If you have activities with multiple resource assignments in your schedule, it’s typical even with the best of schedules that your resources don’t always work the exact hours they were originally planned to. Do you know how to track labor units in Primavera P6 so that your progress updates on the multiple resourced activities accurately reflect the actual labor units expended?
It is important when tracking the labor units of activities, particularly, activities with multiple resource assignments, to follow the proper sequence for the procedures. If the procedures are not followed in the prescribed order, then Primavera P6 will compute erroneous labor units when recalculating the schedule. It is important to also be aware of your project’s calculation settings, duration types used, percent complete type used and resource settings such as Auto Compute Actuals.
With the proper sequence, Primavera P6 enables you to track budgeted labor units and actual labor units, and also the associated budgeted labor costs and actual labor costs. This provides a summary of schedule’s progress and costs, and warns you when the schedule is not meeting expectations.
This article describes how in Primavera P6 to track the progress of activities with multiple resource assignments. You will be able to follow our simple example to see how each period is updated.
The example we will be using here is a simple construction project, displayed in Figure 1, with three work breakdown structure (WBS) elements and three activities, each associated with one of the WBS elements.
The P6 Project and Resource settings used for this example are as follows:
- Project Details | Calculations Tab: “Recalculate Actual Units and Costs when duration % complete changes” is checked.
- Assigned resources are set to Auto Compute Actuals
- Activity Type is Task Dependent
- Duration Type is ‘Fixed Duration & Fixed Units/Time
- The percent complete type of all activities is ‘Physical % Complete’
Note: this example uses only standard default settings as shown above. There are many variables that will cause P6 to behave differently to this example depending on your particular settings. We provide this information as an example of just one possible approach.
The activities all have the standard Finish-to-Start relationship. We have two resources assigned to each activity. We want to know how much each resource worked on the assigned activities. We also want to note the planned labor units for each activity, so we can determine schedule progress.
Week 1 Status Update
You may be eager to enter resource labor units, but the first major step in the process of updating multiple resource activities is to enter the status and duration situation in the bottom pane Status tab, Figure 2.
Enter the activity status, which for our example is “Completed”, by checking the Started and Finished status check boxes. Next review the durations. Our first activity is straight forward, and has an original duration and actual duration that are equivalent. As our activity began on time and completed on time the actual duration equates to the original duration.
Now with the activity status in place the second major step is to enter activity resource labor units in the bottom pane resources tab. To do this, enter the actual units for each resource. In our example for Activity A, the Common Laborer works 32-hours actual units and the Pipe Fitter works only 24-hours actual units, Figure 3.
After entering the Actual Units for each resource we are ready to move the data date and recalculate the schedule. Proceed by advancing the data date one week and re-computing the schedule.
The resulting schedule status is displayed in Figure 4.
Note that the actual units held at the values we defined previous to the schedule recalculation. The labor units in the bottom pane status tab, Figure 5, shows the budgeted labor units of 80-hours and actual labor units of 56-hours for the two resources assigned to Activity A.
The activity view, Figure 4, also shows the budgeted and actual labor units along with the budgeted and actual labor costs. So Activity A required less labor units than originally planned, and the associated cost is, therefore, reduced.
Week 2 Status Update
Again, the first major step is to enter the status and duration situation in the bottom pane Status tab, Figure 6.
In our example, Activity B starts and completes on time. Its actual duration was also only 4-days instead of the scheduled 5-days.
Now with the activity status set enter the actual labor units for each resource assigned to activity B, Figure 7.
Move the data date and recalculate the schedule, and the schedule actuals will be as in Figure 8.
Week 3 Status Update
We commence the week 3 status update by toggling on Started and setting the Remaining duration field to 2-days, Figure 9.
This indicates that the activity is 2-days behind schedule because it should have completed, but has an estimated two days of work left before it is complete.
Change the actual units of each resource for Activity C in the resources tab from 24-hours to 40-hours, Figure 10.
These resources worked 40-hours, but only completed 3-days of work. Move the data date, recalculate the schedule, and the schedule progress will be as in Figure 11.
Week 4 Status Update
Enter the status of activity C, which is complete, Figure 12.
Note that the original duration was 5-days, but the actual duration is 7-days.
Manually enter the actual units for each resource assigned to Activity C, Figure 13.
The actual units for each resource assigned to activity C was 56-hours; 2-days behind schedule and 2-days over budget. Move the data date, recalculate the schedule, and the completed scheduled will be as in Figure 14.
Labor unit actuals will hold through the recalculate schedule process for activities that end on schedule, end early, or are delayed. The key is to enter the activity status and duration input first and then the actual labor units for each resource assigned to that activity.
Provided that labor units were properly input, Primavera P6 enables the tracking of budgeted and actual labor units and costs. If not performed in this sequence, P6 will recalculate the actual units and costs to be equal to the original planned values when your settings are as listed in the earlier bullets.