062813 Rufran's Primavera Scheduling Tips & Tricks 02-13

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What are Level of Effort (LOE) activities?

The article was written to provide full understanding to the subject of LOE activities and how they should be managed and used. The situations described in Section 1 of this document are quite common. The problem often lies around the User’s understanding of how the tool works. One must understand fully to gain the full benefit and flexibility of the scheduling tool. Section 5 will itemize some of the misconceptions that need to be corrected when dealing with Level of Effort activities.

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062813 Rufran's Primavera Scheduling Tips & Tricks 02-13

  1. 1. Primavera Scheduling Tips and Tricks 02-13 What is Schedule Level of Effort (LOE)? Here’s a common planning & scheduling situation: The Contractor’s scheduler was tasked to resource load the schedule using the Level of Effort activities or LOEs. He spent several hours assigning the links but could not seem to control the start and end date of the LOE bars. He could not understand what’s wrong. He has done the same thing in an older version of Primavera scheduling tool (V3.1) and it worked perfectly well. “An LOE is a Hammock, that’s what they are” he said to himself. I think it is about time we help this guy out. 2013 Rufran C. Frago, P. Eng., PMP®, CCEC, PMI-RMP® Revision 3: June 28, 2013
  2. 2. 062813-Primavera Scheduling Tips & Tricks 02-13 Page 2 of 8 6/29/2013 Author: Rufran C. Frago, P. Eng., PMP, CCEC, PMI-RMP TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGES 1.0 SITUATION/PROBLEM........................................................................................... 3 2.0 RELATED TOOLS .................................................................................................... 3 3.0 DEFINITION ........................................................................................................... 3 4.0 PROBLEM ANALYSIS (PA)....................................................................................... 4 5.0 EXPLANATION/SOLUTION ..................................................................................... 4 6.0 REFERENCES.......................................................................................................... 6 7.0 ADDITIONAL READING MATERIALS ....................................................................... 6 8.0 FOOD FOR THOUGHT............................................................................................ 6 9.0 ILLUSTRATIONS ..................................................................................................... 7 10.0 INDEX.................................................................................................................... 8
  3. 3. 062813-Primavera Scheduling Tips & Tricks 02-13 Page 3 of 8 6/29/2013 Author: Rufran C. Frago, P. Eng., PMP, CCEC, PMI-RMP 1.0 SITUATION/PROBLEM 1.1 Two schedulers were arguing about the LOE and Hammock. One said they are the same while the other one said, they are quite different. 1.2 The Lead Planner looked at the P6 schedule he prepared with his Boss and decided to use the LOEs for resource leveling. They worked on it for the next two days but the leveling process just won’t work. “What is the problem here?” asked the Project Manager. 1.3 The Contractor’s scheduler was tasked to resource load the schedule using the LOEs. He spent several hours assigning the links but could not seem to control the start and end date of the LOE bars. He could not understand what’s wrong. He has done the same thing in an older version of Primavera scheduling tool (V3.1) and it worked perfectly well. “An LOE is a Hammock, that’s what they are” he thought. 2.0 RELATED TOOLS 2.1 Project Management (Primavera 6.1 SP1, 6.2, 6.7 SP1, 6.7 SP2 and higher) 3.0 DEFINITION 3.1 The term “User” in this document is the person using the Primavera scheduling tool. He can be the planner, the scheduler, the Project Manager or anyone. 3.2 A Level of Effort activity has a duration that is determined by its dependent activities. Administration-type activities are typically assigned as Level of Effort.
  4. 4. 062813-Primavera Scheduling Tips & Tricks 02-13 Page 4 of 8 6/29/2013 Author: Rufran C. Frago, P. Eng., PMP, CCEC, PMI-RMP 4.0 PROBLEM ANALYSIS (PA) 4.1 The situations described in Section 1 of this document are quite common. The problem often lies around the User’s understanding of how the tool works. The proper logic to follow is that if one is an equipment operator who thought that a reverse control lever is drive- forward lever, then he/she will be in a lot of trouble. The same applies to using Primavera. One must understand fully to gain the full benefit and flexibility of the scheduling tool. 4.2 Section 5 will itemize some of the misconceptions that need to be corrected when dealing with Level of Effort activities. Note that LOE is a common term that up to now has always been misunderstood. 5.0 EXPLANATION/SOLUTION 5.1 Rules to follow when dealing with Level of Effort activities. 5.1.1 A level of effort activity's duration is dependent on its predecessor and/or successor activities. Administration type activities are typically assigned as Level of Effort. 5.1.2 Level of effort activities cannot have constraints assigned to them. So, those who wanted to constrain an LOE…Forget it! Even if you want it, it will not let you. 5.1.3 Here’s one for you. The Level of effort activity is not included when leveling resources. You might think that it plays a role when doing automatic leveling but they don’t. Only resources loaded against normal task activities are included. 5.1.4 If an activity with an Actual Start is assigned to a Level of Effort activity before being scheduled, the Original Duration of the Level of Effort will be 0. For more information on this see Oracle Primavera Solution ID: prim40131 "Why is the Level of Effort (LOE) activity showing an Original Duration (OD) of zero (0)?"
  5. 5. 062813-Primavera Scheduling Tips & Tricks 02-13 Page 5 of 8 6/29/2013 Author: Rufran C. Frago, P. Eng., PMP, CCEC, PMI-RMP 5.1.5 Users should use level of effort activities for on-going tasks that depend on other activities. For example, you could assign level of effort activities for clerical work, a security guard, or even some aspects of project management. 5.1.6 A level of effort activity is similar to but different from a hammock activity. 5.1.7 A level of effort activity uses its assigned calendar to summarize its dates. Hammocks are not scheduled using their own calendar. 5.1.8 Any type of relationship can be assigned to a level of effort activity. Only a start-to-start and finish-to-finish relationship can be assigned to a hammock activity. 5.1.9 All finish to start and start to start predecessors and start to finish and start to start successors drive the start date of the LOE activity. 5.1.10 All finish-finish and start-finish predecessors and finish-start and finish-finish successors drive the finish date of the LOE activity. 5.1.11 A hammock activity's duration is calculated from the earliest early start of its predecessors to the latest early finish of its successor activities. 5.1.12 Schedule calculation of a normal activity is affected by its “Duration Type” setting (i.e. Fixed Duration and Units/Time, Fixed Duration and Units, Fixed Units/Time and Fixed Units). The work effort required to complete the activity does not change. The calculation rules do not change for an LOE activity.
  6. 6. 062813-Primavera Scheduling Tips & Tricks 02-13 Page 6 of 8 6/29/2013 Author: Rufran C. Frago, P. Eng., PMP, CCEC, PMI-RMP 6.0 REFERENCES 6.1 Help, About Primavera, Project Management (Primavera), V6.1 SP1, V6.1 SP2, V6.7 SP1, V6.7 SP2 and higher. 6.2 Oracle Primavera Solution ID: 2003821145529 7.0 ADDITIONAL READING MATERIALS 7.1 Oracle Primavera Solution ID: prim40131 8.0 FOOD FOR THOUGHT 8.1 It’s been said, time and again but I will have to underline it one more time. A level of effort activity is similar to but different from a hammock activity. 8.2 The New User should practice linking the LOEs to controlling activities described in Section 5.1.9 and 5.1.10 and as demonstrated in Section 9.0 Illustrations, Figure 1 and Figure 2.
  7. 7. 062813-Primavera Scheduling Tips & Tricks 02-13 Page 7 of 8 6/29/2013 Author: Rufran C. Frago, P. Eng., PMP, CCEC, PMI-RMP 9.0 ILLUSTRATIONS 9.1 Figure 1 Links that DRIVES THE START DATE of the LOE activity 9.2 Figure 2 Links that DRIVES THE FINISH DATE of the LOE activity
  8. 8. 062813-Primavera Scheduling Tips & Tricks 02-13 Page 8 of 8 6/29/2013 Author: Rufran C. Frago, P. Eng., PMP, CCEC, PMI-RMP 10.0 INDEX “Duration Type” setting 5 “User” 3 ADDITIONAL READING MATERIALS 6 DEFINITION 3 FOODS FOR THOUGHT 6 hammock 6 ILLUSTATIONS 7 INDEX 8 Links that DRIVES THE FINISH DATE 7 Links that DRIVES THE START DATE 7 PROBLEM ANALYSIS 4 REFERENCES 6 RELATED TOOLS 3 resources 4 SITUATION/PROBLEM 3 SOLUTION 4 User’s understanding 4

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