The Time Schedule or Project Programme is a very important document because it contains the contractual dates (baseline), actual dates (history), and forecast dates (future).
The most common software for creating time schedules is Oracle Primavera. However, this document is produced in coordination with all departments (Tender, Contract Administration, Technical, Construction, and Procurement Departments).
Here is a short course about How to Review Primavera Time Schedule
However some individuals find the schedule hard to read, and understand when it is produced in primavera format, Therefore I prepared this topic to make it easy for non-planning engineers to read and fully understand what is inside the Primavera Time Schedule.
How to use Construction Scheduling with Primavera:
Each color in the Primavera Scheduling Software has a different indication in the activity list area and bar chart area as per the following:
It is divided into “Activity List” and “Bar Chart”:
The Activity List Area: The colors in the activity list area represent the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of the project, It is a hierarchy of color coding to identify different levels, each primavera schedule has its own WBS and I will explain the above schedule color coding to give you an idea how it works as per the following:
Items from 1 to 7 in the Activity List Area represent the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of the schedule, Each schedule has its own WBS but they use the same concept and this is the first thing to read to understand the Primavera schedule.
Item no. 1 represents the root level which summarizes the whole primavera schedule and cannot be repeated, i.e. if you want to know the primavera schedule’s overall duration, completion date, and percentage completed you should go to level 1.
Item no. 2 represents a secondary level of the schedule and can be repeated as it summarizes whatever is underneath until you reach another level 2. In our sample above, level 2 represents Project milestones, Shop drawings submittals, Testing, and Commissioning. Therefore, if you want to know when all of the shop drawings submittals will be finished, go to level 2 of shop drawings submittals.
Items no. 3,4,5 and 6 represent further levels and each level (color) summarizes down direction until you reach the same level (color) again, i.e. between two red colors or two blue colors as shown above.
Item No. 7 represents the lowest level in the WBS which is the activity level.
The Bar Chart Area
A: Actual work done (History, Blue).
B: Remaining works (Future, Green).
C: Baseline Schedule (Contract, Revised Schedule, Black).
D: Critical Path (Delays in any activity delay the project completion, Red).
Read the data
Primavera Scheduling Tool provides plenty of data and to know how to understand Primavera you need to know what each column tells you and we provide a basic Planning Course about Primavera P6
1- Activity ID: is a numbering system identifying each activity.
2- Activity Name: the description of the activity.
3-Original Duration: the period required to execute the activity or a summary of the duration required to execute a group of activities under a certain level.
4- Duration % Completed: Activity Percentage completed from the time point of view, i.e. activity no. DUB4001001 “HVAC Ducts” is 40% completed as of the scheduled data date which is 20-Oct-2012 and this % completed indicates the forecast completion date which is item no. 8.
5- BL Project start: BL is a shortcut to Base Line which represents the planned start as per the Baseline schedule and these values are fixed.
6- Actual / Forecast Start: This is a record of the project history, when each activity started or Forecasting when this activity will start, to know whether the date in this column is actual or forecast look for the letter A after the date, it means this date is history and ACTUAL.
7-BL Project finish: BL is a shortcut to Base Line which represents the planned finish as per the Baseline schedule and these values are fixed.
8-Actual / Forecast Finish: This is a record of the project history, when each activity is finished, or forecasting when this activity will finish.
9-Variance BL Project Finish: This indicates the variance between BL Project Finish (Item no. 7) and Actual / Forecast Finish (Item no. 8), and this highlights whether the schedule is ahead or behind the Base Line and how many days of variance.
Download the PDF version of this article to share with your colleagues