The Benefits of a Database Driven Project Management Solution
Written on . By Tracy Mah
There are more and more project management tools becoming available as online services or as software packages. They offer the same service as each other – to plan and manage your project with ease. You may be wondering why you would choose Primavera P6 over other project management tools for scheduling your projects. It is because Primavera P6 stores your project data in a database.
With a database at its core, Primavera P6 is a powerful enterprise tool that is scalable for any project. It stores data to be accessed by other users and to establish a level of standardization across each project. Even if a small construction company has a few projects on the go, a database can be useful for allocating resources appropriately and stretching a budget to ensure that each project can be successfully completed.
How does a database driven project management tool differ from other project management tools?
A database allows for multiple users within the organization to have access to projects. Rather than a project manager having to send files and update data, Primavera P6 allows for multiple users to view project information and to update statuses from their computers. Since each user has to log on using their individual user name and password, Primavera P6 will indicate if a project is currently being used and not allow for another user to edit data at the same time. This reduces the risk that users will overwrite data or enter conflicting data as another user is updating the project. Finally, multi-user access means that updates can be made on-site or on-the-go using the Web Access or Team Member apps that Oracle has included in the Enterprise suite (EPPM) of P6. The project manager has to approve the updates to be entered into the project.
Standardized fields and interfaces help keep data organized and easier to input when statusing updates. For example, setting codes at the global level can be used to filter and sort activities that need to be updated or reviewed in a report. Or, using standard columns in a layout can ensure that project managers and team members update data in an efficient and timely manner while not missing any details. Plus, you can use standardized reports that are pre-made in Primavera P6 to report on project data or use customized reports with data requested by stakeholders. Standardizations can be set at the global level to be used in projects “as-is” or customized at the project level to meet certain criteria. Standardized data can also be integrated with other P6 tools such as BI Publisher and P6 Analytics to help you analyze and report on potential future trends and issues.
Leave stacks of paper, sticky notes, and copies of files in the past. Databases keep all of your team’s information in one place. Upload document links and keep records of events in P6 so that everyone can see the most up-to-date information. For example, you can use a Notebook in P6 to record why you are setting a constraint for a specific activity. If you forget to note things down, other users may make changes without knowing your rationale for the initial changes. Keeping all of your data in P6 also means that you don’t need to send multiple files to a team member, contractor, or other stakeholder. Simply export a copy of the project and send. Stakeholders will be able to import a copy of the project into their database and use the project right away. All of your project details are in Primavera P6 using a high-level filing system starting with the Enterprise Project Structure (EPS), with resource details stored in the Resource Library, organizational hierarchies stored in the Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS), project- and activity-details stored within each project, and more.
A database is much more secure on a protected server than on files across someone’s computer that can be easily deleted or lost. Primavera’s database is role-driven, which means that authority is established based on organizational hierarchies that provides users with certain access to projects and data. Administrators, for example, have the authority to create new users and establish settings within P6. On the other hand, team members only have access to update the activities they have been assigned. This means that data is protected and only authorized users can edit global data that is set for the enterprise. Data is maintained in a central storage system that is accessible to reduce the risk of data loss in the middle of a large-scale project.
A database-driven project management solution like Primavera P6 gives companies the capability to work across departments and organizational hierarchies to schedule projects and analyze results from a high-level to very small details. Better collaboration, organization, and security also means that teams work together more efficiently and that users are granted the correct access for their role in the company.