12 September 2017

A Guide to P6 Archiving - Part 1

Archiving P6 Project Data and the Question of Time

We get asked on a regular basis what the best way to archive P6 data is.

  1. How long should a project file be kept?
  2. What should be done with the project files when that time period has expired?
  3. Where should they be kept?
  4. How can we retrieve if we need them, especially with upgrades?

In this blog series, we’ll look at some of the options available to a P6 user and discuss the question of time.


Archiving P6 Project Data and the Question of Time


1. How long should you keep a P6 project file?

I hate to start off with “It Depends” (Nicole's favorite), but it really does. How long you should keep a project file depends on a number of factors:

  • First and foremost, if there are regulatory or corporate governance requirements around project documents, you need to be in compliance with those requirements.

  • If you're actively working in or referring to the file (such as in a claims situation or if you are building your next TA plan) you obviously don’t want to archive it.

  • You should also plan on keeping the file for at least as long as any contractual obligations exist, such as warranty periods or post project audit periods.

  • If the project is needed for portfolio reporting such as fiscal year performance, or program reporting you need to keep it to avoid changing all of your reporting metrics (alternatively, the key project information could stored be in a datawarehouse like EP-datawarehouse rather than keeping the entire project).

All of these factors can be difficult to track after the fact, so we normally recommend that clients decide how long a project should be kept as part of their formal project closeout process.

Typically, there are many what-if and backup copies of the project as well, and the project team should look at which of these are required. Monthly backup schedules are priceless when you are in a claims situation, so think long and hard about whether these should be kept.

How to track the date to archive the P6 project?

It is easy to add a Project Level User Defined field for “Archive Date” in P6, and fill in this date as part of the project closeout process while the contractual requirements are fresh in everyone’s mind. When this is not a formal part of the closeout process, it often gets missed. Years later, when the project team is scattered to the wind, nobody knows when the project can be archived, so it sits in the production database forever.

In part 2 of this blog, we'll examine the options for archiving your projects.

About the Author

Ian Nicholson, P.Eng. - VP Solutions

As our VP Solutions and a Lead Risk and Implementation Specialist, Ian leads Emerald’s functional consulting group. With over 20 years of international experience in varied fields and roles from manufacturing, heavy civil construction, pharmaceutical plant construction, hospital projects and oil and gas capital and turnaround projects, Ian brings a wealth of project knowledge to all of our clients. 


A visionary in the world of CAPEX, maintenance and turnaround planning processes, Ian has lead many of our large clients through their integration projects between ERP/EAM systems and Primavera products. Some of his integration success stories include Suncor Energy SAP to Primavera integration, BP Maximo to P6 integration, implementation of P6 at the Ontario Power Authority as well as the integration of Primavera Contract Manager with Oracle Financials at Capital Health Authority and Vancouver’s Rapid Transit Project 2000. Other major clients include Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Shell Canada and Shell Global Solutions.

Ian has conducted Monte-Carlo risk analysis on CAPEX and turnaround projects for Shell Canada, Suncor Energy, Husky Energy and Bruce Power. He believes that successful Monte Carlo application is a process, not just a tool and has spoken at a number of events on the correct application of risk analysis.

When not assisting clients with their projects, Ian unwinds by riding his BMW motorcycle, listening to music or dragging his kids on long hikes.

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