Like anything else in life, executing a project, regardless of its scope, size or budget, does not always go as planned. Sometimes, it’s necessary to begin work before preceding activities are finished (like installing a piece of equipment that follows the completion of minor carpentry painting). Perhaps the resources planned to do a certain job are not yet available on the planned date, or the needed skilled workers haven’t arrived yet. However, thanks to Oracle’s Primavera P6 software, project scheduling can now be made perfect. So, before asking me about primavera scheduling software cost, let me first give you a good idea of why the software is best for scheduling, implementing and monitoring projects.
Is Scheduling With Oracle Primavera Complicated?
What makes scheduling in the Primavera P6 hard? Well, that’s a good question to ask, instead of asking me first on the primavera scheduling software cost, but then again cost of course is a perfectly good thing to ponder on.
According to software experts, the scheduling itself may be not hard to do, but if you lack the training to use the Primavera P6, it will be a quite tough thing to do, because schedules with thousands of activities take more time to assemble, but that alone doesn’t make it complicated.
Besides, in every schedule there is repetitive work, which means that you can copy dozens, or even hundreds, of activities quickly and reuse them. But then again, before you can do this, you’ll need to devote some time towards mastering the Primavera P6.
The 2 Characteristics That May Complicate a Primavera P6 Schedule
And, before inquiring about the primavera scheduling software cost (which I tell you is very much affordable), let’s first discuss the two characteristics which may complicate a Primavera P6 schedule.
According to the software experts, there are other situations which make a project scheduler’s life “challenging”, but the two major characteristics are: The schedule has more than one calendar, and the schedule is resource loaded.
Having more than one calendar is a necessity, like for example project specifications may require that inclement or bad weather days be added to the project’s calendar. In other words, the anticipated weather days must be blocked out in the same way as holidays and other non-working days.
However, not all activities will be affected by the weather, like activities that take place indoors (interior finishes, shop drawings, permits, indoor plumbing and fixtures etc.). Thus, we should also utilize a calendar which doesn’t have weather days.
Another good reason why more than one calendar is needed is that some activities may occur any day of the week without exception. Examples of these include concrete curing, electrical installation etc.
Or, the project specifications identify certain tasks accordingly. So, now we have a 7-day calendar in addition to a work calendar with weather, along with a calendar without weather.
But, why is it such thing to have multiple calendars for your construction project? To begin with, weird stuff can happen as the project’s schedule moves form one calendar to another. For example, if the predecessor finishes on Saturday, as it follows the 7-day calendar.
If the successor has a 5-day calendar, it cannot start until the following Monday. Even though both activities may be on the critical path, the predecessor will have one day of total Float, while the successor has zero Total Float. I hope you get what I mean. But if not, you can ask a long-time Primavera user, or an Oracle-certified Primavera P6 trainer for help.
There’s a Calendar to Consider for Resources Too
Before you again start to inquire about the primavera scheduling software cost, lets move on to discussing resources, which is a major calendar issue too. According to our friendly and seasoned project management experts resources cannot use two project calendars. Only global and resource calendars can be assigned to resources.
So, think about it. We already had 3 calendars because of the weather, and then we need one for a 7-day calendar, and now comes a fourth calendar. But, what if the resource plays by different rules than any other calendar?
Well, again our experts point out that the strategy would be to create a global calendar first, copy it as a project calendar, and also assign it to the resource. So, the project calendar and the resource calendar are identical.
The experts further add that there are situations where the resource works different hours or different days, and should take over in terms of calculating dates. Maybe the resource calendar is never available on Fridays.
Thus, project managers and schedulers have to consider whether the project or resource calendar is more important. This explains why the Primavera P6 offers Task Dependent and Resource Dependent activity types. Thus, there is no single right answer, as it all depends on the circumstances.
Another thing to consider with resources is that we can allow the software to change the activity duration, which is something that would perhaps never happen otherwise. Therefore, the Duration Type becomes a truly big deal.
And, if we resource-load a Primavera P6 schedule we can also resource level the schedule. However, it may take several iterations of resource levelling before we can be truly satisfied that the optimum answer has been found (which is finishing as quickly as possible using a reasonable number of resources).
And, the truth is that complicated schedules are frequently avoidable, often necessary, and must always be accepted. So, are you ready for the challenge? Well, with the Primavera P6, you can!
It’s because the software has robust and collaborative scheduling. This means that you can plan, schedule and control large-scale projects. And, there will be vigorous and collaborative scheduling with inputs from all the members of the project team.
The software also works with estimators, site personnel and construction managers, which means that everyone will be on board as its proponents and stakeholders. So, don’t worry about the primavera scheduling software cost, because I’m sure the benefits will definitely outweigh the software’s price, which is actually quite affordable!