After you have updated your schedule you have one more step before the changes are fully implemented in Primavera P6. You have to summarize your project.
When you first open Primavera P6 in project view, you are presented with a list of projects. Unlike a file based system, however, you can view much more than the project name, you can also examine a vast amount of top level summary data before the project is even opened.
Primavera P6 provides this summary level data from a special place in the database called the Summary Tables. These summary tables contain high level, rolled up project data that is also viewable prior to opening the project.
This article explains summary tables and demonstrates the process of summarizing the project.
Let’s begin by explaining the data architecture of Primavera P6 and the summary tables. In Figure 1 we have a representation of the summary tables and the much larger project details tables.
When no projects are open, the data in the projects view is based upon the summary tables. When the project is open, the details are loaded into memory from the project detail data tables, Figure 2.
Let’s demonstrate how this works with a practical demonstration. In Figure 3 we have the Enterprise Project Structure (EPS) view of our schedule portfolio.
The Wellmont-31 project is displaying limited schedule information. We mainly have a planned start date, a Data Date (DD), and a date added. Currently the Wellmont -31 project is closed.
Watch what happens when we open Wellmont-31, Figure 4.
We right click on Wellmont-31 and select open project from the popup menu. When opened the activities view appears and we observe that the schedule has been progressed, Figure 5.
The schedule % complete value is 8.43%. When we return to the EPS view, Figure 6, we find that the schedule % complete, actual start, and data date fields are all populated. Now, let’s close the project, again, Figure 6, and see what happens.
When we close the Wellmont-31 project we lose the schedule % complete and actual start field values, Figure 7.
What happened to our data?
Well, our schedule progress has been updated, but we have not summarized the project, so the summary tables are not the most recent updated schedule data. After we update our schedule we need to summarize the project to copy respective project detail data to the project summary data. In Figure 8, we proceed and select Tools | Summarize and Open Projects to summarize the Wellmont-31 project.
After summarizing the project we close it, Figure 9.
Finally, we find that our high level project summary data fields remain populated, Figure 10.
The summary data now matches the project detail data.
It’s important to summarize your Primavera P6 project immediately after making changes to the data. Failure to summarize the project after a change could cause reports run against your project to generate out of date information. So summarize your P6 project after schedule updates so that the summary data reflects the most recent project detail data.