Primavera P6 Professional has a handy feature called Reflections. A Primavera P6 Reflection project is essentially a copy of a project that allows you to examine changes to a schedule and offering you the ability to merge the copied project back into the original at any time. This is pretty cool.
For example, if you were exploring the impact on your schedule by inserting additional activities, you could create a Reflection project to analyze the changes that are being proposed. If you are happy you can merge these changes into your original project, or you could revert to your original project without the changes.
Primavera P6 Reflections will save you the time of renaming projects, resetting permissions and copying and pasting changes from one project to another.
Making a Reflection Project
To demonstrate how to use Primavera P6 Reflections, we will use our ‘Pipe Repair’ project, as in Figure 1 below. We will insert two new Work Breakdown Structures (WBS) with their subsequent activities and explore the impact this has on our scope.
In our WBS ‘Installation Piping’ we want to include two new elements; ‘Piping’ and ‘Thrust Block’ and examine the effect that these changes will have on our scope. We can then decide whether to make our changes permanent or not.
First of all, we make a Reflection of our ‘Pipe Repair’ project by right-clicking on it and selecting ‘Create Reflection’ as in Figure 2.
A new ‘what-if’ project appears in ‘Projects’ named ‘ Pipe Repair & Improve Reflection’ and is distinguished in the ‘Project ID’ as a folder with a Question mark, as shown in Figure 3.
When we open the folder by right-clicking on it we have a copy (a Reflection) of our original ‘Pipe Repair’ project as shown in Figure 4.
By selecting WBS, we insert our two new WBS elements of ‘Piping’ and ‘Thrust Block’. We are careful to outdent ‘Thrust Block’ so that it is a sibling of ‘Piping’, as shown in Figure 5.
We update our WBS, and check that our so ‘Installation Piping’ WBS element has two children: ‘Piping’ and ‘Thrust Block.’
We assign the activities required to complete the ‘Piping’ WBS element as in Figure 6.
We can see that our activities for ‘Piping’ do not affect our scope or Project end date. We proceed and assign our four activities for the ‘Thrust Block’ WBS element, as in Figure 7.
We have all our Thrust Block activities entered into our schedule, complete with their correct original durations and relationships. However, upon closer inspection, we realize that our scope has changed. With the insertion of the ‘Thrust Block,’ our project end date has increased by three days. After analyzing the impact of these results we decide to make these changes permanent and merge our reflection project into our original project.
How to Merge a Reflection Project with a Source Project
First of all, we right-click on our ’what if’ project file to bring up a dialog box as shown in Figure 8, where we select ‘Merge Reflection into Source Project’.
In the ‘Preview changes to project’, as in Figure 9, we can view the WBS elements and their respective ID codes as well as activities that have been reassigned to ID code 13.2.1.
In the bottom section of the dialog box, there are several options ‘Prior to merging’ the reflection project with the source project. We decide to ‘Create a copy of source project Pipe Repair Improve as a baseline’ by checking the box. We also opt to ‘Create a backup file XER copy of source project ‘Pipe Repair Improve’ in our windows system. The ‘After merging’ option allows us to keep a copy of our Reflection file by checking the box ‘Keep reflection Pipe Repair Improve Reflection’ By selecting ‘Merge’ in the top right-hand corner, our schedule is displayed in Figure 10.
Primavera P6 Professional reflection doesn’t rename changes to WBS elements during the merge. We have had to rename our WBS ‘installation piping’ to a more suitable name (that reflects our new elements) ‘installation piping & thrust block’.
Primavera P6 Reflections offer you the opportunity to analyze changes to your scope when you add new WBS elements, activities and their relationships without making permanent changes to your original file unless the changes are desirable for you.
Primavera P6 Reflections don’t capture the naming of new WBS elements during the merging process, so some additional renaming is required. During the merging process, it will preview all the WBS elements and allow you to retain a copy of your reflection project.