Working with SDEF and P6 Professional

Overview In 1986, the US Army Corps of Engineers recognized the need for a Standard Data Exchange Format (SDEF) to facilitate the exchange of data among contractors using various project management tools. The format chosen was a 132-character per line, fixed-length ASCII file, with data items, field positions, and field lengths explicitly defined by the…
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Oracle Primavera – Key Resource Loading Fields

Resource Loading in Primavera utilizes both Cost and Units Columns.  Knowing which fields are important is half the battle.  This page discusses some of the key fields / considerations to make when resource loading a schedule.  This document also discusses why some fields may be ignored when resource loading. Key Table Columns Having the right…
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Three Advantages in Making the Switch to Elecosoft Powerproject

As the market leader for construction management software, Oracle Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project are solutions that work for their given needs.  Between Oracle Primavera and Microsoft Project, Elecosoft Powerproject gives the best of both worlds.  It has the familiarity of the Microsoft Office Suite while having many of the features of Primavera.    Having…
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Tip From Our Consultants: Powerproject’s Help Feature, Clearing Filter Selections and more

What I like best about Powerproject’s Help Feature If you want to know about every field on a dialogue box, click F1. In this example, I’ve brought up the Format Bar Chart dialogue box.     Click on “Explanation of the fields on the dialog” to see an explanation of every field of the active…
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Tips From Our Instructors: Creating Look-Aheads in Elecosoft Powerproject

Look-aheads are created to give decision makers a means of monitoring upcoming tasks.  This guide serves as a method to create a look-ahead but is by no means the only way.  For this look-ahead, we will create the following: A new Date Zone – so that we can zoom in/out on tasks that are within…
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For real value, project controls must be “good” not just “good enough”

Construction is a very risky business and the CPM schedule has become the basis of the evaluation of progress and delays both during projects (contemporaneously) and after the fact (forensically). Various studies indicate that less than 50% of US construction projects are completed on time.

Tip From Our Consultants: None of my Activities are Constrained So Why Do I Have Negative Float in My P6 Schedule?

There is negative float in your schedule and yet you’ve checked for constraints on your activities and can’t find any…puzzling, right? Unfortunately, there is a sneaky type of constraint at the project level that can also force negative float through the schedule even if none of the activities are constrained. It’s totally invisible when you’re…
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Companies That Schedule Every Job Perform Better

Is your team taking advantage of project scheduling to stay on track?  Or are you avoiding the creation of a schedule because you think it takes too long, it’s too complex, or overkill for your projects? If so, you could be setting yourself up for avoidable problems later. Schedules are not a “chore” that must…
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Meet the Catalyst Team: Erin Batrich

Life has a funny way of showing you who you are. For Erin Batrich, life has repeatedly shown her that she is meant to teach. Even if she wasn’t so sure of that to start…   After going to college for teaching, Erin had a change of heart and decided, instead, to pursue a career…
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Meet the Catalyst Team: Mike Brooks

You’ll just about never see Mike Brooks around the Catalyst office. That’s because he’s one of our road-warriors who will regularly embed with client teams on complex projects. Mike has been a Schedule Consultant at Catalyst since 1995. His assignments can last months at a time and get quite complex. But that’s just how Mike…
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