Friday Sep 14, 2012

Five Ideas: Project Management

Here, see how Oracle's project management solutions are helping customers shrink costs and deliver results.[Read More]

Tuesday Sep 11, 2012

Webcor Builders Coordinates Construction Schedules and Mitigates Potential Delays More Efficiently with Integrated Project Management

With more than 40 years of commercial construction experience, Webcor Builders is a leading builder of distinguished, high-profile projects, including high-rise condominiums and hotels, laboratories, healthcare centers, and public works projects. Webcor is also known for its award-winning concrete, interior construction, historic restoration, and seismic renovation work. The company has completed more than 50 million square feet of projects to date.

Considering the variety and complexity of the construction projects Webcor undertakes, an integrated project management solution is critical to ensuring optimal efficiency and completing client projects on time and on budget. The company previously used a number of scheduling systems for its various building projects. These packages provided different levels of schedule detail and required schedulers, engineers, and other employees to learn multiple systems. From an IT cost and complexity perspective, the company had to manage multiple scheduling systems and pay for multiple sets of licenses.

The company looked to standardize on an enterprise project management system, and selected Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management. Webcor uses the solution’s advanced capabilities to schedule complex projects, analyze delays, model and propose multiple scenarios to demonstrate and mitigate delays and cost overruns, and process that information efficiently to deliver the scheduling precision that public and private projects require. In fact, the solution was instrumental in helping the company’s expansion into public sector projects during the recent economic downturn, and with Primavera P6 in place, it can deliver the precise schedule reporting required for large public projects.

With Primavera P6 in place, the company could deliver the precise scheduling and milestone reporting capabilities required for large public projects.

The solution is in managing the high-profile University of California – Berkeley Memorial Stadium project. Webcor was hired as construction manager and general contractor for the stadium renovation project, which is a fast-paced project located near the seismically active Hayward Fault Zone. Due to the University of California’s football schedule, meeting the Universities deadline for the coming season placed Webcor in a situation where risk awareness and early warnings of issues would be paramount. Webcor and the extended project team needed a solution that could instantly analyze alternate scenarios to mitigate potential delays; Primavera would deliver those answers.The team would also need to enable multiple stakeholders to use an internet-based platform to access the schedule from various locations, and model complicated sequencing requirements where swift decisions would be made to keep the project on track.

The schedule is an integral part of Webcor’s construction management process for the stadium project. Rather than providing the client with the industry-standard monthly update, Webcor updates the critical path method (CPM) schedule on a weekly basis. The project team also reviews the schedule and updates weekly to confirm that progress and forecasted performance are accurate.

Hired by the University for their ability to deliver in high risk environments The Webcor team was hit recently with a design supplement that could have added up to 70 days to the project. Using Oracle Primavera P6 the team sprung into action analyzing multiple “what if” scenarios to review mitigation means and methods.  Determined to make sure the Bears could take the field in the coming season the project team nearly eliminated the impact with their creative analysis in working the schedule. The total time from the issuance of the final design supplement to an agreed mitigation response was less than one week; leveraging the Oracle Primavera solution Webcor was able to deliver superior customer value

With the ability to efficiently manage projects and schedules, Webcor can ensure it completes its projects on time and on budget, as well as inform clients about what changes to plans will mean in terms of delays and additional costs.

Read the complete customer case study at : 

http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/customers/customersearch/webcor-builders-1-primavera-ss-1639886.html


Friday Sep 07, 2012

How to Reap Anticipated ROI in Large-Scale Capital Projects

Only a small fraction of companies in asset-intensive industries reliably achieve expected ROI for major capital projects 90 percent of the time, according to a new industry study. In addition, 12 percent of companies see expected ROIs in less than half of their capital projects.

The problem: no matter how sophisticated and far-reaching the planning processes are, many organizations struggle to manage risks or reap the expected value from major capital investments.

The data is part of the larger survey of companies in oil and gas, mining and metals, chemicals, and utilities industries. The results appear in Prepare for the Unexpected: Investment Planning in Asset-Intensive Industries, a comprehensive new report sponsored by Oracle and developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Analysts say the shortcomings in large-scale, long-duration capital-investments projects often stem from immature capital-planning processes. The poor decisions that result can lead to significant financial losses and disappointing project benefits, which are particularly harmful to organizations during economic downturns.

The report highlights three other important findings.

Teaming the right data and people doesn’t guarantee that ROI goals will be achieved. Despite involving cross-functional teams and looking at all the pertinent data, executives are still failing to identify risks and deliver bottom-line results on capital projects. Effective processes are the missing link.

Project-planning processes are weakest when it comes to risk management and predicting costs and ROI. Organizations participating in the study said they fail to achieve expected ROI because they regularly experience unexpected events that derail schedules and inflate budgets. But executives believe that using more-robust risk management and project planning strategies will help avoid delays, improve ROI, and more accurately predict the long-term cost of initiatives.

Planning for unexpected events is a key to success. External factors, such as changing market conditions and evolving government policies are difficult to forecast precisely, so organizations need to build flexibility into project plans to make it easier to adapt to the changes.

The report outlines a series of steps executives can take to address these shortcomings and improve their capital-planning processes. Read the full report or take the benchmarking survey and find out how your organization compares.

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