How to Add an Activity in Primavera P6

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Adding activities is the next step you can do after you add a Project, and prepare a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in Primavera.

There are a number of things you should have prepared before you add activities in Primavera.

Here are the things that you should have prepared before making a schedule for activities in the Primavera:

• Projects. You need to add a project in Primavera before creating an activity.

• Project Calendar. Primavera will automatically make the default calendar as your activity calendar. You need to define the default calendar in Primavera before creating an activity. The goal is efficiency, so you don’t need to change it again when creating activities. Calendar changes are made only for certain activities (if needed).

• Work Breakdown Structure. To make it easier for you to organize your activities. Also, read how to create WBS in Primavera.

• Duration of activity.

• Activity table (you can make in excel) which contains data: activity name, activity duration, activity relation, activity type.

Furthermore, in terms of the schedule rules adopted from PMI and DoD, there are some rules that you need to pay attention to when creating activities.

Scheduling Rules for Activities

The following are some rules for the activity schedule that you need to pay attention to:

• The name of the activity must be a verb.

• Activity names should not be the same.

• Activity with a long-duration need to be divided into more detail so that the duration is not more than 44 working days or 2 calendar months.

• Each activity has at least (at least) 1 successor and 1 predecessor.

• Try not to use more than 5 days of lag (according to DoD rules) and avoid using lag as a substitute for activity.

• Use minimal lag or no more than 5 percent of all activities (DoD rules).

• Use as few leads as possible. The DoD rule says that activity leads should not be used. If you are forced to use leads, don’t get it for more than 22 working days.

• Do not use a “hard” date constraint for more than 5 percent of all activity (according to DoD rules). Hard constraints are referred to as “Finish on or Before” or “Finish no Later Than”.

• According to the DoD Float, activity should not exceed 44 working days or 2 calendar months.

Here’s how to create an activity in Primavera:

How to Create Activities in Primavera

Suppose you have a project to build a Prima Office Building. You have prepared a number of activities to make this project a reality.

This project will be built with a predetermined activity duration and type of activity and use a project calendar of 5 working days.

The Prima Office Building South Project activity are:

WBSAct IDActivity NameActivity TypeOrig Dur
1C1000Start Construction (Commencement)Start Milestone0d
 C1010Site Preparation (authority permit, site clearance, utility protection)Task Dependent30d
 C1020ExcavateTask Dependent20d
 C1030Install Underground Water LinesTask Dependent15d
 C1040Install Underground Electrical ConduitTask Dependent15d
 C1050Form/Pour Concrete FootingsTask Dependent15d
 C1060Form/Pour Concrete WallsTask Dependent15d
 C1070Form/Pour Concrete SlabTask Dependent5d
 C1080Backfill and Compact FillsTask Dependent2d
2C1090Erect Structural FrameTask Dependent20d
 C1100Floor DeckingTask Dependent14d
 C1110Form/Pour Basement Slab and FloorsTask Dependent25d
 C1120Erect Stairwall and Elevator WallsTask Dependent15d
 C1130Install Interior Wall FrameTask Dependent15d
3.1C1140Set Mechanical and Electrical EquipmentTask Dependent15d
 C1150Rough-in Plumbing/Electrical/MechanicalTask Dependent15d
 C1160Install Wiring and CableTask Dependent15d
3.2C1170Install Elevator Rails and EquipmentTask Dependent15d
 C1180Install Elevator Cabinet and FinishesTask Dependent5d
4C1190Brick Interior WallsTask Dependent28d
 C1200Install Exterior Doors and WindowsTask Dependent15d
 C1210Insulation and Builtup RoofingTask Dependent15d
5.1C1220Drywall in OfficesTask Dependent15d
 C1230Paint Building InteriorTask Dependent20d
5.2C1240Install Plumbing FixturesTask Dependent2d
 C1250Install Lighting FixturesTask Dependent3d
5.3C1260Install CarpetingTask Dependent5d
 C1270Install Floor FinishesTask Dependent7d
6C1280Punchlist/Touchup and CleanupTask Dependent5d
 C1290Complete ConstructionFinish Milestone0d

In the table above, in the left column there is information about the WBS code where the activity will be added. The next column is Act ID whose code will be determined by Primavera by default. You can change the Act ID manually according to the ID you want.

The next column is Activity Type. There are several options for Activity Type:

• Start Milestone

• Finish Milestone

• Dependent Resources

• Task Dependent

• Level of Effort

• WBS Summary

In the above project the Activity Type is Task Dependent by default.

Other default settings you need to do at the project level are:

Duration type : Fixed Duration and Units.

% Complete type : Physical.

Activity Calendar : Office 5-Day Calendar.

Add Primavera Activities

The following are the initial steps to adding activity (task):

  1. From the Main Menu choose Project then select Activities, or from the Directory Bar click icon Activities.
  2. Position cursor at the first WBS <Foundation>, from the Command Bar click icon Add (+) to add.
  3. Click the General tab define the values for each of the following fields :

Activity                     Enter                 <C1010> <Site Preparation>

Activity Type           Pick                   <Task Dependent>

Duration Type         Pick                   <Fixed Duration and Units>

% Complete type    Pick                   <Physical>

Activity Calendar    Select                <Office 5-Day Calendar>

  • Click the Status tab, in the Original Duration field enter <30d>
  • Click the Steps tab, click icon Add (+).
  • In the Step Name column enter <Install Fence>, in the Weight column enter <2>
  • For more detail in an activity C1010, complete the steps as shown:

Steps                                                                                                       Weight

<Site Office>                                                                                             4    

<Install Utility>                                                                                         2


Complete all the activities (in the table).

Define Relationships

The relationship between the activities are :

  1. From the Main Menu choose Project then select Activities or from the Directory Bar click icon Activities.
  2. Click the Successor tab, position cursor at activity <C1000> <Begin Construction> then click Assign.
  3. Position cursor at <C1010 Site Preparation> then click icon Assign to confirm selection then click to complete.
  4. In the Relationship column select SS (Start to Start) relationship.
  5. In the Lag column, enter <0d>.
  6. Complete the relationship.
  7. To obtain Activity Network View click icon Activity Network.
  8. To return to Table View click icon Table or Gantt Chart.
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