Solving the World’s Most Challenging Project Management and Scheduling Problems More Efficiently

Aurora continues to solve many of the world’s most challenging project management and resource-constrained scheduling problems more optimally than any other solution.

The image below illustrates the benefits of applying Aurora to the complex project management domain of refinery turnaround. Similar benefits are available to other types of maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) situations, such as plant maintenance or aircraft MRO.

Benefits of Using Advanced Scheduling Technology With Primavera P6


Resource-Leveling Only

Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management is a powerful, robust, and easy to use solution for globally prioritizing, planning, managing and executing projects, programs and portfolios. Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management is an integrated project portfolio management (PPM) solution comprising role-specific functionality to satisfy each team member’s needs, responsibilities and skills.

Primavera P6 provide a resource leveling capability. The goal of resource leveling in Primavera P6 is to provide the user with a valid resource loaded schedule that does not have any over allocated resources. Primavera P6 does not optimize the allocation of resources in order to generate the shortest resource leveled schedule. Even though Primavera P6 does not optimizethe the schedule, it is likely many users of Primavera P6 are NOT aware that the results from the resource leveling process are not optimal, and could be improved upon significantly.

  • resource leveling will refer to the functionality provided in Primavera P6 and other commercial project management software, and
  • advanced scheduling technology or intelligent scheduling will refer to resource-constrained scheduling that attempts to optimize the utilization of resources to minimize the project duration. For projects that are time critical/resource intensive, advanced scheduling technology can significantly shorten the project duration. Aurora is an intelligent advanced scheduling engine that can be utilized independently or in conjunction with other tools such as Primavera P6 to generate shorter schedules. The following will illustrate these benefits via the analysis of a real refinery turnaround project.




Stottler Henke and a respected P6 consulting company worked in conjunction to analyze a real-world oil refinery turnaround project via

  • Primavera P6 only (utilizing its resource-leveling capability), and
  • Primavera P6 leveraging Aurora’s advanced scheduling technology.


The project network consists of over 2,500 activities. A view of the network is shown below.

Turnaround Project Network

The results of the analyses are a follows:

Primavera P6 resource-leveling                                                        67 days, 3 hours

Primavera P6 leveraging Aurora Advanced Scheduling         56 days, 6 hours, 30 minutes

The difference is absolute terms is over 10.5 days. There are a few ways to compare these results; the simplest is to simply compare overall durations, using the Aurora Advanced Scheduling results as the basis:

Primavera P6 resource-leveling is 19.3% longer than Aurora (67.125 – 56.27) / 56.27 Using the P6 resource-leveling as the bases:

Aurora Advanced Scheduling is 16.2% shorter than Primavera P6 resource-leveling (67.125 – 56.27) / 67.125

Another valuable perspective is comparing the resource-constrained result with the Critical Path that is the situation assuming unlimited resources. Why is this perspective valuable? Because the Critical Path is the best case scenario, and the valid schedule when considering resources must always be longer than the Critical Path, so the length longer than the Critical Path is the only portion of the total project duration that the resource- leveling or advanced scheduling can effect.

The Critical Path for the refinery turnaround project is 46 days.

Primavera P6 resource-leveling results longer than Critical Path 21.125 days
         Percent longer than Critical Path  45.9%         21.125 / 46

Primavera P6 leveraging Aurora Advanced Scheduling results longer than Critical Path 10.27 days
        Percent longer than Critical Path  22 %          10.27 / 46


The percent difference between days more than Critical Path for resource leveling and advanced scheduling is

105.70%                     (21.125 – 10.27) / 10.27

All the results demonstrate the significant benefit of leveraging Aurora advanced scheduling in conjunction with Primavera P6. Recall that everything besides the method for scheduling is that same in both cases. Leveraging Aurora saved over 10.5 days, and all the associated costs with all the resources that are needed, as well as the lost revenue from the refinery being unavailable.

Of course the

cost savings and other benefits of leveraging Aurora are huge for the initial plan,


even more potential benefit comes in the execution phase of the project,

where unexpected circumstances need to be dealt with. By leveraging Aurora’s intelligence rescheduling can by done quickly and the updated schedule will be shorter than if one used resource-leveling only. Therefore, every time a re-schedule is performed the overall benefit of leveraging Aurora increases.

Learn More Contact Us