30 Primavera Tips and Tricks

Alex Alex Uncategorized

If you are looking enhance your efficiency and ensure successful project management you are using Oracle’s Primavera P6. 90% from the general contractors working on high-value projects with a yearly revenue of $2M to $50M are using Primavera. Our blog highlights the 30 must know tips and tricks to improve your productivity and save time:

#1.Figure out the open ends in the schedule activity

A healthier check must be conducted to remove open ends by looking to a good start point for the list of activities without predecessors/successors in the report.

#2.Test Yourself

If you are familiar with the term high float, high duration, and what are the general parameters. These are just the common general practice that most of the schedulers may not configure when building up a schedule. If the government is the owner of the project that you are working on and you didn’t realize those terms or checked before submitting, you will receive the comment of review and submit. Thus, practicing on some activity names is a vital thing in the critical path method. Which the commentary always relies here.

#3. Setting up your project level

By pre-assigning a value to the calendar, duration type, the percentage of completion, type of activity, and cost, you will eliminate the need of editing them in future.

#4.Renumbering the entire schedule

By renumbering the schedule for the multiple activities added you will easily define the values, replace characters, define prefix/suffix of selected activities. You can do this by highlighting all activities of the projects regarding a certain phase, then right-click, choose to renumber activity IDs and check on the auto-number option. Choose your prefix, as for example PH1-. Renumber the IDs Parameters and then update the ids for the selected Activities.

renumbering schedule

#5.Avoid Auto-Reorganization

When it comes to using a layout for grouping activities by a certain parameter, you will need to avoid, as every time this information is updated for a single activity, it will move out to a different location in the schedule. However, the problem can be solved easily by disabling this option further. From the tools toolbar, you can disable it or the shift plus F12 key, which is another way.

#6.Modifying the Value of Parameter for all the activities in the schedule

As for example, if you are looking to change the completion percentage for that certain type of activities like the duration to physical. There are several data activity settings that can be edited for instance for all the activities in the schedule. To access this feature, click the on Tools menu, and select Global Change. Then, you will be driven to generate or adjust a preset rule.

#7.Date & Time Format

For tracking the activities on the schedule, you can set the unit of time to days, weeks, months, or years. By navigating between units. By this way, you will be able to control the values shown on activities. Click on Edit, then user preferences to adjust them accordingly.

#8.Export to Excel

In Primavera P6, you will be allowed easily to export the data directly into a spreadsheet through copying and pasting the required information. To perform this action, press CTRL+A then press CTRL+C to Copy and CTRL+V to paste them directly into the spreadsheet.

#9.Claim Digger

For comparing the changes made from one schedule to another to get yourself a detailed report for the changes and difference made between both schedules, from duration, logic, and float to the activity deletions or additions. Run the claim digger utility, which is all you need to conduct that activity. Click on the tools menu and then click claim digger, you will then choose between 2 files to get from which you can compare them accordingly.

As well, you can open multiple schedules simultaneously, as you will need to know the Primavera P6 allows the user to work on several projects at one time through creating logical ties between them.

#10.Excel Import

If you are looking to import a significant amount of data from the excel without having to create one by one activity, this can be done through the import function. From File, click on Import, Spreadsheet – (XLS), and make sure to choose the file with the information required to be imported.

#11.Adjust single-page width

This is a very useful tip to avoid the pain of seeing your schedules printed on multiple pages. From print preview to page setup, you will be sure of this form of activity is on “List View” not “EPS”. As well, select “Fit Timescale”.

#12.Logic Ties

Creating logic links and ties for the schedule can be created in three different ways: From Activity details, go to predecessors and successors tabs and add activity to each list.
Through Activity Table Level, highlight the required activities, right-click on the section, choose “Link Activities” options or, you can do it visually by clicking and drag your cursor from a bar to another in a Gantt chart.

#13.Longest Path VS Total Float

Critical Path Method intent is to obtain the project duration through extracting the longest path of activities through the project start/end date.

You may have noticed that P6 offers 2 criteria for determining the critical path in the schedule. (F9 hotkey>Schedule Options). While each will yield some equivalent results beneath bound conditions, most times vital methods will disagree dramatically once calculated beneath one criterion over the opposite. This means that, if a 100-activity schedule is delayed and eightieth of its activities have negative TF values, then the essential path determined through the primary technique are going to be comprised of eighty-line things, and cannot essentially allow us to distinguish that activities have an impression on this project completion forecast. The Longest Path possibility, on the opposite hand, can still show solely the activities that drive our current completion date and keep the list of activities thought-about “critical” to a minimum.

#14.Add Graininess To Your Schedule While not Bumping Up Activity Count

One of the benefits of adding a lot of detail to a schedule is that it permits for finer progress pursuit. In different words, news standing on a deliverable that’s portrayed by over one activity within the schedule will be a lot of structured, traceable and overall reliable method than for a single-line-item one.

For instance, think about the hassle associated with making ready as-built drawings throughout the cut-rate sale part of a project. this will be either incorporated into the schedule as one item representing all work from final as-built survey through record drawing set approval, or it will be dampened into the smaller tasks (or “steps”) silent by this effort. At the identical time, however, the latter may result in Associate in Nursing reserve range of recent activities which might create your schedule unmanageable and extremely cumbersome to update. If you’ve been featured with this quandary, as luck would have it you’ll be able to get the simplest of each world by exploitation the Activity Steps feature.

This selection permits you to make sub-tasks (namely, “steps”) for the activities you wish to trace a lot of closely while not the necessity to interrupt them down into separate, smaller activities. to try to this, choose the activity you wish to take steps for. Then, head to the Steps tab settled within the Activity Details window and outline the sub-tasks needed for this activity

#15.Focus on milestones

In terms of a project’s layout, a wise layout alternative is to place all your key milestones along below in a one work breakdown structure to the project. Add a WBS element which is called “Key Milestone” at the project.

Then, drag and drop the project milestones under that WBS element. The foundation of the project organizing system keyword is the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

#16.Shade your Non-Work parts in the schedule

Since grant charts are loved. Thus, simplifying it is an essential move. Then, by shading the non-work time on the activity Gantt Chart P6 will clearly shows what days are the workable days and what hours are the workable hours.

To control how the grant chart is shaded, you must ensure that “Global” is selected at the top from “Enterprise” menu, select “Calendars”. Then, place a check mark next to the required worksheet in “Calendars”.

What is shaded as non-work depends on the level of zoom you have on your timescale, as you can set you timescale as “week/Day1”, then you will see it shaded,

#17.Sequence the Activities

A very powerful way to create logic ties is by linking activities at the table level. Forming chains of sequenced activities by highlighting many activities as needed. By selecting “Link Activities” from the menu, you can do so. The below images show the steps accordingly. You’ll realize that they tail the order from which they were highlighted when generating the links, contrasting to the direction from which they were initially itemized in the activity table.

#18.Primavera P3 or P6 function keys

In both the P3, P5 or P6 client and web applications, the following keys can be used to save you time and to be able to act accordingly while working.

primavera function keys

#19.Use Shortcut Keys

primavera shortcuts

#20.Utilizing the resource codes

In a Primavera there are resources coded from which can allow the scheduler to organize, sort and filter the resources glossary. As well, those codes allow grouping and sorting in the resource assignments and profiles.

  • Click on Enterprise, choose resources codes from which you can create a code called a Manager.
  • Click on modify, add, and then type Manager as the new resource name.
  • Click Close.
  • At the top, click on Add, as to add names tot the manager resource code.
  • Then click close.
  • Choose customize and place the new resource code as the first option. Now, the resource dictionary is grouped by the code. Then, go back to how the resource dictionary is originally grouped. From the display option bar, choose group and sort.
#21.Adding Weather To The Schedule

Unless you’re operating inside, weather is often a thought once building a CPM schedule. Somehow, traditional weather should be addressed for any work that may be wedged by inclement weather. Our solely concern ought to be traditional weather; uncommon weather is associate degree excusable delay. This in fact raises the difficulty of however will we verify what precisely is traditional weather? Contracts usually mention that point extensions can solely be granted for abnormal weather while not process traditional weather.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has records for thousands of weather stations round the country that in some cases return 100 years or additional.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is perhaps the simplest example of the way to specify traditional weather. The USACE generally tells contractors what number days of inclement weather to incorporate within the monthly CPM scheduling. Government agency knowledge would solely tell us the common temperature and precipitation, that leaves receptive interpretation however daily with, say, 0.1″ of precipitation ought to be treated. permanently or unhealthy, the USACE specifications leave little question what number days ought to be blocked out for weather – not as well as weekends and holidays.

  • Augment Normal Weather to the Work Calendar
  • Create Possibility Activity for the unexpected Weather
  • Modify the Normal Weather to the Activity Durations.
#22.Organize Your Code

While using Primavera P6, there will be times that require organization especially on lard schedules with large durations and activities. P6 will allows creating your own code categories and values for better organization.

organize code in primavera

From enterprise data select the administer drop menu and start on assigning codes to subcontractors performing assigned activities. As well, feel free assigning subcontractor categories associated with code values.

organize code step 2

Then start on assigning activity codes like the figure below:

organize code step 3

#23.Utilizing the reflections in Primavera P6

The reflections are a great way from which the scheduler can examine the schedules scope changes and permanently affecting the source of the schedule file. As in the below figure. Reflections are a great tool to add the WBS elements, activities, and relationships to visualize the thrust block in the schedule.

utilizing resources primavera

#24.Resource over allocation

To handle such situations as when your specialized resource is over allocated, you can handle it in various ways through. You will need to examine the estimated daily effort. As for example, if a part-time effort is only required. Project manager will consider resolving such issues before entering through various challenging negotiation process. So, using as late as possible approach will be favorable, as it will attempt to eliminate over-allocations and will not lengthen your project.

resource over allocation


Milestone will always signify the start/end of the project phase, whether it is a structural phase, design phase, quality phase, or closeout phase. They will guide the scheduler to the vital activities that will produce the deliverables.

#26.Choose your percent wisely in p6

The percentage types in P6 like duration, physical, or units can be defined at the level of the activity, which is recommended to stay in a swim lane percent complete type for the entire project. Hence, it will result in less complexity when there are monthly updates required further from various schedulers in the team to conduct.

#27.Critical path method in Primavera P6

As displayed in the above figure: critical activities to two-days we the threshold for those tasks was raised. This option in the P6 is helpful for separating the longest leads path for the schedule. However, the activities start on constraints which are not along the longest path as shown as non-critical. And, Predecessors with constraints are displayed there as non-vital.
So, you will need to provide the appropriate value of the adjusted critical activity in the schedule documentation package.

#28.Progress Line

How you can spot faults on a schedule in Primavera P6? Through the progress line which is a vertical plot providing the highest-level view of the total schedule progress.
The progress line is a visual plot in the Gantt chart which will show whether the activity ahead or behind on schedule through data points. As this will enable the scheduler to focus on the main areas the requires further attention, as the goal is to keep the progress line straight.

#29.Highlighting and filtering

How can you spot the light on specific activities?
filters in primavera
Through using the filtering option, you will be able to highlight all the critical activities within a date range.

#30.Split Screen

This is a very simple feature from which you will need while preparing the schedule, which can let you have great implications on the project success.