Monday Jul 14, 2014

Managing Change on Engineering & Construction Projects

By Krista Lambert, Engineering and Construction Strategy Director, Oracle

As the saying goes: change happens. But the recent report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Building in Change: Project Construction in Asset-Intensive Industries revealed that for engineering and construction projects, change is not only inevitable, it creates its own set of challenges. According to the report:

  • More than 60% of survey respondents blame unexpected change for at least one-half of all project overruns.
  • 55% of the executives surveyed consider their companies as average or below at anticipating change.

Clearly, both owners and EPC firms feel that they could vastly improve their ability to manage change. An enterprise-wide project management system not only provides greater visibility and insight into changes, but also improves communication across organizational boundaries, so you can quickly adapt to cost overruns, scope and schedule and quality impacts. To find out more, read the article Critical Components to Effective Project Execution in the latest issue of Construction Connection.

Tuesday Dec 10, 2013

A Look Ahead at Global Construction Through 2025

The recently released Global Construction 2025 report, the third in a series of major global studies of the construction and engineering industry published by Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics, provides accurate and reliable forecasts to 2025 for the global construction and engineering industry as well as for key regional and country markets.

Sponsored in part by Oracle, the report estimates the global value of construction output will increase by 75% between 2012 and 2025, with the U.S. among the top three largest construction markets, despite depressed numbers in the last seven years.

Garrett E. Harley, director of Engineering & Construction Strategy for Oracle Primavera, says, “From a global perspective, the long-term investment volume and potential release of capital should make any construction company smile. However, the challenges and lessons exposed in the recent downturn still weigh heavily on the minds of public and private leaders and will continue to shape business strategies for both owners and contractors. It’s imperative that owners, their consultants and their contractors transform their business operations and delivery capabilities to maximize value and reduce risk.”

While the long-term forecast is optimistic, the short term

U.S. economy is expected to expand at a slow, but steady pace of 2.7% over the forecast period, which should reduce the unemployment rate to around 5%, but probably increase the rate of consumer price inflation to around 2.2%. Looking at specific markets, the report estimates that housing and non-housing sectors will grow at about 5%, while infrastructure—which includes transportation, highways, water and waste—will grow at half that rate over the next 12 years. Demand for public sector construction (schools, hospitals, etc.) is likely to increase, due to both the expected increase in the U.S.’s population and the higher proportion of elderly people. The high level of U.S. debt will likely make financing needed public construction work difficult.

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Tuesday Nov 26, 2013

Enabling Public Sector Efficiency, Transparency

Written by: Paul Bender – Director, Public Administration Strategy, Oracle Primavera

Whether focused on infrastructure, public safety, healthcare or education, public sector organizations face some common and complex challenges in today’s environment, most related to limited funding, oversight and transparency and the increasing and immediate demand to construct new or upgrade existing systems and services.

Public sector entities—and their engineering and construction consultants— must find ways to operate within the given budgets while still meeting the growing needs of constituents.

These entities must answer pointed questions: Given the present budget environment, how does a public works agency determine which program(s) to terminate or downsize to avoid minimal disruption to citizen services? How can an airport authority develop better program oversight and transparency? Is a university system able to model program and portfolio risk so it can create contingency plans? Are there ways that every public entity can reduce waste and inefficiency through better contractor/vendor management? project management best practices in the public sector

No doubt, technology tools can help. Today’s program management solutions, in particular, can help any organization determine where to invest capital that drives greater constituent or agency value, captures inventory for projects and programs, provides oversight for mission objectives…or all of the above.

Program management technology is an enabler designed to improve strategic investment decisions around resource allocation and maintenance. It’s the foundation for facilitating the three strategic drivers—financial discipline, operational efficiency and risk management—that characterize the success of any business regardless of size, scope or market segment. Using technology to enable these three strategic drivers will drive better coordination, compliance and control so that public sector entities and their E&C teams can meet the demands of constituents, stakeholders and regulators in a timely, affordable manner.

Already airport authorities, transportation agencies, universities, healthcare systems and public works organizations have applied program management solutions to make the most of limited funding, meet oversight and transparency metrics and reduce waste and inefficiency.

Read the complete online magazine here.

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