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Actual Costs in P6 - EV Nirvana??

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UK Planning Engineer
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After a number of years working in Project Controls, and several organisations, I can get my head around Planning and Resources but what i see constant in-fighting, division and confusion around is just how Actual Costs and how actual costs are aligned to the Schedule and with figures from Finance/Cost Control (and the age old Cost Control vs Earned Value/Schedule and Cost misalignment has happened in every organisation I've encountered). So my question to the good people of Planning Planet is this:

What is the one (or best working) way that you have encountered that Actuals should be interepreted and implemented in P6 or should it be outside of P6 and no Actual Costs and hours entered into P6??

 

  • Does a WBS ever match a CBS? Has this happened? how does this take place? Does it have to match??
  • Are the actuals entered by the Scheduer/Planner? Should they be?
  • How should Cost and Schedule be aligned?
  • Does the Actuals match the WBS and activity 1:1?
  • How are actuals handled by Planning and Scheduling?
    • Entered manually by the Scheduler?
    • No actuals , only % complete, (and dates, remaining labor/material units) entered and then exported ourside of P6 and compared against a spreadsheet with weightings against activities and values?
    • A dedicated Cost processor (Deltek, SAP, Unifier (has Unifier ever been proven?))?

 

I would love to hear the best working example of these as it has long confused me.

Thank you so much :)

Replies

Rafael Davila
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Unit Cost & Production Reporting in Construction Software

  • Production reports go beyond basic job cost reporting to help owners and/or project managers understand the output of a measurable task, such as how many quantities have been completed per man hour (e.g., 10 SF/hour) or how much it is costing per unit of measure (e.g., $2/SF).  Why is this information important?   Actually, the benefits of production reporting are threefold: 1) it allows contractors to see how they are progressing from a production standpoint as a job unfolds, 2) it allows contractors to project their costs on a daily or weekly basis, and 3) it provides precise historical data for more accurate estimating on future jobs with similar conditions.
  • Reporting is Key to Construction Accounting

After so much effort to collect cost data if you do not include in your reports and schedule model the production data then it is mostly a waste of time and money. 

  • It is volume of work, crew composition and production rates what determine activity duration.
  • If you do not adjust your plan and activity durations when productivity is not as expected you are not managing the schedule. 
  • Cost Reports and Schedules that do not disclose volume of work and production rates (volume.of.work/hour) in the language field managers use are a burden.

Best regards,

Rafael

Raymund de Laza
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Sir Rafael,

Using the Cost Account in P6 for Cost Mapping is also helpful.

Mass Importing of Data from Excel to P6 for Actual Cost is easy to accomplish.

Regards,

Rafael Davila
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Rafael Davila
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Raymund,

  • In Spider Project all stand-alone users are administrators if no access restrictions are defined, this I do for my sample schedules I show in PP forums. 
  • In most cases before distributing schedule files to our clients we define access restrictions and the stand-alone user will be able to see and do only whatever the restrictions allow him to do.  Usually we allow all user access to BOQ related cost codes while keeping the remaining under control using access rights.  It is easy, a one-time operation that is safer than having to manually delete all/some cost codes every time we transfer files.

Best Regards,

Rafael

Raymund de Laza
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Sir Rafael,

If I'm not mistaken, all standalone users are Admin Superuser, hence unrestricted access.

Thanks.

Rafael Davila
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Raymund,

Do you mean that access right are not transferred to stand-alone jobs in P6?  But even in stand-alone jobs different users might have different access rights.  These access right shall always be transferred by your software within the job files.

Best Regards,

Rafael

Raymund de Laza
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You are absolutely right Sir Vlad if the Schedule is shared in the network. Some Projects uses the standalone system, hence every user can see everything.

Raymund, there are access rights and everybody sees what is permited. The Client has an access to contract costs only but Contractor can see both contract costs and expenses on the same activities in the same model or manage three different but linked models in parallel.

Raymund de Laza
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In contractor side internal schedule, contractor opt to load the contract amount or budget amount (contract amount - profit) then compare to EV. But for Schedule to be submitted to client, contract amount is loaded.

In Spider Project we enter both contract costs and expected expenses when plan our project.

Comparing both people decide if it is profitable to do the project.

Contractors usually have their internal plans that are not the same as contract schedule and budget and apply Earned Value analysis comparing expected (planned but not contractual) and actual costs.

Is it different for P6 users?

Raymund de Laza
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Sir Vlad,

In P6, When BUdgeted Units are Loaded with Unit Price, the resulting Amount is called the Planned Value as time distributed.

This Planned Value (it may be called a Baseline Cost) is being compared to the Earned Value while the Project Progresses.

The Actual Cost (Real Expenses) to be recorded Manually in P6, it will be compared to Earned Value and it maybe more or less than the Earned Value.

Hence, Actual Cost is not Planned but Managed in P6.

Thanks.

Raymund,

does it mean that actual costs are not planned and managed in P6?

Raymund de Laza
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Hi,

Actual Cost is the real expenses or real amount spent for buying materials, pay wages for labor and pay rental of equipment or amount of depreciated values for contractor's owned eqpt.

This is an internal data for a contractor that shall not be presented to consultant or client.

Hope this will clarify the issue.

Raymund de Laza
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