By Sylvie MacKenzie, Director, Marketing-Oracle on May 27, 2015
By Mike Sicilia, senior vice president and
general manager, Oracle Primavera Global Business Unit
Take any company on the S&P 500 list from 1960, and you could expect that company to exist for about 60 years. Fast forward—do the same test for a company today, and the average lifespan is less than a third of what it was—just 18 years.
This is more than a stat. It’s a sign of the transformative times that we’ve entered—a Renaissance-age driven by the connective power of the Internet and the exponential increase of all the possible nodes that can connect to it, from a smartphone to an oil rig. So the message to business leaders is clear—transform or die.
But businesses don’t need to just transform what they do. They need to transform how they operate. “Planning” no longer means creating a budget and the schedules to align to it. Rather, it is now about managing a continuous portfolio lifecycle of what you have today and what you hope to achieve in the future. It has evolved from the more traditional role of managing projects to a role of improving business outcomes by leveraging the latest tools and technology to drive projects with insight, collaboration, and visibility.
With that in mind, here are three types of transformations that businesses need to be aware of, and how Project Portfolio Management (PPM) plays a role.
Tom Goodwin of Havas Media wrote in TechCrunch on March 3rd, “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.”
Indeed, something interesting is happening. These companies have used the cloud to create entirely new businesses leveraging the immediacy and the flexibility that cloud computing delivers, and in the process, fundamentally transforming whole industries. Existing businesses should look to the cloud for opportunities to build on top of their more rigid business models for these same benefits. Cloud-based solutions allow businesses to spin up new offers, quickly scale existing ones, and doing so in a cost effective way, whether in response to a new joint venture, acquisition or just the need for organic growth. It can be done—for example, an estimated 360,000+ projects and programs have been managed in the cloud using Oracle's Primavera solutions. These solutions enable companies across all industries to get a purpose built-PPM solution up and running incredibly quickly, and consume its services via an as-needed subscription model, thereby compressing time to value and increased innovation uptake.
A Shifting Workforce
According to a report from Pew Research Center, nearly 10,000 Baby Boomers retire every day, making way for a wave of Millennials to enter the workforce. By 2020, these Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce. These young employees are hyper-connected—but not just to their smartphones. According to this same report, as more Millennials come on board, the average employee today collaborates with more than 10 employees each day.
This behavioral change is something that businesses should look at carefully. This generation of workers expect visually appealing, easy to use and easy to understand technology meshing hand-in-hand with business processes. They expect to be connected; operate socially, and to be fully enabled when mobile. Primavera’s cloud-based PPM solutions provide role-based, collaborative, mobile interfaces that are aimed at engaging the new generation of workers and making it intuitive for them to collaborate both horizontally and vertically within their organization. The end result is that businesses have the potential to create a more engaged, and therefore innovative, workforce.
The Nature of Project Work
In the past, a project might have been delivered end-to-end within a single company. Not anymore. Multi-company projects and joint initiatives and partnerships drive how projects are done, which both adds to the complexity of managing the project and increases the level of scrutiny and pressure on time to value.
Traditional project management systems are very good at making predictions, but because those systems are based on a limited (and usually outdated) set of data points from within the company and not across the full scope of outside vendors and partners, the predictions are meaningless. Again, cloud-based tools can offer an advantage. With a cloud-based PPM solution, it can act as the network for connecting the right people and information to ensure that project work is accurate and timely, ultimately speeding time to value.
We have entered a new era of project management—one that swaps rigid processes for flexibility to change in the moment and the visibility to enable it. And Oracle’s PPM cloud solutions are designed for this new world order. With a modern platform that has analytics at its core and the power of Oracle’s scalable cloud at the foundation, we are ready to help you not just survive. It’s time to thrive.