The P6 Project Status field is found on the General tab of a Primavera P6 project whether you are using P6 Professional or Primavera P6 web.
It can be set to one of four values; Planned, Active, What-If or Inactive. Knowing what they mean and what you can do with them can be very useful indeed. This tip explains these often ignored fields and provides a suggestion or two about how you can make use of it in your implementation.
If it did nothing else the Project Status field can act as a label by identifying the significance of the project when considering current planned work load.
- A Planned Project Status should be assigned to a Primavera P6 Project that is currently being developed into a project that should start in the future. Of course, some of the best planned projects don’t ever start.
- An Active Project Status denotes a project that is live and being executed. It should be regularly updated with progress information and is probably busy consuming resources.
- Assign a Project Status of What-If to a copy of a live project that is being used to try out alternatives, such as the effect of a change in scope, alternative scenarios to deliver the project scope and so forth.
- The Inactive Project Status should be given to projects that have been completed or curtailed so there will be no more work left to do on them.
If users are diligent about setting the Project Status according the descriptions above, then projects can be filtered according to their Project Status. This is easily achieved using the built-in Project Layouts Filter By option. As useful as this might be, you could easily do that using a Project Code and have many more Status values. Surely there is more to the Project Status field than just this?
Project Status and Primavera Progress Reporter?
If your organization is using or planning to use Progress Reporter, then the correct setting of the Project Status field will become significant. A user can only book time into a Primavera P6 Project with a Project Status of Active. Projects in Primavera P6 are created with a Project Status of Active by default which means users can book time to them. This default may not always be a good idea. Some users would prefer it if Projects were created with a Project Status of Planned, thus helping to prevent users accidentally booking time to new projects that have not yet been approved.
So in short, setting a Project to any value apart from Active will prevent users from booking further time to it and updating progress through Primavera Progress Reporter.
If your organization does make use of Progress Reporter, then it is essential to get into the habit of setting the Project Status field to Planned for all newly created P6 projects.
Project Status and Summarized Data
There are a number of places in Primavera P6 Web and P6 Professional that make use of summarized data. The Tracking Layout in P6 Professional and the Portfolio and Resource analysis in P6 Web are two areas. These features do not include data from What-If projects. Not setting the Project Status to What-If for a genuine What-If project may lead to incorrect Resource Loading in areas such as the Tracking Layout, that make use of summarized data.
The Resource histogram or spreadsheets in the Activities area of P6 Professional can be set to display data from “Open Projects Only” or “All Projects”. When the first option is selected, the resource loadings are shown for all open projects no matter what the Project Status is. When “All Projects” is selected, you have the ability to either include or ignore projects where the Project Status is set to What-If.
Oracle Primavera P6 actually provides a choice of three meanings to the term *All Projects”. The meaning is set by the user on the Resource Analysis tab of the User Preferences dialog and each user has their own setting.
The default is to include all closed projects except the projects with a Status of What-If. By changing the Project Status of closed projects or choosing to open What-If projects it is possible to see the effect on Resource Loading of various project combinations.
Imagine a situation where you have a current live project and have made two copies of that project and worked up two alternative scenarios. All you would need to do to evaluate the effect on resource loading for each option, is set each one to a Project Status of What-If and open them individually with this definition of “All Projects”. It will show how each option affects the overall resource profile in each case.
The second option makes use of the Project Leveling Priority value to only select projects up to a certain value. By assigning values and selecting the highest value, you can exclude certain projects from the analysis. This can be particularly useful when the Leveling priority is set according to the likelihood of a project being executed. The least likely projects can be excluded from the analysis.
The third option on the screen treats “All Projects” in exactly the same way as “Open Projects Only” and is often the safe option to use here.
Many implementations of Primavera P6 that we have come across do not make use of Project Status at all, but it is a field that can prove useful if used in a consistent and diligent manner.
- Be mindful of the meaning of each Project Status and ensure it is set correctly on your projects.
- Get into the habit of setting a Project Status of Planned for newly created projects.
- A project must have a Project Status of Active to use with Primavera Progress Reporter. Consequently, you can stop the use of Progress Reporter on a Primavera P6 Project by changing the Project Status to something else.
- Projects with a Status of What-If are not included in most reports that use summary data – Tracking Layout being one.
- One of the available meanings of “All Projects” in the Activities view is to include all projects apart from those set to a Project Status of What-If
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