December 15, 2011 Time is Money Webinar
New York State DOT and other presenters’ responses to webinar questions
- Do you typically have 1 schedule or multiple schedules for a single design project? One state mentioned their approach was that various offices maintain different schedules, but review each other’s schedules.
The NYSDOT Design implementation of P6 utilizes one schedule for each project during the Design phase, they have a multi–tiered security with various Roles and security privileges to allow staff in the Regional Office, Main Office Design, and Main Office Program Management staff to access the project.
- Can you notify when you schedule a design side of tracking project.
I am not sure I understand the question. P6 can incorporate a workflow process, however when "Scheduling" a project in P6 we use our email system to notify other users. On the Construction implementation, we "schedule" every project submitted by Contractor’s as part of the normal business process prior to making the schedule available for review by State staff. We make the "Schedule Log" available to the review staff as an attachment to the email we send requesting their review.
- What is P6?
In short, P6 is the name given to Oracle’s Primavera scheduling software. P6 is the shorthand name that schedulers and others in the construction industry that do a lot of CPM scheduling give to a product offered by Oracle. In 2008, Oracle, a big name in the enterprise software business, bought Primavera Systems, Inc. Up to that time, Primavera had sold its software independently and was widely recognized as setting the standard for construction scheduling software. There are many other scheduling software products out there, but none has been as widely adopted as Primavera. Our firm develops schedules for contractors and reviews schedules for owners and we’ve done so for a wide variety of projects throughout the country. I would say that well over 90% of the schedules we’re asked to develop or review are schedules developed using Primavera software products. Most consultants who do what we do would tell you the same thing. Over the years, Primavera sold many scheduling software products. They went by names like SureTrak and Primavera Project Planner. At some point, Primavera Project Planner, which was Primavera’s flagship product, came to be known as "P3." This was a very successful product and most people in the construction industry who work with CPM schedules either used it or were familiar with it. The name stuck. As a result, whenever Primavera tried to introduce a new product, people invariably wanted to call it "P" something.
Primavera’s products were primarily PC based. However, large organizations throughout the country were installing "enterprise" systems that made it easier for employees to share information and for companies to operate and monitor their business. SAP is an example of a company that develops and installs enterprise systems. Another example is Oracle. SAP had a scheduling system that was part of their enterprise suite of products. I first ran into it 15 years ago when I lead a seminar on project management for the construction and facilities department of an international cement manufacturer. They used SAP and had purchased SAP’s scheduling package. As more and more companies installed enterprise systems, there was a larger and larger market for scheduling software designed for use at the enterprise level. Primavera wanted to enter that market, but P3 was not up to the task. Ultimately, Primavera bought an enterprise software package and renamed it. After a couple of generations, this product came to be known as "P6." At the same time that Primavera was developing a scheduling product for an enterprise installation, Oracle was looking for an enterprise scheduling product to integrate into their suite of products. Oracle accomplished this objective by purchasing Primavera. Here’s how Oracle describes P6 on its website:
Oracle's Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management is the most powerful, robust, and easy-to-use solution for globally prioritizing, planning, managing, and executing projects, programs, and portfolios. Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management is an integrated project portfolio management (PPM) solution comprising role-specific functionality to satisfy each team member's needs, responsibilities, and skills. It provides a single solution for managing projects of any size, adapts to various levels of complexities within a project, and intelligently scales to meet the needs of various roles, functions, or skill levels in your organization and on your project team.
- Did the $4.7 million implementation cost include a turnkey solution with training or was some of that work rolled into the additional contract services contract?
Some training was included in $4.7 million implementation cost, and we have also implemented other consultant contracts to provide ongoing training for staff.
- How does NYSDOT authenticate and grant access to external users on the system?
The NYSDOT Office of Construction utilizes a standard "Request For Access" form that is on our website. The form can be downloaded, filled out, signed and returned to NYSDOT for processing. For consultants and contractors the form must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public. The form also must be signed by the NYSDOT Construction Supervisor that has project oversight responsibility, and then is signed by me as the person responsible for Program Area oversight. The form is then sent to our IT Department to create a Windows Active Directory user account, and then my Group creates the Primavera P6 user account. The NYSDOT Construction Supervisor’s signature assures that the person should have access to the project data, and what type of access is granted. My signature assures that user access granted is consistent with Statewide policy, and that user licenses assigned in the P6 database are consistent with the number of paid licenses.
- Has P6 been applied to design phase scheduling and, if so, what were the pros & cons?
The NYSDOT Office of Design is using P6 for scheduling during the design phase. Their implementation also uses those schedules for the Planning phase and for Program Management. You can contact Kevin Gregory in the Office of Design for additional information (firstname.lastname@example.org). They also plan to conduct a separate webinar in the near future for the Design phase scheduling with P6.
- The Poll indicates Primavera and Microsoft Project Software. What other Enterprise Program Scheduling Software is out there.
I am not familiar with many, but I believe Artemis is another option.
I do not sell Primavera or other scheduling or project management software. From my own experience working with DOTs, I’ve run into Primavera products and Microsoft Project. I also know that SAP has a scheduling software package available to those installing its enterprise systems. Microsoft scheduling products appear to be available for enterprise installations, but I have not yet run into somebody that uses Microsoft Project at the enterprise level. Other software providers include Prolog and a host of others. I am not aware of their enterprise capabilities and I am not aware of any that have been installed at the enterprise level. I think you’re going to find that there are very few viable alternatives to P6.
- How were standardized review forms developed and what are the key elements of forms?
The "schedule review" forms were developed in Microsoft Word and are also available in Adobe PDF format. They were developed with input from various project, Regional Office, and Main Office staff to ensure the schedule review met at least a consistent minimum standard, and to provide some statewide consistency for the construction industry. If you forward your contact information we can email a copy of the form to you. (email@example.com )
- Where can additional information on Schedule Impact Analysis, Analysis of time extension requests, etc., be obtained?
Contact NHI and schedule the courses we teach. One is NHI Course No. 134037, "Managing Highway Contract Claims: Analysis and Avoidance." The other is NHI Course No. 134049, "Use of Critical Path Method (CPM) for estimating, Scheduling, and Timely Completion." Also, we just published a book on the subject, "Construction Delays: Understanding Then Clearly, Analyzing Them Correctly." I do not believe that Oracle provides examples of how their tools can be used for this purpose.
For sample copies of the Schedule and Schedule Review, contact Mark White at NYSDOT firstname.lastname@example.org
- Can construction scheduling software and project management procedures apply to small local government agencies?
I believe that County, City or Town highway departments could also benefit from utilizing Critical Path Method scheduling software to plan and execute their construction projects. There are companies that will "Host" the software for them at a fixed cost per user per month fee, which means they do not need to have an IT staff to maintain the required hardware and software.
We are currently helping the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago with a P6 enterprise installation. I’m sure there are other examples. My guess is that Oracle could provide a more complete answer.
- Integration with project planning and development.
The NYSDOT Office of Design is using P6 for scheduling during the design phase. Their implementation also uses those schedules for the Planning phase and for Program Management. You can contact Kevin Gregory in the Office of Design for additional information. They also plan to conduct a separate webinar in the near future for the Design phase scheduling with P6.
- Technical Implementation Process – Provide technical experts that can answer specific concerns & questions from a systems administrator and Oracle's DBA's teams considering a move to P6
We have provided our contact information in the webinar to allow you to contact us with these types of follow up questions. If you forward your question to Mark White he will coordinate a response from the appropriate person within the Department.
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