S-Curves Made Easy with Project Tracker
Written on . By CPM Solutions
S-curves are an important tool for any project manager because they track the project visually over time. The ability to visually analyze progress allows project managers to make projections and adjustments to schedules by identifying growth, deviations, and potential problems. If you are using Primavera P6, Asta Project, or MS Project, there is an extremely user-friendly tool out there now called Project Tracker, by Willmer Ltd., which eliminates the frustrations and complications of transforming data from P6 into s-curves.
Before we get started, let’s talk about s-curves. S-curves use cost, unit, and other data to visually display progress over time. That being said, what can you tell from an s-curve? The most commonly used s-curve data compares actual data against baseline and target data. This gives project managers the insight into whether they are hitting targets or falling behind. We see scope changes by looking at where the actual curve falls in relation to other curves (baseline or target) and we can determine contract claims in the future. In the example s-curve below (using the Project Tracker tool), you can see that the project is quickly falling behind.
In Primavera P6, you can produce basic s-curves using the Resource Usage Profile and Activity Usage Profile. These graphs are based on cumulative data (of costs or units), and require customization is limited and can take a long time to print properly.
The most common method used to create an s-curve is to export P6 data to Microsoft Excel, and then create a line chart in Excel. This method can become tedious due to the number of steps, data requirements, and time required producing the right s-curve you need. However, the low cost requirement makes this a go-to choice for most analysts.
If you are creating numerous s-curves for multiple projects and need a faster solution, Project Tracker was created by s-curve exports at Willmer Ltd. to simplify this process and save you time to create easy-to-use, read, and print s-curves. When we evaluated this tool, we were impressed to see that the s-curves were produced in seconds.
Project Tracker has extended features to give you detailed, point-in-time analysis to look at data at the activity-level to assist in your decision making.
PROJECT TRACKER FUNCTIONALITY:
- Import projects and baselines from Primavera P6, MS Project, or Asta Power Project;
- Create s-curves without assigning resources or costs;
- Filter data by project, portfolio, WBS, resources, or activity codes;
- Batch print for multiple one-click reports;
- Add text to curves to further customize views;
- Save data in XML file format to share with other users;
- Logo and version customization for print outs.
PROJECT TRACKER ANALYSIS:
- View the Gantt Chart under the s-curve to see how the project is progressing against activities;
- Review s-curve data in list format in data tables;
- Use up to two s-curves for comparison;
- Dynamic feedback on project progress at any point along the s-curve;
- Create forecast lines based on the current progress rate;
- Plot per period bar graphs of the baseline and forecast to determine slippage.
Try a FREE 30-day trial of Project Tracker here.
For more information, view the Project Tracker brochure.
Also, check out this video for an introduction to Project Tracker’s features.
Let us know if you know how to make s-curve easy or if there are other tools that work for you!