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Software Review: Primavera Project Viewer [2016]

This article was amended with minor changes on 27 March 2016.
General Information
Name: Project Viewer for Primavera
Vendor: Seavus
Hosting options: Only on-site
Cost and plans: There are different licencing options for individuals, small businesses and larger companies.
Languages: English
Making Primavera Accessible
Project Viewer for Primavera’s main advantage is that you don’t need to purchase a Primavera license for every member of the team. Oracle’s Primavera P6 Pro Project Management product is expensive and features are not sufficient for many project team members.
Project Viewer can open Excel files from Primavera to allow users to see the project’s structure and timeline. It requires that the project manager exports the data in Excel format, and then makes it available on a shared drive so that other Primavera licence holders can view it.
Importing and exporting
Why would you need a Viewer if you can export Primavera data to Excel? It’s ugly. It’s incomprehensible. I’m sorry you asked, because I also did. I opened my Primavera export Excel file to see why I couldn’t just give it to the team.
What happens when you open an Excel file that was exported from PrimaveraXLS? It’s not pretty. This Excel file can be opened in Project Viewer.
The Viewer opened an Excel export from Primavera. Much better!Phew.
What it does
What can you do with it? Primavera is not fully featured, so you can’t add new tasks to it. You cannot create a new project. It’s not a project creation tool.
Another benefit, which I only realized after I had been playing with it for a while is that it stops overly enthusiastic members of the team from changing the schedule or accidentally deleting portions of it. Limit their abilities so they don’t cause any damage.
Greyed out options are those that aren’t available. This makes it look like Primavera to anyone who is familiar with the user interface. You won’t find the full functionality of the paid-for version in the trial version, so make sure you check it out.
Viewing your Data
There are many ways to view the data. This is just like if you were using a’real’ P6. I like the calendar view. The Gantt chart view is my favorite. You can also pull out network charts, but I don’t know of any project managers who do.
Project Viewer for Primavera has a calendar view. This is an advantage over sharing a PDF. Your team will feel more empowered to use the tools in a way that suits their work preferences.
Graphical Reports
Seavus Add Ins tab allows you to create custom, graphical reports from your data using any of the parameters.
Reports such as workload, task assignments, and project costs can be easily created. They can be printed directly, but you will need to save them as a PDF.
It’s easy to use for someone who is familiar with Primavera. Even though I wasn’t 100% comfortable with Primavera, it was easy enough to access the data and views I needed.
Although I am aware that other tools offer a simpler interface than Primavera, you won’t be able to use a task-list app you downloaded for free to manage your project.
Let’s sum it up…
Seavus claims their product saves users 90% on a P6 license. I can’t find exact details, but Seavus says it is worth looking into if you have many people who don’t need to modify plans, but do.

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