Acquired by Oracle Corporation in October 2008 to further Oracle's position as the second largest software developer (after Microsoft), the Primavera P6 provides project portfolio management solutions---including resource optimisation, cost reductions and enhanced business decisions---for industries that are project intensive. There are free online training resources that review the general aspects of working with this software as well as specific software features.
There are online video tutorials users can download or click on to play. SJ Soft Technologies offers three downloadable training tutorials on general P6 project planner topics. When users click on the link for the specific tutorial, there will be two choices of sites from which to download the free training. Users can also enter an e-mail address to be notified of the availability of new free tutorials.
From the Tepco LLC website, users can click on free tutorials covering functions such as "plan the plan" and effectively using time delays and managing resources.
CPM Solutions provides clickable tutorials on P6 features and functions such as using global change, group bars to summarise activity data and applying the activity codes tool to organise activities (see Reference 5).
CPM Solutions offers several downloadable MS Word templates; these are conceptual, project planning templates to help users make the most of the P6 software features. For example, the project charter or project definition outlines a project's scope, objectives and participants. The business case walks users through the steps for clearly delineating the business reasons for initiating a project. The project scope statement helps users clearly detail the project's deliverables and major objectives. The lessons learnt report allows users to document problems as opportunities for continuous improvement.
To supplement in-class or self-guided training, CPM Solutions offers clickable articles that cover specific technical topics. Topics include reinstalling Primavera and database management; importing and permission errors; working with the original lag and remaining lag fields; administrative settings and preferences; and Primavera P6 supporting the MS SQL Server, versions 2000 and 2008.
Primavera P6 Background
The Primavera P6 is a result of several generations of Primavera software; it is a high-end resource and project management tool used in a variety of industries, such as engineering, construction, aerospace, defence and many levels of government.
While it can be used for smaller projects, its strength lies in the ability to manage multiple, large-scale projects simultaneously by separating complex projects into smaller, more manageable jobs. The core of this software is a "Critical Path Method" scheduling engine used to estimate and forecast project resources. Through its web access function, users in different locations around the globe can access real-time information. While some smaller firms might find the myriad of features and choices complicated, training and support for Primavera P6 is available online, through third party vendors and from Oracle via its "Oracle University (see Reference 6 and Reference 1)."