MS Project and Primavera are both reputed software for project planning, reporting and progress updating, tracking. Both the software are used worldwide and they have their own benefits.There are several differences between MS Project and Primavera P6. The following are the differences between Primavera P6 and MS Project:
In MS Project only 11 baselines can be created. In Primavera unlimited baselines can be created.
Multiple User Access
MS Project doesn't allow multiple users to work on a single project at the same time, Primvera allows you to do that. In Primavera you can even specify what features of Primavera a particular user can use , and which he can not.
Issues & Risks
MS Project lacks the feature of tracking project issues or risks. In Primavera, we can record issues and risks.
Primavera schedule, documents and other information can be converted to HTML directly from the software. MS Project doesn't have such option.
Steps in Primavera allows you to create sub-activities (steps) of an activity. Each step can have its own start and finish date, and a completed step can be marked as completed. This useful feature is missing in MS Project.
Besides Costs, in Primavera project expenses e.g training, travel, etc can also be added, in MS Project we can not add this information with many properties as we can in P6.
Both MS Project and Primavera allows us to create custom fields. But MS Project even allows us to define complex formulas and assign the values to user-created column.field. In Primavera we can create a blank custom fields, but we can not define formulas as detailed and complex to the columns as we can do in MS Project, so users have to manually enter values in each in the field, for each column.
Primavera P6 has many useful columns. It comes installed with over 200 columns, each giving you different information. Some column category to name include EVM, Budgeting, Costs, variances, dates etc. On the other hand in MS Project, there are only around 30 columns, giving the user with much less information about the project that we can view in Primavera.
Customized Project and resource calendars can be created in both MS Project and Primavera. But perhaps Calendars is the only feature in MS Project that is much better in MS Project as we can create different types of work day or non-work day recurrence patterns. Furthermore, we can also define range for the recurrence pattern to fall between. These easy and much demanded options are not available in Primavera, however these can still be done in Primavera manually, which is time consuming.
Multiple Activity Relationships
In Primavera P6, more than one type of relationship can be established between activities e.g we can have FF and SS between the same two activities. In MS Project only one relationship can be made between two activities.
The Primavera P6 software can create a comprehensive website comprising of complete project details including activities, resources, reports, risks, issues, WBS, and everything that has been entered in the software. This website is very valuable feature and is not present in MS Project.
Multiple Project Creation, View and Tracking
In Primavera multiple projects can be created and viewed. This can be done in MS Project too but since MS Project is not intended for multiple project use, it doesn't allow us to do things like we can do in Primavera like multiple project tracking, multiple project or WBS comparisons, cost and units calculations.
There are many more minor differences between Primavera P6 and and MS Project but above list is of major and prominent differences between the two software.
In Primavera P6 WBS is created separately from activities. Once WBS has been created, then we can add activities with each WBS element. Whereas in MS Project, activities are indented to make them look like WBS. The separate creation of WBS in P6 allows in-depth specification of WBS elements, with as much detail as possible, and with ease.
In Primavera, comprehensive reports can be created. In MS Project, reports can not be customized to display everything you want in the reports. However, MS Project allows us to create graphical reports and customize the graphics but this can not be done in Primavera. Primavera can show some graphics like Gantt Chart, Histograms and Spreadsheets but we can not customize their looks and the current graphics displays are not prominent enough.
Which one You Should Learn?
If you are heavily involved in a project or multiple projects, and you are requiring to computerize every detail of your project you should go for Primavera P6. Or if you are working on a single project that doesn't require you record details other than activity schedule, resource list, and assignment details, use MS Project as it is simpler.
Also read: Benefits of Using Primavera P6 Software
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