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Create a Kanban Board from P6 Data

I have often wanted to convert my Primavera P6 table of dates into a Kanban style update method.

A Kanban board is a visual method of displaying work. It groups task as being in three states:

  1. Done
  2. In Progress
  3. Waiting

This classification makes a lot of sense to a project team as controlling the in progress work load is critical to an efficient work flow.

Primavera P6 is a great way to store critical project data. One of its drawbacks is that it is not a great communication tool. As project management is a communication based discipline, Primavera P6 data often ends up being disconnected from project execution. This means that the system does not live up to its promise as the projects central record of truth.

In my experience, Primavera P6 tends to co-exist with a nest of Excel spreadsheets that can be error prone and frustrating for the project controls team.

Lately I have been exploring options that exist between an enterprise solution and the simple excel sheet.

I have come across a product called Airtable. Airtable is a product that sits between Google Docs and MS Access. Despite its easy to use interface it has a host of technical integration tools, data formatting and formula features and a bunch of very interesting communication tools.

Airtable has proved very popular in the rough and tumble of software project management. If you have issues collecting valid data and communicating project data airtable could be the tool for you.

Airtable offers a basic but user friendly approach to allowing your team interact and manipulate the data that Primavera P6 generates, allowing the project planning team to get better quality updates.

In this example I have copied the data for a project out of Primavera P6 and copied it into Airtable.

Airtable then lets me convert this Kanban Board using the Status column to organize the activities. The project team can now move the activities as they work on them and my status and potentially other calculations such as earned value will update automatically.


One response to “Create a Kanban Board from P6 Data

  1. exactly, P6 is not good at communication at getting scope owners to edit and really manage their specific “project controls” data. I believe the future of our industry will be tools exactly as you have noted here. I think JIRA will be the eventual tool we will center our lives around. Although, in general, its not the tool – its the approach and strategic ideas to push the ability to edit, create, update, comment into a more collaborative social environment inside a project.

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