Technical info and insight on using Oracle Documaker for customer communication and document automation

How to put the U in OUM

Andy Little
Technical Director

Taking a break from Documaker-specific content, I've asked Allan McAlinden to guest-author a post on the Oracle Unified Method. Allan is an experienced project manager and Documaker consultant with nearly two decades of experience with Documaker, and as many in project management. I hope you find it enlightening!

There’s no I in TEAM, but there is ME

Acronyms are over-used in IT to the extent that I didn’t even write out ‘Information Technology’ in this sentence just to prove a point.  Sometimes we use them to save paper, avoid unpronounceable words or find common terms to overcome language difficulties.  What may be a surprise is that they can actually introduce real benefits to your working life, and in this blog I’d like to shed some light on the Oracle Unified Method, or OUM as it’s also known.  If it can help U then it’s information worth spending some HH:MM:SS looking into. 

Ok, what makes U have a better method than Me?

Within the field of Project Management (PM) there are many governing bodies such as Project Management Institute (PMI), the Association of Project Management (APM) or the International Project Management Association(IPMA), all trying to identify and define the best approaches to move from A to Z.  Anyone that’s worked on more than one project understands that one model won’t be suitable for every customer, every product and every project, so what the Oracle Unified Method does is to take the experience, knowledge, artifacts and information from various PM models and sources to identify suitable controls and support options for how we collaborate with our colleagues and customers.  That’s my take on it, but the official statement from the teams involved in creating this is…

“The Oracle® Unified Method (OUM) is Oracle’s standards-based method that enables the entire Enterprise Information Technology (IT) lifecycle. OUM provides an implementation approach that is rapid, broadly adaptive, and business-focused. OUM includes a comprehensive project management framework and materials to support Oracle's growing focus on enterprise-level IT strategy, architecture, and governance.”

What this does is provide a scalable model to provide guidance for all of the following areas of delivery.

OUM Diagram

Good idea, but will it help ME and my TEAM?

If your daily role changes as much as mine then one day you’re writing a project plan, then coding processing scripts, installing software or building servers, then delivering mentoring workshops before drafting Risk Analysis and Governance documentation.  We all wear many hats in today’s working world and these roles can change hourly, daily, weekly or even months apart. You may find yourself in some role that you haven’t performed since last year, but you’re still expected to remember all the fine details and tips’n’tricks that you may not have performed in some time. Will OUM help you remember? Let’s consider a few examples…

  • If I need to explain to a colleague how to build a Risk Matrix and define Governance controls then I find the answer in OUM.  The guidance materials and sample documentation is there. 
  • Maybe I haven’t performed any testing since last year and need help planning a repository to store all the inputs, controls and results. And then I need to create a plan on how to share the results and get feedback, and then act on that feedback.   OUM can help explain all the options to me, giving me structure, artifacts and controls. 
  • There could be standards we need to apply to data acquisition, and I need to meet with a customer to agree on the expected steps and controls for this action. OUM has all the reference information I need to create an agenda for the meeting.  

If I’m not F2F, can I help my BFF?

By having this method defined, documented, clearly structured, and, most importantly, proven (It’s been around since 2006!) it creates this safe place we can all go to for answers, guidance and reference materials to make day to day life easier. All content is hosted online within Oracle.  Every stakeholder, technical resource, tester, trainer, designer, analyst, project manager and end user can use this method to know the big picture is actually a complete schematic, and not just a random series of doodles.  It can even help that one person that always shows up on the conference call but doesn’t say their name and sits silently in the background. 

Sometimes we work in silo’s, focused on our particular aspect of delivering a solution, and if you’re on the perimeter, you might think what’s important to you isn’t important to others. You may think they don’t know that what you do has inputs, dependencies, implications, outputs, and that your work isn’t being given the attention is deserves.  When using OUM, everyone can see that all parts of an implementation or upgrade are considered.  Even if you sit silently in the background, you’re still at the table …or in the room…or on the call when OUM is being applied to your work. 

OK, how can I convince my PPL that OUM will give me some ROI?

As I mentioned, OUM has been in play since 2006.  In technology terms that means it’s been around since the launch of Facebook to the public, the Playstation 3 was cutting edge gaming, palmtops were still popular among execs with challenging schedules, and most cellphones were still flip phones with actual buttons.  If tech isn’t a success it swiftly falls into obscurity, so OUM’s longevity and continued use alone is a valuable measure of the benefits it offers.  Farewell betamax videos, Google Glass, AskJeeves search engines, electronic virtual pets, and concerns about Y2K.   

If that’s enough to convince you, great, but if you need more convincing then you can reach out to me or any other contacts you have within Oracle. Alternatively you can read some of the other great Oracle blogs on the topic explaining how it’s been used, where it’s been used and sharing some success stories.

And if you’re inside Oracle, go straight to the source

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