A step is simply some lower-level detail about an activity.  Primavera P6’s steps function allow the scheduler to break down an activity into smaller units of work. The scheduler can add individual steps to activities, or add predefined groups of steps based on templates that have been defined for the organization.

Activity steps make it possible track work that cannot easily be sequenced. For example, you have an activity to install several servers in different locations and you have been told that only one server will be installed at a time due to the available resources. However, no one knows the order in which the servers will be installed. So there is not predefined sequence, how do you solve this?  It is simple; you can list the servers as Activity Steps.

Using Activity Steps

Before using Activity Steps, two conditions must be met.

A. The project’s calculations tab must have the “Activity percent complete based on activity steps” option checked.

–  Select the open project for the respective project on which you are working.

–  Click the calculations tab in the bottom layout.

–  Select “Activity percent complete based on activity steps” checkbox.


Activity steps in Primavera P6- Select the Project


B. The percent complete type for the activity must be set to Physical.

In the activities view, select the activity to which you want to add steps. In the General tab, set the % Complete Type  field to Physical


 Activity steps in Primavera P6- Select the Activity

Activity steps in Primavera P6- Select the Activity


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Adding Steps to an Activity

Select the activity you want to describe in more detail with steps. As an example, we select the  Define Business Requirements Activity  in the Data Centre Consolidation project. Select the Step tab in the bottom layout and then click on the + Add button in the Steps tab to add a step to the activity. “Adding Steps can be done manually or by clicking the add from template button, which will trigger a list of pre-defined list of step templates “

In our example, we have added these step:

  1. Review scope and objectives as stated in the Project Charter document.
  2. Conduct business requirements meeting with team
  3. Create outline of requirements
  4. Clearly define the business requirements
  5. Business Requirements Document should be routed for review and approval


3-Add Activity Steps

Add Activity Steps


Next, enter the appropriate step weight to distribute the percentage of each step in the activity accordingly. The Step Weight is a numerical value which indicates the portion of activity work that a single step represents.  Once work for a step is underway, Primavera can use the step weight and the reported progress of step work (Step Percent Complete) to calculate the percentage of total work that has been completed for the activity (Activity Percent Complete).

When a step is complete, update the weighted step’s status by checking the box marked COMPLETE. Once you have completed a step, the activity’s percent complete will change to reflect the step completed. It is possible to mark tasks as a percentage amount complete by  entering the corresponding percent complete in the Step % Complete column. However,  it is recommended to wait until the task is complete and then simply mark it as 100% complete by checking  the box marked COMPLETE


Complete Activity Step

Complete Activity Step


Activity Step Templates

Step Templates enable an organization to define groups of steps that can be shared by many projects. By creating templates for groups of activity steps that are relevant in many projects, an organization can streamline data entry and ensure that work is identified consistently throughout the organization.

If you use a template to add steps to an activity, you can edit the step details except for the step name.


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