You may think that your project is current in the database after performing any kind of change or schedule update, and for almost all intents and purposes – it is. However, many of you may not be aware that other users could run a report on your project that doesn’t have the most up to date data, even though you just got thorough updating it. This can occur if you do not perform a Summarization process upon completing your changes.
Primavera P6 has a special set of tables in the database called Summary Tables. These Summary Tables allow for displaying higher-level summary data for projects without loading vast quantities of unnecessary project details into the client tool’s memory.
So instead of loading all project data, which could create overwhelming computer memory and network issues, Primavera P6 displays a small subset of the project’s high-level data from these summary tables.
Primavera P6 only updates these Summary Tables when a summarization of the project is performed. The Summary Tables work great to provide high-level project information in such views as the Project’s tab, even when the project is closed for editing. You must remember, however, to perform the Summarization after updating the schedule.
This article discusses the Summary Tables feature in Primavera P6, and how to perform a summarization.
When you first open Primavera P6 in projects view, you will see a list of projects. Unlike a file-based system, you can view a vast amount of top level summary data even before opening the project. This data comes from the summary tables in the database when a project is closed, and is calculated in the fly when the project is open.
You want to make sure that your Summary Table data is updated in addition to the Project data tables. This will ensure that you or your manager can view high-level project data, regardless of whether or not your project is open.
Any stakeholders with Primavera P6 access can produce high-level reports of numerous projects in the Enterprise Project Structure system based upon the Summary Tables. But only if your project is summarized. It is therefore, imperative that you summarize the project after providing schedule updates.
Note: some organizations use the Tools | Job Services feature to automate a nightly, weekly or perhaps monthly summarization process. This helps keep the summary tables synchronized with the project details tables for project reporting purposes. Ask your P6 administrator if projects are automatically summarized and on what schedule this occurs.
Because of the importance of summarizing the project, P6 provides a straight forward way you can check the last time the project was summarized. In the projects view you can display two columns that will inform you of your summarization status. These columns are Data Date and Last Summarized Date.
One guideline you could use is to check if the Last Summarized Date is equal to or later than the Data Date. This will usually confirm that the respective project is current. If your Data Date is later than your Last Summarized Date or you do not have a Last Summarized Date then you know that you must perform a summarization on that project.
Let’s demonstrate the process of summarizing an updated project. First we note our WELLMONT project in the projects view, Figure 1.
As you can see most of the high-level data, such as Finish, Units % Complete, Remaining Labor Units, and Remaining Labor Cost are blank or null values. Also, note in the Last Summarized Date column that this project has not been summarized. When we open the project, Figure 2, notice that some of the high-level data, such as Remaining Labor Cost appears.
However, the Finish date is still not showing.
Now we perform a one week update on the project. After performing the update we view the data in the projects view, Figure 3, and we can see this view is now populated with high-level project data.
However, we still do not know the Finish date of the project. Now watch what happens when we close the project, Figure 4.
As you can see, now most of the project data is either blank or a null value.
To perform a summarization on this project. First reopen the project. Second select Tools | Summarize > Open Projects to summarize the project. After summarizing the project, Figure 5, we note that the high-level project summary data is fully populated.
And the Last Summarized Date is later than the data date, so our summarization provides the latest data. Close the project file, Figure 6, and you can see that our high-level data remains fully populated.
Primavera P6 stores project data in summary data tables and project detail data tables. This is done so that stakeholders can quickly produce summary project reports on numerous unopened projects.
These reports will only be accurate if all the projects in the reports have been summarized, as per their data date or after any ad-hoc updates or changes. Primavera P6 provides a Last Summarized Date column in the Projects view, so you can make sure your project summarization is up to date.
Summarized updated projects will display high-level information regardless of whether or not the project is open.