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NEWS: Primavera P6 Professional 20.12 is Released

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Colin Peters
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Oracle, at the very end of 2020, released Primavera P6 Professional 20.12. Here's what's in it https://ed.gr/c38ud

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Rafael Davila
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ABOUT P6 NEGATIVE FLOAT - LATE DATES AND COST DISTRIBUTIONS

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Zoltan Palffy
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Santosh

I agreee this has been the attitude ever since Oracel purchased Primavera.

I will take the Bala Cynwood days over the California based company anytime

Rafael Davila
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ABOUT FINANCIAL PERIODS

EVM--a disciplined approach to project management

The use of financial periods provides a more accurate display and project reporting of planned and actual units and costs. Rather than spreading units and costs evenly throughout the duration of activities, the use of financial periods allows for the discrete allocation of these values to specific time periods. P6 offers this ability through the use of a financial period dictionary. The use of this feature shows how planned, earned, and actual costs are incurred by financial period. The financial dictionary should be set up to reflect the organization's financial reporting periods by week, month, quarter, or a single financial period, depending on the schedule update cycle.

In combination with Financial Periods, P6 offers a Store Period Performance feature that enables the tracking of cost and actual units. This feature records actual units for a specific financial period in combination with earned value and planned value. It allows tracking of previous financial periods and comparing current and future trends. It is important to synchronize the schedule update cycle with the organization's financial periods. Perform store period performance upon completion of the update period but before the start of the next scheduled update cycle.

How do financial periods work?

Remember, once you have stored actuals in the financial periods, you cannot change the financial periods anymore.

Ensuring Actuals are Reported Against the Right Period

As an example, imagine you’re setting up a schedule for a mine, with an activity start date of 1st April, to track the actual amount of coal being produced each month. Let’s say the amount of coal being produced is 30,000 tonnes during April and 40,000 tonnes during May.

When reporting, P6 will distribute the total amount of production (70,000 tonnes) evenly across the two months, allocating 35,000 tonnes each to April and May. This means that reports don’t reflect the real result.

There is an easy way to ensure actual data is reflected against the right period. You simply need to do what is called Store Period Performance, so that a report can show both actuals and forecast values.

Spider Project is different: Spider project stores the actuals in the performance archive for the update periods in the performance archive; remaining is spread evenly throughout the remaining duration of activities. The update periods need not to be pre-defined. 

For multiple reasons it is common in our projects for some payment applications to be delayed by several days outside regular financial period.  Our Payment Applications are legal documents that must show true cut-off progress.  To the left of last update the distribution will be as per updating periods and to the right will be spread evenly.  Spider will give us accurate reporting for billings as well as for earned value without need to synchronize against previously defined financial period.

Rafael Davila
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ABOUT P6 CALENDARS AND CLAIM DIGGER LIMITATIONS

P6 will show you an image of your calendars, not the related tables that make up the calendars. You cannot filter the graphics and the only way to look at the calendar exceptions is by scrolling day by day the calendars up to the finish date of current project version.  It becomes impractical if not impossible to make sure no malicious changes have been done to calendars exceptions. Such comparison is easy in Spider Projectsimply by comparing prior version calendar exception table to current version exception table, something neither P6 nor Claim Digger can do.

https://www.primaverascheduling.com/claim-digger-limitations/

The biggest limitation in Claim Digger has to do with calendars. Here are two scenarios where Claim Diggers will let you down:

  1. Changes made to a calendar, such as revisions to the number of hours per day, days per week, holidays, etc. are not picked up by Claim Digger
  2. Changing the calendar on an activity from Global to Project (or vice versa) is not picked up if both calendars have the same exact name

Indeed, Claim Digger will tell us nothing about calendars other than whether the name of the calendar is different.

Santosh Bhat
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Zoltan,

Agreed. But its the flippant disregard for customer feedback that strikes me about Oracle. I guess as a huge company they have the ability to do that. And as end users we should take our custom elsewhere.

It will be interesting to see how many P6 customers do migrate to the Primavera Cloud product. My anecdotal evidence is "not many". Most want to continue using P6 or will seek alterantive tools altogether.

Zoltan Palffy
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Santosh 

you are correct I also remember way back in P3 Primavera asking for user input for features.

You mentioned printing the calendar if you remember you could do that in p3 now you have to use the parser or a 3rd party software to do that.

now they added the ability to show the values on the histograms well you could do that in P3 

Now they added the ability to stop importing of risk categories. I was using Ron Winters POBS cleaner to do that for me.

We can only hope it gets better.

Santosh Bhat
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Tom, Here we are 12yrs after Oracle acquired Primavera, and we're celebrating the addition of a single text field into a single table. Meanwhile other developers are not evolving the practice, but revolutionising it. Granted Oracle are focussing their efforts onto their cloud offering (whatever it will be called this year), their P6 user base must represent a signifcantly larger number of customers than their cloud product now

It says a few things

1) How little Oracle listen to their customers. I remember back in 2009 being part of a Customer Advisory Panel, asked to prepared a list of things we'd like P6  to do - at least the client version that serious schedulers use. We presented 25, of which perhaps 5 or 6 have actually been implemented. And they weren't major changes but fairly simple things that still are not in P6, such as:

  • Printing Calendars, I mean their only one of the fundamentals of scheduling (why would you want that? I remember a senior Oracle rep once asking me)
  • Global/EPS/Project Calendar Hierarchy, and/or the ability to transfer calendars from one project to another
  • Global/EPS/Project Resource Hierarchy
  • Improvements to the Security profiles
  • Improved database analysis - for example which projects are using which calendars or resources
  • Remaining Qty Calculations to contine from actuals to date

2) Perhaps related to 1) above, but the dominance of P6 that the developer can basically ignore customers and continue being the dominant tool

3) How little Oracle understand their customers use of the product

4) How wedded the industry is and reluctant to change

Tom Boyle
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Steve,

It's true that I'm celebrating a very small step, nowhere close to RDCPM certification, nor to what Spider and Logic League (or even PRA) offer.  Nevertheless, 250-characters seems big enough to contain some intelligent reason-why and other descriptive coding that would be retained by the relationship - in the database and in xers and other exports.  Any stakeholder with access to the coding structure - which is NOT hosted in P6 - could then parse, report on, modify, and even re-import the field.

Note I'm still speculating based on the referenced article and without having installed the update, so I may be all wet.  

Steven Auld
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Tom,

Unfortunately it is only a single text field that has been added to the relationship table (Max 250 characters).

Not sure how useful this would be although it can be exported & imported from the Excel Import / Export settings.

It is only visible in the Relationships tabs in the Activity View, or through the Reports function. I haven't been able to find it in the Filters section for Activities.

Regards,

Steve

Rafael Davila
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P6 is still a long way to go.

Software shall be able to report and calculate cost distributions correctly always, irrespective of reporting periods.  For past performance you already know the distribution no matter the financial period you choose.  The need for pre-defined financial periods is born on poor math.  Spider Project always gets it right without the need for predefined financial periods, you define any desired period when generating your reports.

Notes size shall be unlimited as well as the amount of relationship codes in the form of user defined fields for the links table as in Spider Project.

With the use of formulas, scripts and user defined fields managing of discretionary relationships shall be at the click of the mouse as it is with Spider Project.  

Image-074     Image-075  click on the thumbnails for a larger view.

Although not as straightforward as with Spider Project with the use of Logic League P6 users can manage discretionary relationships.

Logic League by Ron Winter Consulting LLC.

Logic League™ is your extended data base for CPM relationships. With Logic League and P3, P3e, or P3e/c, you can add notes, sort by any predecessor or successor factor, filter out unnecessary relationships, maintain any number of scenarios, and instantly update your schedule. Quickly reverse preferential logic, accelerate schedules using a relative degree of ‘Hard’ and ‘Soft’ settings with cost or disruption as a factor.  Automatically document all changes made. Safety and accountability are built-in.

Advanced Features of Spider Project.pdf

Sometimes project scope, network dependencies and activity properties depend on some conditions not known at the moment when project model is created. If the software is able to dynamically select the way to continue with project execution it saves a lot of project planner efforts. We call this Conditional Scheduling. Besides, conditional networks are required for proper risk simulations. When project is late managers apply some corrective actions and this shall be taken into account in Monte Carlo simulations. If the schedule model includes switch activities the resulting schedule (not only the order but also project scope and a set of project activities) depends on switch conditions. With schedule delays not only dates and costs but also project scope may change.

With the modeling of spatial resources in Spider Project I have very little need for preferential logic, in the rare ocassions it happens I got the necessary tools.

Spatial Resources Presentation Hyperlink

Tom Boyle
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Wow!  A comment field on relationships looks like a place to finally include relationship coding, as users have requested for decades!  Will need to investigate how accessible this is through the user interface.  At the very least, we can hope to use an external interface like SDK or XER-parser to manage discretionary relationships.  Fred Plotnick (the originator of RD-CPM relationship coding methodology) will be at least semi-pleased.