What Is Oracle Primavera P6? Uses, Features & Pricing

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

There are a lot of project management software tools to choose from, and there are a few that truly seem to dominate the space, like Oracle’s Primavera P6. How can you find the project management solution that fits your organization, project and how your team works? You must first understand what these tools are and the feature set they offer.

Primavera P6 is the product of the multinational computer technology corporation Oracle. For such a well-known brand, it’s a product that doesn’t have great name recognition, even among those in the industry.

It’s time to change that. Let’s take a closer look at Oracle Primavera P6 to see what it can do and if it’s right the right choice for your project management needs.

What Is Primavera P6?

Oracle Primavera P6 is a project, program and portfolio management tool that’s used for planning, managing and executing your project work. It’s designed to handle large and small projects in many diverse industries, such as construction, manufacturing, energy, and IT. It’s been doing so for more than 30 years in projects across the globe.

Primavera P6 can trace its origins to 1983 when it was first established under the name Primavera Systems. In the next 15 years, it rapidly gained popularity. By the late 90s, advancements in server technology drove the company to split Primavera systems into two versions of the software: a desktop application (which is preferred by contractors, suppliers and manufacturing companies) and a web-based enterprise option.

In 2008, Primavera Systems was bought out by Oracle, which then developed the tool into the Primavera software that’s used today.

The modern incarnation, Oracle Primavera P6, sells itself as a project portfolio management tool to increase your efficiency when planning, which reduces the risk of schedule overruns. One way it does this is by providing visibility into the work, so potential bottlenecks can be identified and resolved before they cause delays. It claims to work on projects of all sizes.

Primavera P6 Features

Let’s zoom in closer on Primavera P6. First, it’s a tool that works on an enterprise structure. That means it goes from the highest level of management down the line of project members. In terms of the key features, they are as follows.

  • Project timelines: A traditional Gantt chart to schedule tasks on a bar graph
  • Risk management: Identify, track and resolve risks before they become issues
  • Information dashboard: A dashboard to track key project metrics
  • Reporting & analytics: Ability to generate status reports for stakeholders
  • Calendar & activity views: View project tasks set over a calendar view
  • Scheduling alerts: Keep the project on track by always knowing what’s due when
  • Project network view: Project network diagrams allow users to visualize their project schedules by sequencing project activities.
  • Work breakdown structure: P6 allows users to create a work breakdown structure that lets them group related tasks together and establish a hierarchy.
  • Critical path method (CPM): Oracle Primavera lets users find the critical path of their projects. The critical path method is an important project scheduling technique that allows project managers to estimate the total duration of a project and determine which project tasks must be completed on time for the project to be delivered on schedule.

What Is Primavera P6 Used for?

Primavera P6 is used for project, program and portfolio management, thanks to its robust project management features. Here’s an overview of how Oracle Primavera works.

  • Project planning & scheduling: Primavera P6 offers Gantt charts, project tables and network diagrams as its main project planning and scheduling tools. These tools allow users to create scope, schedule and resource baselines.
  • Project portfolio management: It can manage multiple projects in a program or portfolio at once with the enterprise project structure (EPS) tool.
  • Resource management: Keep track and reallocate resources as needed by using customizable resource leveling forms.
  • Risk management: Risk analysis features allow project managers to identify, track and resolve risks before they become issues.
  • Contract management: Manage multiple projects, and get info from the database fast.
  • Project Reporting: Report on timelines, resources and costs.

Who Uses Primavera P6?

Oracle Primavera P6 is used by project managers who are in charge of delivering a project, program or portfolio of projects. Primavera P6 is mostly used for large-scale construction projects, but it can also be used in other fields such as business and manufacturing.

Any project professional can benefit from P6, such as engineers, schedulers and others who are instrumental in planning, management and reporting on the project. It’s usually recommended that whoever uses the Primavera software takes a training course. The tool is built to help manage complex projects and therefore using it can be complicated as well.

Primavera P6 Plans and Pricing

There are two main versions of Primavera P6. There’s Primavera P6 Professional and Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM). In addition, Oracle developed Oracle Primavera Cloud, which is a new cloud-based PPM platform. Here’s a quick overview of their pricing plans.

Oracle Primavera P6 Professional

The P6 Professional version of Primavera is a desktop-based software that can be purchased directly from Oracle, or through an authorized Oracle reseller. You’ll need to install the software on all your workstations. Oracle Primavera P6 Professional will cost $2,570 for an annual subscription. That price includes $2,020 plus an annual maintenance fee of $550 for upgrades, fixes, patches, etc. The renewal of the maintenance cost isn’t required, but it’s suggested.

Oracle Primavera P6 EPPM

There’s also the enterprise option, Primavera P6 Enterprise Professional Project Management (EPPM). This version of Primavera P6 is accessed via the web rather than being a desktop software application which makes it easier to implement in large organizations. It also has a slightly different feature set from the P6 Professional option. This option will run you $2,750 for a perpetual license, which includes an annual maintenance fee of $605.

Oracle Primavera Cloud (OPC)

Like Primavera P6 Professional and Primavera P6 EPPM, Oracle Primavera Cloud focuses on project, program and portfolio management, but has a different feature set. OPC has the added benefits of faster delivery and fosters collaboration to improve efficiency and quality.

However, the features that you’ll get with Oracle Primavera Cloud depend on the license plan you choose, which is even more expensive than the desktop version of Primavera P6. OPC has the following license plans:

  • Oracle Primavera scheduling cloud service: $1,320 user/year
  • Oracle Primavera task management cloud service: $660 user/year
  • Oracle Primavera progress cloud service: $144 user/year
  • Oracle Primavera portfolio planning cloud service: $2,640 user/year

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Pros and Cons of Primavera P6

There are some things that Primavera P6 does well, along with some features that have some drawbacks. If you’re still on the fence, here’s a look at its pros and cons.

Pros of Using Primavera P6

  • Primavera software is flexible when it comes to managing tasks, with one platform that allows users to prioritize, execute and monitor their work
  • A multiuser system lets teams work at the same time on the same project across the organization.
  • Real-time reporting provides meaningful data delivered fast, either on-demand or scheduled.
  • The dashboard allows users to manage a single project or even a portfolio, with great flexibility.
  • Primavera P6 integrates with Oracle and other third-party products.
  • P6 can be used on multiple devices, such as tablets and mobile devices for access anywhere and at any time.
  • P6 works on Windows as a desktop (or web app with the Enterprise option).

Cons of Using Primavera P6

  • Primavera software is very expensive; you’re going to spend close to three grand a year for something you can get elsewhere for less financial investment.
  • The complicated interface of Oracle’s Primavera P6 also looks outdated and not up to the design and ease of use of its competition.
  • There’s a steep learning curve; unlike other tools, it can take up to 40 hours to get comfortable on the device and that’s with the use of specialized trainers.
  • Primavera P6 is for Windows only, which puts Mac users out in the cold, making the tool immediately limited and denying whole industries that run on Apple products.
  • P6 is cumbersome for smaller and simpler projects, seemingly interested only in the larger project sector.
  • The Primavera software customer service could be better, at least there’s a lot of chatter online from customers who feel the support needs to improve.
  • Primavera P6 lacks a portfolio roadmap, which is a problem for managing portfolios, even though the product does have some features directly targeting this market.

ProjectManager Is the Best Primavera P6 Alternative

If Primavera P6 doesn’t seem like the right project management software for you, then you may be interested in an alternative. ProjectManager is a cloud-based project management tool that’s less expensive and easier to use than Oracle Primavera P6, with all the same features you need to manage your project, program or portfolio. Instead of an expensive licensing fee, you can pick the subscription tier that fits your team and budget.

Robust Gantt Charts for Project, Program and Portfolio Management

ProjectManager’s Gantt charts let you plan, schedule and track projects, programs and portfolios. Create schedule baselines and automatically generate a work breakdown structure (WBS) and find the critical path of your projects as you add tasks to the Gantt chart. You can also track costs for each task and use resource management tools such as timesheets and workload charts for better resource allocation and resource-leveling.

ProjectManager's Gantt chart, an ideal alternative for Primavera p6 usersProjectManager's Gantt chart, an ideal alternative for Primavera p6 users

Powerful PPM Roadmaps, Dashboards & Reports

Like Primavera P6, we have portfolio project management features. Unlike Primavera software, we offer a portfolio roadmap to see all your projects on one timeline. This allows you to make strategic decisions on sharing resources to keep costs down and schedules tight. There’s also a portfolio dashboard and you can see all your projects with metrics on the overview projects page. You can also generate project, program and portfolio management reports in minutes.

PPM software by ProjectManage which can replace primavera p6PPM software by ProjectManage which can replace primavera p6

ProjectManager Works on Mac

Unfortunately, Primavera P6 only works on Windows. If your team uses Macs, then they won’t be able to use the tool. Luckily, ProjectManager can work with any operating system and on any browser. Like Primavera P6, we have portfolio project management features. Unlike Primavera P6, we offer a portfolio roadmap to see all your projects on one timeline, allowing you to make strategic decisions on sharing resources to keep costs down and schedules tight. There’s also a portfolio dashboard and you can see all your projects with metrics on the overview projects page.

ProjectManager works on Mac devices, unlike primavera p6ProjectManager works on Mac devices, unlike primavera p6

If you want to learn more about our award-winning software, visit our homepage to check out the rest of our features and see why we’re trusted by brands like Volvo, NASA and more.

ProjectManager is online project management software that organizes your projects and teams to work more productively. It can handle big to small projects, whether you’re working in a traditional methodology or within an agile framework. See how we can help you plan, monitor and report on your project more effectively by taking advantage of our free 30-day trial offer.

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Making a Construction Schedule: Construction Scheduling Basics

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Construction projects are notoriously difficult, and they’re known for encountering delays. They involve many moving parts, teams, equipment and materials, so your construction schedule should be thoroughly planned.

Tools that are embedded in construction project management software, such as Gantt charts and resource management, are key features to control the many phases of a construction product. But they just facilitate the process. The construction schedule is the backbone of any successful project management for construction.

What Is Construction Scheduling?

Construction scheduling organizes activities and their sequence in a construction project. It’s a project management process that acts as a blueprint for how the project will be executed. It not only organizes the activities and tasks but the overall timeframe for the project, including milestones. The construction project manager will also track its progress to make sure that the project is on schedule.

Other items included in a construction schedule include deliverables, resource management, asset allocation, tasks, dependent tasks, task duration and deadline, as well as the budget and related costs of all that work. But the construction schedule isn’t etched in stone. Project managers will review and revise throughout the project.

Yes, construction scheduling is time-consuming. You want to take all the steps, avoid shortcuts and work toward creating the most accurate schedule you can. The more time you put into the construction schedule, the fewer issues you’ll have when you execute the project plan, which is key to good construction project management.

What Is a Construction Schedule?

A construction schedule is a timeline for every task and event in a construction project. The construction schedule is a fundamental part of the project planning phase, as it also defines the resources needed and the teams responsible for each task in the construction process.

Creating a construction schedule requires thorough planning and the right tools. ProjectManager is construction project management software that offers multiple project planning tools such as Gantt charts, kanban boards and project calendars so you can map out your project activities and create accurate construction schedules. ProjectManager also offers real-time dashboards, workload charts and timesheets so you can keep track of time and costs. Get started for free today.

ProjectManager’s Gantt charts are ideal for construction scheduling. Learn more

Construction Schedule vs. Schedule of Works

A construction schedule and a schedule of works share things in common, but they’re different project documents. A schedule of works is a contract, a construction project schedule is not. The schedule of works lists the work that must be completed on a construction project, but a construction schedule is far more than just a list of work.

A schedule of works doesn’t have the detail and scope of a construction schedule, which includes the duration and deadline for the work, resources needed to execute those tasks and associated costs. Construction schedules also have milestones, identify dependent tasks and more.

5 Steps to Make a Construction Schedule

If you follow these five steps, you’ll hit the major points that need addressing when creating a construction project schedule.

1. Get Info and Tools

Construction scheduling involves different types of resources, stakeholders and participants. Begin by listing all subcontractors involved in the job as there are always many in a construction project. Once you have the list, reach out to them and ask how much time it’ll take to procure materials. Then, ask how long their part of the project is estimated to take. This is key for sound time estimation on your part.

You’ll also need to speak with the local code office and get a list of requirements and what inspections will be needed throughout the build. Code restrictions vary depending on the type of construction and materials you’ll be using, so you’ll need to do the research to make sure your project is compliant.

Related: Free Construction Schedule Template

When it comes to budgeting your project, you’ll need to go through the process with your bank and determine when they’ll release funds. You’ll need a steady influx of cash to keep the project moving forward, so before it starts, it’s key to have an understanding of your bank and its process of disbursing money. Talking to the bank before scheduling gives them a big-picture view of the project and valuable insight into how to schedule.

Determine a project management tool that’ll suit your needs. There are templates that can help you get started with your construction schedule if you don’t want to build your plan and schedule from scratch. Naturally, ProjectManager being an online project management software recommends an online tool. But we’ll get to those benefits in full later.

2. Collect and Prioritize Tasks

You have context and tools, but now you need to break the project down into the steps that’ll lead it from a construction plan to a completed project. These are the tasks. You can’t have an accurate construction schedule until you have a thorough listing of every task that must take place to end with a successful construction.

You can use a work breakdown structure (WBS) to get a handle on the size and scope of your project. You can think of this tool as a way to visualize your deliverables by starting with whatever you’re going to construct and then breaking it down level by level until you’re at the most basic parts.

At this point, it doesn’t hurt to gather the team and your subcontractors to pick their brains. Remember, the more thorough your task list, the more accurate your construction schedule. Tasks are what can derail a project, so keep your mind on the scope. And don’t forget that some tasks are dependent on others, so you’ll want to link those.

Once you have your task list as complete as possible, you’ll next need to put those tasks in order. The WBS can help with this, as it takes a complex project and boils it down to the essential parts and when they need to be worked on. You can use Gantt chart software to spread these tasks over a project timeline. We’ll get into more detail on that in a bit.

Small tasks help to break up the project into larger phases or milestones. A milestone is a point in the project that marks the end of some large phase, say cementing the foundation or adding electrical. Accurately assessing the different tasks and milestones that make up your project is critical for effective construction scheduling.

3. Add Duration

Now take each of the tasks and give them a start and finish date, which creates a bar chart on the Gantt chart that represents the duration of the task. These determinations must be realistic. A construction schedule is impacted by climate and weather forecasts are only so accurate, especially long-term. Look at historical data about the weather to get an estimation of how the climate might impact the work.

Depending on how long-term the project is, you’ll need to calculate your construction schedule holidays and consider sick and vacation days for employees. If there are other seasonally related or personal issues that might come up, be sure to use them as a ruler when measuring your schedule’s duration.

Outside of those issues, there’s working with subcontractors and suppliers. The specifics are outlined in your contract, but more often than not those dates are subject to change. It’s best for your construction schedule to have the wiggle room to accommodate fluctuations.

It’s important to make the schedule realistic. You might want it done at a certain date, but to achieve that goal, you might be tempted to cut corners and sacrifice quality. This isn’t possible in construction. The repercussions are too serious. So, be honest with yourself and give everything enough time in your construction schedule to be completed correctly.

Don’t neglect non-task-related scheduling, such as procurement, delivery and other sources that are crucial to the project. You need to have a clear picture of what to order or reorder supplies. It’s as important as the build. So is scheduling in any inspections, so there’s time in your schedule to respond to any code issues.

There’s also the financial portion of the project to keep in mind when scheduling. Add the bank draws and link them to the appropriate tasks in your construction schedule. You and the bank need to know when money will be required. The last thing you want is to chase the cash and stall the project.

Related: Best Construction Scheduling Software of 2023

4. Allocate and Execute

In a nutshell, construction scheduling is about activities and resources. Tasks won’t get done by themselves, of course, but allocating that work to teams can get confusing in your construction schedule with so many subcontractors to oversee. By color-coding tasks, you can easily distinguish the different teams and work. Now you can pinpoint who’s working on what once the project execution phase begins.

You should’ve already made estimations on the length of work from your teams and have a detailed profile of their skills and experience to assign them appropriately. After allocating your resources, a project management tool like ProjectManager can send alerts when new tasks are assigned and deadlines are due.

Once you have the people assigned to the work, the construction schedule is ready to venture into the real world. Make sure that your resources are balanced. You don’t want to over-allocate one team while another is twiddling its thumbs. ProjectManager has workload calendars to help with this process.

workload page screenshot in ProjectManagerworkload page screenshot in ProjectManager

5. Review, Review, Review

Construction scheduling is highly complex and requires permanent monitoring. No construction schedule is written in stone, at least none that will succeed. Things change, and if you’re not monitoring and reviewing throughout the project, those changes will send you off track—or worse.

You’ll need to look over the construction schedule throughout all project phases to make sure your actual progress aligns with your plan. Look at your schedule daily and depending on your time, update frequently. You can use our construction daily report template to keep track of the progress of your construction project.

This is a matter of time management. If you find that a daily update takes you away from other project issues and responsibilities, then maybe you need to set aside time each week to respond to the changes you’ve noted daily and apply them to the schedule. Monitoring and adjusting your construction schedule as on- and off-site issues arise is perhaps the most important aspect of keeping your project on schedule.

Construction ebook adConstruction ebook ad

Construction Schedule Template

If you’re looking for help in creating a construction schedule, check out our free construction schedule template. When you open this template in ProjectManager, you’ll be able to organize your schedule on powerful construction Gantt charts that link all four dependencies, list deliverables, manage resources, identify milestones and costs and even filter for the critical path.

More Construction Project Management Templates

The construction schedule template is one of the dozens of free construction templates for Excel and Word that you can download on our site. We have free templates for every phase of your project and many industries as well. Here are a few for construction.

Construction Daily Report Template

At the end of every day, construction workers have to document what work was performed, whether it was done or delayed, weather conditions on site and much more. Our free construction daily report for Excel outlines everything you need to cover so you can fill in the blanks.

Construction Estimate Template

Being able to forecast an accurate estimate for construction costs is key to managing the project. Our free construction estimate template for Excel helps you figure out the direct indirect, labor and material costs of your project.

Bill of Quantities Template

A bill of quantities lists all the materials and labor required for a construction project. If you’re managing a larger construction project, you’ll need our free bill of quantities template for Excel. It’s a crucial document for the bidding process as well as helping make a more accurate estimate of the project’s costs.

How to Create a Construction Schedule With ProjectManager

We’ve been hinting about how ProjectManager and construction scheduling go hand in glove, so let’s take a moment to go into greater detail about the many features available in our software that can assist you when scheduling your construction project.

Gantt Charts for Plans and Schedules

Beyond templates to get you started, we have an online Gantt chart that helps you plan your construction schedule. You can import your task list and it instantly populates the timeline. Then add the duration of each task and a bar chart marks the start to end dates. If any tasks are dependent, they can be easily linked. You can also set milestones across the timeline.

You can then assign directly from the construction Gantt chart. Any relevant schematics or notes can be added directly to the task where team members can collaborate. They can add as many documents as they want with our unlimited file storage and comment on any issues with other team members by simply tagging them.

When a change in your construction schedule occurs, adjusting the Gantt chart is simple. Just drag and drop the start and end dates. There are automated notifications, so team members are alerted of any changes to keep everyone on the same page.

Project management training video (t8k47kt3r5)Project management training video (t8k47kt3r5)

Resource and Team Management

When it comes to tracking time and money over the course of your construction project, we have you covered with resource management software. Managing your resources can be complicated in a construction project, but our online software gives you real-time data to better meet that goal.

You can categorize teams, supplies, equipment, etc., adding hourly rates that’ll reflect across our software. When those hours are logged, the actual cost is automatically compared to the planned cost. This gives you the tools to manage construction costs.

Teams can be managed, too. Our software details working days, holidays and planned hours over the course of the project, whether they’re on-site or even in different time zones. You can block out vacations and holidays, keeping your project schedule on track. With our workload feature, you can easily see who’s assigned to what. The workload is color-coded, so you can catch any imbalances quickly and reassign from the workload page. Filter by project, team or both and get the data you want. These features are essential for creating and managing your construction schedule.

Timesheets are designed to automatically update when employees finish their assigned tasks. You can track their logged hours on our real-time dashboard, which also monitors task progress and more.

timesheet screenshot in ProjectManagertimesheet screenshot in ProjectManager

That’s not all; there’s in-depth reporting on project workload, availability, timesheets and more. Reports can be filtered to show just what you need to know or offer a more broad overview when presenting to clients and other stakeholders. ProjectManager keeps your construction schedule on track.

ProjectManager is online project management software with the tools you need for construction scheduling. Our features make planning, monitoring and reporting on your project more efficient and effective. Being online means our software is accessible everywhere and at any time. Plus, the data you get is more accurate because it’s updated immediately. Try ProjectManager for free with this 30-day trial offer.

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What Is Task Dependency Mapping in Project Management?

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Not all tasks are the same. Some can be done one after the other in sequence, while others can’t start until another ends or starts. This is called task dependency. Task dependency mapping is a technique to make those task dependencies clear to avoid costly delays.

Before we cover task dependency mapping, let’s first understand what’s meant by dependency in project management and define the four different types of task dependencies. Once that’s clear, we’ll explain a dependency map and why it’s so important to projects.

What Are Dependencies in Project Management?

A dependency is when something requires something else in order to be done or thrive. In its most general sense, we as people are dependent on food, water and air to survive. In terms of project management, however, when we talk about dependencies, we’re usually referring to task dependencies.

Tasks are small parcels of work that together deliver the final product or service of a project. They’re a way to break down the larger work into smaller, more manageable pieces. But as we noted, not all tasks are the same. Just as it takes many different size pieces to make a puzzle, in project management, there are various tasks that together deliver the project.

Some projects follow a straightforward path, one task follows another. Task dependencies occur when the tasks aren’t so easily executed. For example, you can’t paint the house until you’ve dug the foundation, put up the walls, etc. It’s one of the last tasks in a construction project and is dependent on many others being completed beforehand.

In terms of dependency mapping, you must first identify all the task dependencies. ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that allows you to identify and link all four task dependencies on our powerful Gantt charts. Dependency mapping is then visible on the Gantt chart’s timeline. This prevents you from being surprised by task dependencies, which can delay projects. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

ProjectManager's Gantt chartProjectManager's Gantt chart
ProjectManager’s Gantt chart helps with dependency mapping. Learn more

Types of Task Dependencies

There are four types of task dependencies: finish to start, finish to finish, start to start and start to finish. But there are other dependencies to explore before we explain those task dependencies.

We’ll get to task dependencies, which are tasks that depend on other tasks in a moment. First, we’ll explore another way to define task dependencies. The other way to look at dependencies is how the tasks are dependent on one another.

In this case, we define task dependency whether it’s a resource, person, project or team-based. For instance, a resource-based dependency is a task that shares the same resources. That could be a task that requires the same piece of equipment, which means one task must be completed before another can start.

As with resource-based dependencies, a dependency on a person is similar in that only one team member can do the work and a task must wait due to a lack of manpower. Workload management is critical in such cases to ensure you have enough resources that are allocated intelligently.

Then there are task dependencies between projects. This occurs when managing a portfolio or program, which shares resources across multiple projects. Using portfolio management software that shows all your projects on one timeline allows managers to make more insightful decisions when allocating resources.

Task dependencies between teams are when teams share resources and workload management is key to keeping these teams working at capacity. These four dependencies relate to the more common understanding of task dependencies that have a predecessor-successor relationship. Let’s take a closer look at dependencies that are related to start and finish dates.

1. Finish to Start

This is the most common of the task dependencies as it’s the most used in task management. It means that a task must be completed before the next one can start. For example, in construction, drywall can’t be put up until the frame is made.

2. Finish to Finish

Finish-to-finish dependencies are a bit more complicated. These tasks cannot be completed until another dependent task is also completed. You’ll find this task dependency when two tasks are being worked on simultaneously but one can’t be finished until the other is, too. For example, drywall and installing the electrical system in a building are finish-to-finish task dependencies.

3. Start to Start

As the name suggests, these tasks must start together. One can’t start without the other having started, but this doesn’t necessarily mean at the same time. In a construction project, you’ll have to build the scaffolding to paint the exterior of a building, but then use that scaffolding to do the job. They’re two tasks that are working together.

4. Start to Finish

Our final of the four types of task dependencies is probably the most difficult. Start to finish means that the next task can’t be completed until the previous one has been completed. It’s not only complicated by controversy, many believe it shouldn’t be used in dependency mapping. An example of this would be the building of a new gas pipeline, which wouldn’t be implemented until the shutting down of the old one.

What Is a Task Dependency Map?

Now that we understand the various task dependencies, let’s look at how they’re used in project management. Task dependency mapping is the creation of a task dependency map, which is a visual representation of the dependency chain of tasks in a project. The purpose of identifying dependent tasks and dependency mapping is to prevent bottlenecks that can slow down projects and threaten both the project’s schedule and budget.

Using a task dependency map allows project managers to discern dependency patterns and see how work can be distributed across different teams. Dependency mapping is an important tool in avoiding operational inefficiencies, and maintaining the quality of your data and communications throughout the project. Project managers use task dependency mapping to track and manage dependencies

Dependency mapping helps project managers predict more accurately by identifying, visualizing and managing dependencies. This allows them to see bottlenecks before they happen and reallocate resources as needed to avoid them. Without knowing what dependencies you’re dealing with, there’s no way to respond to them until they’re happening. At that point, your schedule and budget are in jeopardy.

Other benefits of dependency mapping include improving workflow and helping to set more realistic goals for teams and expectations for stakeholders. Dependency mapping also improves lead times and helps to create more efficient capacity planning and prioritization.

How to Create a Dependency Map

Now that you understand what a task dependency is, the different types and how important it is for there to be dependency mapping in your project, let’s take a look at how to make one. It’s an important tool in change management. Follow these five steps.

1. Identify Tasks

First, you have to know all the tasks in your project. You can use a work breakdown structure to list all your deliverables and tasks. Be thorough and involve the entire project team to ensure that you don’t leave anything out.

2. Assign Tasks to Team Members

Choose the appropriate team member or team to own each of the tasks you identified in the previous step.

3. Note Dependencies

Now that you have all your tasks and the team members who are responsible for executing them, it’s time to determine which are the dependent tasks. This includes all the task dependencies you outlined above. But especially, the start dates and end dates, as this is imperative to come up with a schedule that avoids roadblocks and delivers on deadline.

4. Add Constraints

There are going to be limitations and risks inherent in the project. This is the time to factor them into your dependency mapping. Think about the six main types of constraints: scope, time, quality, cost, resources and risk. Note how they might impact the project and be prepared to respond quickly to them if they show up.

5. Make the Map

With all the information you’ve gathered, it’s time to put it into the visual form of a dependency map. This allows you to see all the tasks and dependencies as well as any constraints. This will be shared with the team to make everyone aware of the task dependencies that are impacting the project.

How to Map Task Dependencies With ProjectManager

Using project management software is a more effective way of dependency mapping. ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that helps you identify and link dependent tasks to avoid costly delays and deliver your project on time and within budget. We’ve shown you our to identify all your tasks and link all four types of dependencies with our powerful Gantt charts. That plan can then be shared across your project team.

Assign Tasks With Multiple Project Planning Tools

You can make assignments on the Gantt chart, but that tool is more for project managers who need to manage more variables to better schedule and plan the project. Team members will use different tools to execute those tasks, which is why our software has multiple project views. All of the project views share the same data and update together in real time. Team members can do their work on robust task lists or kanban boards that visualize the workflow. Stakeholders can use the calendar view to make sure milestones are being met. We give everyone the tool they need to get their job done right.

ProjectManager's task listProjectManager's task list
Check Your Team’s Workload With Real-Time Dashboards

We mentioned how important workload management is and that’s why we have resource management tools to make it easy to onboard and set the availability of your team. Then you can get a high-level overview of their progress and performance on our real-time dashboards. There’s no time-consuming setup required as with lightweight alternatives. It’s ready when you are to track cost, workload and more. Speaking of workload, you can balance the workload of your team and keep them working at capacity by viewing our color-coded workload charts. It’s easy to reallocate resources right from the chart to boost productivity.

ProjectManager's dashboardProjectManager's dashboard

We also have risk management and task management features to help you avoid costly delays. Our reporting features give you greater insight into project and portfolio status as well as timesheets, variance and more. Plus, if you’re managing multiple projects, use our portfolio features, including a portfolio dashboard and workload chart to create dependency mapping to share resources effectively across all your projects.

ProjectManager is online project management software that links all four types of task dependencies to help you stay on track. Our collaborative platform connects your team whether they’re in the next office or a different time zone. You can share files, comment and more. Join teams at Avis, Nestle and Siemens who use our tool to deliver success. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

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How to Track Resource Availability In Project Management

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Projects are planned and scheduled, but that’s just the preamble to the real work. Executing projects to meet deadlines without overspending the budget requires a project manager to understand resource availability. It’s part of the larger process of resource management.

Resources are anything used to deliver project tasks including materials, equipment, labor and more. We’ll talk about the different types of project resources, why they’re so important to project management and how resource management software helps you manage resource availability.

What Is Resource Availability?

Resource availability is understanding what you need to execute a project, when you need it and under what circumstances. Being able to coordinate the resources you need to deliver your project is key to a successful project that meets its deadline and keeps to its budget.

Figuring out how to distribute and allocate resources is part of any effective resource management plan. First, a project manager needs to know what resources are needed for the project. This is easier said than done.

Then, you have to know all the resources, from the tools your team will use to the team you’ll assemble. Once you have a thorough list of resources, you have to assemble them like puzzle pieces to fit into your schedule so they’re delivered when you need them. Otherwise, there will be costly delays.

Project management software with resource management tools is essential to planning and scheduling your resources. ProjectManager is award-winning project management software with powerful Gantt charts that can organize your resources and connect them to your project tasks. You can link all four types of dependencies to avoid delays and even filter for the critical path to help prioritize work. When you set a baseline, you capture your resource plan and can track it in real time, comparing the planned effort against the actual effort. Know your resource availability and stay on schedule. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

ProjectManager's Gantt chartProjectManager's Gantt chart
ProjectManager’s robust Gantt charts help you schedule and track resources in real time. Learn more

Types of Project Resources

The list of project resources is almost endless, but they can be divided into two categories, tangible and intangible. Tangible resources are material meaning, people, places and things. Intangible resources aren’t material, such as energy, morale, time, information, etc.

That doesn’t mean this dichotomy defines all project resources. There are some that are harder to classify, for example, money. It’s tangible in that you can hold it in your hand and count it. But it’s also intangible in that its value depends on the state that issued it.

Therefore, project resources require a bit more detail to adequately define. When managing a project, it helps to look at resources divided into these seven categories: people, information, materials, tools, energy, capital and time. Let’s define each of these terms and provide an example to illustrate it for better understanding.


These are your human resources, such as the teams you assemble to execute the project. People, it’s been said, are your most valuable resource. There’s a reason for this. Without your team, the other six categories of resources are inert. You can have all the money in the world and a great set of tools, but without a crew, all you have is a barren job site. Take the time to assemble a team with the skills and experience you need to accomplish your objectives.


The knowledge that you and your team have to complete the project is also a resource. Whether you have to train them or they come to the project with those skill sets already learned, that information is invaluable to the success of the project. Information can be everything from knowing how to use the tools required to execute the tasks to understanding the processes and methodologies of the project. Information is flexible and teams must be, too. As things change, everyone must adapt quickly.


Materials are easy to understand as they’re tangible. These objects are used in the execution of the project and can be anything from bricks and mortar if you’re in construction to paper and pencils if you’re working in a more abstract environment. But generally, materials are related to more concrete projects, such as construction or manufacturing. These industries have to deal with supply chain management and the sourcing of materials, which adds another layer to resource availability.


Tools are another tangible resource. They’re used throughout the life cycle of a project, though, and not strictly during the execution phase. Tools run the gamut from construction and manufacturing tools, such as hammers and heavy machinery, to hardware and software. Computers are used for nearly any project, while the software employed is more tailored to the type of project it is. Whichever is the case, tools are necessary resources for any project and their availability is key to delivering project success.


Many might not include energy in a list of required resources but it’s essential. Energy could mean the energy that runs the tools and machinery used in the project to a tool or software that makes your team productive. For most projects, energy is electricity. It runs your computer, which is the work site for software development and more. But construction and even some manufacturing projects require other types of energy, be it gasoline or diesel. Making sure you have an uninterrupted source of energy is critical and should be part of any resource availability planning.

Related: 10 Free Manufacturing Excel Templates


Everyone knows that projects are dead in the water if they’re not funded and yet so often money isn’t included in resource availability plans. But, of course, before a project can move forward, you need financial support from stakeholders. If you’re not properly funded or mismanage your budget, the project won’t continue. With money, you can get more of almost any resource, but without money, you’re stuck.


Time is a resource that you can manage, but never control. There are no time-outs in project management, so accurately scheduling your resources to be there when you need them is another critical aspect of resource management. Having your project on a timeline is a great way to view the whole project from start to finish and work backward from your deadline to ensure you can get everything done in the allotted time. Time is universal and it impacts every project, but it’s one of the more elusive resources on this list.

Why Is It Important to Track Resource Availability?

Being able to track resource ability is key to managing your resources. If you don’t know where your resources are, then you’re not able to get them where they need to be when they need to be there. That’s why planning, scheduling and optimizing your project resources is so important. Otherwise, you’re wasting project resources and that’ll cost you time and money.

There are many ways to track resource availability. Three of the more common methods are resource scheduling, resource planning and resource optimization. Use these to help you monitor your resources so you can apply them more effectively.

Resource Scheduling

Resource scheduling is used to allocate resources most efficiently to tasks or projects. Part of that is scheduling the start date and end date you’ll need for the resources to complete the project. These dates are based on resource capacity and availability.

Resource Planning

Resource planning is about identifying the resources you need for a project and how you’ll acquire and allocate them. This is true in project management but is also a critical part of portfolio management when you have to share resources across multiple projects.

Resource Optimization

Resource optimization refers to the methods that make sure that the availability of human resources and nonhuman resources are matched to the project schedule. Some techniques to achieve this include resource leveling (adjusting start and end dates), resource smoothing (keeping requirements within the budget to avoid adding more resources) and reverse resource allocation (starting with the last or most critical task and scheduling backward from there).

How to Manage Your Resource Availability With ProjectManager

ProjectManager is online project management software that gives you the tools to plan, manage and track your resources in real time. Our software has timesheets that allow you to track your labor costs and see what percentage of your team’s tasks are completed. There are also multiple project views, such as task lists, kanban boards and more, which allows your teams to work how they want while managers get transparency into their process. Managers can identify potential bottlenecks and quickly reallocate resources to keep teams working at capacity.

Monitor Your Team’s Workload With Workload Charts

Planning and scheduling your resources is only the first step; you also have to track them. With our software, you can list your team’s skills and availability, including PTO, vacations and global holidays, which makes onboarding easier and assigning tasks a snap. When you toggle to the color-coded workload page, you can see at a glance who’s overallocated. Simply reallocate their tasks right from the chart to balance their workload to make your resources more productive.

ProjectManager's workload chartProjectManager's workload chart
Track Resource Utilization With Real-Time Dashboards

Another tool to track resources in your project is our real-time dashboard. It doesn’t require time-consuming configuration as you’ll find with lightweight software. Our live dashboard immediately collects real-time data and automatically displays it in easy-to-read graphs and charts. You can track time, costs and more. Simply click the dashboard for a high-level view of your project or portfolio.

ProjectManager's dashboardProjectManager's dashboard

If you want more detail than what’s available on the real-time dashboard, it’s easy to generate a number of reports on project status, portfolio status, variance, timesheets and more. Each report is customizable so you can filter the data to show only what you want to see. Plus, all reports can be easily shared in a variety of formats to keep stakeholders informed.

ProjectManager is award-winning software that empowers teams to plan, manage and track their work in real time. Besides resource management, there are task management and risk management features all on a collaborative platform that connects teams across departments and time zones. Join teams at Avis, Nestle and Siemens who are using our tool. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

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