Storing period performance is important for tracking a project’s financial data over time. In Oracle Primavera Cloud, you can use the Store Period Performance tool to capture historical data. This allows you to capture resource costs and units, as well as earned value metrics, over time. As the project continues, these stored periods can help you compare your actual performance with your original plan. If you find that you’re running over budget or behind schedule, this data can help you take corrective action.

OPC’s Store Period Performance tool works by having you set up a reporting cycle. Once the reporting cycle is complete, you will update the project with actuals. The program will capture the prior period’s values and store them for easy comparison. You can then view these stored values within the Activity Usage Histogram to analyze the progress of the project.

In this article, we will cover the basics of setting up and using Store Period Performance in Oracle Primavera Cloud. First, we will look at how to set up the tool by defining reporting cycles and earned value baselines. After capturing performance, we will also look at how to view period performance data.

Store Period Performance Configuration

To begin storing period performance, you need to set up the reporting cycles, the earned value baseline, and the tool itself. You can only use the tool once you have completed this initial setup.

Reporting Cycles

The reporting cycle is the period of time that the performance tool will capture. The project’s reporting cycle will generally coincide with its billing cycle, as determined by the contract.

In OPC, reporting cycles are created at the Workspace level. Data created for the workspace will be available for all projects within it. For this reason, it’s important to create the reporting cycle in the workspace that the desired project is in.

In the following example, my project is within my Production workspace – so this is where I’ll set up the reporting cycle. I’ll open this workspace by selecting the Object Selector > Workspaces > Production.

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To create a reporting cycle, select Summary & Settings > Dictionaries > Reporting Cycles. The program will provide you with two cycles by default – weekly and biweekly. For each reporting cycle, you can adjust the Period Frequency, the starting date, and the period end day. 

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In this example, I want to create a new reporting cycle to track progress by month. I’ll add a new cycle by selecting Add and titling it Monthly. In the main workspace, I’ll set the period frequency to Monthly and the Period End to Last day of the month to match. At the bottom of this page, we can see a preview of the periods created from this cycle, and we can choose a Base Date to use as the preview start. Lastly, you can define a Prefix, Suffix and Increment if desired. These fields allow you to distinguish individual time periods by giving them specific names – such as MO1, MO2, and so on. To make this a little more clear, I’ll set this prefix to MONTH.

Once completed, you can select Refresh Preview to see what your periods will look like. If it all looks good, press Save to save your changes.

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The store period performance tool will use this reporting cycle to designate which periods to capture. At the end of each period, you will use the tool to close out of the period. All actual units, costs, and earned value metrics will save for the closed out period.

Set Up Store Period Performance

With the reporting cycle defined, you can now set up the tool within the project. This is where you will set up your reporting settings, such as which baseline to use for earned value. To start, use the Object Selector to open the desired project. Then, select Schedule > Activities.

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On the Activities screen, select the Actions > Set Up Period Performance. In this window, use the ellipsis button to select a reporting cycle. You’ll be able to choose from the default options, or any custom ones created at the workspace level. Then, select Next.

In the next step, you can set up your earned value baseline. This allows you to include earned value calculations within your stored period data. Earned value is calculated by comparing your planned work to your actual work – so you will need to choose a baseline to represent your original plan. If you don’t already have a baseline created, you can create a new one within this field. Generally, you will use your first official baseline for this field.

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After pressing Finish, the program will recalculate costs. You will receive a notification once the process is complete.

Running Store Period Performance

Once you have completed the initial setup, you can begin storing period performance data. You should use this tool at the end of the period – it signifies period closeout for the reporting cycle. Storing period performance will allow the program to capture and store the period’s cost, schedule, and earned value performance.

It’s important to note that once you store period performance, you can no longer edit those values. These values will be set as read-only and can not be otherwise changed. For this reason, you should ensure that the resource cost and unit values are correct before using this tool.

Updating the Schedule

Before using the tool, you will first need to update your activities up to the period’s end. In my example, because I’m working with monthly periods, I would need to update the project to the end of the previous month. 

You can update activities using the Status tab within the Activity Details. For any activity that has started, select the Started box and enter in the Actual Start date. If the activity has finished, check off the Finished box and enter in the Actual Finish date. For activities in progress, enter in an Activity Percent Complete value or a Remaining Duration. Lastly, make sure that you also update Actual Cost and Actual Unit values for activities with resources assigned. If your resources are set to Auto Compute Actuals, the actual costs and units will enter in automatically with the updated progress.

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After updating your activities, you will also need to Schedule the project and move the Data Date. The data date is the up-to date – it’s the date you have updated the project up to. When using store period performance, the data date should be set past the period finish date. In this example, my period ends on January 31st – the end of the month. I’ll move my Data Date to the date I’ve updated up to – February 1st.

To schedule the project and move the data date, select the Schedule button at the top of the Activities page. Within the Data Date field, choose the date that you’re updating the project up to. Then, select Schedule Now.

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Using Store Period Performance

After updating, you can close out the period and store data by selecting Actions > Store Period Performance. Within the dialogue box, you’ll see the current period that will be closed out. Again, keep in mind that the stored period performance values will convert to read-only once the you close the period. Make sure to double check your entered values before using this tool.

Once you’re ready, select Store.

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View Stored Period Performance Values

Once the tool has completed, you can view your last period’s values several different ways. 

Store Period Performance Tab

Within the Activity Details section is a Stored Periods tab. If you select an activity, you’ll be able to see its performance values from the last period. For each activity, we can view the following values:

  • Period Actual Total Cost: This is the total of all actual costs incurred during the current financial period. Basically, this shows how much you spent on this activity during this period. This cost includes all labor, nonlabor, and material resource assignments, along with direct costs.

  • Prior Actual Total Cost: This is the total of all actual costs incurred within all saved financial periods – basically, how much we spent in total. If this is your first saved period, this value will be the same as the Period Actual Total Cost. As you continue storing periods, this field will show the summation of all period total costs.

  • Earned Value Cost: This is the monetary value for the progress of work completed so far. Earned Value is the amount of money you planned to spend as per your baseline for the work actually completed. If this value is below your Planned Total Cost, you may be over budget or behind schedule.

  • Planned Value Cost: This is the total value that you planned to spend on the work within the period. You’ll also see this referred to as the budgeted cost of work scheduled. Basically, this is how much you planned to spend on the activity according to the baseline.

  • Estimate To Complete: This is the estimated cost required to complete the activity according to the original plan. This is how much there is left to spend – it does not include any costs that have already been spent on the activity.

  • Estimate At Completion: This is the estimated total cost to complete the activity’s work. Unlike ETC, this value is the total you plan to have spent once the activity is complete. It includes both prior actual costs and future planned costs.

  • Schedule Performance Index (SPI): This is a ratio of what you earned in value and the planned costs. An index less than 1 indicates that you’re behind schedule, and an index greater than 1 indicates that you’re ahead of schedule.

  • Cost Performance Index (CPI): This is a ratio of what you earned in value and the actual cost spent so far. An index less than 1 is over budget, and an index greater than 1 is under budget.

  • Cost Variance: This field measures your activity’s cost performance compared to the baseline. This is the difference between the activity’s planned costs and its actual costs.

  • Schedule Variance: This field measures your schedule’s performance compared to the baseline schedule. Basically, this is the difference between the planned work and the performed work.

If you need to see additional information, you can adjust the displaying columns by selecting the Settings wrench.

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Activity Usage Tab

The Stored Periods tab only allows you to view data per each activity . If you want to see stored period values for the entire project, you can use the Activity Usage Histogram. To access this histogram, select Layout > Project Usage. The histogram will appear in place of the Activity Details section. Select the Activity Usage tab to see the stored period data. Here, you will see a histogram of different cost values over time. The default settings will show you your total unit values, rather than the values for the current period. You can adjust what displays in this graph by selecting the Settings button.

Here, you can switch between viewing Unit and Cost data, which bars will appear, and their associated colors. You also have an option to Display actual and earned value using period values. Select this option and press Apply.

Now, you can see how much you planned to spend during the period, how much you actually spent, and the earned value. This can help you determine the progress of the project and whether you need to make adjustments within the schedule.

If your period values aren’t displaying, you can update your cost information by selecting Actions > Recalculate Costs. This tool will update your cost values based on the most current information within the project.

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This Period and Prior Columns

You can also view stored period performance values within the Activities table. Along with the basic cost columns, you can add columns for the current period and the prior period. To add a new column to the table, select the Column Selector icon. Here, you can add columns for Actual This Period Total Cost and Prior Actual Total Cost, among others.

With these columns displaying, you can view the values for each activity and the project as a whole. By comparing these values to your planned values, you can assess the project’s overall progress.

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It should be noted that once you store period performance, the values under This Period will revert to 0. You won’t be able to see any values using this column until you begin updating activities for the current period.

Store Period Performance Log

Whenever you run Store Period Performance, the program will creae a log file to provide additional information. This log file is accessible within the notification you received when the process completed. Select the notification from your Notifications center and press View Log.

If the notification is no longer available, you can access it from your Inbox by selecting Notifications > View All in Inbox.

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This log will feature two sections, Settings and Results. Under Settings, you can see the reporting cycle, along with the prior and current period during closeout. Within Results, you’ll see all activities and resource assignments that had work performed within the last period. This allows you to focus on specific activities that had performance stored. If you found that your period performance was behind, you can use this information to find out what might have caused it.

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Summary

When managing project finances, it’s often useful to track costs and units by their progression over time. If your project has a set billing cycle, you may even need to submit your planned and actual costs for approval. In Oracle Primavera Cloud, you can store period performance to track finances for each set period. As you update the schedule with actual costs, the tool will store prior period data within the system. Using store period performance, you can see how your project is progressing compared to the original baseline plan. If your project falls behind work or over budget, you’ll can use this information to help get your project back on track.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please use the comment section on the bottom of this page, and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to get more scheduling tips & tricks directly in your inbox!

Lauren Hecker is a Microsoft Project, Primavera P6, and Oracle Primavera Cloud Instructor who teaches onsite and virtual scheduling courses. To see her next open enrollment course, please visit our calendar. To schedule an onsite or custom course, please contact us!

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