Poorly Named Data Elements in Your P6 Global Dictionary Causing Confusion?

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. 


Last week I was working on preparing a Primavera P6 web basic training course for one of our clients. I was creating projects for the practice sessions using the customer's staging environment (an exact copy of the production database). 


All of a sudden, when grouping by the EPS structure on the EPS page in the Projects section, I was getting the following error on my screen: EPS 407, No EPS!


EPS Error


It took me a while to realize (not without assistance from my colleague) that there was a project code in the database called EPS - in the project codes dictionary:


P6 Project code dictionary


What happened was that instead of the EPS structure data element being used for grouping, the selection switched to the EPS Project Code and, as a result, the grouping bands displayed on the screen did not make any sense.


The EPS structure is often used as a grouping criterion for enterprise-wide reports, global layouts and views in the client and web applications. Can you imagine the effect this mistake could have on reports distributed to a large group of internal and external project stakeholders?


In my five-years of experience working at Emerald I have seen (unfortunately) numerous examples of poorly managed global data dictionaries in P6. The example described above may not have been very obvious to catch but at least it was quick and easy to fix.


If i can share one key takeaway it is this - security settings should never allow regular users to have write access to global data dictionaries. In the case that regular users do have the security privilege to Add/Edit/Delete Project Codes, they should thoroughly think before adding new or editing/deleting an existing data element(s) in the dictionary.


About the Author

Iryna Mykolayenko, PMP - Implementation Specialist

Iryna holds a Master’s Degree in law from Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University (Ukraine). She is an active PMP-certified member of the Project Management Institute (PMI), and an Oracle-certified Implementation Specialist (Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management), as well as a Primavera P6 trainer and consultant.


Since joining Emerald Associates in 2012, Iryna has been conducting open and on-site Primavera software and project management training courses for a wide variety of companies in North America, including companies from the oil and gas, engineering, construction, and health care industries, as well as many other industries. She has also been working as a consultant with several companies on their P6 setup and usage initiatives. The list of her clients includes Powell Canada, Spectra Energy, Shell, Toyo Engineering, IMV Projects, Syncrude, Keyera Energy, FAM Canada, Outland Camps, City of Hope Oncological Center (California), etc.

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