Emerald Blog

Stories, Tips And Tricks From Our Team’s Experiences With Primavera Since 1995

P6-Reporter – Portfolio Summary Self-Serve Dashboard

In P6-Reporter, the Portfolio Summary Self-Serve Dashboard provides easy access to portfolio level information. In the screen shot below, the user has summary information for all the projects in the portfolio displayed. Across the top of the dashboard are easy-to-use filters allowing the user to filter for exactly the information they need to focus on if the entire portfolio is not their current focus requirement. The report date indicates the snapshot information being displayed, and the user can filter for other snapshots if required. Previous snapshots remain available for display. Keep in mind, the snapshot process can be automated or manual.

TAPS - Not Just for Turnaround Schedules

Although TAPS was originally developed to assist with the large number of updates that need to be processed into a turnaround schedule for every update, do not limit your imagination! TAPS can be used to process updates to schedules other than just turnaround schedules. Consider where this tool can assist in addition to updates on turnaround schedules. Keep in mind that TAPS is available on mobile devices also.

Below is just one of a large number of scenarios for how TAPS can be used.

Self Serve P6 Database Backups with P6-Loader

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.

P6-Reporter - Resource Allocation Dashboard

In P6-Reporter, the Resource Allocation Dashboard provides a portfolio level resource roll up. View over allocated hours (top left), all portfolio projects the selected resource is assigned to (bottom left), the portfolio resource profile (top right), and the portfolio projects and activity assignments in those projects via a Gantt view (bottom right).

Cleaning an XER/XML Quickly for Import with the Simple Scrub

When receiving an XER or XML from an outside party, we more than likely want to remove or alter their data so it is easily identifiable when we import it to our own databases. This cleansing of data makes it much easier to keep our own data pure in our own P6 database, while still getting the information needed from an outside source.

We may receive a file with codes, UDFs, Resources, Resource shifts and curves that we either do not want to import at all, or, perhaps, we want to prefix them so we can identify where they came from after they are imported. Global calendars also pose a problem. When global calendars are imported with an XER or XML file, those calendars overwrite the definition of a calendar with the same name in your existing database, which could alter dates on your existing projects. When those projects are rescheduled, the new calendar definition is used to calculate the dates. We also may not want the new imported calendars polluting our group of organizational global calendars. Ideally, we want to keep the global calendar in the imported project and move it to a project calendar so the integrity of the project dates is not altered by removing the calendar.

P6-Scrubber gives us a quick and easy way to handle data that we merely want to remove, prefix or roll down called the Simple Scrub. Simple Scrub is a “one stop shop” for handling all these data items. It is contained all in one window, so you can quickly define what you want to do with each data element.

Cleaning Microsoft Project XMLs Quickly for Importing with P6-Scrubber

Do you get Microsoft Project (MSP) XMLs that need to be imported to your P6 environment but you want to control the data being imported? This cleansing of data makes it much easier to keep your own data pure in your own P6 database, while still getting the information needed from the MSP XML.

MSP data imported as an XML file contains the following that you may want to control:
  • Activity Codes and Dictionary
  • Activity User Defined Fields
  • Resources
  • Resource Codes and Dictionary
  • Calendars

P6-Scrubber gives you a quick and easy way to handle this data. You can import the MSP XML into the tool to look at what the XML contains and create definitions to save and use over and over again. Let's look at each piece of data and see what can be done with MSP XML data prior to import.

P6-Reporter and EP-datawarehouse - TAPS and Turnaround Self-Serve Dashboards

When your team uses TAPS to complete updates in your turnaround schedule, you have access to TAPS information that is not OOTB in P6. Complete the updates and then from P6 you can display the TAPS update information in a report or layout. Although that route is workable, there is an easier way.

Large Project Upload Using Templates and 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.

P6-Reporter – Streamline Your Project Reporting

When you update your schedule, do you run your many reports out of P6? Or do you use another strategy? You can create layouts and reports that clearly indicate the activities requiring specific equipment, comparison to previous updates, and much more right out of P6. By providing your team with self-serve dashboards, those same reports can be included in Emerald’s P6-Reporter dashboards, giving your team access to all their required reports, automatically updated from current snapshots in a very easy to use format. Our self-serve dashboards give your team quick access to easy to digest report information so your team is all on the same page.

TAPS for Suncor Energy

Updating schedules is a crucial part of any successful business, but that doesn't mean it isn't a frustrating task. Manually entering data can be exhausting and mind-numbing, not to mention costly and just very time-consuming all-around. When Suncor Energy approached Emerald Associates, desperate for some kind of alternative to the dreaded task of updating schedules, we were happy to help.

For Suncor, manually updating schedules was just not working. It was too slow and not nearly accurate enough to suit their needs. That's where TAPS came in.

CAPPS Version 10

Looking for an easy way to collect project schedule updates from your project team? There’s a better way than paper reports and the data entry that comes with them. You can have your team enter their updates once in CAPPS, and from there the updates can be sent to P6. No additional data entry is necessary! The updates must even be approved before they take effect in your P6 schedule so nothing can get imported and affect the project schedule without having first been reviewed and accepted. Let’s have a look at some of the configuration options available in CAPPS.

Simple Scrub with P6-Scrubber

Deal with Data Items in XERs and XMLs Quickly Prior to Import

Are you looking for a quick and clean way to remove or prefix data, roll global calendars to the project level or assign the resources to import to an existing resource node in an XER/XML before importing it into your production database? By doing things like this, you can keep your organization’s codes, UDFs, calendars and resources tidy and easily identify what was imported.

P6-Scrubber - Simple Scrub will allow you to do one or all of these things quickly and easily. Once a definition is set up, it can be saved to scrub other files with the same parameters, saving even more time.

Merging UDFs Without Losing Values with P6-Loader

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?

P6- Reporter and EP-datawarehouse – Cancelled Work Reporting

How do you track and report cancelled work in your project? By using EP-datawarehouse and snapshots of your project you can not only view cancelled work but also monitor it over time using project snap shots. I have pulled many reports on cancelled work during project execution and after project completions. But can you easily access and present this information?

P6-Reporter Self-Serve Dashboards for Turnarounds

Does your turnaround self-serve dashboard(s) display easy to digest information on your turnaround’s current status? Does your team know where to look and what to look for to stay updated on progress?

If you’re still building your green up reports using Excel, there’s an easier way.