Primavera P6 is an Oracle software product designed for project, program, and portfolio management. It is a powerful, easy to use solution for planning, managing and executing projects and programs.
Primavera P6 can be used for all sizes of programs or projects from small companies to large-scale capital projects. In fact, it isn’t industry specific and it’s currently used in healthcare, banking, IT, construction, government and defense and is suitable for any company running a project or program.
Primavera P6 has two main versions, Primavera P6 PPM (commonly known as Primavera P6 Professional) and Primavera P6 EPPM (Enterprise Project Portfolio Management).
Advantages of Primavera P6
- True multi-user system with detailed permissions structures.
- Real time reporting is available – therefore all users can receive up-to-the-minute data and pass it on to mangers as events happen.
- The Dashboard and interface can be personalized for the individual user.
- It helps users recognize issues, potential hazards so that they can make informed decisions on their projects in order to have a successful outcome.
- Different areas of a project/program can be pulled out and reviewed without scrolling through the whole project/program data.
- Oracle and other third parties offer a suite of software products which are compatible with Primavera P6. These can integrate other areas of a project, such as Document Management, BIM, Estimating, Contract Management, Accounting, etc.
- Primavera P6 can be used on multiple devices such as tablets and mobiles, allowing users to access their project information anytime, anywhere.
- It operates on windows as desktop software or via a web browser which can be used in a mixed user environment.
Disadvantages of Primavera P6
- The main disadvantage is not using it to its full potential. The end user, (schedulers, programmers, project managers) will be faced with a new installation and may only use it to their level of understanding. This is a powerful tool and employees should be trained, either from an online or scheduled class, in order to maximize its full potential.
- Primavera P6 supports better quality schedules and a more consistent approach.to project management. This can be a learning curve for inexperienced schedulers.
Primavera P6 PPM
Primavera P6 Professional is a standalone project scheduling tool that is installed on individual users’ computers. It can be used as a standalone tool or used to access a locally installed database. To confuse matters, it can also access P6 EPPMs central database and be used as a client in a multi-user system when data needs to be shared with others.
Primavera P6 Professional is favored by power users working on capital projects. Typical industries include, Engineering, Construction, Aerospace, Defense, Utilities, Oil and Gas. Schedulers and project managers in these industries work with detailed schedules and need fast, accurate scheduling using critical path method. These are vital elements for these time sensitive environments where fast paced project planning and execution are a must.
Primavera P6 EPPM
Primavera P6 EPPM is a true enterprise tool. It is 100% web-based, so it runs in a browser and connects to a webserver that serves-up a visually-rich interface. The web server also connects to a main database where all of your project information is stored. This database can be Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server, which most major organizations have standardized on already. Therefore it doesn’t have to be individually installed on employees’ computers. Although it is a more complex installation, most IT departments would be able to achieve it and there is plenty of external support from vendors.
Because Primavera P6 EPPM is web-based, it can be accessed from any location that has internet access. Because of the central database, there is greater scope for multiple projects or portfolios of projects from across the whole organization. And, senior management does enjoy the portfolios and dashboards capabilities providing valuable insights in to performance across the organization.
As it is web based it relies on the speed of the Internet or your local network. And if the Internet goes down, no work can be done. Slow access will affect performance, with users having to wait for pages to load before they can work on them.
You can see why project and program professionals get confused about these two products. Without understanding the differences between them, it’s quite easy for a company to select the wrong one or the wrong mix of both for their organization.
Both products can be used for planning and reporting, scheduling, resource and cost management.
Primavera P6 PPM (P6 Professional) has a huge following, as the performance simply cannot be beat. Installing local software on your PC cut’s out the lag of web-based products and screen refreshes. This makes P6 Professional the tool of choice for serious scheduling professionals.
Primavera P6 EPPM is web–based and easy to use. You can quickly add new users by just providing a login. There is no installation needed on a local PC. Yes, P6 EPPM offers richer graphics and dashboards, but this software is geared towards the enterprise demands for portfolio management and multi-project environments.
Whatever version is selected, there should be training for users both in the tool and in scheduling best practices. P6 has rich functionality and effective training considerably increases productivity and user adoption.
If you are running a project or program, either version of P6 are simply the best tools out there.