Risks are integral part of every project and represent probable events or conditions which can negatively (or positively) affect the outcome of the project.
And although we can never look into the future and predict the outcome of a project with 100% certainty, we can always identify a large number of these probable events and put procedures and practices in place in order to minimize the negative impact and the undesired consequences.
From a data and scheduling point of view, project risks represent classifications of data values that represent the different risk defined in a project. They vary in terms of their nature and are specific to each project.
The Primavera® P6 Professional software features an integrated Risk Management functionality that enables users to create, categorize and prioritize risks into hierarchical order and assign each risk to one or more activities.
And many times, we can have tens of thousands of activities on a project, and even more in an XER file containing several projects.
The software further allows for different risks analysis to be performed such as impact calculations, qualitative analysis, multiple project trend comparisons, risks scores analyzis and more, which can help the management and successful delivery of the project.
When an XER file is created and exported from the P6 software, among the different data, it also contains Risk data that can cause the following problems further along as the project progresses:
1. Multiple Lines of Unreadable Characters
Risks ultimately end up imported into another database, as they are contained within XER files.
Risk data can sometimes manifest in the form of multiple hierarchically organized lines of unreadable characters which can confuse many schedulers at contractors on first sight.
Example of invalid data:
This error is caused during the process of database import, by the incorrect association of the circular references, when a parent risk_type_id in the RISKTYPE table references a parent_risk_type_id of child Risk_type_id, or due to the presence of an invalid special character (boxes, diamonds and other non-standard characters in the expected language) in the RISKTYPE table.
In the case of merging two databases or further repeating this import/export process while sharing .xer files, the Risk Categories (RISKTYPE) data tables can multiply and spread to pollute or contaminate even more databases. This can spread not only within the databases of one project company, but also affect the databases of all contractors, collaborators and even external stakeholders.
2. Decreased Performance of the Database Import Process
Two categories of project data exist in a Primavera P6 XER file which can significantly slow down database import process.
These project categories are the POBS tables, which stands for Performing Organizational Breakdown Structure and the Risks tables associated to the .xer project file.
Online reports and feedback from the Primavera P6 user community confirm and indicate the presence of these data categories in a file can increase the import process from few seconds seconds to up to several hours.
This is a serious issue for large companies, as it can negatively effect and result with serious consequences towards the project:
- Present unproductive period and wait time for schedulers and those who need and depend on the scheduling output to perform their tasks
- Induce project delays and increase project costs which can have serious contractual, legal or business consequences
Risk type data is stored in several categories in a XER file. To properly and manually remove them all from the schedule, one should have knowledge of their specific location or rely on a special software.