Emerald Blog

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

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.

14 March 2016

Detaching and Reassigning Baselines in Primavera P6

Written by Sue Hopkins - Implementation Specialist

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.


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.

01 March 2016

Substring Commands in Primavera P6 Client

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

P6 has three substring commands that can be invoked from within Global Change

Very few people realize that there are substring commands available in the P6 Global Change function (available in the P6 Client only).


Recently in a LinkedIn P6 group, a member was asking for help in renaming an activity UDF assignment. He had a large number of activities that he needed to change the UDF prefix on because of a plant renumbering. He had an existing UDF called Equip_ID and he needed to remove whatever the first character is and replace it with a ‘2’.


22 February 2016

Changing out Resource Assignments in P6 Using P6 Native Functionality vs. the P6-Loader

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

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:


18 February 2016

Primavera P6 v15.2 - Java Components Almost Gone

Written by Nicole Jardin, P.Eng. - CEO

Over the last few years we have all been struggling with the applets in Primavera P6. Struggling might be an understatement if you are like me and you felt like you never knew what was going to happen when you opened your P6-EPPM web version. With browsers getting tougher on Java applets and Chrome not supporting them, this was becoming a bit of a nightmare for many IT teams supporting P6-EPPM. At Emerald I was lucky to have our tech team right with me, and when I would HipChat Dan “HELP, I don’t know what I did… but P6-EPPM is not working” he knew what was coming next. 


You will all be happy to know that Primavera P6 v15.2 has really made some progress on removing the applets. They are not all gone, but several are, on the admin side as well as the user side.

10 February 2016

Is My P6 Schedule Any Good?

Written by Nicole Jardin, P.Eng. - CEO

The P6-QA Tool Helps Answer This Loaded Question For A Construction Project

We are currently implementing Primavera P6 with a New York development company and I was asked the dreaded question “what do you think about the construction managers’ schedule”?  Well this is a loaded question at the best of times because, although I am familiar with the project, I have not been involved in the contracting strategies and execution discussions. 

03 February 2016

Backups – Make Sure Your Cloud Provider Has Them

Written by Nicole Jardin, P.Eng. - CEO

A Cautionary Tale For Primavera Users In The Cloud

A few weeks ago we got a panicked call from a client needing their P6-EPPM setup internally. We were surprised to find out that they had put their Primavera P6 in the cloud. They said it was for a large project they were doing in Arizona and they had some other tools in the cloud as well.

We were even more surprised when they needed the environment turned around in 48 hours. We asked, why such a rush? Then the third surprise came...they told us they lost their entire P6-EPPM database!

19 January 2016

How to get the Values of Your Activity Codes to Customize the Look of Your Gantt Chart in Primavera P6

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

P6 Activity Codes as a Source of Gantt Bar Configuration

I have often been asked the question – ‘can I have my schedule activity bars automatically appear a specific color and/or pattern according to the value of a specific code?’  Yes, you can do this very easily.

Let’s look at one simple example.  


Gantt Bar Configuration - Primavera P6


Above I have incorporated additional bar configurations along with the default Critical Remaining Work and Remaining Work configurations. 



The additional bar configurations are generating the hatching by filtering on the activity code used to assign the ‘Engineering’ and ‘Construction’ grouping in the layout.


30 December 2015

Why Store Period Actuals in a Data Warehouse?

Written by Dan MacMillan - Integration Specialist

After I wrote my last blog, a co-worker asked me why I would want to store period actuals in the data warehouse when it seems as though I can get the same value from the historical data in the data warehouse.


Both Oracle’s Primavera Analytics and our EP-datawarehouse support capturing some kind of historical data – data that shows what the information in P6 looked like at some point in the past.  It’s fairly easy to see how this historical data can be exploited to produce information that is in concept very similar to what you get from the financial period actuals.

30 December 2015

How to Input Actuals Into Primavera P6 Efficiently

Written by Nicole Jardin, P.Eng. - CEO

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.

13 January 2016

OPPM 9.1 And Windows Server 2012 R2 Deployed In One Day

Oracle Primavera Portfolio Management is the leading portfolio management software solution on the market, so for us, it was a logical step to include it in Emerald’s Cloud Infrastructure.


Being in charge of the deployment of OPPM, I have to say, it was quite a straightforward process but I did face a few issues during the installation.

23 December 2015

Primavera Analytics and P6 Financial Periods

Written by Dan MacMillan - Integration Specialist

Primavera Analytics supports financial periods – but what does that actually mean?


P6 Time Distributed Data

P6 has two main sources of time-distributed data, spread data and financial period actuals.  The main difference between these is that spread data is calculated, while financial period data is stored.  This difference impacts both how accurate the data is and how flexibly it can be viewed.

30 December 2015

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

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

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”.


16 December 2015

Primavera P6 Not Refreshing Properly through F5? - Try ALT-SHIFT-F5

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

New Hidden Refresh Key Combination in P6 Professional (Optional Client) Version 8.x and 15.x

A client who we are currently upgrading to P6 v 15.1 has been complaining that the refresh is not working properly in P6 Professional (aka The Optional Client). This client had no issues with release 7.x.


We did some testing and found the same thing. Sometimes hitting F5 doesn’t reliably get a refresh. 

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