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 plan, 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.
Both MS Project and Primavera allows us to create custom fields. But MS Project even allows us to set complex formulas or use fields and add additional values to it, to use in the custom field. In Primavera we can create a blank custom field, but can not set formulas to it, 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, etc. On the other hand in MS Project, there are only around 40 columns.
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 separated 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.
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 doesnt require you record details other than activity schedule, resource list, and assignment details, use MS Project as it is simpler