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How to Work with Look-ahead Schedule Using P6

Ideally, you have to report the look-ahead schedules after you've completely satisfied with your estimations and schedules of the project and approved by project manager and/or client, and project started progressing. To be able to communicate the project team what the upcoming activities or next goals are within look ahead period so that the necessary resource planning are done ahead of the planned date, look ahead schedule is deployed in scheduling. It is a tool to help you maintain control of your work and also indicate how importance planning is meeting overall project schedule.

In addition to that, your client may also request to produce the look ahead schedule consist of upcoming activities within the next three weeks, for instance, so that they are aware what and when the necessary actions to be taken (e.g. document review by client, permit approval operation, etc), when would be the interfaces required among the stakeholders, what activities are being done, and what activities/deliverables are expected to be done in next two to three weeks.

Normally, three weeks look-ahead schedule is produced especially during construction. Reason is that project team and operation personal often will need some time (one to two weeks ahead of implementation plan) to prepare and organize materials, deliverables, work permits, labor and equipment  etc to meet the specific targeted dates. However, there could be two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, six weeks, three months; 6 months look ahead schedule depending on project specific requirement and frequency of project status meeting.

It is usually extracted from the master schedule. When you set up look-ahead schedule, consider the Gantt Chart and the data to be able to see last weeks’ progress status (normally two to three weeks) and the upcoming activities in next three weeks or four weeks as required.

You need to save look-ahead schedule layout in P6 so that you don’t need to redo again for the same layout. It saves a lot of time for you.

Suppose your project started progressing and you would need to produce the three weeks look-ahead schedule from the data date (progress cut off date), follow the below steps to get that layout.
  • Open the project: Select on the desired project > Right Click > Open Project
  • Click “Activities” tag and you will see activities table > Go to Filters
  • Add New Filter and name it as “Three Week Lookahead".
  • Assign the parameters (e.g. Early Start, Start, and Finish etc), logical test (e.g “is greater than, equal, not equal to, etc) and Value (e.g. DD+3W, custom date, numerical value, etc) for queries.
  • Then “Apply".
  • Review the filter result in a layout.
I would suggest you try to apply the following filters ; Option A , B and C to get the three weeks look-ahead schedule data. And see which option is preferred. Other look ahead schedule data can be obtained using the same technique however choosing the desired date or duration.

Option A

Unlike “Option B” this is more flexible and you can filter activities, two weeks look back activities (start date is greater than or equal to 9 May 2011) from the data date (assume data date: 20 May 2011) to three weeks look ahead (finish date less than or equal to 10 Jun 2011) form the data date.

Option B

Use this following “Option B” if you just want to show the activities that early start date is less than three week from the data date and the actual status is in progress (not equal to completed) and the activities that haven’t been started. Filter is Early Start is less than DD+3W.
The same activities can also be filtered using “Remaining Early Start is within the range of 09 May 11 and 10 Jun 11".
Option C

Use the filter Start is within range of 9 May 11 and 10 Jun 11. You can see more activities compare to Options A & B.


  1. Gentlemen whoever did this did some pretty good and very useful work.
    I'm amazed that people care so much for each that they are prepared to put this out there for everyone to use.

    1. thanks for your valued experience, but I have few question about it.
      1. OPTION A: it only filte activity which will be conduct within the selected duration, how about the activity start date is more than DD-2w but still ongoing from DD-2W to DD+3W? and for the activity which will start in your set time scale and finish beyond it?


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