It seems that some of the known issues outlined in a previous blog with the Microsoft Project import capabilities of Primavera P6 are driving some creative solutions out in the field and are an opportunity for integration development that brings data from many systems into Primavera.
Depending on the complexity of the schedule in Microsoft Project, the results from importing its XML data into Primavera P6 can vary in levels of success. All we need as users is confidence that a feature is going to produce a faithful facsimile of our original project.
However it is rare that two distinctly different software packages from competing vendors ever manage to create a 100% reliable bridge between to two. Commercial or political agenda’s aside, it’s just not always possible to resolve every incompatible element between the systems without very extensive and expensive development and testing.
But the market we’re under the gun to “git ‘er done”, so we find examples of creative solutions – such as the following – bouncing around the internet:
“I came to the conclusion that this MSP conversion thingy is not properly working. Whatever setting or workaround I tried, there always seemed something off with the resulting schedule.
What I do when I need MSP conversion to P6 in to copy all the important fields (id, description, OD, ES, EF, %complete, BQ, resource id, calendar, predecessors, successors) to my trusty old friend Excel.
I then prepare an import file in Excel where I make all the necessary adjustments, such as proper P6 id, calendar id, activity type, duration type, percent complete type, constraints, resource id. Structure the project to your preference using either activity codes and/or WBS AND LEAVE THE OVERALL MSP ACTIVITIES OUT. Make a relationship tab using the predecessor/successor dump.
That is actually the most work. You can store the MSP id, ES and EF into UDF’s for comparison. And when you finished preparing this import-file (make sure all is in the right format for P6 import), you just press the magic button and POOOF, you have a working schedule in P6. My motto here is: if you want it done right, do it yourself!
The big advantage using Excel is: it is right in your face what is needed to make this work, you actually see what you are putting in, so you have a good idea what the result will be.”
As you can quickly glean from this commentary, manual solutions can be quite time consuming and can tie up a scheduler who would otherwise be scheduling.
Commercial solutions are available in the market. For example Collabro offer an integration tool set called Legare which is built to handle a range of common integrations to Primavera including the Microsoft Project XML format; thus freeing up planners for planning work, rather than typing, copy-pasting or otherwise wrestling with the challenge of getting data into their schedules.