Guild of Project Controls: Compendium | Roles | Assessment | Certifications | Membership

Tips on using this forum..

(1) Explain your problem, don't simply post "This isn't working". What were you doing when you faced the problem? What have you tried to resolve - did you look for a solution using "Search" ? Has it happened just once or several times?

(2) It's also good to get feedback when a solution is found, return to the original post to explain how it was resolved so that more people can also use the results.

Updating Physical % Complete with MS Excel & P6

5 replies [Last post]
ryan coakley
User offline. Last seen 9 years 50 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 21 Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Groups: None


Summary: I am updating numerous traits of selected activities ( including physical % complete) for a project by exporting from P6 to Excel 2007 on Windows XP, updating the traits (including physical % complete), and then importing back into P6.


Problem: All the traits are changing almost perfectly except for Physical % complete, which doesn't seem to update at all.


Full Description:

  • I'm exporting with a filter for activity status started or complete.
  • I'm exporting the following columns
    • task_code
    • status_code
    • wbs_id
    • act_start_date
    • act_end_date
    • drtn_complete_pct
    • calc_phys_complete_pct
    • task_name
    • delete_record_flag
  • I then each activity and column accordingly.
  • I import back into Primavera.
  • I schedule to correct data date.
  • I then copy and paste activity list into Excel to check to see teh changes were made by the import.
  • All changes are effected EXCEPT Physical % complete.
  • Thus I know the import is working on everythign except Physical % complete.


I would very much appreciate some assistance with this issue as it is resuylting in enough added work for me to take teh time out of my day to write this in depth complaint...


Thanks in Advance!




Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 14 min 52 sec ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 5001


I got the following list of some potential fields to be filled when updating in progress activities. Perhaps I am missing a dozen regarding % complete.

1  Remaining Duration
2  Remaining Labor Units
3  Remaining Nonlabor Units
4  Remaining Expense Cost
5  Remaining Labor Cost
6  Remaining Material Cost
7  Remaining Nonlabor Cost
8  Remaining Total Cost
   Remaining Total Cost (from 4 to 8)

9  Activity % Complete
10 Cost % Complete
11 Cost % of Budget
12 Duration % Complete
13 Duration % of Original
14 Expense Cost % Complete
15 Labor Cost % Complete
16 Labor Units % Complete
17 Material Cost % Complete
18 Nonlabor Cost % Complete
19 Nonlabor Units % Complete
   Percent Complete Type
20 Performance % Complete
21 Physical % Complete
22 Schedule % Complete
23 Units % Complete

Among the selected fields for updating uncompleted activities the first 8 values shall be enough, setting aside individual resource updating, but 23 values plus the ones I am missing is too much of an overkill. What a mess, especially when remaining values can be related by formula to some % complete values while for others it might not. Unreal when you consider that unless all things go 100% as planned remaining duration, costs or units are not related to any of the % complete values, same for individual resource usage, it is nuts.

A few formulas shall satisfy whatever your needs, especially for the modeling of schedule of values, perhaps the only case where the remaining values and % complete linear relations are valid.

Remember there are still other fields to be filled when updating an activity such as some Date fields. But do not worry, P6 Date fields are even more overwhelming. This is what makes it the easiest to use software in the world, to me it is the ex-lax of CPM Software, easier to use than an enema.

By the way, welcome to PP the only place in the world where we dare to debate about many different software for the benefit of all. Here there is no monopoly of knowledge.

Best regards,


Ronald Winter
User offline. Last seen 6 years 46 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 4 Jan 2003
Posts: 928
Groups: None



You are using the wrong name to import your values.  As listed in the P6 PM Schema, you should import ‘phys_complete_pct’ , not ‘calc_phys_complete_pct’.  Good luck!

Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 14 min 52 sec ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 5001

Maybe you cannot update actual start and % complete simultaneously. Try updating first actual start fields and thereafter on a separate operation % complete without including actual start fields that might confuse the software.

Take a look at Primavera P6 Project Management Reference Manual Part 6: Importing and Exporting Data, there you will find some reference about updating %complete using Excel and look for issues on simultaneous updating.

I don't use P6 but transfer xer files from P6 to my software so I do not understand some redundant fields in P6 that create confusion. All the software needs for updating in-progress activities is either remaining duration or remaining units. Adding fields such as %complete duration, % complete units and % complete physical % plus a complex set of settings to relate each other is unnecessary and confusing.

Having both is calling for error and can create issues with decimal point precision. As a matter of fact relating original duration, remaining duration and % complete in whatever of its forms might create errouneous computations as demostrated in many articles available on the issue.

Keep It Simple

mimoune djouallah
User offline. Last seen 1 year 33 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Oct 2006
Posts: 388


It seems in p6, you can’t import physical percent complete, one workaround, is to use global change, define a user defined field, call it physical, import the data from excel, and apply your global change.




Amit Parmar (PMP)
User offline. Last seen 8 years 24 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 12 Nov 2010
Posts: 94
Groups: None

Hi Ryan,

As far as i know Primavera does not support updating of activity attributes using Excel import function. You can do the same by using Primavera SDK and Excel sheets provided by Primavera support. If you need help installing SDK and using sheets then you can contact me.


Amit Parmar

Check out my blog on Primavera at