The Big Problem with Primavera P6 Calendars And How To Fix It

Primavera P6 Calendars

Primavera P6 Calendars have a big problem and it becomes a major pain in the butt as your list of calendars grows and grows.

As planners and schedulers, we are tasked with managing mountains of project data everyday; progress updates, scenario projects, reports, reports and more reports. Data can quickly take over your life if you’re not careful. And you don’t have time for that.

That’s why a good system for organizing aspects of your project and project data goes a long way.

My biggest frustration with Primavera P6 Calendars is the Global Calendar register and it’s constant unruliness. (If you have a nicely organized Global Calendar register, send me a screenshot because I’d like to see it.)

For most, me included, the Global Calendar register is usually an unorganized dump of any calendar that anyone ever thought of, mostly with unintelligible names.

And then, of course, there are the Calendar copies.

Why do we have 6 copies of calendar “QJ03-Global” numbered -1 to -6? I see P6 Global Calendar registers with 100’s of Calendars everyday, with no clear way to discern which Global Calendars were meant to be there, which were artifacts of project imports, and which can be reused for a future project.

If your Primavera P6 Calendar register looks like alphabet soup, then here are some seriously easy tips for helping to get your Global Calendar register organized.


Organize Primavera P6 Calendars with a simple Prefix

Having a standard Global Calendar naming convention is the best way to get your Primavera P6 Calendars under control.

Primavera will let you name Calendars anything you want. But since the Global Calendar list can only be organized alphabetically, adding a prefix to your Calendar names is going to quickly organize the list. Here are some ideas for new naming convention:

  • DEPT-calendarname
  • YY-calendarname

You can add a Department acronym to group all departmental Calendars together. Alternatively, grouping them by year of creation is an option as well with a YY prefix.

You can also combine both concepts for something like this:

  • DEPT-YY-calendarname


Organizing P6 Global Calendars by Project

Many companies have given up on trying to reuse Global Calendars for other projects, which was how the designers meant them to be used. Primavera P6’s Global Calendars are too prone to editing by users to allow for re-use on other projects.

Project Calendars have proven too difficult to work with as well and many companies have also given up on trying to focus there – mainly because importing projects in your database always adds Global Calendars to your register from those imported projects.

But all is not lost. Use a ProjectID prefix to help organize Calendars, like so:

  • PROJID-calendarname

This tip alone will solve many issues for organizing your Primavera P6 Global Calendar register.  Combine this strategy with our first tip will yield even better organization.

  • DEPT-PROJID-calendarname
  • YY-PROJID-calendarname


Use This Simple Calendar Audit Layout

I’m a big proponent of keeping things organized, but I don’t want to spend hours doing it. But taking 5 minutes to purge and organize every few months goes a long way.

This simple Calendar layout will show you which Primavera P6 Calendars are being used and which are not assigned to any project. Use it to find and delete any Calendars that are not assigned to projects.

These are likely artifacts from imported projects that have been deleted. Unfortunately, P6 Global Calendars don’t get deleted when their originating project is deleted.

  1. Open ALL projects in your database. (Not recommended in P6 EPPM).
  2. Setup the Group and Sort as follows. Make sure “Hide if Empty” is NOT checked.
  3. Click OK.

primavera p6 calendar audit

Look for any Calendar entries with no projects listed underneath them.

primavera p6 calendar auditing

You can see quite a few in the screenshot above. Those entries represent Global Calendars that are not assigned to any project. I recommend you delete these Primavera P6 Calendars. You’ll see a much cleaner Global Calendar register as a result.


I’ve heard that improvements are coming for Primavera P6 that address the issues around lingering Enterprise Data artifacts during importing of .xer files. I’m looking forward to seeing these, possibly in 2014. It will take use one step closer to having a project database that is easier to organize and requires less time to maintain. Now, time to get back to scheduling, what Primavera P6 was designed for.

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Michael is an avid project controls blogger and is the Chief Learning Officer here at Plan Academy. Michael has taught 1000s professionals how to use project controls software like Primavera P6 over the past 10 years through his online courses and tutorials. Michael is a member of AACE, the Guild of Project Controls and holds his PMP certification from PMI.