Tips on using this forum..

(1) Explain your problem, don't simply post "This isn't working". What were you doing when you faced the problem? What have you tried to resolve - did you look for a solution using "Search" ? Has it happened just once or several times?

(2) It's also good to get feedback when a solution is found, return to the original post to explain how it was resolved so that more people can also use the results.

Slipped dates reset to baseline after "update progress"

15 replies [Last post]
Thomas Gude
User offline. Last seen 2 weeks 19 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 8 Jul 2020
Posts: 6
Groups: None

Hello All,

I am a fairly new user to Primavera P6, I am running a couple of schedules by using start dates and duration. Percentage complete is set to physical as the time passed on a task doesn't always reflect the amount of work completed.  There is also a baseline to record the slippages. I update progress once a week to move the date line and show tasks that have been completed.

I must be doing something fundamentally wrong however, as every time I use "Update Progress", activities start adjusting their dates - activities will reset their start and end dates to match the baseline.  This happens when the dateline either passes the baseline finish date or the new reforecast finish date. This is infuriatting as I then have to go through each line item (approx 200 activities!) to check if any of the dates have not reset themselves.

I have made a simplified version below:

1. Schedule made and everything is running to initial dates

2. One week passes, progress updated, everything running to inital dates

3. Schedule slips, dates are reforecast

4. Progress updated, activity "planning" reset's its finish date to that of the baseline!

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

7474
primavera_date_reset.jpg

Replies

Zoltan Palffy
User offline. Last seen 21 hours 35 min ago. Offline
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Posts: 2743
Groups: None

it is doing this because you used "Update Progress"

Iin snap shot #4 the software put a 1 week lag in between the data date and the START of A1010 because you said it was "ON SCHEDULE" forcing the sofware to do what you asked it to.

if you update it the way that I mentioned you would see activity A1010 would start EARLIER than the planned date and would start on data date or July 22, 2020 because its predcessor A1000 was completed on July 21, 2020

Bian Mutang Tagal
User offline. Last seen 3 days 21 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 12 Jun 2014
Posts: 10

Hi Thomas,

Probably Zoltan has hit the nail on the head, understanding how the critical path method (CPM) works might help you understand why P6 is doing what it's doing. I recommend reading "Basic CPM Calculations" from one of the most credible producer of project controls white papers.

https://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/PDF/Schedule_Calculations.pdf

Better still take a Primavera P6 course. It's great that you've already gotten your hands dirty with P6 because now you know what you don't know. So taking a structured, 3-day basic learning course will pay off in dividends.

Hope that helps

Zoltan Palffy
User offline. Last seen 21 hours 35 min ago. Offline
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Posts: 2743
Groups: None

you will not see any affect of the progress until AFTER you re-schedule the project. 

I am not sure I understand what you are saying. What you have described is the whole point of CPM scheduling and logic

A ties to B and B ties to c this is called precdence logic

A------>B---->C

if A is delayed then anything after A is delyed and pushed to the right

If A is done and B is delayed then C is delayed

Thomas Gude
User offline. Last seen 2 weeks 19 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 8 Jul 2020
Posts: 6
Groups: None

Thank you. I get that, but due to the successor relationships, if you change the remaining duration of one activity it can slide lots of other activities out of whack causing a lot of confusion.  Well before F9/Schedule button has been used.  See my images in the last post - they are both before the Schedule button is clicked.

Zoltan Palffy
User offline. Last seen 21 hours 35 min ago. Offline
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Posts: 2743
Groups: None

1. First you update all activites that have progress (you dont do one actvity then recalcuate the schedule)

2. press f9

3. change the data date to the new data date

4. review the update 

5. make any adjustments 

thats it al done

Thomas Gude
User offline. Last seen 2 weeks 19 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 8 Jul 2020
Posts: 6
Groups: None

Thank you for your replies. I have created a new test project to learn how to update a schedule using the recommended methods. I understand how checking started/finished and updating the duration then hitting “Schedule” puts the activity in the correct place with accurate values.  What I am worried about is the likelihood of errors occurring due to confusion during the update process.

Example below (I’m ignoring the baseline feature for now, until I get my head around this first), schedule needs updating one week, weds-weds – once updated it should show activity A1040 as “in progress”, all other activities will remain unchanged (image 1).

However, edit activity A1000 “Remaining Duration” to 3 days (image 2) and the entire schedule is thrown, displaying A1040 to be marked as completed and activities A1010 & A1060 to be marked as “in progress”.  I realise once I hit “Schedule” it should reorganise everything back to the where it should be, however in reality there could be many activities with a direct predecessor relationship to A1000 and many more secondary relationships after that, they could also be separated by 100 or so activities between them.  Unless I have absolute knowledge of all the predecessor and successor relationships and know when the original dates were, what is stopping me from incorrectly marking activities as started or complete?

7483
capture_ab.jpg

Zoltan Palffy
User offline. Last seen 21 hours 35 min ago. Offline
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Posts: 2743
Groups: None

Thomas is correct thast not how you properly update a schedule just step through that activites that have progressed and recalculate your schedule is a simple process. 

By using UPDATE PROGRESS you ARE indeed saying that everything has gone to plan. DO NOT USE IT.

Furthermore this does not forecast for you. i.e something was to take 10 days now it takes 15 days that is not taken into consideration it need input from intellegent people who know the work that is going on.

You want to talk about making it easier for you well it does have you ever tried to do a manual forward and backward pass on a schedule not so easy. 

David Kelly
User offline. Last seen 18 hours 55 min ago. Offline
Joined: 19 Oct 2004
Posts: 593

 

Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE

Gosh, Thomas.

You cannot control what you do not measure. The discipline of checking each activity's progress, and updating each activity perhaps every week (I have clients who do it every day) is the single most important thing we do. There are lots of ways of doing this, I like importing Excel spreadsheets which discipline engineers complete, because the planner is seldom qualified to measure mechanical, instrument, electrical etc. activities.

 

/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}

Thomas Gude
User offline. Last seen 2 weeks 19 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 8 Jul 2020
Posts: 6
Groups: None

Thanks Zoltan, I'm not saying I'm expecting everything to go to plan and the reality is far from it.

What I am saying is, if everything is going to plan, or at least if the rescheduled dates now hold true, I don't see why I should be expected to do the graft of calculating and updating the days completed / days remaining fields every week when software is supposed to save time, not use it up.

Zoltan Palffy
User offline. Last seen 21 hours 35 min ago. Offline
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Posts: 2743
Groups: None

YES now you got the picture whats so hard about manullay updaing 40 activities NOTHING ?

NOTHING and I MEAN nothing goes accordinl to the original plan thats why peopel say that button should be Banned it i snot the correct way to update a schedule.

Thomas Gude
User offline. Last seen 2 weeks 19 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 8 Jul 2020
Posts: 6
Groups: None

Thanks Bjan,

I will try that.  I am a project engineer, schedule tracking is part of my role but it has traditionally been done in Excel.  It has become a contractual agreement with the client that we schedule in Primavera and give them an updated schedule in native file format every week. I get about ½ a day a week to update the schedule.

The information I get from the project manager is:

  • Percentage physical complete (which can be 0% even if the activity is started)
  • Reforecast finish dates
  • Unless, I’m told otherwise, all activities that were scheduled to finish that week are confirmed as finished.

It's tricky because, generally, all we want to show are whether the activities are completed or whether they have slipped against the dateline that week.  Therefore, IMO it should only be necessary to edit data for an activity that no longer adheres to the previous week’s schedule.

The extra tools such as resourcing, labour units, float etc are not being used.

I realise this may not be the proper method of scheduling, but it would be too difficult to change it now half-way through the project.

Bian Mutang Tagal
User offline. Last seen 3 days 21 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 12 Jun 2014
Posts: 10

Hi Thomas, yes that is correct. I am not sure of your background, but having to update 20-40 activities per reporting period is actually considered to be an easy day for the planner. Try asking turnaround schedulers they may be updating in the upwards of hundreds of activities per day. 

Why all the hassle? Accurate progress updating and schedule maintenance is essential because the work programme is a live document that is used to monitor and track the progress of the project. If we feed inaccurate data into the work programme then we will get inaccurate output such as unrealistic completion dates (such as in the event there is a major delay). What about in the case of Extension of Time (EOT) disputes where the work programme is often used to support claims via Time-Impact-Analysis? A schedule that has not been updated and maintained well will not hold up well during claim disputes.

Should it have to take that long? Well, what can we compare it too to say that it shouldn't? Many experienced P6 users have found ways to reduce the time for progress updating such as using .XLS import/export perhaps with some VBA thrown in. Some get really fast at it over multiple reporting periods (muscle memory and project familiarity)

Anyways, if everything really is going as per your baseline plan with no slippages, I advise the following:

  1. Make the % Complete Type of all activities Duration.
  2. You don't have to strictly single out In Progress and Completed activities. For In Progress activities, just check the Start box and key in progress %. Done. For Completed activities, just check the Finish box. Done.

In the event an activity has a slippage/not going according to plan, change its % Complete Type to Physical.

  1. For In Progress, check the Start box, key in actual start date, progress % and remaining duration. Done.
  2. For Completed activities, check the Start box, key in actual start date, key in actual finish date. Done.

 Hope that helps

Thomas Gude
User offline. Last seen 2 weeks 19 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 8 Jul 2020
Posts: 6
Groups: None

Thank you for your reply.

I must be missing something here, (and I don't mean to be rude) as that sounds like a massive use of time and a huge chance of creating errors.

Are you saying that before I hit the "Schedule" button, I have to work out which activities are either going to be started, are in progress or will finish and update every single one of these activities accurately (and calculate the remaining days) to ensure all the dates remain the same (assuming everything is on track, or the slippages have not changed)?

Not only that but for every new activity started - I have to re-enter the start date once I've told the program that it's started?

This would mean I would have to manually update around 20-40 activities every week! All I want to do it show the progress of the project by reflecting the start and end dates of activities.  Surely the program should be working for me, not the other way around?

Zoltan Palffy
User offline. Last seen 21 hours 35 min ago. Offline
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Posts: 2743
Groups: None

David I agre BANN it 

 

Thomas 

That is not how to update a schedule

an activity can be in any of the 3 status sitiations

started and not finished = inprogress

started and finsihed = complete

no started = not started

 take the baseline and copy it

now you update the copy of the Baseline

you use the status tab and you update every activity that has started but not finished, has started AND finished or has already been started and has just finished.

To status an activity that has started but NOT finished navigate to the center lower portion of the Status tab and check the box next to STARTED.  After selecting Started select the date drop box and populate the cell with the correct start date.  Then Put in the Remaining duration for the activity

To status an activity that has started AND finished navigate to the center lower portion of the Status tab and check the box next to STARTED.  After selecting Started select the date drop box and populate the cell with the correct start date.  Next navigate to the center lower portion of the Status tab and check the box next to FINISHED.  After selecting Finished select the date drop box and populate the cell with the correct finisht date. 

To status an activity that has already been started AND is NOW finished navigate to the center lower portion of the Status tab and check the box next to FINISHED. After selecting Finished select the date drop box and populate the cell with the correct finisht date. 

Whne you have update ALL activities you must now re-calculate the schedule 

After the updated data has been input into the schedule it is necessary to re-schedule the project to determine the new dates and float values.  Now you must  recalculate the CPM Network (Clock or TOOLS/SCHEDULE or F9 key) and change the data date to whatever date that you are recoding progress THRU.

DONE !

David Kelly
User offline. Last seen 18 hours 55 min ago. Offline
Joined: 19 Oct 2004
Posts: 593
Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}

Thomas,

"Update Progress" (which should be banned) is a system that allows you to pretend progress has been perfect, and avoids you having to measure how much duration has been used up, and work completed.

Physical % complete is correct for the reason that you identified, BUT you should also use Duration % complete or update remaining duration, then reschedule with the new data date.