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.

Wednesday Nov 11, 2015

Stop Wasting My Time

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

Make better bids, win better work

The average engineering and construction firm only wins one in every four bids for capital asset projects. For a $1 billion company, that’s around $75 million wasted on failed bids every year.

The industry has always worked this way, and some executives will justify the waste as a cost of doing business. But there is another way of looking at it.

Given the costs, it’s no surprise that engineering and construction businesses are picky about the jobs they bid for. The question is, whether they can target more profitable work, improve their chances of winning each bid, or launch more bids with fewer resources? The answer is they can do all three.

Unlocking the value of knowledge

In geographically dispersed businesses, bids are managed autonomously by local teams. Valuable experience and knowledge is often lost to the rest of the organization. This might be based on analysis of opportunities in the marketplace, costings for materials, researching the supply base or understanding a potential client’s wants and needs. There’s a huge opportunity to pool this knowledge across the organization and improve bid quality while lowering cost.

Currently, too many organizations are comfortable with a lack of collaboration which leads to errors and omissions, increasing costs and lowering the chances of success. But tools exist that can ensure data is shared throughout the organization, and readily available to anyone who needs it. And when you’re bidding for new jobs, knowledge is not only power. It’s also profit.

To discover more, read our latest business brief.

Wednesday Jul 10, 2013

Oracle Receives a Positive Rating and Is Named a Leader in New Gartner Reports

Gartner, Inc. evaluated Oracle enterprise project portfolio management solutions in two reports recently.

The Gartner MarketScope for IT Project and Portfolio Management Software Applications, published in May 2013, gave Oracle a positive rating.
The IT project and portfolio management (IT PPM) products included in the Gartner MarketScope address the challenges of portfolio, program, project management office leaders; program/project managers; and resource managers. The report says that these groups continue to struggle with selecting IT programs and IT projects, prioritizing them, executing them at the right time, matching and/or balancing IT supply with IT demand, monitoring and reporting IT project status and IT expenditures to date, improving IT project execution efficiency, proactively addressing emergencies on IT projects, and tackling changes to the existing and planned IT projects triggered by shifts in business direction. Read the full Gartner MarketScope for IT Project and Portfolio Management Software Applications report.

Also in May 2013, Gartner named Oracle a Leader in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based IT Project and Portfolio Management Services.
The report noted that “IT project and portfolio management (PPM) leaders are under extreme pressure to improve the speed, accuracy, and agility of their project organization, while also managing risks and costs. They are looking for software solutions that can support these seemingly conflicting objectives. For years, the IT PPM software market standardized on on-premises or traditional hosting for deployment of IT PPM software functionality, but with the continued maturity of the internet as an enterprise computing platform, on-premises and traditional hosting have given way to another viable option—cloud-based IT PPM application services deployment.” Read the full Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based IT Project and Portfolio Management Services report.

Read the complete article in the Oracle Information InDepth EPPM Newsletter here

*Read Oracle’s press release about the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based IT Project and Portfolio Management Services.*

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Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


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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