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Best (REMOTE) way to get updates from many people for a schedule (broad question)

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John Reeves
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I have seen it done many ways - best ways is to talk with people.  But beyond that - we all know we can export excel and have people update that - has its advantages.  Seen marked up PDF's.  I know there used to be "client software" for updates. But what is best or really good.  Say for example 10 different AEC professionals of varying technical ability WORKING REMOTELY...for example.  No wrong answers.

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Joel Roberts
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Perheps the following resource will also be of use: Progress Update mode of ScheduleReader software

Tom Boyle
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David,

Of course it's best to use systematic progress measurement and reporting where you have it.  Perhaps I misread John's original question with a focus on getting "updates from many people" of "varying technical ability."  To me, these raise issues of effective coaching and (human) communication, not necessarily data management.

David Kelly
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Absolutely, Zoltan, but like the rest of P3 it did not/ could not scale up.
Zoltan Palffy
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this is where P3 send mail was so good.  

David Kelly
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Not clear what the Straw Man is, Tom! Parsing XER files to create separate spreadsheets is not something I would recommend as a Planning Engineer task! Updating P6 by importing spreadsheets, which bypasses the API, is also fraught with issues: • Update AND Append only • No filter • No audit trail • No scheduling For starters. IMNVHO, it is the underlying work management system that populated P6 in the first place that should be updated with progress, not P6. If the Estimate and Approval steps were performed in an IT system, Maximo, SAP, IFS etc. – then progress should only be reported to those, and the mechanism that created the baseline in P6 in the first place, updates the schedule. Primavera’s timesheet system is excellent, but of course only works in the Named Individual as resource, not Disciplines. Most of my clients use disciplines. One timesheet for all scaffolders is just silly. All of my large engineering contractor clients have had to build a CTR/Jobcard system to manage the scope of work since P6 has nothing to offer here, and built the progress recording mechanism into that system.
Tom Boyle
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David,

Not discounting the value of Collabro's Legare, reliance on P6 Export and Import is a straw man.  It's easy enough to parse a multi-project xer file (or multiple, single-project xers) into a single Excel workbook - which is then tailored for updating by the designated stakeholders.  I've had macros doing this for years.

It seems we do agree that the best interface for the stakeholders is some sort of spreadsheet/table.  Whether that's a standalone Excel workbook that gets emailed around or some form of network-resident, co-authored table like Google Sheets depends on the implementation details.  So far, I've found the network-based spreadsheets sorely lacking in the customized features that make the desktop versions useful.   

Zoltan Palffy
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agreed excel is the best way but you will have to add new activities with predcessor and successors manually

David Kelly
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While I agree with Tom, there is a problem. The P6 Export and Import from Excel is strictly one project=one spreadsheet. For example, the Lead instrument designer might have fifteen people working for them, spread over a dozen projects. That means twelve spreadsheets where “Responsibility= design” was the filter to export the turnaround documents. So while I like the spreadsheet route very much for collecting progress, I would want Collabro’s Legare to manage a single spreadsheet updating as many projects as required.
David Kelly
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While I agree with Tom, there is a problem. The P6 Export and Import from Excel is strictly one project=one spreadsheet. For example, the Lead instrument designer might have fifteen people working for them, spread over a dozen projects. That means twelve spreadsheets where “Responsibility= design” was the filter to export the turnaround documents. So while I like the spreadsheet route very much for collecting progress, I would want Collabro’s Legare to manage a single spreadsheet updating as many projects as required.
Tom Boyle
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For me it's still a custom Excel workbook with custom filters, formatting and data validation that leads the updaters along - and a big column for remarks.  I also like to include previous updates to refresh memories and encourage honesty.  The chief downside is the absence of logic information.  At the end of the day, you still have to review everything anyway.