Articles in Category: P6-Loader

Client Experiences #2 - No More Outdated Software

We've all worked with frustrating, outdated software. It's a pain to try and get everything to work the way you want it to, and the task is usually just too important or time-sensitive to take a break from. Everyone knows where that leads - yelling, cursing, or just slouching down in your chair in defeat, bested by technology once again.

During March 2016, our client decided that they were done working through this frustration. They wanted to update their data entry, schedule updating, and reporting processes so that they could streamline more effectively and remove these hassles from their everyday life. In addition to this, the refinery was looking for a way to develop a more effective cost control method for their turnarounds. Their current software just wasn't cutting it anymore. So they came to Emerald Associates for assistance - and luckily, we knew just the right programs to meet their needs.

Using P6-Loader, TAPS, EP-Datawarehouse and EP-Dashboard, Emerald Associates was able to give our client the software they deserved. No more despairing over yet another system crash or panicking over the disappearance of important data - now they had software that they could work with.

Thanks to Emerald's P6-Loader, our client was able to drastically cut down on the amount of time they spent poring over data. Automatic schedule updates went from taking hours to a matter of minutes, and custom dashboards and green-ups could now be created and automatically updated using EP-Datawarehouse and EP-Dashboard. This made the whole process move a lot smoother and much faster. Our client drastically reduced their need for manual entry, cutting down on errors and saving yet more time. The P6-Loader was a big step up from their previous way of managing things, not to mention significantly faster and far less likely to be tear-inducing.

This client still uses P6-Loader, TAPS, EP-Datawarehouse and EP-Dashboard to this day. No more outdated software for them - from now on, it's smooth sailing.

Exactly Which Projects Are Using Each Global or EPS Activity Code?

In P6, identifying which projects are using each Activity Code in a quick, consolidated, easy to use manner is challenging. Especially when you consider some clients have a LOT of baselines.

But is this is r-e-a-l-l-y information we need to be able to capture? In my experience, there are a number of scenarios where that answer is a resounding “Yes”! One common example – the Activity Codes Dictionary needs to be cleaned up.

In P6 Client (above) we can view Global Activity Codes. (There is no direct access from these dialogue boxes to a consolidated list of the Global or EPS Activity Codes, and each of the specific projects that are using them.)

The display in P6 Web is very similar – you have access to a list of the Global Activity Codes (above), along with some code and value specific information, but no quick, direct access to a list of each of the projects using each of the Global Activity Codes. (The same type of display is available for the EPS Codes.) Notice that you do have access to a Download function at the bottom of the Activity Code list however, that function downloads only the Activity Code list and the code information you see on the screen.

Above is an example of the previously shown screen information in spreadsheet format via the Download functionality from the P6 Web Screen.

How can the P6-Loader help this situation?

Login to P6-Loader and Extract. We have Usage Module with usage sheets in there. Choose the areas you want to explore, 

You can run these on all the projects in the EPS you have access to, or you can select one node or a handful of projects.

Click to select the project(s) or EPS level(s) you wish to run the information for; then click Submit either at the top or bottom of the screen (above). You can run this report for as few or as many projects as you require. Click the EPS node if you want the report run for all the projects in the EPS node, the projects will be automatically selected.

When the report is complete – click Download. You will now be able to track down projects and baselines using calendars, codes etc and really get your cleanup going.

An easy to use, consolidated report of Activity Code usage is easily generated (above). Here we are scrolled part way down the report – remember the spreadsheet filter functionality can be used to display only the Activity Codes being used in the projects selected in the report if required.

 

DOT's and Emerald Associates - We Can Make Your Job Easier

Emerald Associates is well known in the US and Canada for our homegrown add-on tools for Primavera P6. We have assisted numerous companies in many diverse areas to get the most out of their P6 software. You may wonder how our tools can assist in the Departments of Transportation (DOT) field to get more done in P6, with less time, while still providing useful data to your stakeholders, and remaining good stewards of the public's funds. Our tools will help you do more work in less time, so that your project management group has more time to analyze and perfect their schedules.

Finding Setting Up or Changing Resource Availability in P6 a Struggle?

We have all experienced at one point or another how tedious (and time consuming) setting or changing resource availability can be in the P6 resource dictionary. Particularly for an example like the one we will walk through where you are setting up or adjusting turnaround resources and the weekend rule happens to be ½ crews.

 

The P6-Loader can ease the pain of these types of tasks.

Global Calendars – Exactly Which Projects Are Using Each Calendar?

In P6, identifying each specific project using each of the Global Calendars in a concise, fast, easy to use manner is challenging. Some may think this is not necessary very often, but in my experience, it has been quite the opposite!

Is this functionality already handled in Primavera P6, Client or Web? A very good question - let’s have a look.

P6-Loader v5 Usage Sheets Revolutionize P6 Database Maintenance

When you have a large number of users in your P6 database, it is surprising how quickly that database can get “clogged up” with a lot of unwanted data. This happens even when using Sandbox databases, restricting privileges and every other trick you have thought of; long time P6 users know what I am talking about.

P6-Loader - Easy Moving of Pre-Turnaround Work to the Turnaround Window

On every Turnaround there are Pre-Turnaround activities that do not get done prior to the actual Turnaround and need to be moved into the Turnaround phase of the schedule.

The challenge is how to record actual hours earned in the PRE phase vs the TA phase, since a large number of these activities already have earned hours associated with them. Simply moving the activities would decrease the reporting of hours in PRE and create earned hours in TA for work that was actually done in PRE.

This can be done simply and quickly with P6-Loader.

Primavera P6 UDFs are a Breeze with the P6-Loader

UDFs - Making Sure They are Clean

 

When working with a client to setup cost controls in P6, we were working with budgets, estimates, work in progress, incurred to dates etc. These required a lot of User-Defined Fields in P6 to make sure we were able to cleanly track all the values we were pulling from the disparate systems from accounting to spreadsheets.

As a contractor, we were planning to track both the costs of the project delivery and the sale to the client. This way we could also report on profit margins and markup.

 

Poorly Named Data Elements in Your P6 Global Dictionary Causing Confusion?

A Project Code Called EPS!

Project codes in the global dictionary are an important part of an organization's enterprise data in P6. Needless to say, keeping this dictionary (as well as other global data dictionaries) clean and well-organized is an essential task for the application administrator, as well as for other admin superusers. Incorrectly named project codes and project code values result in confusion and translates into unproductive time for the users, which ultimately results in losses for the company. 

 

The Fastest Way to Create New Users in Primavera P6

A step-by-step guide on how to create new users in P6 using the P6-Loader

The P6-Loader helps streamline and accelerate many processes, one of which is creating new P6 users.  The P6-Loader is a flexible and secure solution that allows users with the correct security access on their P6 profile to extract and upload nearly every data element in P6 data.  Let’s have a look at how easy it makes creating new P6 users.

 

Login to the P6-Loader with your credentials.

 

P6 new user1

 

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?

Detaching and Reassigning Baselines in Primavera P6

The P6-Loader Saves the Day!!!

We are working with a client who is consolidating many separate P6 databases into a production database, turnaround database and an archive database. Along with the thousands of projects being exported from the old databases to the new ones, our client wants the baselines for projects exported, imported and reattached for a large number of the projects. If you have ever had to un-assign and restore baselines and then turn around and attach and reassign them for even a handful of projects, you know how tedious and time consuming it can be. First, the baseline has to be un-assigned, then restored to a project in the original database. Once the baseline has been imported into the new database, the baseline has to be converted back into a baseline and re-attached to the original project.

 

How to Input Actuals Into Primavera P6 Efficiently

Financial Periods Dictionary and Actual Costs Loading Into Primavera P6 With The P6-Loader v4

When we added the financial period dictionary to the v4 P6-Loader, I thought it was a waste of time and no one would really use it. With P6 having a wizard already to create financial periods, I thought that was good enough. Well, I was wrong.

Getting a Broken WBS in Your Baseline Project When Migrating from Primavera P6 8.x to 15.x

Are you getting broken WBS elements, WBS elements appearing as projects or errors such as "is not a valid integer" when migrating?

Recently, while converting a client from P6 r8.3 to r15.2, we had to move a number of baselines to the new database. We used our P6-Loader to unassign and detach the baselines from the current project and then created XER’s to move them to the new database.

 

To our surprise, when we imported the baselines as projects into the new 15.2 database, the WBS elements were all messed up. Instead of one project with many WBS elements, our project appeared as many different projects, one per WBS, all with the same Project ID. They also appeared outside the EPS structure and P6 wouldn’t let us move them into the correct EPS node. Every attempt gave us the error that “ is not a valid integer value”.