If you are looking for a quick way to update the progress of work on your Primavera P6 schedule or you want to describe the progress of work that has a non-uniform production rate, then you should become familiar with the different Percent Complete Types offered in Oracle Primavera P6.
Here we’ll start with the situation where you already have a schedule and associated baseline. There’s demand for accurate, weekly updates on your project and you need an efficient and accurate way of modeling activity progress. This is where the different Percent Complete Types in Primavera P6 come in rather handy.
The simplest and fastest way to update activity progress is to use the duration % complete type. The remaining duration is automatically computed based on the duration % complete input.
If you have an activity that has a non-uniform production rate then physical % complete is the Percent Complete Type of choice. In this Percent Complete Type both the % complete and remaining duration must be input.
If you are manufacturing parts then the units % complete type may be used to describe manufactured units completed. Using the correct duration type is important to efficiently and realistically track the progress of activities in Primavera P6.
This article explains how to use both the physical % complete and duration % complete types in Primavera P6 to describe the work being performed on a project. It does not go into detail on the units % complete type as this will be the subject for a future blog. Therefore, please note that different techniques for updating progress should be employed if you have a resource or cost loaded schedule and when status is not consistent for each resource assigned. For best practice purposes, the following methods generally apply to non-resource loaded schedules.
Primavera P6 Scenario
Your task is to update the schedule for the structural phase of a building construction project, Figure 1.
All your tasks are sequential and have the classic Finish-to-Start relationship. The schedule is fairly standard except for the Steps feature that was used to further describe the Lay Foundation activity, and the 120-hour (5-day) elapsed time cure time lag between the Lay Foundation and Strike Forms activities. Note that two activities are assigned the Physical Percent Complete Type and the rest are assigned the Duration Percent Complete Type.
Physical Percent Complete Updates
The physical % complete type is required for activities that have Steps assigned to them. Additionally, it is the preferred method of updating activities when the production work rate is non-inform. For example, the crew may have a learning curve that will cause the first few days’ progress to be slower than the remaining days. The activity may also require unspecified mobilization of material and equipment that causes the first days progress to be slower. The physical % complete type is able to account for both mobilization and learning curves.
Duration Percent Complete Updates
Again the distinguishing feature of the duration % complete type update is that Primavera P6 will automatically compute the remaining duration when you enter the duration % complete. This calculation is also instantaneous. To get Primavera P6 to compute the remaining duration, after entering the expected finish date for the physical % complete type, you still have to recalculate the schedule first. In other words, the computation is not instantaneous the way it is for the duration % complete type update.
Week One Steps Physical Update
In Figure 2, the structural phase construction project has begun.
Note that Notice to Proceed and Structural Phase Start activities are complete. Also, the project management activity is in progress. Select the Lay Foundation activity and select the Steps tab in the bottom details, again, Figure 2. There are three steps associated with the Lay Foundation activity. Check the completed box in the Set Forms row to declare the Set Forms step complete.
For the Lay Rebar step set the Step % Complete to 50%. Now select the Status tab, Figure 3, in the bottom details and note that the 10-day activity is 50% complete.
Also, note that the remaining duration is still listed as 10-days. What happened? Well, nothing, which is precisely the point. When you use the physical % complete type you have to enter the estimated remaining duration yourself, Primavera P6 does not compute this value for you.
To describe the time remaining on a physical type activity you have two options: 1) to enter the expected finish date and Primavera P6 will compute the remaining duration (only after you ask Primavera P6 to recalculate the schedule) or 2) to directly enter the remaining duration. In Figure 4, the remaining duration is entered directly as 5-days.
After entering the remaining duration, and, therefore, the project status for the first week, move the data date and recalculate the schedule. Your project should look similar to Figure 5.
Week Two Steps Physical Update
Continue to highlight the Lay Foundation activity in the activities view. Go back to the Steps tab in the bottom view and check off the Lay Rebar and Pour Concrete steps as being complete, Figure 6.
Then go to the Status tab and check off the Lay Foundation activity as being complete, Figure 7.
After entering the status for week two, move the Data Date, and recalculate the schedule, Figure 8.
Week Three Status Duration Update
The status for week three is quite simple. First select the Strike Forms activity in the activities view then simply select the Status tab and mark the Strike Forms activity as Started and Finished, Figure 9.
This is the first non-milestone and non-level of effort duration % complete type in the project schedule. Again, move the Data Date and recalculate the schedule, Figure 10.
Week Four Status Physical Update
We again want to use the Physical % Complete Type to describe the progress of our schedule. The activity is to construct the exterior walls. This project has a non-uniform productivity distribution. This is because of the required mobilization of material and equipment on day-1 of this activity. The crew was also new to constructing this type of wall, so they had a learning curve. In other words the crew took 5-days to construct 41.67% of the wall and only 5-days to construct the remaining 58.3% of the wall.
To update the project for week 4, first select exterior walls in the activities view. Then select the Status tab in the bottom details and enter 41.67% (5-days/12-days duration) for the Physical % complete, Figure 11.
As usual, the remaining duration is still listed as the entire length of the project. Enter an Expected Finish data of February 6th. In order to update the remaining duration based on the expected finish date move the Data Date and recalculate the schedule. Primavera P6 will compute the remaining duration, Figure 12.
Week Five Status Physical Update
Make certain the exterior walls activity is highlighted in the activities view. Check the Finished toggle to enter status, move the Data Date, and recalculate the schedule. The schedule will now appear similar to Figure 13.
Note the February sixth finish date, original 12-day duration, and the actual 10-day duration.
Week Six Status Duration Update
The interior walls were constructed by a very experienced crew, so there was no learning curve. Also, the mobilization delays were immaterial. For the first weeks work on the interior walls activity set the duration % complete to 50%, Figure 14.
Primavera P6 will automatically compute the remaining duration of the 10-day activity as 5-days. Advance the Data Date one week and recalculate the schedule. The Gantt chart will look similar to Figure 15.
Week Seven Status Duration Update
Continue to highlight the interior walls activity. Now set the duration % complete to 100% and Primavera P6 will calculate the remaining duration as 0-days, Figure 16.
Move the Data Date. Recalculate the schedule, and the final Gantt chart for this demonstration will be as displayed in Figure 17.
Primavera P6 has different percent complete types to suit the needs of the status update.
The duration percent complete type is the simplest to use as the remaining duration is automatically computed by Primavera P6 when the duration percent complete is entered.
The physical percent complete type requires the additional step of entering either the remaining duration or expected finish date. The physical percent complete type is more accurate for modeling a non-uniform production rate. It is also required when steps are used to provide more definition to an activity Gantt chart bar.
Becoming skilled at applying the differing Primavera P6 percent complete types is essential to providing regular and realistic progress updates of the project. A useful exercise would be to take the example schedule used in this article and provide weekly updates to it, comparing your results to those in this article.