Tuesday Jun 28, 2016

Learn How Oracle's Primavera Smart City Projects Solution Can Reduce the Risks of Transformation Initiatives

Cities throughout the world are facing similar pressures—growing populations and heightened expectations among constituents are spurring planners to introduce a wide range of modern citizen services. Smart City transformation initiatives are one answer, but they also present significant hurdles.

"To implement a transformation roadmap, leaders must orchestrate many interrelated projects and initiatives," says Werner Maritz, Oracle Director of Public Sector and Infrastructure Strategy. "They often span multiple areas, including transportation, energy, water, education, healthcare, safety, and security. As a result, planners must successfully manage complex project portfolios."

It's no wonder that cities are struggling with all this complexity. For example, to ensure maximum value creation for the citizens, city leaders must select the correct projects to implement from the large number of possible opportunities available to them. Second, these stakeholders must secure adequate funding for all projects selected, either from public or private sector sources. Lastly, leaders must accurately track how these funds are being allocated to specific projects in the city, thereby ensuring financial governance across the Smart City project portfolio.

A new interactive playbook, "360° Overview an Oracle Primavera Framework," explains the forces fueling Smart Cities transformations and offers practical advice and case studies to guide the creation of successful implementation strategies.

The playbook also provides insights into Oracle's Primavera Smart City Projects Solution, which draws on the extensive capabilities of the Oracle technology platform. The solution deals effectively with the complexity of working across multiple verticals or responsibilities in the city through its easy to use web based interface. The solution's ability to manage a program level critical path schedule across multiple projects simplifies the co-ordination of delivery dates and milestones between various contractors and suppliers, provides visibility of relevant project information to all stakeholders involved in bringing the Smart City transformation initiatives to citizens. Post-build Oracle's Primavera continues to deliver visibility, providing full infrastructure management across the entire lifecycle.

"The modern city leader understands that a technology platform like Oracle Primavera could assist them in managing the complexity and delivering real value to their citizens in exchange for the taxes levied by the city," Maritz says. "We can help with the processes and systems to assist the people in building their capabilities in this area."

Download the Interactive Playbook: 360° Overview An Oracle Framework. Take advantage of additional Smart Cities resources, including whitepapers, videos, and solution briefs.

Thursday Jun 09, 2016

2: PLAN – planning across four levels of smart city

Written by: Werner Maritz, Director Public Sector and Infrastructure Strategy

Paris, 1852. Emperor Napoleon III has just commissioned Haussmann’s bold remodeling of Paris, marking the birth of one of the most famous and radical modern city planning projects. Between 1853 and 1927 Haussmann’s renovation transformed the space within the city – replacing overcrowded streets with wide boulevards and green space. Haussmann ushered in an era of modern city planning – imposing regulations on building façades, public parks, sewers and water works, city facilities, and public monuments that would meet the demands of a growing metropolis.

Fast forward 160 years and attention has turned to the opportunities of Smart Cities.

The success of a smart city project relies on the commitment of all stakeholders and economic support - whether it’s public or private – to see the project through to completion. That’s why half the battle of getting such a project off the ground is to plan thoroughly. When presenting a convincing, workable case for a smart initiative, you need to win over the hearts, minds and wallets of supporters.

 To give a project the best chance of winning funding it’s important to consider all four layers of a smart city and how they will run alongside each other. Planning must consider how every layer of the smart city project will be technologically supported, how the people involved will be kept informed and how they can offer robust controls and deliver ROI.

 4 layers:

  • The user layer (all stakeholders)
  • The service layer (what’s offered by a smart city)
  • The infrastructure layer (the network supporting the deployment of smart services)
  • The data layer (securing and harvesting all the information gathered)

The EU has even laid out a formal overview of the funding options for smart city projects up to 2020. It includes thematic objectives for smart cities seeking support, from low-carbon initiatives to social inclusivity projects, which can be useful when examining what your city or project wants to achieve.

 A truly smart plan – be it for an online public service or a manufacturer’s fully automated cooling system – needs to complement existing urban facilities and planning processes. In the same way, urban planning regulations will have to evolve to accommodate the often complicated architecture of a smart city project.

 For example, when Milton Keynes in the UK wanted to implement super-fast broadband, it was discovered that the main hurdle was the existing phone network where the cables have a high aluminum content rather than the required copper. This was a major and costly implementation hurdle discovered during the network build, which should have been identified earlier.

 In such a competitive market it’s also a huge bonus when projects can engage all stakeholders in a single vision, with a comprehensive information center that can give multiple parties visibility of real-time project progress and problems.

Planners need to demonstrate how the project will be managed, how risks will be mitigated and ultimately how a project will deliver ROI. The more real-time information stakeholders can access the better – it helps keep everyone informed but also helps a smart city project integrate with more traditional urban infrastructure plans.

Oracle Primavera’s SMART City Projects solution helps cities manage these challenges using modern collaborative, social and mobile tools, backed with disciplined project management and analytical applications at the core. To find out more, visit our discussion paper on minimizing waste in smart city project planning and execution: here: https://goo.gl/ZtWQNv

Tuesday May 31, 2016

Setting the Stage for Lasting Success with Project Portfolio Management

By: Mike Sicilia, senior vice president and general manager, Primavera Global Business Unit, Oracle

Process improvement (PI) and process excellence (PEX) initiatives, stalwarts of the modern enterprise, are increasingly under the corporate microscope. Starting in the C-suite, expectations are rising as organizations – facing a challenging economic climate and growing regulatory burdens – embrace continuous improvement as an essential element to securing a competitive advantage.

PI and IT have a complicated relationship. Enterprises undertake IT initiatives to improve business performance. In many cases, however, the technology ends up driving process change – for better or worse. Insufficient alignment between business and IT is often at the heart of this growing issue.

Ultimately, leadership wants to ensure that these initiatives align optimally with and support broader business strategies, and are flexible enough to adapt to a web of ever-changing regulations. As important, they want to better predict, measure, and optimize the impact of their PI/PEX initiatives. Speed is also essential in the age of digital transformation as enterprises seek to accelerate insight, action, and outcomes.

These competing requirements can be a tall order for many enterprises as they work to achieve a new level of maturity for their PI/PEX programs. Increasingly, organizations are finding an answer in an unexpected place – project portfolio management (PPM) – a domain traditionally associated, in many enterprises, with IT initiatives.

Selecting the Right Tools

Many PI/PEX initiatives are, in fact, complex projects. As such, it’s logical that PPM methodologies and tools can help to ensure their success.

A McKinsey & Company report found that organizations that actively manage their initiative portfolios can create significantly more value – up to 30 percent more. Further, organizations that formally manage the OpEX initiatives as a portfolio report that projects are always aligned with business strategy 62 percent of the time. These are promising proof points for PI practitioners focused on integrating strategy and action.

It’s important to consider that not all PPM solutions are universally suited to all types of initiatives. Many were designed to support traditional projects, such as capital improvements or IT installations. Line-of-business managers responsible for PI/PEX initiatives have a distinct and often broader set of requirements. For example, PI/PEX professionals must not only manage execution of the project, but facilitate its integration with larger enterprise strategies and goals and then measure its ultimate impact on operations.

When evaluating PPM solutions for use in P/PEX initiatives, it is important to consider multiple factors and requirements, such as:

  • Does the solution enable strategy mapping and tracking to promote alignment between business priorities and PI/PEX initiatives?
  • Does it support continuous improvement over time – enabling migration from one area to the next – from business transformation to continuous improvement?
  • Are you able to identify, track, and manage costs – direct and indirect, capital expenses and operational expenses, real time vs. historical?

The Road Ahead

The PI/PEX landscape is changing, spurring organizations to turn to PPM methodologies and tools that help ensure success while juggling the balance and intersection of IT and PI. PPM offers a clear and strategic path forward – enabling PI leaders and professionals to overcome the complex strategy-execution gap of PI/PEX initiatives and continually sustain change and build on success. PPM solutions, like Oracle’s Instantis EnterpriseTrack, provide organizations with the tools needed to improve strategy execution and drive successful business transformation initiatives.

Check out our white paper, “Process Excellence Re-Imagined,” to learn more and get ongoing insight and practical advice on effectively managing process improvement in an upcoming blog series from Mike Metcalf, director services industry strategy, Oracle Primavera.

Tuesday May 17, 2016

Providing Individualized Content to Clients and Employees

Civil + Structural Engineer

By:  Bob Drake

http://cenews.com/article/10344/providing-individualized-content-to-clients-and-employees

According to Oracle, modern technology has created an era of where personalized experiences are no longer just nice to have, essential to stay competitive. Oracle released a report The Era I Enterprise: Ready for Anything summarizing a survey of 300 C-level executives across 10 industries to understand how prepared organizations are to address the fact that consumers increasingly expect, and even demand, to have it their way. The report revealed that most organizations are dealing with this shift 84 percent of respondents across all industry sectors said their organization has experienced a trend toward customers wanting a more individualized experience and 70 percent have experienced this trend from employees but fewer than 20 percent give their organization an in its ability to offer those experiences.

Within the engineering and construction industry, 77 percent of respondents have experienced a trend toward customers wanting a more individualized experience; 67 percent have experienced this same trend with employees (see Figure 1). Fifty-seven percent of engineering and construction executives surveyed said this shift is a growing challenge in their ability to compete effectively.

Digital age has brought us to a point where we now expect the ability to make real-time decisions, transact, and customize options at the tap of the screen. In the new service-driven economy, innovative enterprises must focus on two things: taking care of their customers and taking care of their said Bob Weiler, executive vice president, Global Business Units, Oracle. study reveals that organizations are unprepared to manage the need for personalization in Era I, but those seeking a competitive advantage stand to gain.

Respondents in the engineering and construction industry said the greatest opportunity for the industry to take advantage of more individualized content, products, and services for customers and/or employees are the following (respondents asked to select all that apply):

  • More interactive and connected enterprise project portfolio management that delivers highly personalized information to stakeholders (engineers, contractors, project management, owners, etc.) in their preferred format (63 percent);
  • Mapping and planning the entire life cycle of a facility from design and engineering through decommissioning (60 percent);
  • Effectively modeling and communicating the impact (on cost and schedule) of specific change orders (53 percent); and
  • Building information modeling (43 percent)

These engineering and construction executives said that the biggest obstacles the industry faces in delivering more individualized content, products, and/or services are (respondents asked to select all that apply):

  • Budget/cost constraints (63 percent);
  • Experienced staff retiring/attracting talent (47 percent);
  • Inability to effectively share real-time data with clients, partners, contractors, engineers, and project managers (43 percent);
  • Security concerns (33 percent); and
  • Inability to manage and analyze project data (27 percent)

According to survey, nearly all organizations surveyed (97 percent) believe IT investments from business intelligence tools to customer experience solutions to industry-specific applications will play a vital role in improving their ability to offer individualized customer and employee experiences. Furthermore, within the engineering and construction sector, 70 percent of respondents said there is an important link between cloud-based IT solutions and their ability to offer an individualized experience.

Among benefits of cloud-based IT solutions are scalability and flexibility, said Mike Sicilia, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Primavera. Security concerns are related more to use of mobile devices than to the cloud itself, he said.

Thursday Mar 03, 2016

How can I deliver better projects in my Smart City?

By: Werner Maritz, Public Sector and Infrastructure Industry Strategy

The world is watching - 10 Game Changing Characteristics

Globally city managers are faced with an ever-increasing city population and a decrease in financial and human resources to deliver adequate services across the city region. The challenge of ensuring the city’s sustainability must be seen against a backdrop of increased environmental and social awareness, economic pressure and competition for public and private investment in and around the city. City managers are often faced with challenges related to ensuring basic human rights, dignity, safety and security for the poorest of residents while delivering on the life style demands and expectations from the richest of residents. Often these diverse groups are living in close proximity of each other and resources must be allocated and shared. Given this familiar situation, city management need to prioritize capital and social investment to deliver on the strategic objectives of the city, a fine balancing act indeed.

City managers need to take a holistic approach in planning the future growth and improvements across the city to ensure not only cost-effective services delivery of and new infrastructure but also ensure synergy across the city responsibilities related to Built Environment, Economic and Social Infrastructure to ensure the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the city. From breaking down the traditional silo approach of the City departments to having real-time insight of the transversal infrastructure demand and backlog across these departments is critical to effective investment planning in the city. Eliminating duplication of effort between departments and leveraging synergy to achieve common objectives is key to a successful Smart City Transformation Roadmap.

Leveraging continuous technology advances and improving cost-benefits ratio of technology to improve the productivity of the city’s infrastructure, city managers face an ever-increasing portfolio of new projects to be delivered across the city. Often these are complex, long term programs consisting of multiple sub-projects to plan, co-ordinate, and implement with due regard to operational effectiveness improvements in the process. Monitoring performance and taking timely corrective action is critical in delivering these long-range programs on time and within budget in a complex delivery environment with multiple stakeholders.

Effectively transitioning the city’s new assets into the operations and maintenance phase is critical to ensure early value generation from these investments, and to manage and maintain these assets at their design capacity and capability over many years to come.

 

Oracle Primavera Smart City Projects Solution

A significant challenge in the implementation of Smart City Transformation Roadmaps across the world is related to securing adequate funding for the projects on the roadmap. Development Financing Institutions (DFI) and potential Public Private Partnerships (PPP) indicate that adequate funding is available to realize the Smart City Transformation goals but they have two main investment decision considerations:

  • The availability of investment grade project opportunities, and
  • The assurance that adequate financial control and governance processes are in place during the project implementation phase.

The Oracle Primavera Smart City Projects Solution delivers 10 characteristics, which will significantly contribute to meeting these requirements:

1. Implement a detailed project portfolio management process to show the alignment of the investment opportunity with the overall strategic objectives of the city. Track the development and approval of deliverables across project development phases. Show how the business case for the project supports the longer term vision of the Smart City transformation roadmap and how benefits realization will be tracked once in operation;

2. Establish a standard platform for program and project set-up, project management and project close-out processes. Ensuring predicable and repeatable project processes and structures facilitate effective project administration;

3. Set a standard for project performance monitoring and reporting. Standard performance reporting across all projects enables decision makers to take early corrective action based on real-time metrics indicating deviation from planned cost and schedule objectives. Poor performance from contractors and suppliers is a leading cause of project failure

4. Enforce project and financial governance processes through configurable workflow for change requests and financial approvals. Ensure the auditability of actions taken by project team members and tracking of contractual deliverables;

5. Implement a formal project scope and contract change management processes. Align the interim contract payments with a formal schedule of values under the contract terms and conditions. Only make payments for work actually completed and certified;

6. Enable electronic correspondence management, document tracking, document control and electronic document handover across all project team members, city operating divisions and external stakeholders. Create a full electronic record of the project to ensure proper project hand-over, close-out and dispute resolution support;

7. Leverage transactional control data in the City’s ERP to enable informed cost and cash-flow management and forecasting. Integrating the Oracle Primavera Smart City Project Solution with the City’s ERP solution will promote operational efficiency and financial data integrity.

8. Implement a formal program and project risk management platform, integrated with the cost and schedule management of the project. Effective program and project risk management is one of the most under-estimated forward looking management tools within the overall project governance framework;

9. Establish a collaborative environment between the city project owner’s team, engineers, consultants, main contractors and sub-contractors. Clear and timely communication between team members reduce project schedule delays due to delayed decisions caused by slow communications;

10. Implement a formal post contract award management environment in support of the chosen contract format. This will facilitate contracts administration, contract change management, interim payment certification, partial and full contract deliverables handover and acceptance. Ensuring compliance with the conditions of the contracts between the city and the contractor will reduce the project cost growth due to uncontrolled contract changes. Preventing litigation related to contested contract changes is an effective manner to contain cost growth and wasteful expenditure on a project

 

Easy to deploy

In todays fast passed city environment the deployment of integrated management systems need to provide the agility the Smart City Transformation Roadmap demands. Unfortunately city IT managers often face challenges to deploy any form of integrated management systems to stakeholders outside of the city administration. In part, this may be due to cost consideration, the city’s procurement policies or data security considerations.

The Oracle Primavera Smart City Projects Solution is a fully web based solution which can be deployed as a Software-as-a-Services (SaaS) solution from Oracle or as an on-premise solution in the city’s own IT environment. The Oracle Primavera solution is designed for the extended enterprise. Cost effective licencing models put the solution within reach of all project stakeholders. The user access and security model is designed to enable deployment outside of only the city administration, allowing the operational efficiencies of a truly integrated project delivery platform across the city and its stakeholders.

The Oracle Primavera solution supports the use of mobile devises to facilitate a productive workforce across the city. Leveraging the city’s communication networks allow project team members and stakeholders to access project planning and contract information, status activities and contracts, and access reports and dashboards while on the go from their mobile devices.

 

1PPM for Intermodal Transportation & Infrastructure Organizations: Select, Manage and Maintain Transformative Projects. Aberdeen Group, March 2015

 

Friday Feb 19, 2016

Five Reasons to Move to Cloud-Based Enterprise Project Portfolio Management

Five Reasons to Move to Cloud-Based Enterprise Project Portfolio Management

Industry studies show that 20 percent of projects may fail as organizations take on more risk in search of higher rewards. To mitigate risk, organizations are turning to modern project management solutions such as Oracle's Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Cloud Service. Learn about five critical benefits of moving project management to the cloud.

[Read More]

Friday Feb 05, 2016

The Fourth Dimension Has Arrived

By: Garrett Harley, Director, Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle Primavera

Making sense of the BIG picture

It’s a construction manager’s nightmare. Once work starts on site, it’s blatantly obvious the plans are flawed. Calls to architects and engineers might be able to resolve the issue, but what does this mean for materials, building products, subcontractors and specialists? Implications for all of these resources need to be considered in the light of the new redesign and even, throughout the project.

The arrival and popularity of building information modelling (BIM) is helping to make light of this situation. Redesigns can be considered on screen rather than onsite, on paper. What’s more, the consequences for materials and products can also be calculated.

BIM has been around for a few years, but now it’s entering the new dimension. This means that as well as three spatial orientations, the software also maps out how construction will progress through time – and it while accounting for the financial dimension too – it really delivers the BIG picture.

But BIM isn’t everything

To manage a whole project from start to finish, and through to operator handover and ongoing maintenance, BIM needs to be extended and integrated.

Construction and engineering managers need to map and display the embedded construction schedule on to the 3D model. They need to verify personnel clearances and spot any design incompatibilities. Another challenge is that construction contractors are investing in standalone BIM systems which need to be integrated with other enterprise systems, including ERP, supply chain and financial management.

Oracle makes all these systems, as well as producing project management software which can keep huge organizational projects on track. Bringing BIM into this environment can put construction managers in a better place when planning and executing building projects. And with the data managed in the Master Data Management platform it means that as changes are made throughout the project and at speed – it means you can visualize all the interconnected outcomes.

To discover more, read our latest business brief.

Thursday Jan 14, 2016

When The Unexpected Strikes

By: Krista Lambert, Director, Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle Primavera

Tales of the Unexpected

Expect the unexpected. That’s a mantra every construction manager could do with heeding. But it’s easier said than done. The one thing we don’t want is the unexpected.

The bigger the project the harder it seems to keep it on track. In the US, the Big Dig, which involved rerouting and tunnelling Boston’s Central Artery to the heart of the city centre, was set to be finished by 1998. In December 2007 the project was finally finished, with a cost overrun of 190 percent at $14.6 billion, much of which was attributed to unexpected changes.

Such is the complexity of these mega-projects it’s tempting to think that overruns and cost inflation are inevitable. Certainly change is unavoidable in a project of this scale and length. But how you manage change, can make a big difference.

Preparing for change

In a recent Economist Intelligence Unit survey of 300 executives in asset-intensive industries like construction, more than 60 percent blamed unexpected change for at least half of all project overruns. More than half of respondents rank their organizations as average or below average at anticipating change (55 percent), measuring the impact of change after its implemented (55 percent) and making contingency plans to accommodate potential change (51 percent).

There is clearly room for improvement. The question is, what can be done about it? Enterprise project portfolio management software can now track and aggregate all sorts of data vital to complex projects. This helps project managers map out “what if” scenarios to assess the impact of possible changes before they happen, and figure out how much to invest in mitigating these risks. Data can be shared with all internal and external stakeholders. It can also be extracted and integrated from ERP, finance and other enterprise systems.

Managing change has always been tough, but now there are tools to help. Ignoring them could simply lead to digging a bigger hole.

To discover more, read our latest business brief.

Tuesday Dec 08, 2015

The Risks of ‘Word of Mouth’

By: Garrett Harley, Director, Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle Primavera

Where’s Bob?

When a kitchen appliance isn’t behaving as it should, it’s best to consult the manual. That’s if you can find it. In the digital, searchable, online world, it is easy to forget how much valuable information is hidden away. Until someone really needs it.

Multiply this problem by thousands and the difficulties in the maintenance of large capital assets become clear. Information needed by maintenance engineers might be in the architect’s drawings, the engineer’s calculations or in any documents from thousands of suppliers. It might be in the notepad of Bob, who heads up electrical engineering, his team made some changes to the set-up of the security schematics. Where is he? And where is the information?

The problem is that it might even have been mentioned in any number of project meetings and even the handover meetings between the construction contractors and the owner-operators. But where was the information captured?

With many different specialists (Bob#1, Bob#2, Bob#3, etc) working on a single capital asset, information gets stuck behind ‘tribal’ boundaries and sits in silos. Bob’s scenario is all too frequent and the complexity throughout the project lifecycle is magnified.

A lack of clear, consolidated, searchable data on components, materials and construction techniques can making maintaining buildings highly inefficient. It also creates a risk of the building being poorly maintained. Mistakes here lead to costly reactive work further down the road. It’s not a good place to be.

But there are better ways to manage the hand-over of large-scale capital assets. There are tools available that allow the main contractors to capture all the data in a coherent but flexible workflow. With so many people involved in a large project, keeping track of all the adjustments – it can make maintenance a lot easier, creating massive savings in the lifetime cost of the asset and more to the point – fewer ‘where’s Bob’ moments.

To discover more, read our latest business brief.

Friday Nov 13, 2015

Join us for Primavera Day, coming in your area

Join Oracle for this exclusive customer briefing and learn all about Primavera’s latest solutions directly from Oracle’s executive team.

Primavera provides organizations of all sizes, across industries and regions with a global business foundation that reduces costs and increases productivity through a portfolio of rapid value, integrated and industry-focused solutions available on premise and in the Cloud.

Attend this event and get the information you need to actively evaluate plans for moving to the latest release, leverage the power of the Cloud and mobile applications, — and find out how  Primavera Cloud can further improve your business. 

 Find out more at   http://bit.ly/PrimaveraCloudDay

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