Friday May 24, 2013

Oracle Primavera Showcases the Latest PPM Acquisitions at the 2013 Virtual Summit

At this year’s 4th Annual Primavera Virtual Summit, attendees will get the chance to learn about Oracle’s most recent Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) acquisitions –including leading cloud based solutions Oracle Instantis and Primavera Unifier.

During this one-day, global event, Project Management Professionals in attendance will get detailed insight into how Primavera Unifier can help optimize and integrate business processes critical to project management.

They will also discover how Oracle Instantis can help organizations run multiple initiatives simultaneously, improve strategic alignment, and enhance project execution and gain financial discipline.

The 2013 Oracle Primavera Virtual Summit: Enabling Financial Discipline, Operational Excellence and Risk Mitigation, takes place on Thursday, June 13th and will be available on demand for a limited time afterwards. Project Managers in attendance will earn Professional Development Units throughout the event.

Want more information and to view the full agenda.

Register here for the virtual event.

Monday May 20, 2013

E.ON New Build & Technology Increases Profitability, Reduces Risks by Streamlining Engineering and Construction Projects

E.ON New Build & Technology GmbH—global unit of the world’s largest, investor-owned utility company, Germany’s E.ON SE—is a leading engineering and construction firm. The company unites excellence in project management, project delivery, and engineering to support the entire E.ON Group with advanced engineering services and technology competence. E.ON New Build & Technology is engineering a cleaner and better future for E.ON by delivering world-class solutions that it has seen through, from ideas to reality. E.ON New Build & Technology is the central hub for research and development activities within the E.ON Group, enabling further development of sustainable, low-carbon-energy technologies and broadening E.ON’s geographical footprint with new market development.

Challenges:

  • Manage more than 100 engineering and construction projects, annually, with increased efficiency—ranging from small projects, such as power transformer maintenance, to very large projects, such as the turnkey construction of thermal, coal-fired, or nuclear power plants.
  • Facilitate proactive project management by providing actual project status information and ad-hoc, root-cause analysis to strengthen decision-making and mitigate project risks.
  • Provide accurate project performance forecasts to meet hand-over dates and avoid project budget overruns—usually caused by numerous change requests, which on average cost between US$10,000 and US$100,000 per request.

Solutions:

  • Deployed Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management to prioritize, schedule, execute, and monitor engineering projects with earned-value analysis and E.ON-specific adaptations—from the construction of entire power plants to the maintenance of power transformers, involving up to several thousand workers, across dozens of teams per project.
  • Enabled assessing E.ON-specific project management environments, as well as developing and implementing procedures that make project scheduling, execution, and monitoring more efficient.
  • Reduced dependency on engineering, procurement, and construction firms by facilitating end-to-end control over projects and subprojects, helping the company to run complex projects, such as a set of 1,100 megawatt thermal power plants with more than 50 lots, by coordinating interfaces among subcontractors and the general planner.

Why Oracle:

“We decided to implement Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management over Microsoft Project and Power Project because P6 proved to be an expert system, handling large data volumes much better than its competitors and offering a stable and centralized scheduling environment. The use of various layout and filtering criteria was also highly appreciated,” said Heinrich Genent, project scheduling, E.ON New Build & Technology GmbH.

Read the full customer story here.

Wednesday May 15, 2013

Discover What's new in Primavera Unifier 9.9.3 - May 22nd

Don't miss this webcast and learn all about the enhancements in the recent new release of Primavera Unifier. Hear from the Primavera Product Strategy team as they take you through the details, including demos of the latest cloud-based Enterprise Product Portfolio Management solution from Oracle.

Register today - If you are a current Primavera Unifier user, then you definitely don’t miss out on this webcast!

Friday May 10, 2013

Solving the Problems of Enterprise Project Portfolio Management at the Oracle Primavera Virtual Summit

Oracle is pleased to announce the 4th Annual Primavera Virtual Summit: Enabling Financial Discipline, Operational Excellence and Risk Mitigation. This one-day global event takes place on Thursday, June 13th and will be available on demand for a limited time afterwards.

In the current climate, constrained capital markets and economic uncertainty have made well informed decision-making more important than ever before, while pressure to control costs, manage capital, and mitigate risk has never been greater.

Many organizations are turning to Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) solutions in a bid to ensure that they gain real-time visibility across the project portfolio in order to enable financial discipline, drive operational efficiency and control risk. The 2013 Virtual Summit will showcase the latest Oracle’s cloud based EPPM Solutions and detail how Primavera P6 EPPM and a range of other industry-leading tools such as Oracle Instantis or Primavera Unifier can help dramatically improve project planning and execution.

In addition, by attending the event, Project Management Professionals will have the chance to earn Professional Development Units.

Register today!

Thursday May 09, 2013

Resource Management Maturity Model Benefits

 Wayne Caccamo, Sr Director, Product Marketing, Oracle

In a previous post we introduced the the Resource Management Maturity Model (RMMM) which is described in a white paper which you can download here. We defined the purpose of the RMMM as a tool that enables organizations to define and execute an effective resource management strategy. Here we describe four potential high-level benefits of adopting the RMMM as an Enterprise PPM (EPPM) best-practice tool.

1. Common Language

The RMMM provides resource managers, portfolio managers and business executives in project-intensive organizations with a framework and common language for communicating about resource management objectives, issues and outcomes. Terms like resource utilization and capacity, for example, mean different things to different stakeholders. For example, some people include or exclude non-project work in their working definitions of utilization. Total capacity may include vacation time and holidays. The RMMM doesn't prescribe the "right" terms to institutionalize and the "right" definition for those terms. But, it does raise awareness about the need to create a standardized language and the challenges associated with accomplishing this.

2. Roadmap

The RMMM deliver a roadmap and a guide for stakeholders that helps them characterize their current level of maturity and determine the optimal, aspirational level of maturity. In other words, it's hard to plot a course to where you want to go without firmly understanding where you stand.

3. Clarity

The RMMM attempts to expose clearly the implications and consequences of aspiring to or operating at a particular level of resource management maturity in areas like data gathering and reporting requirements, software technology selection, governance infrastructure, and resulting business benefits. Too many organizations charge off with a software technology strategy, for example, without understanding the process and governance implications or vice versa.

4. Software Selection

One fall out of the RMMM, as eluded to above, is that it can prepare stakeholders to make better assessments of PPM software options for resource management and choose the solution that is best suited to meet current and projected needs. Many PPM software applications are geared for environments which assume a very high-level of process sophistication and burden users with resource-related data input requirements. Other solutions operate at a higher-level only while still others can provide a growth path from a low-level of maturity to a very high level. The key is to find a solution that let's you bite off only what you can chew at any given point in your resource management maturation journey.

3 Dimensions of Business-Driven PMO Maturity

Wayne Caccamo, Sr Director, Product Marketing, Oracle

There is no shortage of maturity models in the PPM space that are very tactical in nature. From a business alignment perspective it is useful to talk about PMO maturity in terms of three dimensions: Approach, Scope and Impact.

pmo maturity dimensions

This also serves to clarify the vocabulary used in the industry around three common terms to describe PMOs, at least for the purposes of this blog article, but perhaps beyond. These terms have all blended together and are sometimes used inter-changeably. But, it would be useful to make some distinctions and standardize the industry conversation around some commonly accepted definitions as follows:

  • "Business-Driven PMO": This term is associated with the Approach dimension and it can be defined as the degree to which a PMO is driven by a business stakeholder and "customer-oriented" mindset

  • "Strategic PMO": This term is associated with the Impact dimension and can be defined as the level of impact on executive-level strategies, business processes, pain points, risks, portfolios and programs (versus projects, tasks, internal PPM methods and tools).

  • "Enterprise PMO": This term is associated with the Scope dimension and can be defined as the extent to which the PMO field of influence transcends organizational and functional boundaries and formal project and non-project/operational work.

In sum, Approach is about mindset, Impact is about strategic vs. tactical effect, and Scope refers to having influence across both functional areas and organizational boundaries and the spectrum of formal and non-formal project work.

The key message here is that it’s important to keep these maturity vectors in balance. For example, if the goal is high level of Strategic Impact than the focus will be on strategic initiative and program execution rather than project execution. This drives movement along the Enterprise PMO Scope in order to execute on strategic programs which typically transcend organizational boundaries. This, in turn, assumes a more Business-Driven approach supported by business leadership and an understanding of strategic objectives and metrics.

The Resource Management Maturity Sweet Spot

Wayne Caccamo, Sr Director, Product Marketing, Oracle

The Resource Management Maturity Model (RMMM) defines five levels of process maturity: 1: Work Visibility; 2: Controlled Assignment; 3: Governed Capacity; 4: Schedule-Driven Availability; 5: Granular Management. One of the principle tenets of the RMMM is that higher is not necessarily better when it comes to the maturity of your resource management process. In fact, for most organizations, the optimal level of maturity is Level 3: Governed Capacity.

We call this the resource management maturity sweet spot.

At Level 3, resources are managed at the "project" level rather than at a more granular level like project phase or task. In other words, resource management is essentially a top-down process as opposed to the next level of maturity where resource assignments are driven bottom-up from the project Work Breakdown Schedule (WBS) at either the project phase level (Level 4) or detailed project activity level (Level 5).

Managing resources at the "project" level of detail, provides most of the benefits organizations desire in terms of the ability to assign resources to the highest priority projects, manage capacity to meet existing and future demand, and track project and portfolio costs.

At the same time, it doesn't burden organizations with the additional process complexity associated with bottom-up resource management. The key business benefit of more granular resource management control -- the ability to accommodate incremental demand with existing resources in a highly time/schedule constrained environment -- may not be justified simply because of the potentially onerous information and supporting technology complexity and process maturity demands.

To illustrate exactly what you are signing up for when you go bottom up, consider this.  WBS-driven resource management puts the burden on project managers to accurately:

1. Maintain and update project phase dates
2. Assign individual resources to the relevant phases; and
3. Provide utilization requirements by phase. 

For a portfolio with 100 projects, with an average of 5 phases per project and 5 resources per phase, the required number of data values to be kept up to date by the PM is 100x5x5x3 or 7,500!

If the organization does not possess adequate process maturity, the dependent capacity planning and governance processes will be driven from a mass of unreliable underlying information. This is a big risk.

In sum, understand your resource information requirements carefully and make sure you can justify the incremental maturity level benefits with the additional process complexity and associated risks. 

Monday May 06, 2013

Five Globalization Risks and How to Manage Them

Globalization may offer enterprises exciting new growth opportunities in emerging markets, but it can also introduce a complex array of operational risks. The challenge is that without the right infrastructure in place to confront these risks, international projects can immobilize an organization and lead to the biggest consequence of all—putting the company out of business.

“Investing in the Unknown?” is a new report produced by The EPPM Board that explores five key challenges facing global project delivery. Produced for enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) professionals, the report examines the challenges of operating across borders, and details the role of EPPM solutions in maintaining effective visibility and control.

A shifting risk profile. The increased scale of globalized operations is matched by the increased level of risk, ranging from fluctuations in interest and exchange rates to supply chain piracy. As these risks become more strategic, they frequently involve greater levels of uncertainty that can impact capital investments. Organizations therefore need access to a more comprehensive risk framework, and the ability to analyze different scenarios and model specific risks and costing options.

Regulatory obstacles. Fast-changing regulations and local policies can have a dramatic impact on the profitability of cross-border investments, heightening uncertainty in rapid-growth markets. By adopting a global platform for managing the project portfolio, greater visibility can be gained into the procedures for overcoming regional barriers—and for developing suitable contingency plans.

Cultural differences. Managing workforces when operations are separated by thousands of miles, international time zones, and cultural and religious differences can be an exacting challenge. To cope, the central organization must be able to refine portfolio management and create an infrastructure that maintains the diversity of international teams while also empowering local delivery.

Resource constraints. Increased competition for local talent often results in skills shortages in key functions. This creates increased demand for effective planning processes allied to dynamic resource management capabilities. While the tools exist to support these activities, the trick is to review intelligence from a consolidated global perspective. EPPM solutions provide a framework for adopting this perspective and for balancing the risks of individual projects across the portfolio.

Problem flexibility. The growing interdependence of international value chains makes the consequences of major systemic disruptions difficult to manage. Increased visibility into value chain performance, and processes for creating a collaborative, two-way flow of information are the vital ingredients for retaining flexibility and responsiveness. In addition, executives must be able to select the type and frequency of data they review and zoom in on any critical obstacles.

EPPM Is Essential
To succeed in globalization, organizations must manage challenges and risks at an executive level. As a result, EPPM technologies that enable a more integrated, top-down approach to managing projects and resources are becoming critical components in many globalization strategies.

Read the full report and learn about Oracle’s full portfolio of EPPM solutions.

Friday May 03, 2013

Oracle Instantis Complements and Expands EPPM Solutions

Late last year, Oracle announced its purchase of Instantis, a leading provider of cloud-based and on-premises project portfolio management solutions. Wayne Caccamo, a former Instantis executive and now part of Oracle’s Primavera team, discusses what the acquisition means for users of Oracle solutions for enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM).

Q: What new capabilities does the Instantis acquisition bring to Oracle’s already extensive portfolio of EPPM solutions?
A: Oracle’s Instantis EnterpriseTrack offers a number of complementary solutions and capabilities for the Oracle portfolio. At a high level, Instantis EnterpriseTrack brings top-down strategy execution and portfolio management capabilities to resource-constrained PPM environments. At the same time, Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management and Primavera Unifier provide robust bottom-up project-planning capabilities for schedule-constrained PPM use cases.

As such, Oracle’s Instantis product line has established market leadership in relatively lighter-weight project environments, such as IT; new product development; and process improvement. This, of course, complements Oracle’s traditional strengths in the capital planning, maintenance, and manufacturing environments that are prevalent in asset-intensive industries. This combination results in the most comprehensive single-vendor EPPM solution offering in the industry.

Q: Can current users of Primavera P6 and Oracle Fusion Applications integrate Oracle’s Instantis solutions into their existing platforms now?
A: Instantis EnterpriseTrack can integrate with Primavera P6, Oracle Fusion Applications, and other solutions through existing Web service APIs. More packaged integrations are on the product development roadmap. The vision is to move from the current, single-vendor EPPM solution to a single-platform EPPM solution by leveraging common cloud-service and Oracle components. At that point there will be a single, converged EPPM services layer for portfolio management, analytics, strategy alignment, and global resource and capacity management. However, there will continue to be a number of PPM-environment-specific configuration options to preserve cultural acceptability for each distinct user community in areas such as idea and demand management, project scheduling, financial modeling, and metrics tracking.

Q: What is the value of cloud computing to users of EPPM applications?
A: Often, cloud-based EPPM solutions are easier to deploy, use, administer, and afford. For example, deployment timeframes for Instantis EnterpriseTrack can be measured in days, not months. Oracle’s Instantis solutions are 100-percent Web based, which means they are easier to use since they are always on—anytime, anywhere—making it simple to support a remote and mobile workforce.

Q: Can EPPM users expect to see future upgrades and innovations to Oracle’s Instantis solutions?
A: Before being acquired by Oracle, Instantis built a 12-year track record of industry firsts and has been recognized by leading industry analysts as being innovative and visionary. With the additional resources being brought to bear under Oracle, it is expected that the rate of innovation will accelerate over time. Oracle is committed to continuous innovation in areas such as dashboards, reporting and analytics, user experience, and social/mobile PPM.

Read the full version of the EPPM Quarterly Newsletter here

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