Oracle Primavera P6 and EcoSys EPC have Resource Management capabilities – which should I use?

Pinnacle implements both Oracle Primavera P6 and EcoSys EPC solutions. Often these are integrated into an overall Enterprise Project and Portfolio System.  

Since Primavera P6 and EcoSys EPC have these capabilities - which should I use for resource management? Depending on your organization and what you mean by 'resource management' you may want to use both.

Project Scheduling tools and Resource Management

Scheduling tools give projects a way of quantifying their demand for resources. Tools like Oracle P6 and Microsoft Project use the Critical Path Method (CPM) model. Resource requirements can optionally be attached to activities or tasks. Levelling algorithms can then be used to delay activities until the needed resources are available.

For strong project-oriented environments (e.g. nuclear power plants) where the project manager 'owns' the resources this may well be sufficient for resource management. You can produce detailed schedules showing what tasks are to be worked and the resources assigned to them as 'to do' lists.

In organizations where day-to-day resource management isn't done by project managers a scheduling tool alone won't be enough.

Where EcoSys EPC Comes In

In matrix organizations or strong functional organizations day-to-day juggling of resources between projects and other work is often done in spreadsheets by resource managers. Scheduling tools may define the 'resource demand' for projects (not necessarily all of them, usually the most important projects at least) but resource managers are often dealing with factors usually not modelled in scheduling tools:

  • Planned and unplanned absences
  • Training, internal projects and other non-project demands
  • Numerous soft factors
  • "Fire drills" and other unplanned work

Most resource managers don't have sufficient scheduling expertise to successfully model resource allocations in a CPM scheduling tool.

EcoSys EPC with its spreadsheet-like metaphor, configurability and integration capabilities is a good place to pull all this resource information together and provide an integrated view of resources.

Project schedulers and project managers can model resource demands using the schedule and pass that to EcoSys EPC. Functional/resource managers can model the resource characteristics of their organization in EcoSys EPC and allocate resources in a similar but more robust fashion than in Excel. Timesheet information can be pulled into EcoSys EPC to validate estimates and provide an historical perspective. Project demands, allocations of resources by resource managers and history can be shown side-by-side in EcoSys EPC. This allows disconnects between project demands and resource allocations to be highlighted in EcoSys EPC. Resources can also be summarized through the organization and portfolio dimensions in EcoSys EPC to provide senior management visibility of bottlenecks and future demands.



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