Microsoft Project and Oracle Primavera P6

I have used both Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project as well as I have studied both during my Master’s in Project Management degree.

At the start of my career, I used MS Project but later shifted to Primavera P6. To know the reasons, let’s have a look at both Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project features.

This info-graph clearly shows that MS Project is quite weaker than primavera P6. This is not the case always. We will discuss the best possible scenarios in this field.

There are four commonly used software packages for Scheduling and Controlling in Construction and Development Projects

  1. Oracle Primavera P6
  2. Microsoft Project
  3. Asta Power Project
  4. Tilos

MS Project and Primavera P6 are industry leaders

Tilos is best for Traditional Linear Project Planning Methods and Asta Power Project Project is an equally powerful software package but does not have many users around MENA and Australia ( Big Projects Market).

Hence, we will only discuss the Primavera P6 and MS Project in this blog

Primavera P6 and MS Project | Major Differences

Both are the most widely used and popular software packages for planning, tracking, and reporting globally.

User Experience

Microsoft Project has an edge here as most people are already familiar with Microsoft products like MS Office and hence, I can say it is a user-friendly software package. On the other hand, Primavera P6 Software is an Oracle product and is not as user-friendly.

User Interface 

MS Project is graphical powerful. EPPM Oracle Primavera P6 also has great user experience regarding graphs but Oracle Primavera P6 Professional and other versions are graphically weaker. Resources graphs, progress graphs, and histograms are that appealing as in MS Project and other packages.

Power Game

Oracle Primavera P6 is very powerful as it can deal with unlimited baselines whereas MS Project has a limitation here and can deal with only 11 baselines. It shows that P6 can much more powerful as it can tackle more tasks.

You can display 4 baseline bars against a schedule in Primavera P6 and Primavera P6 professional can handle 100,000 activities. Amazing!

Architecture

Microsoft project has three versions that are Standard, Professional and Web-based. On the other hands, Primavera P6 has Professional and Web-based only.

To open a Project, one must have a server either Oracle or SQL based but MS Project can open a single project file.

Industries Covered

MS Project is being used in Residential Buildings, Small & Medium Commercial Buildings and Architecture/Surveying related projects.

The rest just leave it to Primavera P6 that includes large complex projects like Oil and Gas, mining, etc.

Price/Cost

Overall Microsoft Project has very less price than that of Primavera P6 but it may not be the case as Primavera has many releases like for Contractors, Professionals that is available at comparable prices.

I don’t count this factor that much in this comparison.

Installation

To install MS Project is very easy as most of us a quite familiar with other Microsoft products while to install Primavera P6 you need to follow a set of instructions to get it done properly.

Relationship

In Primavera P6 you can use maximum 4 relationships between two activities but in MS project only single is allowed and hence creating a Close Network is very easy in P6.

Asta PowerProject on the other hands allows an unlimited relationship that differentiates it from others.

 Activity Steps

This is a very useful feature in Primavera P6 that allows to further divide the activity into more meaningful steps to record or track progress. MS Project does not allow this feature.

Multiple User Access

In Primavera P6 multiple users can access and work on the same project while MS Projects only allows multiple user access and work at the same time while in MS project one can access but cannot edit unless other users logged out.

Discussions

The most underused feature in Primavera P6 where you can discuss with other team members working on the project. MS does not have this in it.

Hint Help

This Primavera P6 exclusive feature hints the calculations for a column when the cursor is put on. MS Project does not have such an offer.

Final Words

Selecting your Project Management software is not a simple job. It all depends on what kind of enterprise project management system you are going to have. MS Project is good for small and medium-sized organizations whereas Primavera P6 is much more powerful when it comes to handling complex projects, programs.

Oracle products are always very expensive but worth it. If you can afford and you have a well-trained staff already then go for it as soon as possible keeping in view the bigger picture.


One Small Request:

Being a Project Management guy, I know how little time we have to play around on the internet. But if you have found this information useful then please share it to your colleague so that more people can get benefit from it. If you have any question then comment below and I am glad to take it.


Further Reads

If you think it a good read then also visit here for more information about Project Management

16 thoughts on “Microsoft Project and Oracle Primavera P6”

    1. Yes, Mohammad
      Primavera P6 is much more versatile. As you go along, you will explore more features but here to keep it a bit brief I cannot cover all such topics. Hope I will update more in the near future.
      Thank you for highlighting and putting in some effort to read it with interest.
      The reader like you is valuable for me.
      Regards

  1. Thank you for this wonderful comparison between Primavera P6 and MS Project. This is what I was looking for.

  2. MS Project is rather easy as we are used for other Microsoft project but as you said Primavera is powerful. That is nice comparison overall. Thank you for this write-up.

  3. Best Comparison of Microsoft Project and Oracle Primavera P6 on the internet for free. Thank you very much dear for all this write-up.

  4. Nice Comparison between Microsoft Project and Oracle Primavera P6. Looking forward if you can write more stuff on MS project.

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