Create Shaded Time Periods on the Primavera P6 Gantt Chart
The Gantt chart is an essential part of Primavera Professional P6 software as it simplifies complex schedules by offering a snapshot that is easily viewed instead of just text and numbers. By using the Gantt chart to its full potential, schedulers are able to present an up to date, concise image of their project.
Sometimes, there are time periods that might affect the project schedule, such as delays or weather seasons. These time periods are what a scheduler may want to highlight on the Gantt chart. In this scenario, the scheduler would want to create static shaded time on the Gantt chart without affecting activity dates. Here’s a look at how you can create shaded time periods on the Gantt chart.
In our example (Figure 1) project of a road excavation in Canada, the project consists of:
- Excavating a trench along a roadway
- Installing a pipe
- Backfilling & compacting the trench
- Repaving of the roadway
However due to the cold winter months, the project manager wants to avoid spoiling the asphalt used to re-pave the road. In this situation, the project manager has to decide whether to commence the project in the late fall or postpone the project till early spring in consideration of proper asphalt paving.
The scheduler must consider various start and completion dates of the project in relation to the winter months. However, the scheduler does not necessarily want to automatically schedule around the winter weather. Sometimes a small overlap may be considered a minor acceptable risk, considering predicted cold weather conditions.
In this situation, the scheduler may want to highlight the winter months on the Gantt chart using a static shaded time period. These are called Curtain Attachments in Primavera P6.
To insert a curtain into our example project, we right-click anywhere on the Gantt chart (Figure 2) and select ‘Attachments’, ‘Curtain’ and ‘Add Curtain’. When the ‘Curtain Attachment’ dialog box opens we can set the start and finish dates of the curtain.
IN Figure 3, we have chosen February 29th to indicate the end of winter.
Once we have selected our time period our example project is displayed as shown below in Figure 4.
As you can see in Figure 5, It is possible to adjust either the curtain start or finish date. You do this by hovering the mouse along the edge of the curtain and left-click to drag and adjust the date.
We have now adjusted the start date of the curtain to Sunday, November 24th. Another feature of curtains in Primavera P6 Professional, allow us to change the color so that the highlighted area is more distinguishable from the rest of the Gantt chart. To select a color we double click left anywhere on the curtain, to return the ‘Curtain Attachment’ dialog box (Figure 6).
We have selected orange to highlight our winter shutdown period and our example project is displayed below in Figure 7.
These curtain periods can be adjusted and removed entirely. To remove a curtain just double left click anywhere on the curtain and select delete from the ‘Curtain Attachment’ dialog box.
Inserting a curtain into the Gantt chart is a simple process. And, by highlighting the curtain in a different color, offers the scheduler a clear visual picture of the shaded work time. The curtain feature in Primavera P6 Professional enables the scheduler to caution against, instead of prohibiting, scheduled tasks during a particular time period. This is a handy feature which is often used when schedulers need to warn the project team / manager or stakeholders of a potential delay in the project.