Customise your Open Plan layout to look more like P6

The defence industry is booming; attracting many workers from the oil, gas or resources sectors and with those transitions comes learning and familiarising around new software. While those from the oil and gas industry may have utilised Microsoft Project or Primavera P6 in their planning, following their move to the defence sector they then might have to take up another tool such as Deltek Open Plan Professional.

At GBA, we’ve had a look at how we can enable Open Plan to have a similar look and feel to Primavera to assist in the transition.

When users new to Open Plan open the standard BARVW view, they are confronted with this screen:

Opp Gantt1

This layout looks nothing like what they are used to. A Primavera “Look and Feel” in Open Plan might resemble the following, where summary bars and activities have a similar styling to P6:

Opp Gantt2

How is this achieved? Firstly, with what is known as a ‘Bar Set Definition’.

To do this, right click the Gantt chart in the BARVW view, select ‘Bar Sets’ and ‘New’ to create.

The following image outlines the ‘Bar Attributes’ for a layout which enables users to define the look and feel of bars based on the criteria.

Opp Gantt3

In this example the summary bars have been called ‘Subprojects’ should you need to apply this same look and feel to a master project. 

Next step - to be able to select these ‘Bar Types’ and utilise them with criteria, they need to be defined. For example, the dialogue box allows users to define each ‘Bar Type’ individually. Once they are defined, select the activity bar in the ‘Bar Sets’ dialogue and determine its attributes such as colour and pattern.

Here’s an example - To force the ‘Summary Bars’ to resemble P6, two ‘Bar Styles’ need to be created – one which doesn’t incorporate colour plus two icons (down arrows); then a second bar style to capture the middle, as seen below.

Opp Gantt4

In Primavera P6 terms, this is equivalent to setting each bar styles with a start, middle and end shape and style definitions.

Opp Gantt5

The ‘Bar Set’ preview can then assist users with how the bars may display on the Gantt chart.

Opp Gantt6

Finally, it is time to update the visibility of the ‘Bar Styles’ to only be visible at the ‘Detail level only’.

Opp Gantt7

If you want to know more about Open Plan, in one of our earlier blogs ‘Getting started with Open Plan Add Ins’, we introduce readers to the robustness of the planning package which provides an access layer for software developers to hook into.

But for now, let’s get the conversation started – what’s your favourite planning packages and why?

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