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Understanding Why the P6 Update Progress Function Changes Actual Dates

"Understanding Why the P6 Update Progress Function Changes Actual Dates" by Paul E Harris



Most project scheduling software has a function titled “Update Progress”, or similar name, and this function normally updates a program to the Data Date as it had been executed exactly as per the current plan. It updates data such as Actual Dates, Actual and Remaining Durations, Actual and Remaining Costs and Units and Percent Completes. This is the way that products like Microsoft Project, SureTrak and P3 operate.

The problem with both the Oracle Primavera P6 functions “Update Progress” and “Apply Actuals” is that both these functions may change Actual Dates that have been manually entered in the previous update and corrupt the schedule.

In normal circumstances I personally believe that schedules should be manually updated with the correct status and functions like “Update Progress” be avoided. Some schedulers use the “Update Progress” function in the following situations, when:

  • They are not able to obtain any accurate status data to update their program, or
  • They use the “Update Progress Function” and then edit the data to suit the status data.

P6 DOES NOT calculate like any other software and I strongly recommend that you NEVER EVER use either of these function, unless you clearly understand the "Planned Dates", then you will probably not these functions use then anyway.


The aim of this paper is to explain why the P6 “Update Progress” function changes “Actual Dates” and offer suggestions to prevent this occurring...

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