30 November 2016

TAPS - Resource Earned Value - Saved Me More Than Once

On a previous assignment I worked on a 6 week turnaround project with 500,000 man-hours. After each shift update we needed to get Earned Value reports to management. It was hard enough completing updates within a 2 hour time period along with getting the next shift's reports out, but having to do full earned value was even harder.


P6 Update Steps


So we used TAPS to scan the updates that came in from the field and updated P6 using its unique barcode technology. We had 2 schedulers in the morning do the big update and get the daily reports out. For the afternoon shift updates we had 1 scheduler handle the shift updates for progress analysis. We had 12 shift supervisors marking up a paper copy of their crews' work scope at the end of each shift. This took about 30 minutes to update hundreds of tasks including start, finish, percent complete, cancelled tasks and resource earned value information.


Once the updates were in, we took care of any out-of-sequence tasks using the out-of-sequence report in TAPS. We then scheduled and resource leveled in P6, worked the critical path and baselined. That took us another 30 minutes.


Getting Earned Value Data - With TAPS - No Fuss


One of the key reports management wanted for these meetings was crew based earned value for each shift. First, P6 does not do earned value down to the resource assignment and crew level. There is no easy way to do this since the percent complete is on the activity and even with Global Change you cannot get this data to the resource level. In a turnaround, you do not have time to do all these steps anyway. Now with TAPS, this is easy to do because it handles the earned value data on each scan so that the scheduler does not need to waste critical time.


Getting the Graphs in Excel - Easy Right?


So we saved time not having to deal with calculating all sorts of information from planned, found and cancelled work because TAPS handled that for us, but we did need to get the management reports done for the morning meeting. With this client these reports were done in Excel. So we dumped the activity and resource assignment information out of P6 and into Excel files and copied the data from these export sheets into our Excel reporting templates. These templates had our VLOOKUPs and charts ready to go, so this should be easy right? Well the tricky part with these was the time crunch. We had less than 30 minutes to make sure the data was good and the charts worked as expected. Most days we made the timeframe and were able to give accurate reports on progress. However, more than once the VLOOKUP did not catch all the data, particularly when we had a lot of found or cancelled work and the ranges needed to be modified. We also copied and pasted incorrectly one morning when it had been a long shift. So this part can be tricky, and having TAPS buys you critical time that is crucial for success on a turnaround.

About the Author

Masoud Forouzi - Implementation Specialist

Masoud holds an Engineering Degree in Computer Hardware from Tehran University and is currently an active member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) with his completed PMP and scheduling professional certifications (PMI-SP).


Masoud is very interested in Project Management concepts and methodologies which is why he completed his “Applied Project Management” certificate from SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) and is preparing to complete his PMI-RMP and PMI-ACP designations. He has designed and developed various systems such as procurement, chain material controlling and correspondence management for Oil and Gas companies to monitor and trace their projects, especially mega projects.


Masoud moved to Canada in 2012, and worked for Altus Group as a system designer and developer before joining Emerald Associates in 2013. He has been busy conducting open and on-site Primavera software and project management training courses for a wide variety of companies in Canada. He is also currently working with several companies on their P6 setup and usage initiatives, assisting with a wide variety of tasks related to software and methodologies.

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