Weighted Steps Template in EPPM and Physical % Complete

Written on . By CPM Solutions

Project managers go under fire from stakeholders and project sponsors when their project is late. Their P6 software is telling them that they are on-time but in reality they are behind schedule. So why is it happening so often? Because they are using objective opinions and updates from workers and contractors on-site who do not recognize the amount of time and effort required to finish the job. It’s not that workers want to tell their PM the wrong information or want them to think that they’re slacking on the job, but understanding how much time it will take to finish a job is a very difficult estimate to make because of break-times, lost time on getting the right materials and so on. So how can project managers work around this problem? By using weighted steps that accurately depict the amount of work done and the amount of work that is still required to be completed.

Using weighted steps is a quick and easy way to subjectively update the project schedule based on the work actually performed. Follow these steps to start implementing weighted steps into your project schedule:

1. Set-up Weighted Step Templates.

This might take some additional time in the beginning, but you will save time in the long-run. If you are using the EPPM suite, then:

a) Click on the Administer menu and open Enterprise Data.


b) Click on Step Templates in the Enterprise Data menu.


c) Add a template:

1. Click the Add icons

2. Change the Template Name.

3. Save the template.


d) Add steps to the new template.

1. Click the add icon.

2. Change the Step name.

3. Add a description (not necessary).

4. Add a weight.

5. Click Save.

Note: Adding a weight will specify how much of the activity that the step accounts for. For example, if you add weights that add up to 10 then a step that is weighted at 5 out of 10 will account for 50% of the activity physical % complete.


h2. Add steps to your activities (or add templates!).

a) You can add steps in either P6 Web Access or P6 Windows. The step templates that you added in P6 Web Access will show up as an option in Windows as well. In this example, we will add the template in P6 Windows.


3. Go to the Projects windows.


4. In the Calculations tab, mark the checkbox next to Activity percent complete based on activity steps.


5. Update activities.

a) Go to the Activities window, General tab. Change the % Complete Type to Physical.

Note: To use the weighted steps to reflect the amount of work complete, the activities must use a Physical % Complete type. Change the % Complete Type to Physical.


b) Go to the Status Tab. Mark the activity as Started.


c) Go to the Steps tab. Mark the appropriate steps as complete.

Remember: In the template we created, the first step is weighted as 50 %. You can also add columns in the Steps tab to view the weights.


d) Go back to the Status tab. View the Physical % Complete. Update the Remaining Duration.


Notice that the Physical % has updated to 50 % since you marked the first weighted step as complete. Remember that you also have to update the Remaining Duration of the activity because you are using a Physical % Complete type of activity. The At Complete duration value may not look accurate after updating Remaining, but once you press F9, the duration actuals should calculate properly.