Planning and Control Using Oracle Primavera P6 Versions 8.1 to 8.4: Professional Client and Optional Client by Paul E. Harris, 9781925185027
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Reviewer: A. Larry Aaron CCE President, T&M Concepts Las Vegas, NV www.tandmconcepts.com Review: Primavera(R)/Oracle(R) are out of the gate with version 8.2 of P6TM. And Paul Harris is keeping up the pace with his latest corresponding training manual, "Project Planning & Control Using Primavera(R) P6 TM, Ver 8.2, Professional Client and Optional Client" by Paul Eastwood Harris. Having a copy of this book is not an option - I think it's a requirement. Primavera/Oracle continues to make their software for planning & scheduling professionals more complex by adding to its very advanced capabilities and feature set. But Paul Harris, an experienced scheduler and P6 user, not an IT person, has written this terrific training and reference manual for the P6 student/user who understands how to manage projects but needs to learn how to use the software. Among this manual's compendium of tools, techniques, tips, and traps to using Primavera's latest software package. Harris wins again by writing a clear, user-friendly book to help the reader learn and use P6 effectively and efficiently. Using the successful format from his previously published manuals for Microsoft Project, P3, SureTrak, and previous P6 versions, Harris covers the bulk of P6's feature set by flattening and shortening the steep learning curve of this complex software package. I've used Harris' books in my company's training classes for over a decade because of his clear writing style, the depth of feature coverage, and the ability to use the book as a reference book in day-to-day use. This book follows the lead of its predecessors - it guides the user through a logical sequence of understanding the principles of project management, the steps required to set-up a project, and those required to update and maintain a project. Due to the complexity and feature set of P6, Harris' book is designed to be used in a 3-day training class. The exercises are available as a free download from Harris' web site, www.eastwoodharris.com. Harris goes end-to-end by covering the basics of the software and its advanced functions such as User and Administration Preferences and Advanced Scheduling Options, the 3 types of calendars (unlike P3's 2 types), Roles and Resources and multiple ways of organizing the project (WBS, OBS, Contract, Phase, etc.). Harris also does a particularly good job in explaining the differences between 3 ways of stating percent complete: Physical Percent Complete, Duration Percent Complete, and Units Percent Complete and the 4 Activity Types. He has also introduces some new topics not covered in his pervious Version 7.0 book , including "Customizable Menus", "Tiled and Tabbed Windows", "Auto-Reorganization", "Time-scaled Logic Diagrams" and more. And not only does he explain how to use the program at the "project" level, but he also explains the parent application of Primavera's Enterprise Management - which filled a huge void for me when first using the book. Since scheduling requirements vary from project-to-project and company-to-company, Harris explains how to build and maintain schedules both with and without resources (manpower, equipment, money, materials). If you are using Primavera's latest complex and IT intensive scheduling system, I urge you to use Paul Harris treatise on "Project Planning & Control Using Oracle(R) Primavera(R) P6 Ver 8.2, Professional Client and Optional Client." Paul Harris not only knows P6; he knows how to explain how to be effective and efficient using it. That's the winning formula. Reviewer: Donald McNatty PSP F AACEI Vice President D. R. McNatty & Associates, Inc. Oracle-Primavera Authorized Reseller www.drmcnatty.com Review: Paul Harris has been writing books on how best to use Primavera software tools for as long as I can remember. I first started using P3 in 1985 and have been intimately involved with the software ever since. Paul Harris is an author who makes his day to day living using the tool and it shows in the details of his books. He catches the little things that pop up in the middle of an assignment and are never covered in the standard classes. This book is so comprehensive, with well placed visual pointers and guides, that depending on what chapters are selected, it can be used for a variety of classes from basic to advanced with special classes for costs and resources. This is not just a training manual but should be used as a constant reference "bible" for when you have to use parts of the software that you haven't used for a while. With a focus on application for construction, Paul does not miss anything in working through the definition of your project from the WBS, through coding, activity and relationship definition, how the critical path algorithm calculates (it's not a mystery like some other well known scheduling tools), right on through to resource and cost definition, assignment and analysis. Experience has shown that training provided by trainers who actually make a living using the tool they train on provides the best in-depth knowledge transfer experience for the student. Using a training manual that is written from the same perspective also enhances the training experience. I highly recommend this training guide/reference manual to anyone new or experienced in the Oracle Primavera P6 environment.
About the author
Paul Harris holds an Honours Degree in Civil Engineering obtained in the UK and is a Certified Cost Engineer through AACEI International, a PRINCE2 Registered Practitioner and a "Managing Successful Programmes" Registered Practitioner. He has worked in the project controls industry for a number of years and has assisted many companies in a range of industries to set up and run project controls systems. His Melbourne, Australia based company, Eastwood Harris Pty Ltd, offers project controls consulting and training services world wide with a strong focus on Microsoft Project and Primavera software.
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