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What is Primavera P6: A Brief Introduction

Primavera P6 is one of the most commonly used critical path-based planning software. The tool allows project managers to break large scale, complex projects into smaller projects, tasks, or activities. You can use Primavera P6 to identify the critical path of a large construction project and manage changes to the design and construction strategies during different stages of the project.

Many companies in California that help with CPM scheduling utilize Primavera P6 to help their clients maintain a streamlined construction project.

The History of Primavera P6

Primavera was launched by Primavera Systems in 1983. The company was owned by Dick Faris and Joel Koppleman. In 1998, two different versions – the standalone version and the enterprise portfolio system – of the software were launched.

The standalone version of the tool is usually used by a single user. The enterprise portfolio system can be used by multiple people within an organization.

Primavera is credited for transforming the way project managers identify the critical path of large-scale construction projects. Before the arrival of Primavera P6, project managers used a paper-based method to identify the critical path. Primavera changed it into a computer-based method. One of the main definitive benefits of Primavera P6 is its flexibility. The tool can be customized to meet the unique needs of a client.

Benefits of Primavera P6

Primavera P6 can be used to document and defend project delay claims and progress disputes. Since P6 is integrated with a database, when project managers create or modify baseline construction schedules, the information is securely stored in the database. This information can be used to support claims in case of any dispute.

Primavera P6 can be integrated with financial systems to produce reports that comply with financial reporting standards. Since Primavera P6 is hosted on an SQL server, different users can access the database at the same time from anywhere in the world. Users have all the information that they need to make informed decisions in one place.  

P6 allows activities to be scheduled according to resource restrictions while also allowing project managers to include complex shift calendars in project plans.

Notable Primavera P6 Features and Capabilities

Create a PowerPoint-ready Gantt chart for scheduling tasks

View and track key project metrics in an intuitive dashboard

Generate status reports for project stakeholders

Track allocated resources and reallocate resources if necessary

Manage multiple projects in a portfolio at once

Send scheduling alerts so you know due date for activities

An alternative scheduling option to Primavera P6 Software in the construction industry is Microsoft Project. When investigating and considering a scheduling software tool for project planning, Microsoft project differs from Primavera P6 in some of the following ways:

MS Project does not have multiple user access and has three versions,
Standard, Web -Based and Professional, whereas Primavera has web-based architecture.

MS Project does not have the capability to convert documents, plans and other project information to HTML directly from the software, whereas Primavera does.

MS Project baselines are limited to eleven for assigning tasks, whereas Primavera P6 can display and assign unlimited baselines of a schedule and used for analysis

MS Project does not have a hint help feature to define a columns’ calculations whereas Primavera does when the curser is placed on the field.

MS Project activities are indented to simulate work breakdown structure activities whereas Primavera work breakdown structure is created separately from activities so activities can be added for each element.

MS Project lacks the feature of tracking project issues and risks, whereas Primavera allows users to record issues and risks.

When activities are added to an approved MS Project schedule, all existing activity ID’s below the added activity are re-numbered, making schedule comparisons more difficult as more detail is added through the life of a project.

Need Primavera P6 scheduling services in California? The Swaney Corp-Crowe Construction has the experience and expertise that you are looking for. We help project managers create accurate schedules and track projects with ease. To schedule an appointment, call (707) 665-9668.