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Top 10 Most Common Primavera Mistakes


shutterstock_321052340As a project manager, your responsibilities revolve around the creation and maintenance of your project schedule. Failure to maintain an accurate schedule can and often does lead to project failure.

However, knowing the most common mistakes in Primavera P6 will help increase your productivity and decrease the incidence of problems.

1.  Activity Dates Are Calculated Incorrectly

Sometimes, changing time for your employees in Primavera P6 can throw you a curve ball. If you change the number of hours worked, you may be faced with uncertainty in when an employee is and is not entering overtime. Avoid this problem by going into each activity and changing the duration of the activity to the appropriate amount.

2. Open-Ended Activities Are Left Unaddressed

\Oracle Primavera P6 is designed to identify holes within your schedule. However, activities may be hiding holes when activities are not marked as open-ended. Fortunately, you can isolate all open-ended activities by marking them as critical by clicking on Options, Schedule Options, and checking the field, “Make open-ended activities critical.”

3. Fill-Down Is Used Incorrectly

Similar to incorrect calculation of activity dates, using fill-down can lead to errors in Primavera P6. Always use fill-down for instances when all other information will remain the same. However, you may use fill-down in other cases, but you will need to change the duration of the activity.

4. Resources Are Unavailable

Your schedule may not have adequate resources to complete all created tasks. Most often, this results in an estimated delay in project delivery. If your deadline changes, check your resource availability.

5. Activities Left With Unclosed

Unclosed activities may affect your schedule by reducing available resources and changing your project schedule’s budget. Ensure all activities are closed upon completion.

6. High Level Deliverables Are Not Broken Down

Large parts of a project are difficult to manage, and the hierarchy of a project schedule becomes overly complicated in large projects. Break large projects into smaller activities to help keep your schedule free from clutter.

7. Calendar Hierarchy Is Incorrect

When reassigning activities in your calendar, you calendar’s hierarchy may become incorrect. When moving calendars or activities, remember that Primavera P6 will only show the calendars final location once you release the selected activities.

8. Baseline Shifts Unexpectedly

If the baseline shifts unexpected, you have too few resources available for your specified activities. Alternatively, you may have accidentally entered additional hours for overtime employees, which affected the duration of the activity. If the baseline shifts unexpectedly, check to ensure the duration of activities is correct.

9. Incorrect Dates When Exporting to Excel

Exporting to Excel is a valuable tool in Primavera P6; however, dates may not appear correctly when exporting. This problem is typically the result of incorrect durations or poor resource scheduling. Access the baseline, and look for any changes to figure out what exactly is causing the change in calculation.

10.  Incorrectly Linked Activities

When scheduling activities. You may be tempted to schedule all activities in a Start-to-Finish fashion. However, this eliminates all extra time the schedule, which may be needed if you fall behind. Avoid scheduling all activities as Start-to-Finish relationships unless absolutely necessary to make up for lost time.

Project delays are costly, and you need to know how to avoid making mistakes in Primavera P6. Memorize this list of the top 10 mistakes to avoid when using the software for all of your project management assignments.

Key Takeaway

  • The most common problems in Primavera P6 revolve around changes in the duration of work.
  • Make sure fill-down is used appropriately, and avoid copying information. This leads to confusion.
  • Make all open-ended activities critical, and watch for changes in resource availability in your baseline.
  • Break apart complex calendars into specific calendars.
  • Create relationships between activities to benefit the current state of the project. Do not use a Start-to-Finish relationship if you expect some delays in the future of your project. 

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