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TAPS - Take Advantage of Streamlining P6 Updates and Data Calculations

TAPS is not just a tool to streamline P6 project file updates. Are you looking to monitor and report on earned value (EV) at the resource level? P6 out of the box (OOTB) calculates EV at the activity level. Using TAPS Classic or Mobile provides some additional background calculations which are available for monitoring and reporting from P6 itself or from P6-Reporter (if you are using that tool). Even when multiple resources are assigned to an activity, the EV calculated in P6 OOTB is at the activity level. With EV calculations at the resource level you can gain more insight into where you may need to step in because a subcontractor is struggling (for example). With any issues easily identified, the assistance required can be coordinated and implemented to help bring activity progress closer in line with the execution plan as well as document lessons learned to prevent repeat occurrences.
Below is an example of an update completed using TAPS Mobile. First at the activity level with additional columns visible at that level and in the Resources tab we can review the TAPS information at that level.

Resource Assignment tab (below) is filtered to the same activity shown above.

Below is the same Resource Assignments layout filtered to activities with TAPS – Earned Labor Units greater than 0. Be creative, create the layouts that you require, and filter for focus on specifics. The TAPS updates are automatically taking care of the calculations – take advantage of the information.

In this screen shot (below), we have removed all the filters and are displaying all resource assignments. These are some easy examples to review/use the data in layouts for reports. Keep in mind that the TAPS information can be used in P6 columnar reports and in reports using P6-Reporter also.

TAPS updates (using Classic or Mobile) can also provide you with the functionality to ‘Cancel’ an activity either using a Cancel barcode with TAPS Classic or selecting the Cancel update in TAPS Mobile. The original activity data (prior to Cancel) is retained and available inside P6. This may not sound like it would have a huge impact on reducing labor intensive tasks in completing updates, but please keep in mind that cancelling an activity in P6 manually can be labor intense and tedious, to say nothing of the possibility of introducing mistakes such as forgetting to carry out the process at specific times.

The update below shows clearly that activity 1-51121-030 was cancelled on 13 April 2022 in this project example.

You control whether the logic to/from the Cancelled activities is dissolved or not via a check box in TAPS Classic or TAPS Mobile.

The TAPS – Cancelled – Flag can be used to filter, sort or group. For this activity a note has been added, the logic prior to the cancellation of the activity is stored, and the duration, budget units and costs are stored.

In the resource assignments tab, you have access to all the cancelled fields (TAPS) for layouts, and those same fields are available in P6 columnar report or in snapshots to feed P6-Reporter reports/dashboards.

At any point during the project you can run cancelled hours information including cancelled hours by trade, by subcontractor, by area, unit, or location just as some examples. Cancelled Hours information can be used in P6-Reporter reports and dashboards also.

TAPS does not just streamline the P6 schedule update process while decreasing data entry errors when compared to manual data entry. Alone those are a couple of very good points to improve, but TAPS goes beyond that by also providing activity level Earned Value calculations at the resource level. That is not the end of the added functionality either – using TAPS also provides streamlined functionality to take care of cancelling activities.

Provide your teams with the best tools to streamline the schedule update process and ensure the schedule analysis does not end up in a time crunch.
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About the Author

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

Mary Lynn spent many years filling a variety of project controls duties such as planning, scheduling, analyzing, training and continuous improvement in the Aerospace Industry. Since joining Emerald in 2008, she has been a tremendous asset to the Emerald team. She has worked as a lead scheduler for turnarounds, led sessions for review and troubleshooting of scheduling and reporting, created and given custom training courses for clients, and is a sought after Primavera P6 trainer.

Mary Lynn enjoys some very diverse spare time activities. Along with a variety of outdoor activities such as gardening, she also enjoys making life size lawn ornaments for special holidays like Christmas. Mary Lynn is known for her participation in the community as well. You may have seen her walking in fundraisers in Edmonton and Calgary for the Cancer Society.

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