Emerald Tools - Primavera Add-Ons

New releases, case studies and more From Our Development Team And Consultants

27 March 2017

Saying Goodbye to Expedition 8.5 and Hello to Unifier - Part 2

Written by Ian Nicholson, P.Eng. - VP Solutions, Ravi Wallau - Integration Specialist

A Case Study From A Technical Perspective

Alberta’s Capital Health was a big user of Expedition from the 1990’s through to 2010. They had hundreds of projects that were sitting on a Sybase SQL-Anywhere server that needed to be retired but they needed to have easy access to the documents related to these health care projects.


Emerald solved their problem using the PCM-Archiver. This PCM add-on tool automates the extraction process of all projects and documents, and in this case, ultimately saved the client approximately 140 hours of computing work. For a more in-depth understanding of this project and its results please refer to Part 1 of Saying Goodbye to Expedition 8.5 and Hello to Unifier. In Part 2 we are going to explore a more technical perspective including some of the bumps we experienced along the way of extracting 1,213,318 documents, generating 1,123,318 Excel files, generating links for 39,384 attachments and generating 91,236 PDF files!

27 February 2017

Save 5 Minutes Every Time You Cancel an Activity in Primavera P6

Written by Sue Hopkins - Implementation Specialist

Whenever we have a client that is interested in TAPS, we always get the question about how an activity is updated to reflect that it has been cancelled. So, how does TAPS cancel activities?


Cancelled work is work that you have decided not to perform. Typically the turnaround (TA) team doesn’t want to delete the activity because that would change the baseline hours. On the other hand, they also don’t want to progress the activity which would earn hours.

13 February 2017

The Fastest Way to Cancel Activities in Primavera P6

Written by Mary Lynn Backstrom, PMP, PMI-SP, PMI-BA – Implementation Specialist

Automate the Process of Updating Cancelled Activities in Primavera P6 with our Barcode Updating Technology

When planning a turnaround project you want to make sure you include all the tasks that will happen and even those that might happen. This is a great strategy in the planning phase because during the actual turnaround, you don't have time to add all of the “potential” activities that become necessary.


Now the dilemma becomes, how to cancel the tasks that your team doesn't need after all.


You could process the updates for cancelled activities using manual data entry, dealing with logic, manhours, and baselines, but if you handle a lot of these it becomes time consuming, tedious and frustrating. Lets face it, during a Turnaround that is just not a good idea. You might think that dissolving is good enough, but is it?


02 February 2017

IT Program Management with Primavera P6

Written by Nicole Jardin, P.Eng. - CEO

An Example of P6 Mentoring, Coaching and Working Sessions

Primavera P6 Coaching


We have been working with a client using Primavera P6 for a large multi-year, multi-sprint IT project to revamp their customer loyalty program and overall customer experience. The team has been using P6-EPPM and have been aggressively putting together schedules for each key component of the program from infrastructure, to ERP, to integration testing and deployment.


This team is in large part new to P6, and they have been fighting to produce an overall program plan that has a continuous critical path so they can answer the usual question “when are we going to be done?”.


16 January 2017

Getting Roles Onto Your Master Primavera P6 Plan - First you Have to Find Them

Written by Mary Lynn Backstrom, PMP, PMI-SP, PMI-BA – Implementation Specialist

Do you find it tedious and time consuming to locate the resource assignments with missing roles?


When you are building up your schedule it is easy to miss assigning roles to resources, especially if you did not use roles at first and are introducing them after the fact. Another common scenario is when you are importing contractors' P6 schedules and are merging them into your turnaround plan or a large capital program where you are reporting both on resources as well as roles for trades and discipline rollups.


16 December 2016

P6 Activity IDs - Wow That is Some Interesting Numbering

Written by Mary Lynn Backstrom, PMP, PMI-SP, PMI-BA – Implementation Specialist

Struggling With P6 Activity ID Consistency - or Should we say Lack Thereof?

A very common pain point when trying to align project schedules to company or project SOPs (standard operating procedures) is ensuring activity id breakdowns are consistent (as outlined in your company schedule business processes). This can be a real nightmare especially if you are working with multiple contractors and engineering firms all with different structures and standards.

13 December 2016

Primavera P6 - Getting Your New Schedulers Up-to-speed With Less Frustration

Written by Mary Lynn Backstrom, PMP, PMI-SP, PMI-BA – Implementation Specialist

Give Your New Schedulers A Head Start with the P6-QA Tool

head start


Let’s help our new schedulers get up and running faster then ever before.


I love training up new schedulers. I've been a scheduling lead for years and always get a kick out of teaching new users best practices that I have learned the hard way.


30 November 2016

TAPS - Resource Earned Value - Saved Me More Than Once

Written by Masoud Forouzi - Implementation Specialist

On a previous assignment I worked on a 6 week turnaround project with 500,000 man-hours. After each shift update we needed to get Earned Value reports to management. It was hard enough completing updates within a 2 hour time period along with getting the next shift's reports out, but having to do full earned value was even harder.


28 November 2016

Out of Sequence Activities In Your P6 Schedule During a Turnaround?

Written by Masoud Forouzi - Implementation Specialist

The unexpected happens during a Turnaround project - Let TAPS help


“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy” - Helmuth von Moltke


When you are a scheduler on a Turnaround project you cannot expect everything to go as planned. Often at the end of your shift, when entering progress, you’ll find out something unexpected has happened in the schedule. For example, activities have been marked as completed while their predecessors are not yet started. There are different reasons for this:


  • Was progress of the predecessor(s) missed?
  • Were the progressed activities reported incorrectly?
  • Has something changed in the activity’s logic?

24 November 2016

Restoring Deleted P6 Data - Never Happens Right?

Written by Ravi Wallau - Integration Specialist

A solution for common cases of accidental data deletion in Primavera P6

upset at computer 800


Accidental deletion of important data is something that happens. Everyone has done it at some point.

In P6 EPPM, some of the most common cases of accidental data deletion are:

  • Deletion of the wrong resource

  • Deletion of the wrong project 

  • Deletion of the wrong WBS node or nodes


18 November 2016

The P6-Auditor is Like a Flight Data Recorder for Primavera P6

Written by Ian Nicholson, P.Eng. - VP Solutions

What the P6-Auditor and a Flight "Black Box" Have in Common

plane 800


I love watching the TV show Mayday – the forensic work that goes into understanding how and why a plane crashes is fascinating to me. Key in any investigation of what went wrong is recovery of the flight data recorder. This “Black Box” records virtually everything that happens in the control system of the aircraft and enables investigators to understand exactly what went wrong. 


We implemented our P6-Auditor for one of our clients a couple of years ago, and a few days after go-live we got a call from the help desk that users across the organization were reporting that all of their activity code assignments for a particular Global Code had disappeared. 


10 November 2016

Primavera P6 Activity Codes – Why you NEED them

“Tagging and Bagging” - One of the Best Tips I can Share After Working With Primavera for 27 Years

In doing consulting with an IT PMO client the other day I was faced with this comment:


“The last P6 consultant we had told us not to use activity coding because it is an administrative headache!”


Now I have to say, after 27 years of doing P3 and P6 consulting, this demonstates one of the most unpleasant parts of the role of “Expert”. How do you politely explain to your client that they paid good money for bad advice? And how can I know exactly what was said and in what context for the client to come to that conclusion? However, in this particular case, when in comes to activity coding in P6, it is clear cut no-brainer – THEY GOT TERRIBLE ADVICE.

01 April 2016

Named User Vs. Subscription Licensing Models

The New Release of the P6-Loader and Other Emerald Tools Have a New Model

Selecting the proper software licensing model can be a rather cumbersome exercise. It requires IT administrator and project managers etc. to go through many different steps and ask questions such as:


  • Should I use Named User license model?
  • How many users will need access to the software?
  • What if more people will join our team down the road?
  • Can I decrease without penalties /cancellation fee number of licenses?
  • What if a user needs access to the software temporarily and may not need it later? How can I handle the cost of such scenarios efficiently?
  • How much paperwork will I need to fill in and how much time will it take to process an amendment request?
  • What if person is on vacation? Can I reuse a license for another employee?
  • How can I track who/when/how uses the system?
  • As a contractor I want to track usage on a per project basis so I can invoice my clients respectively?

16 March 2016

Why I No Longer Dread Morning Management Meetings On A Turnaround Project

Written by Masoud Forouzi - Implementation Specialist

How to Quickly and Effectively Develop S-Curves With Primavera P6 Project Data

I was working on TA project and was asked to provide S-Curve (Units and Cost) reporting for every morning management meeting.  The client wanted to observe project trends from a schedule and cost perspective for each unit, piece of equipment and also for various contractors.

03 March 2016

Data Integrity and Primavera P6: Detecting Problems Before They Cause Damage

What is it worth to have the best schedule if the data is corrupt and inconsistent for technical reasons?

Quality Assurance is a group of methods and processes ensuring that the quality of any work or creation matches established standards. In the project management world, many of such norms exist and are implemented on a daily basis.


But enforcing standards for schedules is only one part of the problem. While at Emerald we released a tool known as the P6-QA Tool to drastically increase the quality of P6 schedules, we also looked into a lower level aspect of the problem and came up with conclusions and solutions.

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