Primavera P6 Date and Percentage Fields Explained

Most P3 users have now migrated to P6. One of the most confounding aspects of the transition for former P3 users is the number of new and different fields for activity start dates, activity finish dates and activity percent complete. P6 is not merely an update of the old P3 software, it is new product. And although some fields have similar names in both P3 and P6 those fields perform quite differently in P6. The quantity of new fields in P6 together with a general lack of clear documentation is the source of potential confusion over how to use and interpret the various date and percent complete fields. Whether you are a former P3 user or a new P6 user, a basic understanding of the date and percent complete fields is essential to correctly communicate and manage the schedule on your project. Here is an overview:

P6 Date Fields

Start/Finish: The current Start/Finish dates based on schedule logic and resource availability. This is the equivalent of the Early Start/Finish dates in P3.

Early Start/Finish: The Earliest Date the remaining work for the activity can start/finish and is not earliest start for the entire activity. This causes much confusion for former P3 users. Also, when the Early Start/Finish dates are displayed, actual dates are not followed by an “A,” causing additional confusion for former P3 users.

Planned Start/Finish: If an activity does not have Actual Dates, the Planned Dates are equal to the Start/Finish dates. Once an activity has an Actual Date, the Planned Dates are fixed at the values at that point in time.

Actual Start/Finish: The dates on which an activity actually started or finished. Where actual dates have occurred, the Start/Finish dates are equal to the actual dates. If there is no Actual Start/Finish, the field is blank.

Late Start/Finish: The latest date the remaining work for the activity can start/finish with impacting project completion and is not latest start for the entire activity. The Late dates generally are equal to the Remaining Late Dates unless the project has been leveled maintaining the late dates. When the Late Start/Finish dates are displayed, actual dates are not followed by an “A.”

Remaining Early Start/Finish: The earliest possible dates the remaining work can occur based on logic and resource constraints. The Remaining Dates are equal to the Early Dates unless the project has been leveled maintaining the Early Dates. When the activity is complete, Remaining Dates are blank.

Remaining Late Start/Finish: The latest possible dates the remaining work can occur before impacting project completion. These will generally equal the Late Dates, unless the project has been leveled maintaining the Late Dates When the activity is complete, Remaining Dates are blank.

BL Project Start/Finish: The current Start and Finish Dates for the activity in the assigned project baseline (BL).

BL1, BL2, BL3 Start/Finish: The current Start and Finish Dates for the assigned primary, secondary and tertiary user baselines.

Also, keep in mind P6 has separate date fields for Activities and Resources. These dates are coordinated in the default software setup so that they change simultaneously, but can also be uncoupled and managed separately depending on preferences.

 

P6 Percent Complete Fields

The first thing to consider is that there are three different calculation methodologies to determine Activity % Complete in P6:

  • Duration % Complete
  • Physical % Complete
  • Units % CompleteDuration is the default % complete setting in the software. Selection of percent complete type controls whether the Activity % Complete is tied to the duration of the activity, the quantity of work (Units) associated with the activity or activity physical % complete . Furthermore, there are additional % complete fields for Cost % complete, Units % complete and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) % complete. 

    Activity % Complete Fields

    Physical % Complete:  The physical percent complete reflects the actual progress made on the activity’s work. Physical percent complete is manually entered to reflect the current status of the activity or it can be calculated based on the completion status of pre-assigned Steps.

    Duration % Complete: The percent complete of the activity duration. Computed as:

    ((Planned Duration – Remain Duration) / Planned Duration) * 100.

    The planned duration is taken from the current plan, not from the current baseline.

    Duration % of Planned: The activity actual duration percent of planned. Computed as:

    (Actual Duration / BL Duration) * 100.

    The value can exceed 100%. The BL Duration is the activity’s at complete duration from the current baseline.

    Activity % Complete: This value is tied to the activity Duration % Complete, Units % Complete, or Physical % Complete, depending on the Activity’s Percent Complete Type selected.  Duration is the default software setting.

    Schedule % Complete: The Schedule % Complete specifies how much of the activity’s baseline duration has been expended as of the schedule data date. This is computed based on where the current data date falls between the activity’ s baseline (BL) start and finish dates. If the data date is earlier than the BL Start, the Schedule % Complete is 0. If the data date is later than the BL Finish, the Schedule % Complete is 100.

    Performance % Complete: Performance percent complete is used to compute earned value and may be based on the Activity % Complete or a pre-assigned earned value calculation rule ( 0/100 rule, 50/50 rule, etc.). The Performance % Complete specifies what percentage of the activity’s planned value has been earned so far.

     

    Cost Related % Complete Fields

    Labor Cost % Complete: The percent complete of costs for all labor resources assigned to the activity. Computed as:

    (Actual Labor Cost / At Complete Labor Cost) * 100.

    Non-Labor Cost % Complete: The percent complete of costs for all non-labor resources assigned to the activity. Computed as:

    (Actual Non-Labor Cost / At Complete Non-Labor Cost) * 100.

    Expense Cost % Complete: The percent complete of costs for all expenses associated with the activity. Computed as:

    (Actual Expense Cost / At Complete Expense Cost) * 100.

    Cost % Complete: The percent complete of costs for all labor resources, non-labor resources, and expenses for the activity. Computed as:

    (Actual Total Cost / At Complete Total Cost) * 100

    Cost % of Planned: The activity actual cost percent of planned. Computed as:

    (Actual Total Cost / BL Total Cost) * 100

    The value can exceed 100. The baseline total cost is the activity’s at complete cost from the current baseline.

     

    Unit Related % Complete Fields

    Units % Complete: The percent complete of units for all labor and non-labor resources assigned to the activity. Computed as:

    (Actual Units / At Complete Units) * 100

    Labor Units % Complete: The percent complete of units for all labor resources for the activity. Computed as:

    (Actual Labor Units / At Complete Labor Units) * 100

    Non-Labor Units % Complete: The percent complete of units for all non-labor resources for the activity. Computed as:

    (Actual Non-Labor Units / At Complete Non-Labor Units) * 100

    WBS Level % Complete Field

    Steps % Complete: The percent complete using the WBS Milestones that are assigned to a WBS level. Computed as:

    Actual Weight of Completed Milestones / Total Possible Weight of All Milestones

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