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Primavera P6 Software Review: NV Energy


NV Energy, with offices in northern and southern Nevada, has been using Primavera P6 since May 2009. One key advantage, said Josh Schonbrun, supervisor of project controls, is that P6 makes it easier for the company to perform enterprise-wide resource planning and to view all project details. This was not as easy to do with NV Energy’s previous project management software, Primavera P3.

Overall, Schonbrun rated Primavera P6 an 8 out of 10 and said he was “certainly considering” an upgrade to version 7 of the project management software.

Full Review

How long have you been using this tool?: 

About a decade ago, the company was actively using Primavera P3. I personally began using that software about five years ago and was part of the team that upgraded to Primavera P6. NV Energy has been using Primavera P6 since May 2009.

What kinds of construction projects do you mostly work on?: 

NV Energy works on transmission and distribution construction projects, mainly power lines and substations.

How are you using this product?: 

We are using Primavera P6 for project management, schedule management, resource capacity planning and financial forecasting

Why did you pick this product?: 

We chose P6 because we were already using Primavera P3.

Did you look at other tools on the market before picking this one?: 

I was part of a larger, separate project that was reviewing total work and asset management systems for the company and this was a small piece of it. I honestly couldn’t tell you if they analyzed other products or not.

How many people are using this software? : 

We have at least 200 people using Primavera P6. A small portion, about 20-30, are project managers. The rest perform functions such as engineering; they are able to view schedules and provide some input into the schedules

Can you give us an example of a job where this tool really made a difference?: 

The fact that we are using Primavera P6 across the enterprise is very helpful. We have locations in northern and southern Nevada, and the ability to view details for an entire project in one spot was not really easy to pull off before. In addition, we can now perform resource planning for the whole company, not just for isolated areas.

What are the best features (for your business) in this tool?: 

We have the Web and the client version. It’s nice to provide a power tool to project management and also provide a simpler tool to executive management and engineers, supervisors. We can use one source to get all that data.

What would you change about the product if you could?: 

I think the reporting side of the client could be improved a little bit. Other than that, Primavera P6 is a pretty comprehensive tool.

Are there features that you don't use?: 

Though we absolutely take advantage of the majority of the features, I wouldn’t say we’re using all of it right now. I don't think we’re using the thresholds, the issues component or some of the collaboration that you can use within the tool. We’re not currently using the contract manager in Primavera P6 either.

Did it take much training (or studying) to learn to use this tool?: 

On the project management side, users should have some general application awareness, such as how to navigate through a software application. We did three days of training for project management and project controls.

Those using the Web went through a three- to four-hour training session that we provided for them. It really doesn’t require a lot of computer knowledge; if you can use a browser, then you won’t have trouble using Primavera P6.

Have you ever called the company's support lines and asked for help?: 

I personally used the support knowledge base before it transferred over to Oracle, though I haven’t use the new Oracle support for it. We have several functional support and technical support personnel who have been on the phone with them.

How would you rate the user documentation? : 

It’s large, but if you know what you’re looking for, then yes, it’s helpful.

When the next version of this software comes out, will you upgrade to it?: 

I’ve seen release 7 for Primavera P6 and I’m certainly considering it. I will be a strong contributor to that decision at NV Energy.

Overall, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this tool?: 

I’d probably give it an 8, 8+, somewhere in that range. There’s always a little room for improvement, but it’s a very solid tool. I’m very pleased with the ability to implement it; it’s pretty easy to transition from Primavera P3 to P6.

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