Why is entering cost important in Primavera (even when you don’t want to monitor it)

Primavera is one of the most widely used tools for Project Management in the construction industry today.  Mostly while monitoring projects on-site, we don’t enter cost information in the tool for reasons like non-availability of cost info or the cost data being confidential. But what most people don’t realize is that Cost is one of the most important data that needs to be entered in Primavera. Besides being used to monitor monetary performances of our project, cost also directly affects the EV & % complete calculations.

Let’s see the following example to gauge importance of cost in Primavera:

Activities in Primavera can be progressed in the following 3 types:

1) Duration % Complete

2) Units % Complete

3) Physical % Complete

Let’s assume we have 3 activities A, B, C:

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All of these activities have different % complete type, which can be seen in the Activity Name.

Case 1:

None of these activities have been assigned cost and are being used to monitor a project.

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We update these activities as we would normally update a project.

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After updating we can see that only values of Units % Complete and Duration % complete get rolled up whereas Physical % complete does not roll up at all. Activity % Complete only stays till the activity level.

So in situations where the activity % complete type differs, we don’t get a correct % complete at WBS level.

Case 2

Let’s Cost load our program and assign a baseline to it. We then update our program as we usually do.

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We add another column called Performance % Complete and the values of % complete get rolled up in this column at the WBS level. And hence we get a correct % complete at the summary level.

It is true that this would work only in cases where Activity % complete types differ, but there are other cases like if you are using Primavera Web Module where you cannot show any % complete bar in Portfolios except Performance % complete. Hence when we use Primavera in an Enterprise setup, it becomes more than necessary to add costs to our networks.

Note – The calculations of Performance % Complete would be covered in my next post because I didn’t want to make this post too long.