Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Quick Tip: Highlight Multiple Calendars in a P6 Schedule

It is hard to know the working calendar of an activity in a pdf file format of a schedule. One way of solving this problem is to display a Calendar column in the printout but this is not part of the standard columns non-planners or non-schedulers expect to see in schedule. Luckily, a Primavera P6 Gantt chart bars settings provide us with a facility to visually highlight the calendar in use.
Assuming we have the schedule in the image above, you will notice that despite having same durations, activities under WBS 1 have different dates from activities under WBS 2.Put yourself in the position of a Project Manager or Project Engineer and you just received the schedule above, you would want to know why these very similar set of activities have different dates.

We can visually differentiate between WBS 1 & WBS 2 activities by highlighting any non-working period on activities bar chart. To do this, go to View >> Bars to open the Bars dialog.
Select a bar (arrow 1), then click on Bar Settings (arrow 2) and under Bar Necking Settings, tick the Calendar nonwork time checkbox (arrow 3) and you should immediately notice under the preview column that the Bar has been necked in the midsection (arrow 4).
Repeat the steps above for all the bars in your layout (arrow 5) and then click the Apply button (arrow 6) to ensure the settings are reflected in your layout. Finally, click the OK button (arrow 7) to close the Bars dialog.
The Gantt chart layout should now show activities under WBS 1 with sections of the bars necked to indicate non-working periods. Remember to save the layout.
Looking at the revised Gantt chart clearly shows that activities under WBS 1 will only be carried out on certain days of the weeks while activities under WBS 2 will be carried out everyday of the week. Bars necking can come in handy when issuing lookahead schedules (2-week, 4-week or 6-week) where there are multiple calendars at play.

Hope you find this quick tip useful and please do leave comments.