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Building Point Archive

Date: 2017

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017

General contractors will have many what-if scenarios as a project progresses fromstart to finish. These what-if scenarios will help determine response to complications that arise on a construction site. Typically, Primavera users will create a sandbox EPS node to account for the ideas and changes to bring a project back on track or to help determine if an idea will save time and money for both the owner and general contractor. The copies of a project in the sandbox area do not allow a user to easily import the changes back into the master project file without extensive reviews of the changes.

Primavera P6 has a built-in feature called Reflections which allows users to make a copy of a project, make changes to the reflection without changing the source project file, and then import modifications back into the source project. The Reflections options will allow a user to import approved changes and leave out changes not approved. The Reflection option is useful for quickly checking to see what the after-effects of cost or durations modifications would be to a project’s schedule. Reflections allow for an idea to be incorporated into the schedule without corrupting the source schedule; they can be imported into the source project quickly and easily if approved.

Reflections can be used to:

  • Add additional shifts
  • Add, delete or modify a calendar
  • TIAs and fragnets incorporated into a schedule
  • Change in size or scope of a project
  • Changes in resource assignments
  • Changes to the order of construction activities

The steps to creating reflections are:

  • Create a reflection in the project window
  • Modify the reflection
  • Review the changes and the results of the changes in the reflection schedule
  • Import approved changes

Create a Reflection:

Right click in the Project Window on the project in which a reflection will be made. Chose “Create a Reflection

A copy of the project will be created within the same EPS node and the Project ID will be advance by one number, a question mark will appear on the Project ID icon and “Reflection” will be added to the Project Name

Modify the Reflection:

The project can be accessed and modified in the same way a regular project can be. The new reflection file can be exported as an .XER file, sent to a team member or subcontractor to review and edit, and imported back into the Primavera P6 database with the edits. The new reflection file can also be modified within the existing Primavera P6 database without being exported.

Review the changes and the results of the changes in the reflection schedule

To review the changes made to the reflection without importing the reflection project changes into the source file, the Claim Digger (P6 v 8.0 through 15) or Schedule Comparison (Primavera P6 16.x) tool will allow for a detailed list of changes to the reflection file compared against the source project file.

To review the changes made on the Reflection Project against the source project file, right-click on the Reflection Project file and chose “Merge Reflection into Source Project”.

A new window listing the changes will appear where a decision can be made to either allow the import of the changes or chose not to import the changes.

  1. Values before merging: Values established in the source file
  2. Values after merging: Values from the reflection file created in the first step
  3. Merge: Choose which changes to import into the source file (a claim digger or schedule comparison report may help in making these decisions)
  4. Prior to merging: Choose to make the source project a baseline to the new schedule and/or make the source project an .XER file before merging new changes into the schedule
  5. After merging: Choose to keep, delete or replace the reflection project in the EPS node
  6. Merge Changes: After options 1 through 5 are considered click to merge the changes into the source project.

Once the files are merged, a popup screen will appear indicating the files have been merged successfully.

Some basic guidelines for creating reflections

  • Do not change the Project ID or activity IDs when the reflection is being modified. If either one of these are changed, the Reflection process will not be valid and Primavera P6 will not be able recognize the changes properly.
  • If after you click on the project and “Create a Reflection” or “Merge Reflection into Source Project” is not an option than the user does not have the permission setup by the Primavera P6 administrator within the EPS node.
  • If “Merge Reflection into Source Project” is not available on the source project, then the project may be checked out by another user.  
  • Activities, resource assignments, WBS elements, project expenses, project Issues, and project Risks deleted in the Reflection file will not be removed in the source file after merging the files.
  • Reflections is not an option on the web-based version of Primavera P6.

About BuildingPoint Pacific

BuildingPoint Pacific’s (BPP) team of professional schedulers has been supporting owners, general contractors, construction managers, and superintendents since 1998. Scheduling support services is provided for all phases of a project‘s lifecycle with the knowledge and expertise of various scheduling methods including Flowline, CPM, PERT and Pull Planning methods to best support our specific customer needs. BPP has worked for ENRs (Engineering News-Record) Top 400 and small contractors supporting their projects by offering scheduling services including:

  • Baseline schedule development
  • Schedule review and analysis
  • Schedule update
  • Time Impact Analysis (TIM)
  • Resource and cost loading
  • Schedule comparison
  • Claims and mitigations
  • Schedule optimization
  • Reporting and dashboard
  • Forensic analysis
  • 4D simulations
  • Pull planning

BPP’s team of schedulers use the latest scheduling program management software packages including:

  • Vico VDC/4D BIM scheduling
  • Primavera P6 PPM/EPPM
  • Synchro VDC/4D scheduling
  • Microsoft Project

For more information about how BuildingPoint Pacific can assist your project team, please contact us.

Friday, Aug 25, 2017

Learn how to export a Primavera P6 file into Trimble LeanSight. 

At BuildingPoint Pacific, we create, modify, update, and track project schedules with our team of schedulers and planners located throughout California. This normally occurs on a monthly cycle with Oracle Primavera®, Microsoft Project®, and/or Vico Schedule Planner®.

Until recently, we didn’t have a way to communicate on a regular basis with people in the field; Trimble and BuildingPoint Pacific found that none of these scheduling software packages communicated responsibilities to our stakeholders on a daily and weekly basis as projects progressed. That has now changed: Trimble announced recently they have a solution called Trimble LeanSight®, which enables contractors to take project schedules from the office and trailers into the field where typically the last planners are located.    

Download pdf to read more.

Monday, Jul 03, 2017

Learn How to Import a Microsoft Project 2016 Schedule into Primavera P6 in versions 8.3 through 16.2.

One of the most valuable tools on a construction project that the stakeholders can create, communicate, and modify is the construction or project schedule. A through schedule that has the input from the major stakeholders such as grading, concrete, structural steel, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, framing, and storefront subcontractors is invaluable to a successful project completion. The input from these stakeholders should be included to create a schedule for the project in order to facilitate collaboration, communication, and expectations in the project. General contractors all the way through tier-subcontractor companies typically and should create a form of a schedule and these schedules should be included in the overall schedule. The stakeholders’ schedules should reflect the major milestones, deliverables, work break down structure, activities, resources, and overall timeline of their portion of the project.

Download pdf to read more

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2017

The U.S. construction industry has been standardized on critical path method (CPM) for decades. During this time, Primavera (Oracle) and, to a lesser extent, Microsoft Project have become market leaders.  Oracle Primavera P6 has tremendous functionality for planning projects and programs, resource allocation, and cost projections. The software has vast capabilities and can easily support a ten-thousand plus activity schedule. There are features, such as steps, that provide more granular-level tracking of progress on a specific activity. 

The CPM schedule is often referred to as the project “roadmap”. Despite the strengths of P6, day-to -day planning and three-week look-ahead schedules are usually sub-par when they are generated within P6. The quality is not necessarily related to the application, but to the various skill sets of the users. P6 is typically administered by a dedicated planner or someone who has received adequate training on CPM methodology. Surprisingly, many superintendents are not comfortable with P6 and are only able to create simple schedules (often with flawed logic and poor schedule mechanics). 

The need to have the LastPlanner ® schedule the upcoming work is critical. Lean concepts are penetrating all types of projects because the concept is simple—sticky notes and a board—and effective for the near term. This simplicity increases adoption but often does not relate back to the roadmap.  By leveraging an application like Trimble LeanSight, users can import the “roadmap” from P6 and expand the level of detailTrimble LeanSight is simple to use (less than two hours of education) and keeps everyone on the same page. The pull-plan is often referred to as “driving-directions” because it provides step-by-step instructions for the next six to eight weeks. This additional perspective ensures that short-term progress supports the achievement of long term goals.

Last, using Trimble Vico for location-based scheduling (LBS) and flow-line takes a different perspective. CPM is based on logic and the construction sequencing.  Pull-planning is based on what the workers in the field are electing to perform based on hand-offs and commitments. LBS/Flow-Line and Trimble Vico seeks to optimize work by controlling resources. By deferring the start of an activity or increasing/decreasing crew sizes, the planned work can be performed with little to no inefficiencies. LBS/Flow-Line methodology models the pace at which resources move through various locations to ensure that follow-on trades are able to move equally as efficiently.

It would be difficult to argue that any of these methods is wrong. All three methods make sense and provide valuable insight to the planning effort. The order in which the applications listed above are used varies. Frequently, a CPM must be developed early in the project before certain trades are under contract. After the trades are involved, pull-planning can be implemented to detail the next eight weeks. As a result of this planning, the CPM may need to be revised to reflect a new sequence. Additionally, if the project is encountering impacts or resource constraints, LBS/Flow-Line may be implemented to visualize possible solutions.

BuildingPoint Pacific recommends that a combination of scheduling methods be implemented to ensure project success. All of the applications mentioned in this document include standard integrations out of the box. BPP can help you determine which scheduling application(s) will be best for your organization.

To learn more about BuildingPoint Pacific's services and schedule a time with our sales representative please visit http://www.buildingpointpacific.com/services and contact us at services@buildingpointpacific.com

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How to change the labels in the Gantt Chart

A common question in Primavera P6 classes is how to change the labels in the Gantt Chart. The process to change the labels can be thorny. Typically, people would assume that where they change the color of the bar is where they change the label; that is not true, but it is close. It is easy to change a label on a Gantt Chart if you look in the right place. This short blog will show you how to change the label’s location and what labels are available to show.

Download pdf to read more

Friday, Apr 28, 2017

Scott Carrico, Scheduler at BuildingPoint Pacific shares his tips and techniques when working with Primavera P6 Scheduling tool.

During a Primavera P6 training class this month, a student asked me: “If a client wants to see the difference in the construction schedule between an 8-hour work week and a ten-hour work week how can we show that if our durations are in days? Can I change an activity from an 8-hour workday to a 10-hour workday in my schedule?" We had a long discussion on how schedules are used and created by all the stakeholders and how a project manager or superintendent should set up the schedule to be most useful as the project progresses. As a background note about Primavera P6, most planner and schedulers will set their default durations to days but the software calculates all durations in hours and minutes.

Dowload Primavera Tips and Techniques