Wednesday Apr 25, 2012

Improving Performance Management and Project Control to Meet Cost/Schedule Milestones in DoD Procurement

In the wake of mounting economic pressure and historical shifts in defense strategy, priorities and tactics, Defense organizations are operating with significantly reduced budgets in FY2012. Despite the fact that Defense spending accounts for approximately 4.7 percent of the United States GDP, President Obama’s proposed FY2012 budget, which calls for $487 billion reduction over 10 years, significantly decreases the DoD’s buying power.

Although many Defense organizations have focused on IT reform and shared services to help them adapt to complex mission demands and diminishing resources, innovative program managers and procurement officers are implementing private sector solutions and practices to squeeze the highest value from new and existing defense programs.

It can be nearly impossible to build annual budgets that consider forecasted project and program work plans along with detailed cost data, particularly when attempting to reconcile actual and projected program costs with actual schedule performance.

Defense Systems is hosting a webcast sponsored by Oracle,on the following topic: Improving Performance Management and Project Control to Meet Cost/Schedule Milestones in DoD Procurement

In this upcoming webcast, Gary Winkler, former program executive officer for Army Enterprise Information Systems, and CEO of Cyber Solutions & Services, will share best practices and hard-won lessons aligning critical data on project performance, cost systems and schedules for truly big picture program management insight.

Participants will learn:

  • How to calculate project costs using direct and indirect costs per resource
  • How to determine if a project is ahead of or behind schedule, or over budget by analyzing the earned value of KPIs
  • Track the variances between forecasted budget and execution

To find out more information, register now for this live webcast.

Thursday Apr 19, 2012

Take the Uncertainty Out of Your Project Management

Written by Guest Blogger Saj Yaqub, Sales Consultant, Oracle Primavera and Subject Matter Expert for Primavera Risk Management

 These days, almost every element of business is project-driven. But what happens when the inevitable strikes: key projects threaten to become delayed or derailed?

If your company is not using a formal process for managing risk throughout your project portfolio, then the impact on your business is potentially high.

All projects carry risk, either inherently within the project or from external factors that can have a significant impact. For example, impacts can be on reputation, safety, and from a more quantitative perspective, cost and time. They key benefit is to understand the potential impact as early as possible, so that any appropriate response strategies can be implemented. Additionally, the right balance of contingency should reflect the risk exposure that is present. All too typical you see a more ‘gut feeling’ approach, with a 20% contingency added in.

If a robust process is in place, and simple and robust tools are there underpinning that process, then the people in the organization can spend more time on their primary responsibilities rather than managing tools. Too often though, there is a common practice of having disparate tools like spreadsheets that provide a disconnected environment-important data is collected, but not made easily available to the right people. Having a central repository where all relevant risks are housed along with all the project information is a good start. Now executives can see a rolled up view of project information and project level folks can see a more tactical view of project performance all at the same time.

Oracle Primavera provides a platform where project risks are captured in one place for all projects in the portfolio and tools for evaluating risk scenarios and developing response plans.

If you are interested in learning more on this subject, please join me on April 25 at 1:00 p.m. ET for a more in-depth presentation and discussion, a live Webcast, Take the Uncertainty Out of Your Project Management.

Register Here

Wednesday Apr 11, 2012

Navigating the Unpredictable Swinging of the Financial Regulation Pendulum

Written by Guest Blogger: Maureen Clifford, Sr Product Marketing Manager, Oracle

The pendulum of the regulatory clock is constantly in motion, albeit often not in any particular rhythm.  Nevertheless, given what many insurers have been through economically, any movement can send shock waves through critical innovation and operational plans.  As pointed out in Deloitte’s 2012 Global Insurance Outlook, the impact of regulatory reform can cause major uncertainty in the area of costs.  As the reality of increasing government regulations settles in, the change that comes along with it creates more challenges in compliance and ultimately on delivering the optimum return on investment.  The result of this changing environment is a proliferation of compliance projects that must be executed with an already constrained set of resources, budget and time.

Insurers are confronted by the need to gain visibility into all of their compliance efforts and proactively manage them. Currently that is very difficult to do as these projects often are being managed by groups across the enterprise and they lack a way to coordinate their efforts and drive greater synergies.  With limited visibility and equally limited resources it is no surprise that reporting on project status and determining realistic completion of these projects is only a dream. As a result, compliance deadlines are missed, penalties are incurred, credibility with key stakeholders and the public is jeopardized and returns and competitive advantage go unrealized.

Insurers need to ask themselves some key questions:

    • Do I have “one stop” visibility into all of my compliance efforts?  If not, what can I do to change that?
    • What is top priority and how does that impact my already taxed resources?
    • How can I figure out how to best balance my resources to get these compliance projects done as well as keep key innovation and operational efforts on track?
    • How can ensure that I have all the requisite documentation for each compliance project I undertake?
Dealing with complying with regulatory efforts is a necessary evil. Don't let the regulatory pendulum sideline your efforts to generate the greatest return on investment for your key stakeholders.

Sunday Apr 01, 2012

Building in Change: Project Construction in Asset Intensive Industries

According to a recent survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Oracle, only 51% of project owners rated themselves as effective at delivering their projects to scope, budget, and schedule when confronted with change. In addition only 43% rated themselves as effective at anticipating potential change.

Even with the best processes and technology in place, change is often an unavoidable part of the construction process. How organizations respond to change can mean the difference between delays and cost overruns, and projects being completed on schedule and on budget.

Implementing Enterprise Project Portfolio Management and using a solution to help manage and automate those process can help asset intensive organizations:

  • Govern project and program compliance and regulatory requirements for project success
  • Unite project teams and stakeholders through collaboration and strong feedback methods to speed project completion
  • Reduce the risk of cost and schedule overruns and any resulting penalties to deliver on time and on budget
  • Effectively manage change throughout the project life cycle
  • Ensure sufficient capacity, utilization, and availability of people, skills, and other resources to meet commitments.

The results of the recent EIU survey, sponsored by Oracle:"Building in Change: Project Construction in Asset-Intensive Industries", will be revealed in an upcoming webinar with Hart Energy / Oil & Gas Investor, featuring the Economist Intelligence Unit and Oracle on April 11th at 1pm CST.

Click here for further information or visit


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