Primavera P6 Professional supports tracking of individual task dependent activities. If you want to know the progress of the overarching deliverable for these activities include a WBS Summary activity in your schedule.
Primavera P6’s WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) Summary activity appears to duplicate the features of Summary bars. Similar to a Summary bar the WBS Summary activity stretches the length of the underlying activities. And it compresses or extends according to the compression and/or extension of the associated activities.
But the WBS Summary activity is also helpful for top down cost estimating, because you can assign it resources. Additionally, it provides a handy way of tracking deliverable progress, as it also provides the Activity % Complete of all the underlying activities.
This article demonstrates the practicality of the WBS Summary activity for tracking the progress of deliverables.
Below in Figure 1 is our demonstration project.
This schedule is for the installation of a new underground piping system. We want to track the progress of individual activities, and, additionally, the progress of the overarching excavation, pipe installation, and backfill deliverables.
To support tracking progress of these deliverables we inserted WBS Summary activities directly below each respective Summary bar. (Note: make sure to recalculate the schedule after insertion of each WBS summary activity) As mentioned previously, the WBS Summary activities will compress and/or extend similar to the Summary bars. Additionally, the WBS Summary bar will provide a summary activity % complete of all their underlying activities.
Let’s proceed and update the schedule to demonstrate tracking deliverable progress with the WBS Summary activity. In Figure 2 we update the schedule through Tuesday, July 10th, to highlight the activity % complete of the WBS Summary activities.
In Figure 2 we see that the Backhoe Excavate and Install Shoring activities are both 100% complete. That is good to know. But we really would like to know how much the completion of these two activities has contributed to the overarching Excavation deliverable.
For that information we look to the Excavation Summary activity and find that the activity % complete of this WBS Summary activity is 71.43%. So the 100% completion of Backhoe Excavate and Install Shoring activities progress the Excavation deliverable by 71.43%, which is useful information to know and report.
Primavera P6’s show group totals in the Group and Sort feature, provides the duration and start & finish dates of WBS elements, i.e. deliverables. Tracking deliverable progress, however, requires the insertion of a WBS Summary activity. Because the WBS Summary is an activity it is possible to display its activity % complete value, which is equivalent to the % complete of the deliverable, i.e. progress of all the deliverables’ underlying activities. In this way schedulers can track progress of overarching deliverables, in addition to the driving underlying activities.