There are many useful columns in Primavera that can be added to view status about the in-progress activities and determine where these stand. These columns tell you how much work should have been done, how much is accomplished to date and how much is the variance at current and will be when the activity completes.
The following columns can be used to monitor activity progress in detail:
Schedule % Complete - This column gives very useful information. It tells you that how much the activity should be completed by the current Data Date. Schedule % Complete goes by the Data Date. The information this column gives help you determine how much work is completed vs how much should have been done. If Duration % is < Schedule %, you are late, or if Duration % > Schedule %, you are ahead of schedule.
Variance - Project Duration / Start Date / Finish Date: Use the Variance - Start/Finish or Duration column to see the difference between what you had planned vs how much is achieved. This information is very useful in examining where you stand right now. Furthermore, reading information in these columns is also very easy. For instance, value in 'Variance - Project Duration' is 0, it means actual duration is same as what you planned. If it is for example -1, it means you exceeded duration by 1 day than what you planned. It is for example +1, it means you are finishing activity 1 day before what you planned. Hence, it is very useful information to measure progress. Similarly, you can use Variance - Project Start Date or Finish Date also to see difference of what Start and Finish Date you planned and whether you are behind or ahead of schedule.
Actual Duration/Start Date/Finish Date/etc: Use Actual columns to see how much duration of activities have passed or when activities actually started or when actually these are finishing. These columns give you current and to date information, hence is very helpful in project progress measuring.
BL Project Duration/Start Date/Finish Date/etc: Once the project starts and you see the actual values, at the same time you would want to see what originally you planned, then these columns can be used to see the originally planned values. BL stands for Baseline and as we know that Baseline contains the original/final plan of your project, before execution starts.
Earned Value columns: There are many earned value columns you can use to 1) See where you are right now, 2) how much time/cost is needed to complete the activity, 3) how much time/cost will have been used when the activity completes 4) variance - plan vs actual at current Data Date, 5) what will be the variance - plan vs actual when the activity completes.
Hence, earned value analysis is very useful is project progress measuring and forecasting. Earned Value analysis is explained here.
All these and more Earned Value analysis fields/columns are described here.
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