Wednesday May 27, 2015

Transform or Die – How Organizations are Transforming with EPPM

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.

Subscription Economy

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.

Friday Feb 27, 2015

Portfolio With A View

Published in Projects@workd 

by Yasser Mahmud, February 23, 2015

An organization’s cultural behaviors, processes and tools shape the way project information is reported, which, in turn, shapes decision-making at the executive level. In order to improve visibility into project portfolios, we must first reduce the fear of raising red flags — and then go beyond our comfort zones to start looking differently at what we see.

Read more.

[Read More]

Tuesday Jan 13, 2015

The New Face of Project Management: Are Specialized PMOs and Mobile Tech the Future?

PM World Journal - January 2015

Author:  Mike Sicilia, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Oracle Primavera

The face of project management is changing. Economic fluctuation, evolving risk, and increasingly stringent regulations are creating new challenges for project managers. To meet these challenges and ensure the success of diverse projects across the enterprise, organizations must consider new and innovative methodologies and approaches that can inject innovation into processes.

Illuminating these realities, Oracle recently brought together a group of business leaders who revealed insight into two evolving areas: the role of project management offices (PMOs) and the increasing real-time reach of mobile technology. The Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) Board – a steering group of senior executives, academics, and industry experts that looks at how C-level executives can successfully prioritize and manage the project portfolio – raised questions over the long-term value of PMOs and the way mobile technology can transform project management.

Read the complete article here.

Monday Dec 08, 2014

Litmus Test: 86% of Large Enterprises See the Value of Business Transformation, Yet Nearly Half Are Not Fully Ready to Execute

Author: Mike Sicilia, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Primavera

 Today, “business as usual” simply does not, and will not, suffice for large enterprises seeking success. New competition is emerging, existing competitors are upping their game, and the legislative regulation is challenging organizations to reach new levels of transparency. The landscape is dynamic, and for those businesses that strive not simply to compete, but to win, the need for business transformation is urgent. However, while the majority of executives agree that business transformation is vital to maintain a competitive edge, nearly half (48%) are only somewhat or not at all prepared to successfully execute a business transformation today.

 Oracle, in partnership with Forbes Insights, explored what drives business transformation initiatives both internally and externally for a company, and what determines the success or failure of such initiatives in the study, “Making the Change: Planning, Executing and Measuring a Successful Business Transformation .

[Read More]

Wednesday Oct 29, 2014

Mobility Now!

The October 27 edition of Projects@Work features the following bylined article from Oracle’s Guy Barlow focused on the use of mobility in enterprise project portfolio management.  The article notes that people expect to use mobility in project-intensive industries to present C-level executives with even more visibility, in real-time, into the project portfolio.  Further, the article notes that implementing mobile programs offers a wealth of benefits such as new ways to visualize projects for immediate resource management, as well as the ability to instantaneously share costs and schedules with team members.

[Read More]

Thursday Aug 14, 2014

The Role of Crowd Sourcing in Enterprise PPM

Written by Wayne Caccamo

Crowd Sourcing has been a part of PPM processes for years, but now many of these processes like ideation, project prioritization and best-practice sharing have a more hip term to describe how they more broadly leverage ideas and information from project team members and stakeholders across the organization and beyond. If you’re not taking advantage of crowdsourcing across the PPM process life-cycle from ideation to business case and proposal management to project execution and benefits realization, perhaps you should. Read More....
[Read More]

Thursday Jan 30, 2014

The EPPM Board Weighs In on Top Industry Controversies

A new report from Oracle’s Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) Board in North America directly tackles two critical issues that have divided the project portfolio community for years. The first is whether organizations are best served by a central project management office (PMO) or by a decentralized approach that distributes project management responsibilities among individual business units. The second flashpoint is the rise of mobility among EPPM professionals and whether senior executives should encourage this trend. The EPPM Board Weighs In on Top Industry Controversies

Discussions of these issues are included in the report, “The Changing Face of Enterprise Project Portfolio Management,” by the Oracle EPPM Board, a prestigious international steering group of senior executives, academics, and industry experts.

Read the full report and learn how a balanced approach to mobility can help organizations address both the benefits and risks of this important issue. “A failure to embrace [mobility] could have serious consequences for the delivery of successful projects,” Board members say. They added that evidence shows that when projects fail, many people know well in advance but are worried by what the disclosure could do to their careers. “Smart devices, apps that deliver real-time data straight to the C-level, and dashboard analysis were all viewed as positive ways in which to combat such cognitive, but very human, behavior,” the report explains.

Tuesday Jan 21, 2014

New Webcast with CIO Magazine: Financial Services CIOs Drive Innovation with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

The CIO role in the financial services industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation—from executives primarily involved with managing existing operations into business strategists who help fuel growth in their enterprises. This emerging trend and the close connection between innovation in financial services and enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) solutions are explored in detail in a new webcast hosted by CIO Magazine and sponsored by Oracle.

In addition, two new reports from Accenture and Oracle, respectively, also explain how EPPM solutions can help drive innovation.

Read the full article here and learn more about; Speed time to value for innovation, the seven benefits of EPPM and discover the in-depth resources for CIOs.

Monday Dec 23, 2013

Unlock the cash trapped in your contingency budgets

It is generally accepted that more companies fail due to lack of cash flow than for want of profit. This is an inevitable position because whilst profit is a vital indicator of performance, its generation does not necessarily guarantee an organization’s growth, development, or even in some cases, survival. For the C-level executive, cash flow also has a particular impact in the planning of short or long-term investment strategies, where decisions are more often focused on anticipated funding requirements rather than projecting levels of profitability. Capital budgeting is the process for managing cash flow, where the basic unit of analysis is the investment project. From a finance perspective, projects and programs represent a series of contingent cash flows over time, whose amount and timing are only partially under the control of the executive. The amount of expenditure these consume directly influences the level of available working capital, which is the primary benchmark for measuring a company’s operational liquidity. The eternal challenge for organizations is keeping this liquidity in the positive position needed to support day-to-day operations – i.e., to service both maturing short-term debt and upcoming operational expenses – and for maintaining the flexibility to respond to emerging opportunities. 

Read this complimentary paper and explore the ability of organizations to augment cash flow in their operations by addressing a key area of stagnant cash reserves – contingency budgets. It will argue that the collective pot of contingency monies is conservatively estimated at between 5-10% of total project operating costs across the portfolio. To free up even a small portion of these budgets can therefore enable organizations to expand their portfolios to decisive effect. Finally, it will also detail the way forward, and how a more flexible approach to setting contingency budgets requires the adoption of a portfolio approach to risk management.

Tuesday Dec 03, 2013

Driving a Shared Vision with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management

Written by: Guy Barlow, Director of Industry Strategy at Oracle Primavera

“Write that down!” the CIO of an Indian Oil & Gas company exclaimed. Honestly I was caught off-guard when he hollered this to his reports during our discussion. So what was he so excited about? Simply put, he saw how his team could provide a solution to improve a key business metric; a single number that could not only strengthen the business but also his team’s relationship with operations. Not a bad thing.enterprise project portfolio management best practices

A shared vision, that’s what it is really all about. When an IT leader understands the key business metrics they can instill those metrics in their team to forge the much-needed connectivity between IT and business. The CIO was making a point to ensure his team “got it”. He certainly did.

In our client interactions we’re seeing a rapidly growing trend towards this shared vision and purpose. In some cases it’s by proactive design – the CIO comes from the business – or in others it’s borne out of a reaction to market necessities, like a declining share price, poorer KPIs, or regulatory scrutiny. Crises are great catalysts for initiating change. Similarly, the infusion of technology-thinking into the business is making for much more savvy executives on the operational side of things. In the end this is all good.

So what does this have to do with enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM)? As it turns out, quite a lot. Whether it’s a failed IT implementation for a bank, a cost blowout for a petrochemical facility or a late-to-market delivery of a new vehicle, these are all critical initiatives to the performance of their respective businesses. And guess what? They’re projects – big, small, complex, simple, local, and global. Manage them, by aligning technology and business, and you’re managing your enterprise more effectively.

This link between technology, the business and EPPM is naturally of keen interest to our clients and us. The ability to drive transformational change through greater innovation, efficient operations, a heightened risk and financial management approach is top of mind. Composed of business leaders and academics, the EPPM Board* was formed to explore these types of ideas and communicate to business leaders some of the latest thinking and innovation via research and thought leadership.

Take some time to review these reports generated from the EPPM Board; Hedging your Bets, Stock Shock and In the Firing Line and I guarantee you’ll “get it” too. And more is on the way. Enjoy.

P.S. So what was that number the CIO was interested in? What generated the excitement was, LPO, or lost production opportunity, and for the energy sector it’s a powerful metric. If a facility is down for maintenance it’s not making money. EPPM can reduce maintenance time via a number of areas and by doing so you reduce LPO…and increase revenue.

*The EPPM Board is a prestigious international steering group from Oracle. It brings together senior figures from leading organizations to discuss the business critical role of Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) and establish how the challenge can be better tackled from the top.

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