19 July 2015
Bill Pepoon from Primavera Scheduling shares his thoughts on version 15.1 having been teaching it for a few months...
Oracle released new versions of P6 Professional Project Management (PPM) and P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) in March 2015. Version 15.1 is the first new release since Version 8.4 was released last September. Why the big jump in numbering? Well, Oracle tells us that all future releases will incorporate the year it was released, so Version 15.1 is the first release of 2015. If nothing else, it will be easier to remember when you bought the software!
The biggest improvement is the ability to export baselines along with the current schedule. Yes! Now when you send a schedule to another party they can access the same baselines that you are using. In the past, recipients would have to convert existing schedules in order to make baseline comparisons. However, the sender can choose which, if any, baselines to export.
Note: schedules must be exported in the P6 XML format in order to take advantage of this new feature.
Other changes in Version 15.1 include:
- Visualizer can now be run on a computer without installing P6 Professional, so users who only want to view a time-scaled logic diagram (TSLD) do not need access to the P6 module.
- Resource bucket planning is supported. Planned and remaining units can be typed in the remaining time periods (days, weeks, etc.) for more accurate forecasting. Doing this changes the resource curve to manual, indicating that resources are being distributed manually.
- The ability to cut, copy and paste multiple projects at the same time, which was previously not possible in the P6 Web component of EPPM.
- The ability to customize columns in the Project, WBS and Activity detail windows, not previously possible in the P6 Web component of EPPM
- Start, Finish and WBS can now be added as columns in the relationships detail window, also not previously possible in the P6 Web component of EPPM.
In addition, Version 15.1 improves the P6 Professional component of EPPM by restoring the following features that are available to standalone users:
- Project Codes
- Activity Step Templates
- Cost Accounts
- Funding Sources
Connecting to an EPPM database using the P6 Professional component has always been somewhat of a compromise in the past in terms of functionality so it is nice to see these “new” features.
The ability to export baselines and resource bucket planning are the game-changers on this new release. Having to send projects to someone else and then instruct them to convert projects as baselines on their end is a time-consuming process. Pretty much any time I update a project I want to compare progress to a baseline – typically the previous update or the original plan. So this feature is most welcome.
Likewise, resource bucket planning was something needed for quite some time. Some of my clients are planning projects that will last 10, 20 or even 50 (!) years. Being able to distribute resources manually as more information becomes available is very important. Funding for long-term projects is often subject to annual appropriations so the resources must be adjusted accordingly.
We have been teaching Version 15.1 in our live online and in-person classes for the past two months and have been very impressed with the enhancements. For additional information regarding Version 15.1 click here for P6 Professional and here for P6 EPPM.
Below are screenshots from P6 EPPM demonstrating the new export baselines and resource bucket planning features: