We often have clients ask us the most efficient way to change out resource assignments. This often happens when work that is expected to be assigned to one resource gets assigned to another.
For example – I want to change the resources in a particular plant from my own staff and assign it to a contractor. In this simple example, I have decided to give all the trade work in one plant to Jacobs instead of performing with my own labor force. I want to remap the resource assignments as follows:
The Emerald team just completed a client migration to the Oracle Primavera SaaS Cloud. The client had over 1000 small (50-60 activities) projects in their on-premise Primavera P6 PPM v8.3.2. They needed to be able to share the projects for the next 2 years amongst a large collaborative program team with multiple contractors and engineering firms. This program is very high profile and reporting is paramount.
How the P6-Loader Makes Life Easy When Working With P6 Resource Assignments and Resource Dictionaries
Working with P6 resource assignments and resource dictionaries can be extremely time-consuming. The task becomes especially tedious when it comes to planning a turnaround project with multiple daily shifts and varying crew sizes on day and night shifts, or a capital project where you have rotating work shifts with crews overlapping on the back shift.
Adjusting Primavera P6 Settings and Structures with the P6-Loader
We recently had a support call from a client that started having performance issues with their P6 database during the pre-work phase of their turnaround. We looked at the Oracle 18.104.22.168 enterprise database and found a massive amount of archive logs being chewed up. In fact, it was on a scale of 1-2 GB of logs within 2-5 minutes on average. With that kind of volume it would not take long for a server to receive the dreaded Oracle error message ORA-00257: archiver error. When this happens the database usually needs more space on the device where the archive log files are stored, which results in the database not allowing any more transactions until the issue is corrected.
A comparison of the Primavera P6 Import and Export Functionality and Emerald's P6-Loader
The P6-Loader is a unique Primavera enhancement tool developed by Emerald for the secure movement of data between Primavera P6 and Microsoft Excel. Many users are aware that P6 already has some built-in functionality, which is why I often hear this question from my students, as well as from my clients: How is the P6-Loader different from the built-in import and export functionality in P6 Client?
There are numerous differences between the two when it comes to choosing the right tool for importing/exporting your P6 data. Here are some of the main points to consider:
How to easily change UDF titles on multiple project layers and in multiple environments with the P6-Loader
As we get ready to launch our P6-QA tool we were doing our final QA of field names, usability etc. and I was just not loving Ravi’s Portuguese or programmer naming convention, (Sorry Ravi). But before I went crazy and just started to change the names and break everything, I used our P6-Loader to extract all the Primavera P6 UDFs (User Defined Fields) from our demo environment.
Integration versus P6-Loader - when each is appropriate
While working with a client the other day I was asked “when should we look at integration versus using a loader?”
I am not sure I answered the question particularly thoroughly in the moment, but thought it would be good to share some of Emerald’s surprising experiences related to both in our blog.
Create layouts in Primavera P6 and populate columns with data that is normally unavailable
When creating reports using the current layout for the activity table in Primavera P6, we know that layouts can be customized depending on the information we want to display. These types of reports can be modified as they are built; they can be grouped, filtered, sorted and summarized for reporting purposes. You can also view summary information for the displayed columns per your criteria or your specific job requirements. But what happens if we want to merge different information into a single column? Or when we need information in the detail window that is not available as an option to be displayed as a column in our layouts?
Through the learning process there are always requirements that are not as obvious or easily implemented as we may think. For instance, neither relationship type nor lags are available as columns for our layouts. How can we make this process happen and do it in the most efficient way possible?
New Video Release On How To Easily Populate User Defined Fields In Primavera P6
At the activity level in Primavera P6, not all data fields are available for use in a customized layout, for instance, relationship type and lag. In this new P6-Loader case study video learn how to populate successors, relationship type and lag information into a UDF at the activity level quickly and easily.
P6 Loader functionality to help with P6 security profiles...without all the checkboxes
Maintaining the same Security Profiles across multiple databases (or Primavera P6 instances) within your organization can be a huge pain if you want to keep everything in sync. You need to define your OBS structure, global and project profiles, and the association of users to global profiles and OBS nodes, and replicate that manually across your organization.
Creating matching security profiles is particularly tedious because the information is presented in P6 in checkbox lists which are hard to follow and very difficult to compare from one P6 instance to another. Version 8 is even more convoluted than Version 7, since the checkboxes are now tabbed.
How to Modify Thousands of Activites in a WBS Structure in Less Than Half the Time
I have been involved in scheduling a turnaround recently, and I was assigned the task of making changes to the existing Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). One of the changes consisted of adding a repetitive new element to existing nodes of the WBS. I started this task by utilizing the features in Primavera that add and indent elements to a WBS, including the add plus sign and the navigation arrows on the Move tool bar.
How A 'P6 Level 4 Schedule Reloader' Was Born
When working with a client who engaged Emerald to assist with developing a detailed schedule for piping tie-ins on a major SAGD oil sands expansion project, we found that the old way of building field installation work package( FIWP) templates or fragnets (for those P3 users) and copying them in P6 was just not effective. We had built resource loaded templates in P6 and started replicating them by hand by ISO and FIWP. We had to develop the typical sequences, overlay the manpower loading, and coordinate for limited camp space through resource loading as well as handle shop limitations and deliveries from Ontario and the US.
The P6-Loader In Action
Emerald has been doing a lot of work lately in the Turnaround space helping large oil companies efficiently plan and execute their Turnaround projects. Increasing productivity and efficiency has always been important for oil producers, but now more than ever we are seeing a higher demand due to the current market conditions. This is when Emerald’s Primavera add-on tools come into play. Emerald’s tools become truly indispensable when time, cost savings and the optimization of work processes are high priorities.
The benefits of integrating Primavera P6’s database with Microsoft Excel have long been a secret weapon of many advanced Primavera users. By leveraging spreadsheet functionality to manipulate project and enterprise level P6 data and avoid time consuming manual data entry, users are able to drastically increase their productivity and leave envious colleagues in awe of their P6 wizardry.
The Primavera Software Development Kit (SDK) is a legacy technology feature that is included with Primavera P6. It was released with P6 r3.0 (at the time known as P3e). It implements an ODBC driver that enables a connection between the Primavera P6 data store and other software such as Excel or Access. However, as the underlying P6 technology has advanced significantly in recent years, many are finding the old SDK tricks falling short in today’s Primavera enterprise environments. Some serious technical drawbacks of the antiquated SDK have made it a non-option for many Primavera client companies.
P6-Loader to the Rescue
In January when the oil prices fell below 50$ a barrel, many of our Calgary clients started re-evaluating their capital project plans to get the most out of this year’s investments. One of our clients was planning to invest in significant pipeline infrastructure and progress on a drilling program with 6 drill rigs on the go at any given time. The client needed to rearrange priorities and reduce this year’s plan down to 3 rigs and decrease main trunk line development.