When working on scheduling a new project you may want to adjust resource assignments and resource allocations for that project. How can you investigate resource allocations on your project without having a lasting impact on the aggregated resources in your portfolio of projects?
Projects in Primavera P6 can be in one of four states: Planned, Active, Inactive, and What-if. Each of these states helps support the project’s lifecycle stages. Now, if you are in the process of creating a new schedule, you want your project to be in the planned mode. This is changed to active when you begin the process of providing progress updates.
Projects that are temporarily suspended or completed are designated inactive. Last; projects that you are investigating for scope changes using reflection or projects you are presently investigating resource assignments are set to what-if.
Project states are particularly important for producing reports using project codes or using filtered Portfolios in the Primavera P6 EPPM system. But the what-if state is also important because it affects whether or not the project’s resources are included in the aggregate of the entire portfolio of projects.
This article describes the purpose and usage of the what-if project state.
At stake when you are investigating resources is the integrity of the resource aggregate live project information. What you want is a way to experiment with resource allocations on your project, without causing a lasting effect on the resource capacity allocations the entire portfolio of projects. This is achieved in the Resource Analysis tab of the user preferences dialog.
In Figure 1 we have the dialog user preferences for resource analysis.
Set the toggle to “All closed projects (except what-if projects)”. Setting the user preference accordingly has a two-fold effect.
First when your what-if project is open you can examine the impact of your project’s resource assignments on the resource allocation across the entire portfolio.
Second when your what-if project is closed its resource assignments are not included in the portfolio aggregate, so your investigation will have no lasting impact on the resource analysis of the entire portfolio.
There are two ways to assign a project the what-if project state. The first is by selecting the project and using the General tab details form to make the project status assignment, Figure 2.
The second way is to insert a project status column using the columns feature, Figure 3.
Note there are two project status options so make sure you select the project status option located in the General category. In the Project/EPS area select what-if from the drop down project status menu for the project in question, Figure 4.
Primavera P6 Projects may be assigned one of four states: Active, Inactive, Planned, and What-if. These states are useful for generating reports on the entire portfolio of projects.
The What-if status contains all the functionality of a standard active project when open. However, when it is closed, its resource and role project information is excluded from aggregated usage charts. Again, as noted above it also is the default setting for reflection analysis, which is a scope change topic of discussion for another article.