When a workschedule is created and baseline is assigned, the project team starts to track the project performance in order to report the variances between planned and the actuals. Project managers often analyze performance reports to compare the planned and the actual dates and look a head reports to recognize the near future tasks to be performed. Look a head reports usually show the activities to be performed in the next three or four weeks. Both Three Week Look Ahead and Four Week Look Ahead schedules are commonly used in construction, oil and gas and energy industry to understand what work will to be done in the near future. This article demonstrates how to create a three week look ahead filter for your schedule in Primavera P6.
Three Week Look Ahead Schedule
Master schedules are created in most of the projects before to begin the execution phase. Such schedules may serve many purposes, from long term planning to specifying terms of payment. However, it is not easy to detail all the tasks at the beginning because of lack of information about actual work conditions and procurement lead times. Therefore, a short term schedule is required to coordinate the activities and direct the manpower. These short term schedules are often called “look ahead schedules” because they focus on the short term goals.
The purpose of the three week look ahead schedule is to plan activities and goals of the project for the next three weeks. Overall schedule is used to create look ahead schedules. Three week look ahead schedules are the tools which are commonly used for the weekly job progress meetings. Project management teams plan resource allocation plans and take actions to stick to the schedule. Short-range material procurement plans can be done by getting the activity start and finish dates of the activities exist on the look ahead schedules.
Three Week Look Ahead Schedule Filter in Primavera P6
Below figure shows a sample pipeline project. (Figure 1). Red bars in the Gantt Chart indicate critical activities and the green bars indicate non-critical activities. As shown in the figure, all the activities are grouped under specific Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) levels. Mainline construction activities are detailed under the Pipeline Construction WBS. We will use this whole schedule to create the Three Week Look Ahead schedule by filtering activities to be performed in the next three weeks.
The blue vertical line in the Gantt View shows the Current data date. Data Date is the date on which shows the latest scheduled date of the project. It is the project commencement date for the baseline schedules. For the updated schedules, data date is the cut off date of the reporting.
As shown in the figure, 06 Apr 2018 and there is no actual in the project. To create a filter Select View | Filter By from the main drop down menu. This will display the Filters window in below, Figure 2.
In the filters window, click on the New button and type the name as “Three Week Look Ahead” in the newly opened filter window, Figure 3.
In this window, three week look ahead schedule filter will be defined. In order to show all activities that start in the next three weeks, the first line must be “Start is within range of DD DD+3W” (DD is Data Date). And to show the activities that started before the data date and in progress, the second must be “Activity Status equals In Progress”. (Figure 4)
The parameter must be any of the following to bring any of the parameters that is defined in this window. If the parameter is all, both the first line and second line of code must be true in order for that activity to be displayed.
Now, click on the Ok button and turn back to the previous window and click on the Apply button to run the three week look ahead schedule filter. This will demonstrate all activities that start in the next three weeks or are in progress. (Figure 5)
Look ahead schedules are commonly used in the construction industry in order to focus
management attention on what is supposed to happen at some time in the future, and to
encourage actions in the present that cause that desired future. However, look ahead schedules are rarely conceived as having the specific purpose of producing sound
assignments, nor are procedures provided for look ahead processes .
Look ahead schedules are communication tools that encourage communication between team members for the upcoming activities. Primavera P6 Filter feature enables to create various filters to show for planning, reporting and scheduling purposes. It is possible to create a Three Week Look Ahead filter by the help of this tool to see which activities will be started or performed within the next three weeks.