We’ve recently been working with an Aerospace contractor who manages their project schedules using Oracle Primavera P6. On one of their programs, their customer must be provided with a copy of the P6 schedule in Microsoft Project native mpp format each month. To do this, we have assisted the contractor in setting up a monthly process for conversion and validation of the P6 schedule into the mpp format.
There are many differences between Oracle Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project, but there is also a core set of overlaps in scheduling functionality between them. If you are prepared to abstain from some features of P6 (e.g. do not use the Retain Logic option in the Schedule calculation) then you can get matching or very similar results from Microsoft Project.
The schedule in question includes about 6,500 activities, with resources not included in the conversion.
We evaluated a few different approaches to performing the conversion, including:
After evaluating the various approaches, we found the most reliable method is to use an add-in to Microsoft Project called XerTransfer.
The schedule needs to be exported from P6 to an xer file. Then open Microsoft Project and the XerTransfer addin is used to bring the data into Microsoft Project and save it as an mpp file. XerTransfer gives control over some aspects of the conversion and allows mapping P6 user-defined fields to custom fields in Microsoft Project. After that, Microsoft Project's Update Project option is run to status any remaining work to start after the status date – which is needed because P6 and Microsoft Project handle remaining work differently.
It is not a given that the results of the conversion will match 100%, so it is important to build in a mechanism for comparing results. We did this using the Forensics options in Deltek Acumen Fuse. The complete set of steps is as follows:
Through testing various methods we were able to land on a final method of accurately converting and validating the P6 schedule data transformation into mpp format, and we were confidently able to present this method to the client for future need.
Have you tried using this method before? If not, what method of conversion do you use? Let us know in the comments below.
Topics: Aerospace & Defense, Energy, Utilities, Oil & Gas, Earned Value Management (EVM), Integrated Program Management (IPM), Technology, Deltek PPM, Oracle Primavera, Government & Public Sector, Microsoft EPM, forProject Technology, Recent Articles
Gary Harvey is the EPM & PPM Practice Lead at Pinnacle Management Systems; responsible for Pinnacle’s implementation methodologies and tools. Gary has over 40 years of project management experience and a wealth of knowledge related to software, spanning multiple industries including Aerospace & Defense, Chemicals, High Tech, Shipbuilding, IT, Mining, and Oil & Gas. He previously led development for Artemis, one of the first enterprise-scale project management systems to hit the market, and has served in a variety of capacities to lead and support the management of large projects, programs and portfolios.
Founded in 1993, Pinnacle provides a wide range of project management related professional services including management consulting, technology implementation & integration, and project support services. We have extensive experience implementing and optimizing enterprise-wide capabilities for Enterprise Project Management (EPM), Project Portfolio Management (PPM), and Earned Value Management (EVM).
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