Friday Feb 07, 2014

University of Utah Uses Oracle’s Primavera Unifier to Save US$11.5 Million in Budgeted Construction Project Costs

Maintaining and constructing new facilities to support a modern education and research institution requires a commitment to continuous improvements and tight management of complex project portfolios. So to improve project visibility and implement better financial controls for capital projects totaling US$900 million, the University of Utah in Salt Lake City replaced its in-house database for tracking construction projects with the cloud-based Oracle’s Primavera Unifier project management system. The result: the university recently completed two large-scale projects on or before their deadlines at a total of US$11.5 million under budget. Paul Bender, Oracle’s director of public administration strategy, explains how the university achieved these impressive outcomes. University of Utah Uses Oracle's Prrimavera Unifier

Q: One of the projects was the 156,000 square foot Huntsman Cancer Center Phase IIB expansion. What was the impact on that project of having improved financial controls and better collaboration?
A: That project came in two months early and US$9 million under budget. The university attributes a good portion of the savings in time and cost to the project management system. The solution helped school officials reduce the number of electronic RFIs required. It also shortened workflow response times among project team members from a previous maximum of eight weeks to a few hours. In addition, officials benefitted from the elimination of a significant volume of paperwork. The system also helped external partners, including more than 90 consultants and contractors, collaborate more effectively through access to the system for day-to-day project management.

Read the full Q&A here and discover how organizations using Primavera Unifier have the tools necessary to maintain fiscal discipline in day-to-day activities.

Read a complete case study of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on page six of Construction Connection and download an in-depth white paper about Oracle’s Primavera Unifier.

Thursday Jan 30, 2014

The EPPM Board Weighs In on Top Industry Controversies

A new report from Oracle’s Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) Board in North America directly tackles two critical issues that have divided the project portfolio community for years. The first is whether organizations are best served by a central project management office (PMO) or by a decentralized approach that distributes project management responsibilities among individual business units. The second flashpoint is the rise of mobility among EPPM professionals and whether senior executives should encourage this trend. The EPPM Board Weighs In on Top Industry Controversies

Discussions of these issues are included in the report, “The Changing Face of Enterprise Project Portfolio Management,” by the Oracle EPPM Board, a prestigious international steering group of senior executives, academics, and industry experts.

Read the full report and learn how a balanced approach to mobility can help organizations address both the benefits and risks of this important issue. “A failure to embrace [mobility] could have serious consequences for the delivery of successful projects,” Board members say. They added that evidence shows that when projects fail, many people know well in advance but are worried by what the disclosure could do to their careers. “Smart devices, apps that deliver real-time data straight to the C-level, and dashboard analysis were all viewed as positive ways in which to combat such cognitive, but very human, behavior,” the report explains.

Monday Dec 23, 2013

Unlock the cash trapped in your contingency budgets

It is generally accepted that more companies fail due to lack of cash flow than for want of profit. This is an inevitable position because whilst profit is a vital indicator of performance, its generation does not necessarily guarantee an organization’s growth, development, or even in some cases, survival. For the C-level executive, cash flow also has a particular impact in the planning of short or long-term investment strategies, where decisions are more often focused on anticipated funding requirements rather than projecting levels of profitability. Capital budgeting is the process for managing cash flow, where the basic unit of analysis is the investment project. From a finance perspective, projects and programs represent a series of contingent cash flows over time, whose amount and timing are only partially under the control of the executive. The amount of expenditure these consume directly influences the level of available working capital, which is the primary benchmark for measuring a company’s operational liquidity. The eternal challenge for organizations is keeping this liquidity in the positive position needed to support day-to-day operations – i.e., to service both maturing short-term debt and upcoming operational expenses – and for maintaining the flexibility to respond to emerging opportunities. 

Read this complimentary paper and explore the ability of organizations to augment cash flow in their operations by addressing a key area of stagnant cash reserves – contingency budgets. It will argue that the collective pot of contingency monies is conservatively estimated at between 5-10% of total project operating costs across the portfolio. To free up even a small portion of these budgets can therefore enable organizations to expand their portfolios to decisive effect. Finally, it will also detail the way forward, and how a more flexible approach to setting contingency budgets requires the adoption of a portfolio approach to risk management.

Monday Oct 21, 2013

In the Firing Line: The impact of project and portfolio performance on the CEO

What are the primary measurements for rating CEO performance?

For corporate boards, business analysts, investors, and the trade press the metrics they deploy are relatively binary in nature; what is being done to generate earnings, and what is being done to build and sustain high performance?

As for the market, interest is primarily aroused when operational and financial performance falls outside planned commitments for the year. When organizations announce better than predicted results, they usually experience an immediate increase in share price. Likewise, poor results have an obviously negative impact on the share price and impact the role and tenure of the incumbent CEO.The impact of project and portfolio performance on the CEO

The danger for the CEO is that the risk of failure is ever present, ranging from manufacturing delays and supply chain issues to labor shortages and scope creep. This risk is enhanced by the involvement of secondary suppliers providing services critical to overall work schedules, and magnified further across a portfolio of programs and projects underway at any one time – and all set within a global context. All can impact planned return on investment and have an inevitable impact on the share price – the primary empirical measure of day-to-day performance.

Read this complete complementary report, In the Firing Line and explore what is the direct link between the health of the portfolio and CEO performance. This report will provide an overview of the responsibility the CEO has for implementing and maintaining a culture of accountability, offer examples of some of the higher profile project failings in recent years, and detail the capabilities available to the CEO to mitigate the risks residing in their own portfolios.

Friday Oct 18, 2013

Exclusive Webcast Series Explains How Project Success Drives Business Success

In the wake of the global financial crisis, organizations throughout the world are redoubling their efforts to enhance financial discipline, achieve operational excellence, and mitigate risk. How can they address all these areas with one comprehensive strategy? With enterprise project portfolio management solutions that provide greater transparency and visibility across all projects and portfolios, says Guy Barlow, OProject success drives business successracle director of industry strategy. In the following interview and in an exclusive, three-part webcast series, Barlow examines today’s new management realities and explains how organizations can succeed in this environment.

Q: Financial discipline has always been important, what’s different today?

A: A number of organizations are showing that by fiscally aligning projects with the business goals of their organizations, they can shave off hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in inefficiency and waste. For example, one Oracle customer, the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, reduced its unbudgeted costs from US$24.4 million to US$3.5 million, for an 88 percent improvement.

Q: How do organizations achieve results like this?
A: First, they need to have the vision to see project management as part of a broad and critical element in their overall enterprise strategy. That means using a single solution, such as
Oracle‘s Primavera, to manage multiple projects across multiple functions within a company. So someone in corporate mergers and acquisitions as well as a capital projects team can standardize on the same technology. By doing so they all gain greater efficiency in planning and execution—because the technology can be configured for their specific roles and needs—and the IT organization really benefits from lower maintenance.

Second, enterprises must give executive leaders—CFOs, COOs, and CEOs—visibility across the entire business to easily see what projects are on track and which ones are falling behind. In fact, once executives see the power of enterprise project portfolio management, uptake is very quick across the organization.

Read the full interview here.


Wednesday Oct 16, 2013

RWE IT Updates Project Schedules with 10,000 Activities in Less Than One Minute

RWE IT GmbH is the internal IT service provider for the RWE Group, by revenue the second-largest German utility company, which supplies electricity to more than 20 million Project Portfolio Management software for Utilitiesconsumers and gas to more than 10 million consumers, mainly in Europe. Through technological expertise and extensive knowledge of business and processes, RWE IT helps RWE Group companies meet their challenges. The company’s competencies, aligned toward the processes of RWE Group’s value-creation chain, include the rollout of standardized systems for acquisitions, new business segments, and regions; flexible integration or expansion for acquisitions, new business segments, and regions; and optimized use and expansion of the group’s IT infrastructure.

 Challenges

  • Enable three group companies—RWE Technology, RWE Power, and RWE Innogy—to efficiently manage multiple power construction projects at the same time and optimize resource use across those projects.
  • Provide schedulers with the ability to effectively open and modify projects with thousands of activities—to ensure on-time and on-budget delivery of major capital projects

Read full list of challenges here

Solutions

  • Deployed Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management to optimize project scheduling for power station construction while reducing costs for project management and operations.
  • Enabled 80 internal and external schedulers to leverage information from a dozen databases, including country-specific and test databases, and perform multiproject management—including opening and comparing projects with thousands of activities—to drive more cost-effective and on-time projects
  • Enabled RWE Technology, RWE Power, and RWE Innogy to ensure construction quality and better meet project deadlines with optimized power station construction planning and monitoring.

Read full list of solutions here

Why Oracle

Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management is the only project management software capable of handling tens of thousands of simultaneous activities in multiple projects without using excessive computing time. It offers complete security and has the industry’s most advanced scheduling functionality. With the next Primavera release, we anticipate the introduction of advanced scheduling features, such as taking meteorological information into account when planning construction activities,” said Carsten Jung, applications corporate solutions, RWE IT GmbH.

Tuesday Oct 08, 2013

Explore the Fundamental Connections Between Stock Value and Project Management

Senior executives are today more accountable, even vulnerable, than ever before to poor share price performance. There are numerous reasons for this, but the increasing negative impact for organizations means that senior executives need to take a more active role in making the right decisions throughout business operations. According to research conducted by the global consulting firm Booz & Co.1, over the last decade the average tenure of a global chief executive has dropped from 8.1 years to 6.3 years. This analysis of the world’s top 2,500 publicly listed companies found that executive turnover had increased from around 12% in 2000 to 14.3% in 2009, with more than a third (36.7%) of departures in 2009 being dismissals rather than part of a planned succession. project and portfolio management on share price and stock value

For project-intensive organizations, there is even more intense pressure on executives to deliver forecasted returns on investment (ROI). With the current economic climate, shrinking margins and increased global competition, the impact of huge capital investment projects extending beyond their scope and budget carries significant consequences. This places even greater emphasis on capital planning, a core business process that remains fraught with difficulties. In a survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit in October 20102, only 11% of companies could claim they delivered expected ROI on major capital projects 90-100% of the time, and 12% reported planned ROI delivery less than half the time. These results highlight that organizations – irrespective of industry sector – are still struggling to manage risks, accurately predict levels of ROI and consistently deliver bottom line growth from their major capital investments. Bad investment decisions can lead to huge financial losses, which serves to place the spotlight firmly on the capital planning process. It also places greater emphasis on executive decision-making capabilities to determine which potential investments deliver the greatest value and reliability, as well as providing the financial stability to attract funding.

The danger of poor evaluation can quickly lead to a significant reduction in the value of the organization’s overall portfolio and compromise long range capital planning goals. From here, it is a short journey to poor share price performance.

Click here and read this full complimentary paper that looks at the intrinsic connection between long-term capital investment and short-term market performance, and how this can in turn affect the profit outlook for project-intensive organizations. Discover existing research undertaken in this area, and highlight case examples where project management performance has impacted – whether positive or negative – the stock price and, in turn, the overall image of both the company and those in the C-suite of these organizations.

Read here and share with your colleagues.

1Favaro, Ken et al, CEO Succession 2010: The Four types of CEOs. Issue 63 2011. Booz & Co

2“Prepare for the unexpected: investment planning in asset-intensive industries,” Economist Intelligence Unit, January 2011

Monday Sep 30, 2013

Aegion Improves Operations; Gains Consistency; and Increases On-Time, On-Budget Project Delivery

Aegion Corp. is a global leader in infrastructure protection. It provides proprietary technologies and services that protect against the corrosion of industrial pipelines and rehabilitate and strengthen water, waste water, energy and mining piping systems and buildings, bridges, tunnels, and waterfront structures. It is a newly formed parent company for Insituform Technologies, Bayou, Corrpro, CRTS, Fibrwrap, Fyfe, and United Pipeline Systems.

Challenges:

  • Strengthen and standardize project management processes across the organization, starting with the company’s Insituform Technologies group.

  • Increase visibility into project schedules, budgeting, costs, and progress to identify emerging issues quickly and take action to minimize risk.

  • Improve operational efficiency and data integrity, and allow project management teams to focus on strategic priorities.

  • Standardize on a project management solution and integrate it with the company’s legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.

Click here to read all challenges

Solutions:

  • Deployed Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management and Primavera Contract Management, Business Intelligence Publisher Edition, and integrated the solutions with the company’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.0 and Oracle CRM On Demand applications to ensure end-to-end visibility and enhanced control for the company’s pipeline and infrastructure development rehabilitation projects—from new-business wins, through to project completions.

  • Standardized and created a single source for all project scheduling information that improved construction crew utilization, reduced penalties related to delays, avoided rush charges, and improved materials planning and utilization.

  • Gained insight into emerging issues and enabled more rapid corrective action, supporting on-budget and on-time completion of projects, including public sector construction initiatives that require granular reporting.

  • Standardized project scheduling and management processes to help support larger and more geographically dispersed projects.

  • Reduced the need for data re-entry across multiple systems to improve productivity and data accuracy and ensured that project management, ERP, and CRM systems share consistent and up-to-date information.

Click here to read all solutions

Click here to read the complete customer story

Thursday Sep 05, 2013

Transform your business with Oracle Primavera

If you use Oracle’s Primavera solutions, and you're attending Oracle OpenWorld, then the Primavera sessions are for you. Featuring 18 sessions, hands-on labs, demos, meet the experts and exhibits. The sessions are designed for you to gain valuable information on how to drive innovation, enhance operations or manage finance & risk, and effectively use our solutions to support both short and long-term growth through better formulation, alignment and execution of corporate initiatives and projects.

Add these ten essential sessions to your schedule:

  • What’s New and the Planned Roadmap: Primavera P6, Primavera P6 Analytics, and Primavera Gateway
  • Improving Productivity Throughout the Capital Asset Lifecycle
  • What’s New and the Planned Roadmap: Primavera Unifier and Instantis EnterpriseTrack
  • Instantis EnterpriseTrack Cloud Service for IT and Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
  • Primavera PPM Solutions for Manufacturing Projects
  • Leveraging Oracle’s Primavera Across the Enterprise at Pacific Gas & Electric
  • New Product Update: Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Scheduling Process
  • Primavera PPM Solutions for Maintenance Projects
  • Primavera PPM Solutions for Capital Projects
  • Qualcomm Streamlines Its Design and Manufacturing Process with AutoVue/Agile Products

In practical self-paced learning sessions covering everything from Oracle’s Primavera P6 solutions to Primavera Portfolio Management, Primavera Capital Planning and Instantis Enterprise Track and Unifier, you’ll discover new ways to derive maximum benefits from your Oracle software.

(Seven labs to choose from - see Focus on Oracle Primavera for more information)

Download the Focus On Oracle Primavera guide (pdf) and stay connected via Twitter.com/@OracleEPPM, LinkedIn, and Facebook/OraclePrimavera.

Tuesday Sep 03, 2013

Accelerating Speed to Market in the Highly Competitive Automotive Industry

In the auto industry, introducing new products to market can cost up to $1 billion depending on the product’s complexity. Getting these products to market on time is crucial in order to realize ROI during the full lifecycle of the product. Without a timely launch, OEMs aren’t only affected, but suppliers, dealer sales & services and aftermarket ecosystems lose out, as well.

Earlier this year, we saw new product launches that struggled and experienced recalls, with the potential loss of thousands of units in sales and corresponding loss of market share and customer confidence -- something that in this competitive environment is hard to win back. Studies also suggest that for every day an automotive launch was late, an OEM missed out on a million dollars in sales.2 One OEM believed that after being three months late on a major launch – it had lost 60% of the lifecycle profit.

Why does production fall behind?

Getting these products to market on time is crucial in order to realize ROI during the full lifecycle of the product.

Read the complete whitepaper here to learn how an Enterprise Project Portfolio Management solution can help in accelerating the launch of new automotive products to achieve full lifecycle return on investment.

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