two paths should be reduced at the same
time. If only one of them is reduced, the project duration will not change. In the schedule,
Activities A and H are the critical activities, and they are linked with the two critical paths.
In this case, reducing only one can reduce the project duration. After review, it has been
found that Activity H has the smallest crashing cost ($20 per day); two days of its duration
can be reduced. In the second crashing, the total crashed duration is three days, and $50 is
the total cost for crashing.
Figure 121 Second crashing

The combination of Activities C and E has the smallest crashing cost ($35 per day); they
can be reduced by two days.
Figure 122 Third crashing
Now Activity A is the best option; thus, its duration is reduced by three days, at an
additional cost of $150.
Figure 123 Fourth crashing

Finally, the durations of Activities D and E have been reduced by two days, at a cost of
$100. The total crashed duration is now ten days, and the total cost for crashing is $370.
Thus, the average crashing cost per day is $37.
Figure 124 Fifth crashing

Even though crashing has been introduced here to demonstrate how to apply the
technique, engineers should take into account the circumstances of field sites before
accelerating work. Typically, the crashing cost increases geometrically over the duration.
To put it simply, if the crashing cost is $10,000 for 10 days for a project, the crashing cost
for 20 days may be $30,000 or more, as shown in Figure 125.
Figure 125 Crashing and cost increase

PROCESS FOR REVISING THE PROJECT SCHEDULE


It used to be that the project schedule was modified due to schedule delay, and rarely due
to early-project-completion. No matter what the reasons for the schedule revision,
schedulers should document the causes of the revision. If the reason comes from the
client, the contractor will use the documentation for issuing claims; it can also be used as
evidence in the dispute resolution phase later.
Below are the steps for revising the project schedule:
Document the grounds for the schedule revision.
Prepare a draft proposal of the revised schedule.
Analyse the impacts of the revised schedule in terms of time and cost.
Finalise the proposal and submit it to the client.
Get approval for the proposal from the client.
Publish and distribute the revised schedule with a revision number to the counterparts
and stakeholders.
Dos and donts for revising the schedule:
Do not delete any activities to be erased in Primavera P6; instead, delete all
relationships of an activity to be deleted and make its duration zero (0) in order to
prevent reusing erased activities numbers.
Review resource constraints (Max units/time) again since resource allocation is also
affected by delayed activities. Over-allocation can cause further delay.
Mitigate resource peak.
Reporting
EFFECTIVE PROGRESS REPORT
The project progress report is not easy to write because planners and schedulers do not
have enough time to spend collecting relevant information, composing a draft, and
reviewing it. If there is anyone (perhaps one of the project management team members)
who feels like he or she has been fumbling in the dark trying to prepare a good project
status report, take the following recommendations into account:
Keep schedule-related conditions in the contract agreement in mind. The progress
report is a critical source for checking work performance, calculating payment, and
solving disputes. Therefore, the report should include not only progress but also
critical issues, as well as evidential material, if any.
Gauge the audiences level of knowledge. Project progress reporting aims to help the
client understand the project status and anticipate the end of the project.
Include summaries in the report. To help the client understand the report, it is
necessary to summarise the entire project progress.
Highlight the updated elements. This is essential in regular reports, in which narratives
are repeated.
Use tables and graphical elements. Sometimes tables, graphs, diagrams, and photos
communicate more than words.
DEVELOPING REPORTS WITH PRIMAVERA P6
Even though Primavera P6 has features to create reports, they are not especially useful for
preparing the project progress report because creating a report template takes quite a bit of
time, and revising the template requires much effort. Nevertheless, if you want to create a
report template in P6, follow these steps:
Go to the Report window (Tools Reports Reports).
Select a report template that you would like to use, and run Report Wizard (Tools
Report Wizard).
Choose Modify Wizard Report and hit Next in the Report Wizard dialogue box.
In the next dialogue box, select additional subject areas that you want to include in the
report, and click Next to go to the next dialogue box.
Modify columns, group and sort, and filter. Click Next to go to the next dialogue box.
Change timescale and time interval fields, if any. Hit Next.
Name it and hit Next.
Uncheck format numbers and perform Run report.
SAMPLE MONTHLY PROGRESS REPORT
Schedule performance reporting is the dissemination of meaningful information about the
schedules overall status, progress to date, and forecast to complete. Schedule reporting
helps determine if the projects objectives (or requirements) are being met. The monthly
progress report should consist of the following:
The first part of the report will show overall status and statistics.
Summary of this months project progress.
Project progress (or Earned value analysis) Shows the performed progress (Physical,
in Primavera P6) of the month (Jul 2017), the accumulated progress, and planned
progress of the next month (Aug 2017). See Figure 126.
Activity status Illustrates the actualised start and finish dates, delayed activities, and
their reasons and recovery plans. See Figure 127.
Rolling wave schedule.
Figure 126 Sample project progress table

Figure 127 Example of activity status

The second part includes narratives and issues to explain the detail performances of each
discipline, department, and subcontractor.
Drawings, construction plans, construction
Procurement
Quality management
HSE
Cost management
Document management
The third part will include critical documentary evidence.
PRINTING
Any Primavera P6 layout can be printed. The output is customisable and can include any
or all of the layout elements created on the screen. Additionally, header and footer data
can be configured to add descriptive information and pictures.
When you customise in Options tab in the Page setup dialogue box, some options (Profile,
Spreadsheet, and Trace logic) may be deactivated (greyed). To print them, you need to
display those figures by selecting a proper view mode in the Activities window. Figure
128 shows the relationships between print options and views in the Activities window.
Figure 128 Relationships between print options and view modes


PROBABILITY OF ON-TIME PROJECT COMPLETION
What if a client asks you the probability of on-time project completion as currently
planned? If you can operate Primavera Risk Analysis, you can compute it easily.
Otherwise, you can determine the value using a time lapse of the project period. At the
beginning of a project, the probability for on-time completion is very low, and it grows as
the end of the project approaches. To be concrete, when 30% of the total duration has
passed, the probability can be 30%, and when 80% has passed, it will be 80%. It is very
simple to compute time lapse:
Ratio of time lapse = (OD RD) / OD

In this equation, OD is the original duration and RD is the remaining duration. For
example, suppose there is a project with a total duration of 80 days. If the remaining
duration of the project is 60 days, the progress is 25%.
25% = (80 60) / 80
HANDY TIP DISPLAYING ALL ACTIVITY NAMES WHEN
PRINTING OUT
When printing out a schedule, the names of the activities near the end of the project
duration will not be displayed fully, as shown in Figure 129. If you want to display the
names fully, you can extend the timescale finish date in the Options tab of the Page setup
dialogue box. The printed page will have large margins.
Figure 129 Print layout

If you want to display the names fully with small margins, follow the steps below:
Create an activity code LABEL and a code value Left in the Activity codes
dialogue box (see Figure 130)
Figure 130 Activity codes dialog box
Set up columns to display the activity code LEFT.
Make a filter, as shown in Figure 131.
Figure 131 Filter dialogue box

Make a new bar in the Bars dialogue box.


Name it Label Left and choose Current bar for Timescale.
Select Label-left for Filter, and make it invisible by selecting blank in Bar style.
In the Bar labels tab, choose Left for position, and select Activity name for Label, as
shown in Figure 132
Figure 132 Bars dialogue box

When you choose value Left for the activity code LABEL, you will see the label
at the left side of the activity.
Figure 133 Adjusted label of a bar
SCHEDULE-RELATED CLAIMS AND
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES
Delay analysis
While implementing construction projects, contractors often encounter problems which
were not foreseen at the beginning of the project, and which are not covered by the
contract. These unforeseen problems cause schedule delay. To provide tangible reasons for
this, schedulers should do a delay analysis on every event, or an activity delay, that has
caused the project delay. Delay analysis is an analytical procedure specified on
construction projects to facilitate the award of excusable days to project completion, due
to delays that were not the responsibility of the contractor.
There are many types of analytical methods to analyse the impact of a delay on the
project: As-Planned versus As-Built Analysis, Window Analysis, Impacted As-Planned
Analysis, Time Impact Analysis (TIA), Collapsed As-Built, etc. Among them, Window
Analysis and TIA is used most often.
The selection of a particular delay analysis method should be based on professional
judgement because each claim is unique and deals with different contract requirements,
levels of documentation, and situational contexts.

AS-PLANNED VERSUS AS-BUILT


This method is used to compare the duration of all the activities on the As-planned
schedule with the corresponding activities on the As-built (actual) schedule that are
affected by the excusable delay events, especially the critical activities. It is very simple to
use, but not appropriate for complicated schedules because it is very limited in its ability
to define separate causes and effects when there are multiple issues. Thus, it is frequently
used to support Global claims which record all causes of delay and ascribe the overall
result to a combination of these causes, rather than linking causes to particular results.
Figure 134 As-planned versus As-built analysis


WINDOW ANALYSIS METHOD
This approach is similar to the As-planned versus As-built. The key difference is the
assessment made within specific windows (e.g., monthly-basis) comparing planned and
actual critical path (see Figure 135) so that the effects of the variance rate of progress in
different periods of the project can be assessed. Responsibility for each delay is
determined based on project documents, such as correspondence, weekly or daily reports,
shop drawing submittals, testimony, etc.
Figure 135 Window analysis

IMPACTED AS-PLANNED
This approach is based on the As-planned CPM model, in which schedulers insert the
delay event (fragnet) to calculate the effect on overall completion. Thus, the delayed
duration caused by an event can be different from the calculated time extension due to
calendar settings, etc. In this method, the concurrent delays are taken into account.
However, it does not show whether a delay to completion was actually incurred as a
consequence of the modelled delay event.
Figure 136 Impacted As-planned analysis


TIME IMPACT ANALYSIS
TIA, also known as Snapshot analysis or Time slice analysis, requires a CPM showing the
differences between a schedule that includes an activity modelling a delay event and one
that does not include the delay. This methodology is similar to the Impacted as-planned
analysis described above, but the delay event (fragnet) is applied to an updated schedule
that represents the status of the project immediately prior to the event occurring. This is a
form of Window analysis, as the effect of the delay is assessed on the basis of a
contemporaneous baseline; multiple actual baselines may be used for different delays at
different stages of a project.
Being based on a dynamic model that has been accurately updated to reflect the current
situation prior to the occurrence of the intervening event, this is probably the most
accurate of the forward-looking delay assessment options available during the course of
the work.
When should TIA be performed? There are several points at which TIA may be required:
Changes to planned work This includes unforeseen changes to the work, such as
discovery of conditions other than those in the plans.
Changes which affect contractor-owned float This relates primarily to delays caused
by the client.
Changes ordered by the client.
DETAIL PROCESS OF TIME IMPACT ANALYSIS
Before beginning a TIA, schedulers should note that the accepted current schedule here
will be called the Unimpacted schedule and the schedule for a TIA will be called the
Impacted schedule. The steps for performing a TIA are as follows:
Provide written notification of the event, in accordance with the conditions of the
contract documents.
Prepare the TIA form, as shown in Figure 137.
Identify the delayed activity and create a new activity for it to represent delay fragnet
under the same WBS, naming it Delay + activity ID + TIA number. The structure
of Activity ID numbering should be prepared in the planning phase of the project.
Determine the accepted current schedule, which should be the schedule that has been
updated prior to the time of the delay or change, and accepted by the client.
Figure 137 Example of TIA form
Update the unimpacted schedule. Prior to inserting the fragnet, the initial schedule
must be updated to show the project progress up to the point of the delay. For most
schedules, it is acceptable to use the last updated schedule with a DD close to the
event.
Recalculate the schedule, record the predicted completion date of the unimpacted
schedule, and make a copy of the impacted schedule.
Open the impacted schedule and create the fragnet, which will be a chain of activities
representing the event and its duration to estimate the delay caused by the event. This
could be one or two activities, or a whole sequence of activities. These activities
should be linked in a logical order which shows how the contractor intends to perform
the work.
Assign delayed duration and add relationships to the fragnet (activity F1010), linking
it with logical predecessors and successors, which should be the affected activities, as
shown in Figure 138. In other words, if Activity G1010 is delayed, a fragnet activity
(F1010) is created and linked with both activities, G1010 and G1020, with FS
relationships.
Figure 138 Adding a fragnet

Document the reasons for the assignment of the affected activities as successors.
Recalculate the impacted schedule, using the same DD as the unimpacted schedule.
Analyse changes to early start, early finish, and total float of the affected activities.
Check whether the project completion date is delayed or there are any changes to the
critical path, and document delay of the project completion date and changes of critical
path, if any.
Dispute resolution and FIDIC
The most common schedule-related critical issues in disputes between client and
contractor are schedule delay, acceleration required by the client, and liquidated damage.
When it comes to the entitlement of EOT and compensation, delay types can be
categorised as follows:
Non-excusable Any delay caused by a contractor does not entitle the contractor to
EOT or compensation.
Excusable but non-compensable Any delay caused by an uncontrollable event, such
as Force Majeure, entitles the contractor to EOT but not compensation.
Excusable and compensable Any delay caused by the client entitles the contractor to
EOT and compensation.
Schedule acceleration is always accompanied by a cost increase. Thus, schedulers should
make clear which party has required the acceleration.
Actual acceleration The client requires the contractor to complete the project early.
Constructive acceleration The client requires the contractor to complete the project
on time, even though the client has delayed the project.
Acceleration for recovering The contractor performs crashing or fast-tracking to
recover a delayed project schedule.
As to liquidated damages due to failure to attain full load performance, or project
completion delay, schedulers should know the limitation. Generally speaking, liquidated
damages for project completion delay have a limitation 10% of the total contract price,
for example. Therefore, schedulers need to identify a daily-based penalty and its
maximum for project completion delay in order to decide the maximum crashing cost per
day.

FIDIC
FIDIC (Fdration Internationale Des Ingnieurs-Conseils, The International Federation
of Consulting Engineers) is an international organisation for the construction industry, and
publishes international standard contract forms for clients, consultants, sub-consultants,
joint ventures and representatives. Since FIDIC standard contract forms are commonly
used in construction projects, the scheduler should become familiar with the contract
templates in order to meet the conditions relevant to schedule management.
The definitions in the FIDIC contract differ from the terminologies used in the schedule
management field as follows:
Schedule refers to the document(s) completed by the contractor and submitted with
the Letter of Tender, as included in the contract. Such document(s) may include the
BOQ, data, and lists.
Programme (or time programme) is used as a time schedule.
There are also definitions for persons, as follows:
Employer means the project owner.
Contractor means the person(s) accepted by the employer.
Engineer means the person(s) appointed by the employer to act as the engineer for
the purpose of the contract.
Subcontractor means any person(s) appointed by the contractor for work.
SCHEDULE-RELATED CONDITIONS
In a FIDIC contract template for Building and Engineering Works, the schedule-related
conditions are as follows:
1.9 Delayed Drawings or Instructions The contractor shall give notice to the
engineer whenever the work is likely to be delayed.
2.1 Right of Access to the Site The employer shall give the contractor right of
access to, and possession of, all parts of the site within the time (or times) stated in the
contract.
4.21 Progress Report Monthly progress reports shall be prepared by the contractor
and submitted to the engineer. The report shall include charts, detailed descriptions of
progress, and photographs showing the status of the progress of the site.
8.1 Commencement of Works The engineer shall give the contractor not less than
seven days notice of the commencement date. Unless otherwise stated in the
conditions, the commencement date shall be within 42 days of the contractor receiving
the letter of acceptance.
8.2 Time for Completion The contractor shall complete the whole of the works
within the time for completion described in the contract.
8.3 Programme The contractor shall submit a detailed time programme to the
engineer within 28 days of receiving the notice.
8.4 EOT for Completion The contractor may be entitled to an EOT for Completion
for certain reasons.
8.5 Delays Caused by Authorities Any delays caused by the relevant legally
constituted public authorities in the country.
8.6 Rate of Progress The engineer may instruct the contractor to submit a revised
programme and supporting report describing the revised methods which the contractor
proposes to adopt in order to expedite progress and complete work within the Time for
Completion.
8.7 Delay Damages If the contractor fails to complete the work on time, the
contractor shall pay delay damages to the employer for the default.
19.3 Duty to Minimise Delay Each party shall use all reasonable endeavours to
minimise any delay in the performance of the contract as a result of Force Majeure.
21.1 Contractors Claims If the contractor considers himself to be entitled to any
EOT for Completion, the contractor shall give notice to the engineer, describing the
event or circumstance giving rise to the claim.
ISSUING CLAIMS
A claim in construction projects is a request by a contractor for an EOT, additional
payment, or some other relief under the terms of the contract or applicable law, but which
the client refuses to grant to the contractor. Common causes of schedule-related claims
include:
Late issuance of NTP
Late approval of drawings
Late approval of shop drawings and samples
Late approval of job test
Delay in answer to field questions and field variances
Delay due to improper management of work (inefficiency)
Delay due to changes in the planned method of construction
Disruption or interference by other contractors under the direction of the client
Schedule changes by the client
Clients delay in supply of materials and facilities
Suspensions of work by the client
Delay due to force majeure or acts of God
However, not all of these can be causes for claims because:
Any claim must be based on the contract or applicable law.
A notice for a claim has to be transferred to the other party. FIDIC states that the
contractor must give notice as soon as practicable, and not later than 28 days after
becoming aware of the relevant event or circumstance giving rise to the claim.
Relationships between causes and effects must be proved. FIDIC states that within 42
days of the contractor becoming aware of the event or circumstance giving rise to the
claim, or within such other period as may be proposed by the contractor and approved
by the engineer, the contractor shall send to the engineer (the supervisor) a fully
detailed claim which includes the extension of time and/or additional payment.
Damages must be quantified. FIDIC limits the duration for computing quantities to 42
days.
When it comes to claims issuing, documentations is the first and best activities. Thus,
team members should try to keep as many records and documents as possible. Below are
the basic sources for proof of causation:
Logs Daily logs, telephone conversation logs, shop drawing logs
Records Photographs, video tapes, equipment utilisation records, material delivery
and receiving records, payment records, cost account records
Schedules Schedules, cost flow schedule
Orders and requests Change orders, requests for information
Reports Daily reports, periodic status and progress reports, cost reports, Bid work
sheets
Correspondence and meetings Correspondence, internal correspondences, minutes of
meetings
Below are structure of claim documents:
Executive summary of claim
Overview or history of the project and claim: Project overview, summary of contract,
history and cause of claim, contractors notification and clients reply
Issue analysis: Issues and relevant conditions of the contract, proof of relationship
between causes and effects
Impact and damage calculation: Schedule delay analysis, productivity loss analysis,
cost impact analysis
Conclusion: Summary of issues and analyses
Appendix: Supporting documents
DISPUTE ADJUDICATION BOARD (DAB) AND THE DISPUTE
RESOLUTION PROCESS
To solve project-related disputes, people try to include all conditions in contract
documents. However, contract documents cannot cover all the events that can happen
during a project. Furthermore, disputes can occur easily between client and contractor
because conditions in the contract do not include enough detail. Thus, the client and
contractor establish DAB for their disputes or use international arbitration to avoid
spending a long time in court.
Figure 139 Dispute resolution process

FIDIC standard contracts introduce the DAB and the process of dispute resolution as
follows (see Figure 139):
Both parties (the contractor and the employer) appoint members of the DAB that will
give their opinion when a dispute arises.
If either party denies to accept the opinion of the DAB, either party may give notice to
the other party of its dissatisfaction within 28 days of receiving the decision.
Before the commencement of arbitration, both parties shall attempt to settle the dispute
amicably.
Unless settled amicably, any dispute shall be finally settled by international arbitration.
Advanced technologies for schedule management
Project management tools and methodologies have been developed that enable schedulers
and participants to get information related to a project schedule in various ways.
4D SCHEDULE MANAGEMENT TOOL
Sometimes, schedulers and engineers use tools (or software packages) that enable them to
check their interface for issues. To do this, they should use their imaginative power with
drawings and the project schedule. Suppose a three-dimensional drawing showing the
construction process over the project period shows a basement with columns on top of it,
and girders and slab above the columns. Some software packages can link the identities of
3D CAD drawings with activities in P6. As time goes on, each identity (object, block, or
layer) linked with an activity appears based on the schedule, helping people to understand
how a target building will be constructed. To actualise this simulation, drawings must be
created on the basis of drawing standards which define drawing layers and block names in
a drawing. Software packages can also include a feature that compares a real scene in the
field site camera with 3D CAD drawings of a virtual scene.
SCHEDULE PRESENTING METHODOLOGIES LINE OF
BALANCE
Line of balance (LOB) is a simple diagram showing the location (or units) and time at
which a certain deliverable is completed. In some construction projects, this technique is
already used to monitor and compute work performance. The advantage of using this tool
is to help schedulers clearly view trends of performance and forecast the interference
between the predecessor and the successor tasks. Below are common applications of LOB
in schedule management:
Floor-time diagram This looks similar to a Time-distance diagram (see Figure 7),
with a Y-axis for the floors of a building and an X-axis for time scale, as shown in
Figure 140. It is a very simple schedule, but it is powerful for reviewing interferences
between disciplines and calculating performance for each task.
Figure 140 Sample Floor-time diagram

Unit-time diagram This is also similar to a Floor-time diagram, and is used to


manage resources. If a project has serious constraints in procuring and managing
resources, this diagram will help schedulers comprehend the demand curve of
resources. The picture above shows a general bar chart schedule in which activities are
displayed with resources. For example, Activity 1 is loaded with Labour A (LA) and
Activity 2 has Machine A (MA). The image below shows a resource usage schedule in
which blue lines represent planned resource cumulative units and red lines represent
actual resource cumulative units over the period. You can create it with the data of
Resource usage spreadsheet in Primavera P6.
Figure 141 Bar chart schedule and Unit-time diagram

XML FORMAT
XML is a mark-up language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents, originally
developed for the web as a companion to HTML. When importing or exporting in
Primavera P6 PPM (version 15.1), you may have seen two XML options: Primavera-
(XML) and UN/CEFACT format 6-(XML). Their languages differ slightly, as shown in
Figure 142.
Figure 142 Exporting a project in XML format

Since an XML-formatted P6 file is actually more versatile than an XER file, some
government agencies in the U.S., such as the Department of Defense, submit schedules in
the UN/CEFACT XML schema format.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR UPGRADING PRIMAVERA P6 PPM
Primavera P6 PPM (the current version is 15.1) is a powerful software package for
schedule management; however, some features still need to be upgraded, as follows:
Freezing pane in the activity table The Activity window is separated into three
sections (activity table, Gantt chart, and details). P6 operators frequently adjust
columns in the activity table or save and open layout to view columns; however,
sometimes users need to view many columns at the same time. In that case, they have
to move horizontal scroll to view some right side, and moving scroll makes activity
numbers and names hidden from view on the left side. If users can freeze columns of
activity numbers and names, they will save time adjusting columns.
Grouping columns in the activity table We wish we could group columns and expand
and collapse them.
Filter We wish we could filter in different ways, as we do in Excel.
NAM A new approach to analysing the project
schedule
When it comes to contract conditions, progress during the implementation phase is less
important than completing the project on time, as many claims arise due not to
performance but schedule delay. Moreover, high performance as measured by EVM does
not guarantee earlier or on-time completion of a project, as mentioned earlier. Even though
SPI in following figure indicates good performance (1.4) on the DD, the project will be
delayed because of Component B. Often, EVM makes schedulers fail to properly expect
the project completion date.

As a result, schedulers should focus on project duration rather than project performance.
Based on this background, the author suggested Network Analysis Method (NAM) in his
Masters dissertation for efficient project duration management.
DEFINING THE PRIORITY OF NEAR-CRITICAL PATHS TO
MONITOR
Project duration is determined by the duration of the critical path; however, rather than
being fixed, the critical path changes due to delays of near-critical activities, so schedulers
need to monitor near-critical paths as well in order to meet the project period. If there are
two near-critical paths (not activities) as follows, which will more likely become the
critical path? (The longest path in the schedule option is preferable for defining near-
critical paths.)
Path A Its total duration is 10 days and total float is 3 days.
Path B Its total duration is 100 days and total float is 4 days.
According to analysis in Primavera P6 (Float path), Path A will have a higher priority
because of the smaller total float. In fact, Path B has a higher probability of becoming the
critical path because it has more risks due to longer duration; a task with a long duration
usually has a large amount of quantity, or numerous stages, or both. Thus, in NAM, the
priority of near-critical paths is defined based on the Criticality Quotient (CQ), calculated
as:

Calculating the CQ of each path, Path A is 30 and Path B is 4. A lower number means a
higher probability of becoming the critical path. In NAM, the near-critical path with the
lowest CQ is called the first near-critical path, the path with the second lowest CQ is
called the second near-critical path, and so on.
The total duration of the path in the equation is not the period from the first activity to the
last activity but the total amount of the activities durations on the path. For instance,
suppose there are three near-critical paths with the same duration, as shown in Figure 143.
Path 2 has more risks for being delayed than Path 1 because it has two activities with long
durations. On the other hand, Path 3 has fewer risks than Path 1 because it has lag, which
can act as a buffer when Activities I or J are delayed.
Figure 143 Comparison of near-critical paths

MONITORING NEAR-CRITICAL PATHS


The table below shows an example of near-critical paths monitoring monthly-base, where
TF is total float, RD is remaining duration, and CQ is criticality quotient. As of 31 January
2018, Path As TF was two days, the total amount of its activities RD was 60 days, and its
CQ was three. As of 28 February, its RD has decreased to 40 days because some activities
on the path have been completed. Since its RD has decreased, its CQ has increased. In the
case of Path B, its CQ has continuously decreased, and a scheduler should pay attention to
the path. The five paths with the lowest CQs would be enough for monitoring.
Figure 144 Example of near-critical paths monitoring
Figure 145 Trends of each paths CQ

Figure 145 illustrates the trend of each paths CQ. As you can see, most CQ has decreased.
The trends suggest that the project schedule is pressed to delay.
CONCLUSION
NAM is a method for analysing float path and monitoring the total float of each path to
define the pressure of project delay. NAM also helps focus on the important (critical)
activities in managing the schedule to meet the project duration.
To use NAM, the priority of near-critical paths should be redefined based on duration and
total float. Its CQ should be measured regularly to monitor the pressure of project delay.
APPENICES
Acronyms
AC: Actual Cost
AON: Activity on Node
BAC: Budget at Completion
BOQ: Bill of Quantity
BPM: Backward Pass Method
CA: Cost Accounts
CAD: Computer Aided Drawing
CCM: Critical Chain Method
CCPM: Critical Chain Project Method
COA: Code of Accounts
CPI: Cost Performance Index
CPM: Critical Path Method
CQ: Criticality Quotient
CRC: Cost-Reimbursement Contract
CV: Cost Variance
CWS: Contractor Working Schedule
DAB: Dispute Adjudication Board
DCL: Data Control Language
DCMA: Defense Contract Management Agency (USA)
DD: Data Date
DDL: Data Definition Language
DML: Data Manipulate Language
EAC: Estimate at Completion
EOT: Extension of Time
EPPM: Enterprise Portfolio Project Management
EPS: Enterprise Project Structure
ETC: Estimate to Complete
EV: Earned Value
EVM: Earned Value Method
FDU: Fixed Duration & Units
FDUT: Fixed Duration and Units/Time
FF: Finish-to-Finish
FIDIC: Fdration Internationale Des Ingnieurs-Conseils
FPC: Fixed-Price Contract
FPM: Forward Pass Method
FS: Finish-to-Start
FU: Fixed Units
FUT: Fixed Units/Time
GERT: Graphical Evaluation and Review Technique
HSE: Health, Safety, and Environment
IC: Incentive Contract
IDC: Indefinite-Delivery Contract
IPS: Integrated Project Schedule
LHC: Labour-Hour Contract
LOB: Line of Balance
LOE: Level of Effort
MCE: Minimum Cost Expediting
MPM: Monthly Progress Meeting
MPR: Monthly Progress Report
MSS: Milestone Summary Schedule
NAM: Network Analysis Method
NGO: Non-Governmental Organisations
OBS: Organisation Breakdown Structure
OD: Original Duration
PDM: Precedence Diagramming Method
PERT: Program Evaluation and Review Technique
PMC: Project Management Consultancy
PMI: Project Management Institute
PMIS: Project Management Information System
PMP: Progress Measurement Procedure
PPM: Professional Project Management
PRA: Primavera Risk Analysis
PV: Planned Value
RAM: Responsibility Assignment Matrix
RD: Remaining Duration
SAR: Schedule Analysis Report
SCP: Schedule Controlling Procedure
SDK: Software Development Kit
SDP: Schedule Development Procedure
SF: Start-to-Finish
SPI: Schedule Performance Index
SQL: Structured Query Language
SS: Start-to-Start
SV: Schedule Variance
TIA: Time Impact Analysis
TMC: Time-and-Materials Contract
TOC: Theory of Constraints
UDF: User Defined Field
WBS: Work Breakdown Structure
Calculation of data fields used in Primavera P6
Accounting Variance = Planned Value Actual Cost.
Accounting Variance-Labour Units = Planned Value Labour Units Actual Units.
Activity % Complete = [If the selected activitys percent complete type is Duration]
(Planned Duration Remaining Duration) / Planned Duration. [If the activitys percent
complete type is Units] (Actual Labour Units + Actual Nonlabor Units) / (Actual
Labour Units + Actual Nonlabor Units + Remaining Labour Units + Remaining
Nonlabor Units).
Actual Cost (Assignments) = Actual Regular Cost + Actual Overtime Cost.
Actual Cost (EPS) = Actual Labour Costs + Actual Nonlabor Costs + Actual Material
Costs + Actual Expense Costs.
Actual Cost (Expenses) = Actual Units X Price/Unit.
Actual Labour Cost = [If no resources are assigned] Actual Labour Units X Project
Default Price / Time.
Actual Nonlabor Cost = [For activities, If no resources are assigned] Activity Actual
Nonlabor Units X Project Default Price / Time.
Actual Overtime Cost = Actual Overtime Units X Cost per Time X Overtime Factor.
Actual Regular Cost = Actual Regular Units X Cost per Time.
Actual This Period Cost = [If period performance is stored] Actual Cost the sum of
the stored Actual This Period Cost fields for all previous periods. [If the period
performance is not stored] Actual This Period Cost is the same as Actual Cost.
Actual This Period Labour Cost = [If period performance is stored] Actual Labour
Cost the sum of the stored Actual This Period Labour Cost fields for all previous
periods. [If the period performance is not stored] Actual This Period Labour Cost is
the same as Actual Labour Cost.
Actual This Period Labour Units = [If period performance is stored] Actual Labour
Units the sum of the stored Actual This Period Labour Units fields for all previous
periods. [If the period performance is not stored] Actual This Period Labour Units is
the same as Actual Labour Units.
Actual This Period Material Cost = [If period performance is stored] Actual Material
Cost the sum of the stored Actual This Period Material Cost fields for all previous
periods. [If the period performance is not stored] Actual This Period Material Cost is
the same as Actual Material Cost.
Actual This Period Nonlabor Cost = [If period performance is stored] Actual Nonlabor
Cost the sum of the stored Actual This Period Nonlabor Cost fields for all previous
periods. [If the period performance is not stored] Actual This Period Nonlabor Cost is
the same as Actual Nonlabor Cost.
Actual This Period Nonlabor Units = [If period performance is stored] Actual
Nonlabor Units the sum of the stored Actual This Period Nonlabor Units fields for
all previous periods. [If the period performance is not stored] Actual This Period
Nonlabor Units is the same as Actual Nonlabor Units.
Actual This Period Units = [If period performance is stored] Actual Units the sum of
the stored Actual This Period Units fields for all previous periods. [If the period
performance is not stored] Actual This Period Units is the same as Actual Units.
Actual Total Cost (Activities) = Actual Labour Cost + Actual Nonlabor Cost + Actual
Material Cost + Actual Expense Cost.
Actual Total Cost (EPS) = Actual Labour Costs + Actual Nonlabor Costs + Actual
Material Costs + Actual Expense Costs.
Actual Units (Assignments) = Actual Regular Units + Actual Overtime Units.
At Completion Cost = Actual Costs + Remaining Costs.
At Completion Expense Cost = Actual Expense Cost + Remaining Expense Cost.
At Completion Labour Cost = Actual Labour Cost + Remaining Labour Cost.
At Completion Labour Units = Actual Labour Units + Remaining Labour Units.
At Completion Material Cost = Actual Material Cost + Remaining Material Cost.
At Completion Nonlabor Cost = Actual Nonlabor Cost + Remaining Nonlabor Cost.
At Completion Nonlabor Units = Actual Nonlabor Units + Remaining Nonlabor Units.
At Completion Total Cost = Actual Total Cost + ETC (estimate-to-complete) cost.
At Completion Units = Actual Units + Remaining Units.
BL Duration = Actual Duration + Remaining Duration.
BL Project Duration = Actual Duration + Remaining Duration.
BL Project Total Cost = BL Project Labour Cost + BL Project Nonlabor Cost + BL
Project Material Cost + BL Project Expense Cost.
BL1 Duration = Actual Duration + Remaining Duration.
BL1 Labour Units = Baseline Actual Labour Units + Baseline Remaining Labour
Units.
Budget At Completion = Planned Labour Cost + Planned Nonlabor Cost + Planned
Expense Cost + Planned Material Cost.
Cost % Complete = Actual Total Cost / At Completion Total Cost X 100.
Cost % of Planned = Actual Total Cost / Baseline Total Cost X 100.
Cost Performance Index = Earned Value Cost / Actual Cost.
Cost Performance Index-Labour Units = Earned Value Labour Units / Actual Labour
Units.
Cost Variance = Earned Value Actual Cost.
Cost Variance-Labour Units = Earned Value Labour Units Actual Labour Units.
Cost Variance Index = Cost Variance / Earned Value.
Cost Variance Index-Labour Units = Cost Variance Labour Units / Earned Value
Labour Units.
Current Budget = Original Budget + the sum of the approved budget changes from the
budget log.
Current Variance = Current Budget Total Spending Plan.
Days Pending = the Current Date the Assigned Date of the oldest currently assigned
human task for the currently logged in user.
Duration % Complete = Planned Duration Remaining Duration / Planned Duration X
100.
Duration % of Planned = Actual Duration / Baseline Duration X 100.
Duration Percent = (Planned Duration Remaining Duration) / Planned Duration X
100.
Earned Value Cost = Budget At Completion X Performance Percent Complete.
Earned Value Labour Units = [Activity Level] BL Project Labour Units or BL1 Labour
Units X Performance % Complete, depending on project settings. [WBS Level] BL
Project Labour Units X Performance % Complete.
Estimate At Completion-Labour Units = Actual Labour Units + Estimate to Complete
Labour Units.
Estimate At Completion Cost = Actual Cost + Estimate to Complete Cost.
Estimate To Complete = Remaining Total Cost for the activity or the Performance
Factor X (Budget At Completion Earned Value), depending on the Earned Value
technique selected for the activitys WBS.
Estimate To Complete Labour Units = either the Remaining Total Units for the activity
or as Performance Factor X (BL Labour Units Earned Value) depending on the
earned-value technique selected for the activitys WBS.
Expense Cost % Complete = Actual Expense Cost / At Completion Expense Cost X
100. Always in the range 0 to 100.
Exposure = probability midpoint X cost midpoint.
External Early Start = [If the relationship type is Start to Finish or Finish to Finish]
Relationship Early Finish Date Remaining Duration of the successor.
External Late Finish = [If the relationship type is Start to Start or Start to Finish]
Relationship Late Start + Remaining Duration of the predecessor.
Forecast at Completion: Cost (Earned Value Performance) = Budget at Completion X
Cost Variance Index (CVI).
Forecast at Completion: Cost (Schedule Performance) = Budget at Completion
Estimate at Completion.
Forecast at Completion: Labour Units (Earned Value Performance) = Baseline (BL)
Labour Units X Cost Variance Index (CVI) Labour Units.
Forecast at Completion: Labour Units (Schedule Performance) = Budget at
Completion Labour Units Estimate at Completion Labour Units.
Forecast at Completion: Schedule (Earned Value Performance) = [For costs] Budget at
Completion X Schedule Variance Index (SVI).
Forecast at Completion: Schedule (Schedule Performance) = Remaining Finish Date
Baseline Finish Date.
Labour Cost % Complete = Actual Labour Cost / At Completion Labour Cost X 100.
Labour Units % Complete = Actual Labour Units / At Completion Labour Units X
100.
Material Cost % Complete = Actual Material Cost / At Complete Material Cost X 100.
Net Present Value = Total Benefit Plan (Present Value) Total Spending Plan (Present
Value).
Nonlabor Cost % Complete = Actual Nonlabor Cost / At Completion Nonlabor Cost X
100.
Nonlabor Units % Complete = Actual Nonlabor Units / At Completion Nonlabor Units
X 100.
Overtime Factor = Standard Price X Overtime Factor.
Planned Labour Cost (Activities) = [If no resources are assigned] Activity Planned
Labour Units X Project Default Price / Time.
Planned Nonlabor Cost = [If no resources are assigned] Activity Planned Nonlabor
Units X Project Default Price / Time.
Planned Value Cost (Activities) = Budget At Completion X Schedule Percent
Complete.
Planned Value Labour Units (Activities) = Budget At Completion X Schedule Percent
Complete.
Planned Value Labour Units (EPS) = Baseline Labour Units X Schedule Percent
Complete.
Proposed Budget = Original Budget + the sum of the Approved and Pending Budgets
from the budget log.
Remaining Cost (Assignments) = Remaining Units X Cost/Time.
Remaining Cost (Expenses) = Remaining Labour Costs + Remaining Nonlabor Costs
+ Remaining Expense Costs.
Remaining Float = Late Finish Remaining Finish.
Remaining Labour Cost (Activities) = [If no resources are assigned] Activity
Remaining Labour Units X Project Default Price / Time.
Remaining Nonlabor Cost (Activities) = [If no resources are assigned] Activity
Remaining Nonlabor Units X Project Default Price / Time.
Remaining Units (Activities) = Planned Units Actual Units.
Remaining Units (Assignments) = Remaining Duration X Remaining Units per Time.
Return on Investment = Net Present Value / Total Spending Plan (Present Value).
Schedule Performance Index-Labour Units = Earned Value Labour Units / Planned
Value Labour Units.
Schedule Performance Index (Earned Value) = Earned Value / Planned Value.
Schedule Performance Index (Index Performance) = Earned Value of Cost or Quantity
/ Planned Value of Cost or Quantity.
Schedule Variance = Earned Value Planned Value.
Schedule Variance-Labour Units = Earned Value Labour Units Planned Value
Labour Units.
Schedule Variance Index-Labour Units = Schedule Variance Labour Units / Planned
Value Labour Units.
Schedule Variance Index (Activities) = Schedule Variance / Planned Value.
Schedule Variance Index (EPS) = Schedule Variance Labour Units / Planned Value
Labour Units.
Score (Resource Search Results) = Available units of the resource across the expanded
activity time frame Total Requested Units.
Step Weight Percent = (Step Weight / Sum of Weight for all steps) X 100.
To Complete Performance Index (Earned Value) = (Budget at Completion Earned
Value) / (Estimate at Completion Actual Units or Cost).
To Complete Performance Index (Index Performance) = (BAC Earned Value) /
(EAC Actual Units or Cost).
To Date: Cost = Earned Value Cost Actual Cost.
To Date: Labour Units = Earned Value Labour Units Actual Labour Units.
To Date: Schedule (Earned Value) = [For costs] Earned Value Cost Planned Value
Cost.
For labour units, Earned Value Labour Units Planned Value Labour Units.
To Date: Schedule (Schedule Performance) = (Baseline Duration X Performance %
Complete) (Baseline Duration X Schedule % Complete).
Total Benefit Plan = Plan Period $ / (1 + Annual Discount Rate) X years.
Total Float = Late Start Early Start or Late Finish Early Finish.
Total Present Value (Discounted): Benefit Plan = Plan Period $ / ((1 + Discount Rate)
to the nth power).
Total Spending Plan = Plan Period $ / (1 + Annual Discount Rate) X years.
Unallocated Budget (EPS) = Total Current Budget Distributed Current Budget.
Units % Complete (Activities) = Actual Units / At Completion Units X 100.
Units % Complete (Assignments) = Actual Units / At Completion Units X 100.
Units % Complete (EPS) = Actual Units / At Complete Units X 100.
Variance-Duration = Baseline Duration At Completion Duration.
Variance-Expense Cost = Project Baseline Expense Cost At Completion Expense
Cost.
Variance-Finish Date = Finish Date Baseline Finish Date.
Variance-Labour Cost = BL Labour Cost At Completion Labour Cost.
Variance-Labour Units = Baseline Labour Units At Completion Labour Units.
Variance-Material Cost = Project Baseline Planned Material Cost At Completion
Material Cost.
Variance-Nonlabor Cost = BL Nonlabor Cost At Completion Nonlabor Cost.
Variance-Nonlabor Units = Baseline Nonlabor Units At Completion Nonlabor Units.
Variance-Start Date = Start Date Baseline Start Date.
Variance-Total Cost = BL Total Cost At Completion Total Cost.
Variance At Completion = Budget At Completion Estimate At Completion.
Variance At Completion-Labour Units = Project Baseline Planned Total Labour Units
Estimate At Completion Labour Units.
Variance BL Project-Duration = Planned Duration At Completion Duration.
Variance BL Project-Expense Cost = BL Project Expense Cost At Completion
Expense Cost.
Variance BL Project-Finish Date = Finish BL Project Finish.
Variance BL Project-Labour Cost = Planned Labour Cost At Completion Labour
Cost.
Variance BL Project-Labour Units = BL Project Labour Units At Completion Labour
Units.
Variance BL Project-Material Cost = BL Project Material Cost At Completion
Material Cost.
Variance BL Project-Nonlabor Cost = Planned Nonlabor Cost At Completion
Nonlabor Cost.
Variance BL Project-Nonlabor Units = BL Project Nonlabor Units At Completion
Nonlabor Units.
Variance BL Project-Start Date = Start BL Project Start.
Variance BL Project-Total Cost = Planned Total Cost At Completion Total Cost.
Variance BL1-Duration = BL1 Duration At Completion Duration.
Variance BL1-Expense Cost = Primary Baseline Expense Cost At Completion
Expense Cost.
Variance BL1-Finish Date = Finish BL1 Finish.
Variance BL1-Labor Cost = BL1 Labour Cost At Completion Labour Cost.
Variance BL1-Labor Units = BL1 Labour Units At Completion Labour Units.
Variance BL1-Material Cost = BL1 Material Cost At Completion Material Cost.
Variance BL1-Nonlabor Cost = BL1 Nonlabor Cost At Completion Nonlabor Cost.
Variance BL1-Nonlabor Units = BL1 Nonlabor Units At Completion Nonlabor
Units.
Variance BL1-Start Date = Start BL1 Start.
Variance BL1-Total Cost = BL1 Total Cost At Completion Total Cost.
References
FIDIC (1999). Conditions of Contract for Construction (Building and Engineering
Works, 1st Edition). FIDIC publications.
Nam, J (2012). Time Management in Railway Construction. University of
Birmingham.
Oracle (2014). Primavera P6 Data Dictionary Release 8.3. Oracle.
PMI (2013). PMBOK Guide 4th Edition. Pennsylvania: PMI Publications.