Primavera P6 EPPM – Installation, Integration, Implementation and Administration

Written on . By Tracy Mah

Oracle Primavera P6 EPPM software product suite is not like the typical retail ‘out-of-the-box’ software product. P6 is purchased through licenses with Oracle and is then downloaded from their e-delivery site. P6 is part of their Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) which is a collection of computer programs that can work together on a centralized database. What this means is when you are working on your projects in P6, the data is not saved on your own computer but rather on a database in your company’s network. The main advantage of this system is so that more than one person can work on the same projects at the same time, in a true collaborative way.

Primavera P6 Installation

Since P6 is designed to work in a database driven manner, it means that the installation and the set-up of P6 can get a little complex. Most companies have an IT department or have an IT expert that can handle the technical aspects of installing P6 and setting up the database. If you don’t have an in-house IT department, then don’t worry, CPM Solutions has the expertise and experience to get P6 EPPM installed properly. Once P6 is set up for your company, your Project Managers, Planners and Schedulers will be able to access P6 in a few different ways, through: Citrix, Windows Terminal Services ,a web browser (P6 Web Access) or through a hosted cloud solution.

What is Primavera P6 Integration?

When you purchase P6 EPPM suite, it comes with a few Tools that help other programs ‘talk’ to P6 so that data can be shared.  P6 Integration API and P6 EPPM Web Services are two of the programs that allow other programs like SAP and JD Edwards to be linked with P6. The whole process of getting P6 to work with other programs is called Integration in the Primavera world. There are quite a few third party software programs available, for example, Primavera Inspire that links P6 to SAP. The creation and maintenance of the P6 link requires some IT technical expertise and usually on-going upkeep. Another factor to consider with integrations is if you upgrade or apply any service packs to P6, then that integration link may be affected. Depending on how complex the integration is, it may require re-writing or re-coding of the software scripts for the programs to communicate.

Before your company decides to integrate P6 with any existing programs it is advised that a lot of planning prior to adopting P6 is needed in order to determine the exact needs for the data transfer. A lot of companies make the mistake of trying to get the integration to do too much at the start which complicates the whole process. As a best practice, it is often better to keep the initial implementation of P6 simple without any other software integrations. This way at a secondary stage, it will give your team time to adopt and learn P6 so they can then identify the exact needs required for the integration link.

What is Primavera P6 Implementation?

The ‘out-of-the-box’ installation of Oracle Primavera P6 comes with a basic configuration set-up which requires additional customization of the administrative or ‘global’ settings in P6 to cater to your company’s needs. The whole process of customizing Primavera’s configuration is called Implementation in the Primavera world. Oracle usually relies on its Primavera partners and consulting companies with P6 Implementation Specialists to help clients set up P6 once they’ve purchased their software licenses. P6 consultants would sit down with your project team to conduct a needs analysis to help configure Primavera for you.

One of the main reasons it is necessary to have P6 configured is to make sure that the security and user access settings are properly configured to be scalable from a few to 100s of users. It is important to remember that P6 is database driven, where multiple people can work on and make changes to the same project at the same time. It is necessary to ensure that people are given access to only their projects or even parts of the projects they are responsible for. Once the security profiles are created, a user can be assigned different levels of access to various parts of Primavera, whether it’s “read only” to “can edit but not delete” to “no access”.

The basic settings the implementation process will help set up are:

  • The EPS (Enterprise Project Structure)
  • The OBS (Organizational Breakdown Structure)
  • Security Profiles – Global and Project Security Profiles
  • User Profiles
  • Global Dictionaries – resources, calendars, project & activity codes, notebook topics, etc…

The implementation process can vary depending on the complexity of your company’s needs; a straight forward implementation can take as little as a day to a week. If there is a requirement to integrate other software programs with P6, then it may take upwards of a year or more to make sure everything is set up properly and tested.

What is Primavera P6 Administration?

If your company is new to Primavera, you may be unaware that P6 requires at least one individual that is knowledgeable in the Administrative functions of Primavera. Your company may have involved a consulting expert with the set-up or implementation of P6, but the on-going maintenance of P6 requires an individual that can make changes on an as needed basis would be the P6 Administrators role. For example, if you purchase additional P6 licenses, then someone in your company needs to be able to create additional users with the proper security and access settings.

As a best practice, every company will have one “super administrator” user account (license) that will have full access and abilities to make changes in your company’s P6 settings. For larger companies, additional Business Unit Administrators may be needed for their division of projects.

Oracle Primavera has made changes on how to access the administrative functions in their newer versions of P6. All of the administrative access is now done solely through the P6 Web Access platform in the EPPM (Enterprise Project Portfolio Management) suite. In general, most companies primarily use the P6 Windows version of Primavera to manage their projects. However, these companies would need their administrator to be familiar with P6 Web Access as well for administrative purposes.

Some of the duties a Primavera P6 Administrator will have to do are:

  • Maintenance of the EPS (Enterprise Project Structure)
  • Maintenance of the OBS (Organizational Breakdown Structure)
  • Add/Remove users
  • Monitoring of Global/Enterprise dictionaries such as: Calendars, Activity Codes, Project Codes, Resource & Role Libraries, Calendars, Cost accounts, Notebook Topics, UDFs (User Defined Fields), Filters, Timesheets, Scheduled Services and much more
  • Creation/maintenance of Layouts/Views, Dashboards, Portfolio Views
  • Some technical support – Java issues, database or SQL inquiries, Event Code errors, web browser issues, and other environmental issues that may come up

Hopefully, this article helps explain a few things about Oracle’s Primavera P6 project management software. As you can see, there are many aspects to P6 that should be addressed before your company can start managing its projects through P6. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us.