My answer to this question was:
I. Ordinary Solutions:
1. Export the XER file to PDF and compare the following between the PDF and the printed version:
• Pages number
• Rows at the last page (indicates if any rows are missing)
• WBS order and names
• WBS total values
• Milestones dates
• Layout canvas size, logo size, title size, and colors
2. Randomly check 10% of the total values in the schedule, depending on the schedule size.
3. Print the XER file and compare the Gantt chart side by side with the received package.
II. Creative Solutions:
1. Scan the printed version using a mobile or advanced scanner tool (preferred) and do the following:
• Use the built-in Excel tool (Get Data from photo) to extract data from the scanned photos and compare these values to XER file values after exporting them to Excel too (this tool may not be accurate and still has problems understanding the formatting of P6 schedules, but at least it could help to minimize the time required for manual reviewing).
• Use an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool, like the one built-in Adobe Acrobat, to extract the same data from the scanned version and compare it to the XER version.
• Use the compare PDF tool from Adobe Acrobat (or any other same software) to compare the PDF we scanned with the PDF extracted from Primavera (Didn’t try it as it’s only available with the paid version of Adobe Acrobat).
III. Third section (Final Thoughts)
– This section is for the ideas I have in mind but found not useful. Maybe if I shared it, we could build something on it later.
– I thought that maybe the XER file has meta-data in the log that contains data like where and when this file got printed and compare it with the situation, but I couldn’t find such data.
– I don’t know if this data doesn’t exist in the XER file or if it’s there but protected, still searching.
– We could track this data in the pdf file exported from the XER (if they printed the schedule using the PDF not directly from the XER) and know when this file got printed last time.(Couldn’t find such data but still searching)
– Of course, all of this doesn’t make us 100% sure but increase the level of certainty and reduce the time for manual check.