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3 Tips For Tracking Costs in Primavera P6


Tracking costs remains one of your greatest concerns as a project manager. Primavera P6 gives you several different resources for tracking the costs of your project.

By understanding how to take advantage of Primavera P6’s tracking cost features, you can correctly identify problem areas in the project and divert resources to more important tasks. To help you get the most out of Primavera P6 cost tracking features, follow these three tips.

Primavera P6 Lets You Track Costs by Start and Finish Dates

When you enter expenses into your schedule, the schedule automatically updates to reflect your most recent entries. However, the calculated expenses reflect the total amount for the whole project, not a specified time frame.

If you input financial costs into Primavera P6, the software will automatically generate reports determining if your expenses align with the expectations of the project at this particular point. You can immediately identify any possible problems by checking the Variance. If the Variance shows as “0%,” your newly inputted data does not deviate from the project’s timeline and baseline.

Knowledge of Past Total Expenses Allows You to Track Time Period Labor Expenses

You will need to track the actual costs of set workweeks, such as five day workweeks. Although Primavera P6 will calculate the current expenses by percentage complete, you will need to manually enter the actual labor costs in the system.

For example, you may need to ask your workers to work overtime to complete a specific task before the weather changes, especially for construction and oil industry projects. This advances the schedule graph to reflect the correct correlation and identifies variances for specific time frames.  

Create a Lump Sum Cost For Tracking Costs of Non-Labor Resources

Besides tracking the labor expenses of your workers, the second most important part of cost tracking in project management rests with the cost of your resources. Depending on the resource, especially valuable ores and precious materials, you may want to track all of your resources as one large grouping. You can have Primavera P6 calculate the total cost of your resources to date. Access the “Resources” menu, and click on “Add” to create the new tracking tool. Replace the dummy text, or the resource ID, to Cost.

However, you must ensure you select “Non-Labor” under “Resource Type.” By not giving this cost a unique name, it will gather all non-labor costs into one large sum. You can then input the data to this “Cost” pool to meet your needs. For example, you can input budgeted costs, expectations for inflation of materials, and Actual Cost.

Rather than feeling lost amid the default cost options, you can make tracking costs in Primavera P6 work for you. You only need to know where to look, and these three tips tell you how.

Key Points to Remember:

  • Primavera P6 tracks all costs, including labor and resources, by default.
  • To advance the weekly cost analysis, you need to enter the actual expenses manually. However, the software will calculate the remaining costs for you.
  • Before beginning a project, create a generalized “Cost” of non-labor resources activity to track in the software.

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