We all have had it happen in P6. Somehow, a project or global data goes missing or gets changed and we need to restore data from a backup. Usually, this means contacting the IT department and having them restore, at the very least, a previous version of the project or even the entire database. Our IT departments are busy, and often, P6 is not the only software they are supporting. Sometimes, this means we need to wait to get our data rolled back to a previous backup copy, which may not be convenient. In some cases, a full backup may need to be restored instead of just the one project we need which causes extra work to get the changes made to all those other unaffected projects.
P6-Loader now has the functionality to automatically create XML and/or P6-Loader XLXS format backups of projects and global data and provide a means in which to self-serve restoring data from a given time. The backups can be set to run daily, weekly or monthly and can easily be accessed and downloaded through P6-Loader.
Recently, I worked with a client who is combining several business units (BUs) into one database on the Oracle Cloud. Several of the BUs were already working in Primavera P6 which made importing those projects the best solution for these groups; however, we had one BU who was working in MS Project. They were using predefined project templates based on the OPM lifecycle set forth by their organization in P6 to create the existing projects, so importing the MS XMLs would not work properly to get their projects into P6.
One of the most challenging things you can run across when administering data in your Primavera P6 environment is multiple User Defined Fields (UDFs) that have been created for the same information. This often occurs when users are working on projects that need a particular piece of information and don’t realize there is a UDF already created for another project for the same information. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to merge those duplicate UDFs without losing the data already in them?
We've all worked with frustrating, outdated software.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.
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.
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.
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.
P6-Loader can ease the pain of these types of tasks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Many advanced Primavera P6 users have been manipulating XER’s for years – in fact there are tools out there specifically for manipulating XER’s. We have always recommended against manipulating XER’s and here is an example of why: