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Planning Using Primavera Suretrak Project Manager Ver 3.0 Print
Primavera project planning and scheduling software applications are considered the industry heavyweights.

 Planning Using Primavera Project Planner® P3® Ver 3.0
By: Paul E Harris

210mm X 271 mm (just short of A4 size)
Approx 175 pages
ISBN 0 9577783 2 5

 Primavera SureTrak® Project Manager
By: Paul E. Harris

210mm X 271 mm
Approx 255 pages
ISBN 0 9577783 1

 SureTrak® Project Manager is ideal for planning and controlling small to medium sized projects. Simple planning. Easy updating, analysis and reporting. SureTrak Project Manager gives professional results quickly and easily. It's ideal for people who have only a few hours each week to update and manage their projects.

Primavera Project Planner® (P3®) on the otherhand is the clear choice of project professionals in the engineering, construction, architecture, utilities, and telecommunications industries for controlling large and complex projects.

So, easing the pain of learning how to use them efficiently is paramount for the professional project planner and project manager alike.

Enter Paul Harris, holding an Honours Degree in civil engineering; a Certified Cost Engineer through AACE International and the author of the books we review this month.

The books were originally written as training manuals but have been extended and developed for use as self-teach books and user guides and are designed to teach planners and schedulers how to set up and use the software in a project environment.

The books are well laid out and easy to read with big diagrams and clear screen shots.
Not all functions of the applications are described, however all the main features are covered giving a solid grounding in the day to day use which can be enhanced using the application's help files.

Throughout both books exercises called 'workshops' are included to give realistic practice in the use of the feature described in the text.
handy hints, gleaned from the author's practical experience, are also included at relevant points in the text.

A similar format is used for both books and is a logical progression through the process of setting up a project, recording progress and finally reporting project status. There are some differences in content based on the functions of the two applications which are not identified in this review.

A brief introduction is followed by a chapter describing the first part of creating a project. Beginning with 'understanding Planning and Scheduling Software' and continuing with the four levels of a project plan:

    * Level 1 - Planning without resources
    * Level 2 - Monitoring progress without resources
    * Level 3 - Scheduling with resources
    * Level 4 - Monitoring progress of a resourced schedule

Creation of a project is continued in the next chapter wherein the file structure is described along with the actual creation of a project.

The chapters that follow concentrate on:

    * defining calendars
    * defining activity codes
    * Adding activities
    * formatting the display
    * assigning activity codes and organising the project structure
    * adding the logic
    * filtering and layouts
    * printing and reporting
    * tracking progress
    * scheduling options
    * activity ID's, WBS codes and alias'
    * creating resources
    * 'driving' resources
    * statusing projects with resources
    * tools and techniques for scheduling
    * resource levelling
    * project groups
    * object linking and embedding
    * project utilities

Both user guides, Planning Using Primavera Suretrak® and Planning Using Primavera Project Planer® P3®, are comprehensive and cover all regularly used functions of the applications.
The easy to read format and concise wording allows the reader to create projects almost 'on the fly'. Very useful companions to the manufacturer's instruction manuals.

Both Primavera User Guides
receives a PROJECTmagazine rating of


4 bananas


Review by Jeb Riordan (c) 2003 

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