Creating Spend Plans / Curves in P6

The terminology varies for showing the distribution of cost and/or resources over the life of a project – Spend Plan, Spend Curve, S-Curve, Planned Curve, Earned Value Curve. Whatever the terminology, there are several ways to create a visual curve depending on how creative you want to be.  Below shows three ways to get a curve; 1) Primavera provides a view of the spend plan with limited options, 2) copy and paste date data from Resource Assignment View to MS Excel, and 3) create a Primavera report to export data to an Excel file. The latter two allow you to design a graph with almost unlimited options.  The following provides a brief description of each method.

  1. Quick view of the spend plan in Primavera
  • Under View, click on Show on Bottom, Activity Usage Profile. Click on the Display ribbon for options to display Units or Cost, bar options, color options, etc.  Or you can choose the Resource Usage Profile to select one or more resources.

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  • In Primavera, unfortunately – what you see is what you get! There are not a lot of options for changing line widths, axis formatting, titles, etc


  1. Copy/ Paste from Resource Assignment view to Excel
  • Go the Resource Assignment View and setup the layout to group according to the way you would like to show your graph. For example, resources by Project as shown below.
  • To summarize the data, go to View and Collapse -> to the appropriate level.
  • To copy and paste only the summary level data, use the CTRL Click and separately click on each the summary levels. Use right click to bring up the Copy option.curve blog image 2
  • Go to a blank Excel sheet and Paste. You may get more dates than you wanted but you can delete the columns you don’t need.
  • The data in red was from the Paste. The data below was create for the desired chart.

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  1. Create a report in Primavera
  • Creating a report in Primavera is a great way to organize your data to export to a .cvs file which can then be saved as an Excel sheet.
  • Go to Reports and add to create a new report. The follow can be used to create a cost or resource spend plan.
  • In the window below, be sure to check “Time Distributed Data” and then choose Spending and Benefit Plans.

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  • Next choose Column – it will default to WBS which is okay.
  • Go to Group and Sort. Click off Show Grand Totals and delete group by WBS so there is nothing in the group section. Click OK to save.

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  • Click on next and go to Time Interval Fields. Choose the following fields and click OK.curve blog image 6
  • Click on next and run report (unclick Format Numbers) to ASCII Text File. This will bring up a .cvs file as shown below. The top section will be the project totals and then you can create an Excel chart with many options.

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As you can see, there is more than one way to “skin a cat”. While you may not be able to get the most creative graphics in Primavera, there are several ways to get the data to an Excel sheet where the sky is the limit on creative charts.  There are many fields in Primavera that can be exported – the key is to find the right data.  It may require some experimentation. Happy Charting!!

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Rose Echols

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