Thursday, January 08, 2015

New White Paper: PMBOK 5th Edition and Oracle Primavera P6 R8.x - A Practical Step by Step Guide

Oracle Primavera P6 is a widely used software tool in Enterprise Project and Portfolio Management. Considering its popularity, I decided to evaluate the latest version, i.e., Primavera P6 R8.4 with PMBOK Guide, 5th Edition. The software tool works extremely well when compared with various knowledge areas of PMBOK Guide such as Time, Scope, Cost, Human Resource, Risk, Stakeholder etc. However, in this paper, the Knowledge Area taken from PMBOK is "Time Management", as Time/Schedule is one of the most important parameters in project/program management.

This is a first of its kind paper that talks of PMBOK and Primavera P6 side by side and how to use the practices and principles in PMBOK with the help of Primavera P6. PM World Journal has published the paper in its Volume IV, Issue 1, January 2015. Thank you. 

The paper is based on PMBOK Guide 5th Edition and Oracle Primavera P6 Professional Release 8.4. It also will be applicable for the earlier versions of Primavera P6, e.g., R8.3 or R8.2. 

Few excerpts from the paper:

5.1.2 Work Breakdown Structure – WBS (PMBOK/Primavera P6) 
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is created in “Create WBS” process of “Scope Management” KA. As per PMBOK, the WBS is the hierarchal decomposition of work to be carried out by the project team to create the project deliverables. A WBS is created from the Scope Management Plan and Project Scope Statement.  
In Primavera P6, first the creation of WBS is a needed as a good practice. Without WBS, you can have activities too, but that will be an unnatural thing to do....
5.1.14 Critical Path (PMBOK/Primavera P6) 
Critical Path method is defined as one of the Tools and Techniques in “Schedule Development” PA under Time Management KA of PMBOK guide....

The concept of critical path is same in Primavera P6. The options for Critical Activities can be set in the General Tab of Tools -> Schedule -> Options -> Schedule Options.  

If the option for Total Float of ‘less than or equal to’ is taken, then the maximum float time for activities should be specified, before they are marked critical. A new number and time unit can be entered. If Longest Path is selected, then the activities on the longest path in the network are considered critical.  Next, the “Scheduler” of Primavera has to run. Based on the options set, the Activities will be marked as Critical.
As shown above, the activities marked in red are in Critical Path and they are Critical Activities. ...

5.1.14 Resource Optimization Techniques - Resource Levelling (PMBOK/Primavera P6) 
“Resource Optimization Techniques” is one of the Tools and Techniques defined in “Develop Schedule” and “Control Schedule” PA under Time Management KA as defined in PMBOK guide. One of the Resource Optimization Techniques is “Resource Levelling”, which means no resource should be more than 100% allocated. 
In Primavera P6, the concept of resource levelling is same. Resource levelling options is launched from the “Tools” menu.   
Both manual or auto resource levelling option can be set with the Levelling Option dialog box in Primavera P6. The dialog box is shown below. ... ... 
5.2.3 Schedule Baseline (PMBOK) Vs Baseline (Primavera P6) 
“Schedule Baseline” is created in the “Develop Schedule” PA of “Time Management KA” as defined in PMBOK Guide. 
The Baseline concept in Primavera P6 considers all the above mentioned steps. To create a baseline, choose “Project” menu -> “Maintain Baseline” and then click “Add” and then “Choose to save a copy of the current project as a new baseline”. ... ... 
In Primavera, after performing a baseline, there will not be any visible reflection of baseline in the Gantt Chart under “Layout: Classic Schedule Layout”. However, to see the baselined data, one can switch to “Layout: Baseline Vs Current”.  

In Primavera P6, some the concepts are different compared to other project management tools from different vendors. It has some of the unique features available such as Graphical WBS, Graphical RBS, Multiple options to change your Critical Path etc. while going with Time Management. All of them are illustrated in the paper. 

In fact, all of the major Inputs, Tools and Techniques and Outputs (ITTOs) of Time Management and few from Scope and Human Resource Management of PMBOK are taken and shown with the help of Primavera P6 - Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS), Leads and Lags, Compression techniques (Fast Tracking and Crashing), Various types of Activities, Various types of Duration, Relationships/Dependencies, the overall Enterprise Project Structure, various types of milestones (in Primavera P6 there are two kinds), Network Diagram, Various types of Calendars and so on. 

Below is the link for the complete white paper - filled with practical hands on learning on PMBOK 5th Edition with Oracle Primavera P6 Professional R8.x.

Download White Paper (Free): PMBOK Guide 5th Edition and Oracle Primavera P6: A Practical Step by Step Approach for Time Management 

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