Scheduling forms an integral part of project management. There can be hundreds or few thousand of activities which need to be scheduled. The scheduling without any predecessor or successor relationships can create multiple problems for the project manager. The interconnectedness decides the order in which all tasks can be executed to achieve desired results. Lack of relationships means no network which would have no critical paths to follow. Here is a look at some simple tips to avoid this dilemma.
Milestones set you apart by standing out for anyone who is going through the layout. Make sure that all milestones are put under one Work Breakdown Structure element on top right of the project. All you need to do is to add one Work Breakdown structure which can be named Important Milestones. Now cut and paste every milestone set in the project under this WBS element to make things easier to manage.
Naming Cost Heads
The allocation of costs is a very important part not only for the accounting team but also for the management to understand flow of budget. Generic names for resources can only create confusion. The best way to name cost heads is to make them relatable. For example, cash paid or interest accrued is too general a name given to a cost head. On contrary, if you name it something on the lines of travel or daily wages paid, it will make things crystal clear for every stakeholder involved.
When to Be Vague?
Some of the projects started are very large and nothing can be said about their scope with certainty. This is the case where naming conventions should convey that sense of broader aspects of matters to accommodate the changes which would occur at later stages of the project. The use abbreviations should be intelligent yet balanced. If you choose too many abbreviations, it would make it different for the management to interpret various activities named. On the other hand, too few or generic names can also generalize or oversimplify matters.
The use of calendars cannot be over emphasized. The best way to remain on schedule in Primavera P6 is to make use of as many calendars as possible. There are many benefits of using multiple calendars. The first major advantage is that different activities can have separated into sub-schedules or perhaps there may be different teams working on various parts of the project. Similarly, in some projects, each phase is not rigidly tied to another milestone or dependency in completion which means separate calendars of activities can be maintained.
Incrementing and Managing Activities
The default incrementing in Primavera P6 is done by 10. However, it is highly recommended that you increment activities by 1 instead. The creation of 1 increment helps you create a simple to understand numbering convention which would ensure no other activities are added at later stages to jumble things up. Unlike the older version, you will not have to renumber all activities should you feel the need to add one activity in between as Primavera P6 automatically increments the rest of the activities. And do not force yourself to set dates for every activity. Half of the activities should have constraints so you are able to understand flow of logic in dependencies without getting overburdened with too much data to understand.