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Primavera P6

Primavera P6 Calendars – Global vs Project Data

Introduction to Primavera P6 Calendars

The Primavera P6 calendar features and capabilities are powerful tools for project and schedule management. Two of the three most common types of calendars in Primavera P6, global and project calendars, will be addressed in this article. The third type of Primavera P6 calendar is the resource calendar, which is very specialized and is not used as often in projects.

Primavera P6 calendars are essential since they determine specific days that are designated as non-workdays, such as company holidays or weekends. This article will demonstrate the method to set up both global and project calendars in Primavera P6. Additionally, this article will demonstrate how to view the specific calendar that is being used in ScheduleReader.

Global Calendars and Project Calendars – Is There Really a Difference in Primavera P6?

Primavera P6’s global calendar is part of the existing Primavera P6 database by default. Like all Primavera P6 calendars, it is meant to be created for better managing the project schedule, and it can be modified or updated throughout the project life cycle. What is unique about the global calendar is that not only can it be assigned to multiple projects in Primavera P6’s Enterprise Project Structure (EPS), but any modification or update to a global calendar will automatically affect all EPS projects that are assigned the global calendar.

The primary and most important difference between a Primavera P6 global calendar and a project calendar is that the project calendar is assigned to a particular project in the EPS. Project calendars are often the preferred method of assigning calendars to Primavera P6 projects because modifications and updates to project calendars only affect the project that is supported by it. Project calendars can be used for a specific project and they cannot alter a global calendar assignment.

It is imperative to take note that because Primavera P6 global calendars are set outside of the projects if a project or set of projects is deleted, the global calendar will not be affected. However, any changes implemented in a Primavera P6 global calendar will take effect in all projects that are associated with it. On the other hand, if a project calendar is assigned to more than one project in Primavera P6, the project calendar cannot be deleted.

During an import of a .xer/.xml file into a P6 database, both global and project data from the schedule are added onto the global and project type data within the P6 database. If not closely monitor, this data can often lead to disruptions of the database structure, as Global Calendars may generate duplicate values, overwrite existing values and generate other inconsistencies in the end database. This problem can be easily solved by using ScheduleReader to quickly audit the type of Calendars included in schedules before imports, or by using ScheduleCleaner, a special tool designed to convert Global to Project Calendars and vice versa within existing project schedules.

Create and Modify a New Primavera P6 Global Calendar

Once the Primavera P6 project is open, go to the Enterprise tab on the top menu and select “Calendars…”:

Calendars in Primavera P6

You will notice that Primavera P6 already has global calendars built into the database. For this exercise, we will select the Corporate calendar and click the “Add” button on the right side:

In the next box, use the green plus sign to add the 5-day calendar with U.S. holidays:

You now have the option to rename the new calendar. This calendar is a copy of the 5-day calendar with U.S. holidays in the Primavera P6 global calendar database:

To modify the global calendar, ensure that it is selected and click the “Modify…” button:

In the next screen, choose the “Workweek…” button to update the hours per day for the global calendar’s workdays:

You can make modifications to the individual hours to be worked per day and even adjust the workweek days in the calendar:

You can also use the “Nonwork” button to mark a certain day as a non-work day, such as a holiday. You can use the “Work” button to change it back to a workday. If one of those two is selected, the “Standard” button will no longer show as greyed out. You can use this button to assign the day as part of the standard calendar:

The “Time Periods” button displays the default hours per the time settings that are utilized in Primavera P6. For this exercise, we will keep the time periods the same as the default of eight hours per day, 40 hours per week, 172 hours per month, and 2000 hours per year. Next, click “OK”:

Once you click “OK” in the previous window, you will see the Calendars dialog box again. Put a checkmark on the new calendar that you created and select “Close”. This will apply the new global calendar to the open project:

Create and Modify a New Primavera P6 Project Calendar

Once the Primavera P6 project is open, go to the Enterprise tab on the top menu and select “Calendars…”:

Similar to the action you took while creating the global calendar, you can use an existing project calendar in the menu or click the “Add” button on the right side to create a project calendar that will be specifically assigned to the current project:

You can also select the “Modify…” button to make changes to an existing project calendar. Click “To Global” to convert the project calendar to a global calendar (ensure the project calendar is highlighted and selected):

Viewing the Assigned Calendar in ScheduleReader

Utilizing ScheduleReader offers the project team similar and convenient features that can be found in Primavera P6, such as the ability to view the calendar that is assigned to the schedule from the imported Primavera P6 XER file. To see the calendar that is assigned to your project in ScheduleReader, first open ScheduleReader and import the XER file, and then go to the Activities tab. Then, select “Activity”:

When the Customize Columns dialog box opens, highlight the selection “Calendar” nestled under “General” in the Available Columns. Use the arrow key in the center to move the selection to the Inserted Columns box and then click “Close”:

As you can see, the new global calendar that we created earlier in Primavera P6 and assigned to this project has successfully imported into ScheduleReader via the XER file:

You can also go to the WBS tab and select “Calendar”:

From here, you can see the new calendar in the global selection:

Select “Time Periods” to view the individual hours to be worked per day, week, month, and year:

Select the “Workweek” button in ScheduleReader to view the details of the hours’ distribution per day in the assigned calendar:

Efficiencies in Team Collaboration Using ScheduleReader

Using ScheduleReader gives the project team similar and convenient features that can be found in Primavera P6 for team collaboration, such as its ability to easily display familiar data in the fashion that Primavera P6 does. The project calendar, whether it is a global calendar or a project calendar, can be viewed easily from an imported Primavera P6 XER file, whether the user has access to Primavera P6 or not. This allows the project team members to access and analyze critical project data and deliveries from anywhere without requiring Primavera P6 access.

ScheduleReader opens any XER or XML schedule with amazing speed, due to the fact that it works without making a connection to the P6 database. This makes it extremely suitable for all schedulers to quickly audit the type of calendars that are included in the schedule.

Project planners can also run multiple instances of ScheduleReader, or open the file next to the Primavera program and visually compare any project data side by side.

About the Author

Melanie Calverley is an experienced professional with several years of knowledge and practice in Project Management as a Program Cost and Schedule Control Analyst on multi-million/multi-billion-dollar projects, Project Controls, Strategic Planning, Engineering Planning, Earned Value Management (EVM), and Earned Value Management System (EVMS) implementation, Configuration Management, and writing/editing. She commands full utilization of Primavera P6 software, MS Project, and MS Project Server. Her career background includes industry experience in oil and gas, energy, aerospace/defense, IT, litigation, and media.

Calverley has extensive experience in the planning and scheduling arena since 1999, as well as extensive experience in the aerospace and oil and gas industries combined.  Calverley has worked for the large and high-visibility players in the aerospace industry – Boeing and Lockheed Martin, as well as the large companies in the O&G industry, such as Schlumberger, GE Energy, and Chevron.  She supported NASA directly and a host of smaller sub-contractors over the years before exploring the O&G and IT industries.  Calverley understands the strict, organized flow of the aerospace industry’s horizontal and vertical logic integration, the criticality of resource loading, and the reporting functions that support Earned Value Management (EVM).  She has also participated in various audits such as DCMA audits, JSRs, ISRs, and CAM reviews.  In 2013, Calverley was responsible for implementing a full EVMS in Primavera for Cameron International’s (now Schlumberger) Process Systems Division across the globe.  The system was fully tested and successfully implemented and run in the United States, Brazil, the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Middle East.

Calverley owns her own business, Calverley Consulting, LLC, which has been operational since 2017.  Calverley is also a solid writer, editor, and process flow documentation expert. She possesses a full command of the proper English language, and she is also a published book author. Calverley developed and championed multiple process flows and written documentation via policies and procedures for various well-known companies.