Projects come with deadlines; it’s a fact of life. And most likely you want that deadline displayed on your Gantt chart, alongside the schedule projected completion date. Yes, this is possible in Primavera P6 Professional.
If you want your missed deadline to generate negative total float in the activities table you should refer to the blog Monitoring Forecasted and Contract Completion Dates in Primavera P6.
On the other hand if all you want is a passive deadline marker on the Gantt chart continue reading. It is possible in Primavera P6 Professional to insert a passive deadline marker on the Gantt chart that is not linked to total float.
This article describes how to insert a passive deadline marker on the Gantt chart in Primavera P6 Professional.
Inserting a Gantt chart passive deadline requires a little bars dialog ingenuity. We begin in Figure 1 by defining three user defined fields (UDFs): UDF titled ‘Deadline’ and data type Text; a UDF titled ‘Deadline Start’ and data type ‘Start Date’; and a UDF titled ‘Deadline Finish’ and data type ‘Finish Date’.
Great! Once these are created we want to associate each with the project complete milestone, Figure 2, which is the currently scheduled end date of our project schedule.
In the activities table add three columns: deadline start, deadline finish, and deadline. In the first two columns insert a 2018-Jan-24 deadline start and deadline finish. Yes, we have just one deadline date, but we need to enter two dates to define a deadline bar. In the last deadline column enter your preferred label or ‘DEADLINE’.
We continue by creating a new bars definition, Figure 3.
First note the stack of bars definitions. In order for this to work correctly our deadline bars definition needs to be below milestone in the stack. This way relationship lines connect to the milestone label and not the deadline label. Relationship lines higher in the stack take precedence. The Name is ‘Deadline’, Timescale is ‘User Dates’, User Start Date is ‘Deadline Start’ UDF, User Finish Date is ‘Deadline Finish’ UDF. Set the filter to ‘all activities’.
Next the bar style is as in Figure 4.
The end shapes are triangles. The middle bar shape is none. Choose appropriate colors and patterns for the triangles. In Figure 5 we Insert two bar labels on the right: Deadline, which is our text label, and Deadline Finish.
In order for labeling to work properly set the milestone bar label, Figure 6, to position left and label ‘activity name’.
Finally, in Figure 7, we set the standard ‘current bar label’ filter to normal, which excludes milestones and level of effort activities.
With these settings in place our activities table and associated Gantt chart appears similar to Figure 8.
Note on the Gantt chart the light blue triangle labeled ‘DEADLINE’ and the associated date, 2018-Jan-24. Great! We now can easily observe that we are ahead of schedule; the project completion date is 2018-Jan-19 and our DEADLINE is 2018-Jan-24. Note also that our deadline is displayed in the legend.
Our labeling works well when the project completion date comes before the deadline. We, however, need to make some labeling adjustments when the deadline is missed. As per Figure 9 for a missed deadline set the milestones to display activity names on the right.
We also set the deadline bar labels to display left, Figure 10.
Our missed deadline is thus displayed in Figure 11.
So to create a passive deadline marker in Primavera P6 Professional we used UDFs and the ‘user dates’ timescale in the bars dialog. Both deadline start and deadline finish were set to the same date, as our deadline is a single moment in time. Likewise, our deadline marker bar style has no middle bar shape, only end shapes, e.g. triangles, which are equivalent.
As demonstrated it is also possible to label the deadline marker with a text data type UDF. This text UDF is assigned to the milestone or activity that has the deadline. Another simple way to label the deadline marker is to insert a text attachment by right clicking on the Gantt chart and selecting attachments | text from the popup menu. Labeling of the deadline marker is not dynamic, and may require adjustments, accordingly, for schedules that beat the deadline or schedules that miss the deadline.
This method of displaying deadlines on the Gantt chart supports the marking of multiple deadlines in a single schedule, although labeling multiple deadlines may become more complicated than one would prefer. Further, in the unlikely scenario where a deadline date range is specified it is possible to mark this date range on the Gantt chart. In this situation you will want to define a bar style middle connecting bar. Refer to our blog Displaying a Prime Period Gantt Chart Bar in Primavera P6 for displaying an acceptable deadline date range on the Gantt chart.