Tuesday Jul 23, 2013

Q&A: Project Portfolio Management Can Help Financial Services Firms Succeed

As executives in financial services organizations across the globe face intense regulatory scrutiny, the project management office is playing a more crucial role in maintaining agility and strategic project planning, according to a new Oracle white paper, “The PMO—The Key to Surviving Financial Services Reregulation.”

Mike Metcalf, Oracle’s strategy director for services, says the right enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) solutions and a central project management office can help financial services firms become less reactive and better equipped to deal with regulatory challenges.


Q: What problems are financial services organizations facing in the aftermath of the financial crisis?

A: Legislators in various countries have decided to tighten up regulations after a period when some rules were being loosened. So for financial services organizations, the challenge today is how to survive in an era of reregulation. The first obstacle they face is that new regulations may span different areas of banking operations, so some regulations may overlap and conflict with each other. Organizations must be sure that responding to one regulation doesn’t impact some other area.
Second, many organizations address these regulations in silos—different parts of the organization are responding to regulations independently, and they are tracking compliance with ad hoc tools, such as spreadsheets. This leads to increased risk because these tools are not conducive to collaboration or to creating a centralized view of all the regulations that need to be addressed.

Read the complete interview here.

Thursday Oct 18, 2012

Survey Probes the Project Management Concerns of Financial Services Executives

Do you wonder what are the top reasons why large projects in the financial industry fail to meet budgets, schedules, and other key performance criteria? Being able to answer this question can provide important insight and value of good project management practices for your organization.

According to 400 senior executives who participated in a new survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Oracle, unrealistic project goals is the main reason for roadblocks to success

Other common stumbling blocks are poor alignment between project and organizational goals, inadequate human resources, lack of strong leadership, and unwillingness among team members to point out problems.

This survey sample also had a lot to say about the impact of regulatory compliance on the overall portfolio management process. Thirty-nine percent acknowledged that regulations enabled efficient functioning of their businesses. But a similar number said that regulations often require more financial resources than were originally allocated to bring projects in on time. Regulations were seen by 35 percent of the executives as roadblocks to their ability to invest in the organization’s growth and success.

These revelations among others are discussed in depth in a new on-demand Webcast titled “Too Good to Fail: Developing Project Management Expertise in Financial Services” now available from Oracle.

The Webcast features Brian Gardner, editor of the Economist Intelligence Unit, who presents these findings from this survey along with Guy Barlow, director of industry strategy for Oracle Primavera. Together, they analyze what the numbers mean for project and program managers and the financial services industry.

Register today to watch the on-demand Webcast and get a full rundown and analysis of the survey results.

Take the Economist Intelligence Unit benchmarking survey and see how your views compare with those of other financial services industry executives in ensuring project success.

 Read more in the October Edition of the quarterly Information InDepth EPPM Newsletter

Wednesday Apr 11, 2012

Navigating the Unpredictable Swinging of the Financial Regulation Pendulum

Written by Guest Blogger: Maureen Clifford, Sr Product Marketing Manager, Oracle

The pendulum of the regulatory clock is constantly in motion, albeit often not in any particular rhythm.  Nevertheless, given what many insurers have been through economically, any movement can send shock waves through critical innovation and operational plans.  As pointed out in Deloitte’s 2012 Global Insurance Outlook, the impact of regulatory reform can cause major uncertainty in the area of costs.  As the reality of increasing government regulations settles in, the change that comes along with it creates more challenges in compliance and ultimately on delivering the optimum return on investment.  The result of this changing environment is a proliferation of compliance projects that must be executed with an already constrained set of resources, budget and time.

Insurers are confronted by the need to gain visibility into all of their compliance efforts and proactively manage them. Currently that is very difficult to do as these projects often are being managed by groups across the enterprise and they lack a way to coordinate their efforts and drive greater synergies.  With limited visibility and equally limited resources it is no surprise that reporting on project status and determining realistic completion of these projects is only a dream. As a result, compliance deadlines are missed, penalties are incurred, credibility with key stakeholders and the public is jeopardized and returns and competitive advantage go unrealized.

Insurers need to ask themselves some key questions:

    • Do I have “one stop” visibility into all of my compliance efforts?  If not, what can I do to change that?
    • What is top priority and how does that impact my already taxed resources?
    • How can I figure out how to best balance my resources to get these compliance projects done as well as keep key innovation and operational efforts on track?
    • How can ensure that I have all the requisite documentation for each compliance project I undertake?
Dealing with complying with regulatory efforts is a necessary evil. Don't let the regulatory pendulum sideline your efforts to generate the greatest return on investment for your key stakeholders.
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