It’s inevitable: you have just completed entering all the required activities to produce your project deliverables when your upper level manager requests you to insert several additional activities into the schedule. Do you know how to renumber activity IDs in Primavera P6 Professional to accommodate these new activities, and have your activities sequentially and uniformly numbered?
When it comes to inserting tasks or activities into Microsoft Project, it automatically renumbers all tasks. However, Primavera P6 does not do this. So if you have to insert additional activities into the schedule, your activity numbering scheme will no longer be uniform throughout your schedule. Fortunately, Primavera P6 has a renumber feature allowing you to update activity IDs and generate a uniform numbering scheme for your schedule.
This article discusses how to renumber and/or relabel activity IDs in Primavera P6 Professional. The intent is to describe a feature that exists in P6 and to show how it functions. The purpose is not necessarily to address the merits of renumbering activities or any particular activity numbering scheme.
We begin with our demonstration schedule, Figure 1.
In this schedule the activity ID prefix is the letter S and the increment is 10. We want to insert two activities after activity S1060 ‘Install Piping’. To do this we select the Projects tab and defaults in the bottom pane, Figure 2.
Note the default activity ID prefix is ‘S’. Make the default increment 2. And make certain to toggle on ‘increment Activity ID based on selected activity’. This way we will be able to insert our two new activities between S1060 and S1070. Highlight S1060 ‘Install Pipping’ and select Edit | + Add twice. Two activities are now inserted between S1060 and S1070. The activity names are entered accordingly, Figure 3.
Note in order to capture these two new activities in your baseline you will have to create a new baseline, and copy the current updated project as a new baseline. Refer to the below blog for an introduction to Schedule Baselines in Primavera P6.
Great! We were able to insert our two additional activities as desired. However, now our numbering scheme is not uniform. Its increment is two from S1060 through S1064, six from S1064 through S1070, and ten from S1070 onwards. It’s always nice to have a uniform numbering scheme.
Also, we want our increment between ‘Install Piping’ and ‘Install Couplings’ to be larger in case we need to insert several more activities between them. To renumber your schedule activities highlight them all and select Edit | Renumber Activity IDs, Figure 4.
In the Renumber Activity IDs dialog, Figure 5, select the toggle Auto-number. Make the prefix ‘CW’, which stands for construction work.
The 1000 suffix is good and the increment value of 10 is sufficient. Last, if you have a corresponding baseline toggle on ‘renumber selected activities in baseline’. Select OK, and the activity IDs are renumbered as displayed in Figure 6.
This is what we want. We have a uniform numbering scheme that has an increment of 10.
It is important to note that we changed our Prefix from ‘S’ to ‘CW’. Had we not done this we would have received a duplicate activity ID warning. So be sure to change the prefix when you renumber your activities. One slight catch you may stumble upon is that once you have used a prefix you cannot seemingly go back later and use that same prefix again. If you do, you will likely receive a duplicate activity ID warning. I you encounter this issue, try restarting the P6 Professional client. Restarting the P6 client clears out the memory and usually allows you to reuse a prefix.
Our renumber request included adjusting the baseline numbering scheme. Let’s take a look at the baseline. First remove the assignments for the respective baseline and in the maintain baselines dialog select restore, Figure 7, to unlink the baseline and place it in the EPS.
In Figure 8 we have the baseline ‘Pipe Repair & Improve – B2’.
Note the same uniform numbering scheme for the baseline file.
Now suppose we wanted to keep our numbering scheme the same, but change the prefix. In the renumber activity IDs dialog toggle ‘replace beginning characters’, Figure 9.
We want to change two characters ‘CW’ and replace them with the letter ‘J’. We also want the same for the baseline, so toggle on ‘renumber selected activities in baselines’. Select OK and the prefix changes as displayed in Figure 10.
In Figure 11, we confirm that the baseline prefix has also changed.
Yes, Microsoft Project is simpler when it comes to inserting activities, and maintaining a uniform numbering scheme. However, it is possible to renumber activity IDs in Primavera P6 Professional to generate a uniform numbering scheme.
Note that you must change the prefix, when you renumber activity IDs. Choose a new prefix that, perhaps, makes sense for your project. Also, note that you can toggle to renumber selected activities in the baseline.
Remember that if you insert or delete activities in your schedule these changes are not automatically updated into the baseline. You must create a new baseline to capture your baseline changes.