Friday Aug 19, 2016

Process Excellence Innovators Take the Wheel

By: Mike Metcalf, Oracle

Enterprises – from industries as diverse as banking and manufacturing – are focused on bringing a new level of discipline and sustained success to their continuous improvement (CI) initiatives. And, there’s good reason for this renewed interest as CI and process excellence (PEX) initiatives prove themselves essential to securing – and, more importantly, maintaining – a competitive advantage in today’s challenging economic climate.

As expectations for CI and PEX evolve, so too must the ways in which enterprises manage these critical business initiatives. Increasingly, many organizations are looking to apply project portfolio management (PPM) methodologies and tools that offer a strategic path forward – enabling them to drive more successful and sustained business transformation and process improvement (PI).

I’d like to share insight from three organizations that are innovators in using PPM cloud-based solutions to drive successful PI and PEX initiatives. Click on the video links below to watch short clips from my panel discussion with these industry leaders: Leslie Behnke, Vice President, Process Improvement and Service Quality, TD Bank Group; Robert Woodford, Director, Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, Project and Testing Services, Ross Stores; and Steven Ehmann Director, Process Excellence & Innovation, Verizon.

TD Bank Cashes in for Greater Collaboration Across North America

After the 2008 financial crisis, banks turned to PEX initiatives to be more effective and efficient to get back up and running. TD Bank, one of the 10 largest banks in the United States with around 26,000 employees, was no different. It looked for a scalable PPM solution that would help it manage PEX projects more simply while enabling greater collaboration across the business – from bank tellers, to engineers, to the IT team. The bank created a core group of six people to manage a few projects with 10 million dollars of annualized savings the first year. Today, this core group includes over 100 people who handle thousands of continuous improvement projects that have to date yielded more than $1 billion in total benefits.

With a cloud-based PPM solution in place, TD Bank has the scale to manage thousands of PEX initiatives and can support a holistic approach to managing multiple large scale projects across North America as well as a robust and continuous PI culture. The bank now has an end-to-end system with all projects in one place – enabling TD Bank to keep track of projects and align them to the strategic imperative (operational excellence and transformation) while having an accurate view of PI efforts, risk and compliance, cost reduction, and more.

Ross Stores Seals the Deal with Increased Visibility

As minimum wages rise, the need to squeeze every dollar possible on project execution becomes increasingly important. Ross Stores, a retail chain selling brand-name clothing, shoes, accessories, and housewares at discount prices, was feeling this pressure and looked to achieve greater precision around its PI initiatives.

The company was looking for a unified view across the enterprise and a one-stop shop for project execution that tracked and measured project data and could alert management to any emerging PEX project issues, delays, or risks no matter the location. With this capability, Ross Stores could drive a cultural shift that supports early identification and addressing of potential issues. Ross Stores has adopted a crawl, walk, run approach to CI project management. Now in the walk phase and with a PPM solution in place, Ross Stores has better visibility into bottlenecks through enhanced project tracking, aggregated financial reporting, and insight into resource capabilities. By having access to data geographically and hierarchically, the company has greater insight as to where they should focus their efforts, enabling Ross Stores to improve project execution.

Verizon Answers the Call with Better Decision-Making

Verizon, the largest wireless telecommunications provider in the United States, was looking for a holistic view of PEX initiatives across the enterprise that included a clear view of financials and a central repository for the intellectual property created across its teams and stakeholders.

The Fortune 15 company with 178,000 employees started its PEX journey four years ago from the ground floor to figure out how it could make better PEX decisions for the future based on facts. To get up and running quickly, Verizon turned to a cloud-based PPM solution that it could use to easily and quickly train, coach, and deploy design tools with the intent of delivering enhanced value through PI projects. Today, the enterprise has a repository that highlights milestones, reviews, and alerts stakeholders of how the portfolio is progressing.

Verizon is now making better decisions for tomorrow with increased insight into PEX projects – enabling it to deliver benefits to customers and shareholders, train future leaders more effectively, and continue to evolve the company’s culture for continued improvement and success.

To get more insight from these industry leaders, check out more videos here, watch the full panel discussion here, and stay tuned for more blogs on effectively managing process improvement initiatives.

Tuesday Jul 19, 2016

Perfecting the Process of Process Improvement

by Mike Metcalf, Director, Services Strategy, Oracle

Efficiency drives have elevated process improvement to the top of corporate agendas. But, many companies fail to recognize that process improvement is itself a process—and it’s probably the one you should focus on perfecting first.

Process improvement (PI) is a broad concept, and different companies approach it in very different ways. Some look for the most obvious improvements and make them first. Others dig deep into their processes and spend significant time assessing where the biggest issues may lie.

There’s no single place to begin, but your process improvement choices should always be directed and guided by your organization’s strategic goals. For example, if risk management is a strategic goal, then focus on initiatives that align to that, such as regulatory management, reputation management, and operational-risk management. And just like any other process in your business, there are best practices for how process improvement should be conducted.

Best practice #1: Gather and evaluate everybody’s ideas

Because executives have a broad overview of the organization, it’s easy to think they might be the best people to identify processes in need of improvement. While that’s true to some extent, it’s also extremely important that you gauge the opinions of the people closest to the processes—the employees contributing to them, their line managers, and any external stakeholders that engage with them. If you want to improve customer loyalty, you’ll want to involve employees from sales, service, and contact center teams who have direct contact with customers and in their day-to-day jobs and may have good insight into what’s working and what’s not.

Gathering, evaluating, and managing ideas from that many sources can be a challenge in itself, so it’s a good idea to leverage a project management platform that can provide an overview of every potential process improvement project in your pipeline.

Best practice #2: Keep all your efforts visible to everyone

Process improvement is an ongoing initiative at most organizations. At any given moment, your business can be progressing with many distinct process improvement projects—each being handled by different teams with different objectives.

With so much going on, it’s easy to lose track of a specific project, or to let one drift away from its original objectives. Visibility is the key to maintaining control over it all and ensuring everyone stays aligned to your organization’s strategic goals. It helps to keeps process improvement projects moving efficiently; supports synergy between projects and identification of best practices; illuminates potential conflicts; and improves overall collaboration. With complete visibility of your process improvement project portfolio, you can also retain executive buy-in by clearly demonstrating what’s happening, where it’s happening, and why.

Best practice #3: Understand what makes change projects unique

Perhaps the most significant difference between traditional projects and a PI projects is that PI projects typically cross every boundary within the organization. They extend vertically down through the organizational management structure, from the CEO to the part-time employee, horizontally across all departments from purchasing and product development, to sales and marketing, and beyond the internal organizational boundaries to stakeholders, such as customers and vendors.

The second most significant difference is that PI projects are generally in the “spotlight” and are highly visible to management and senior executives. If the project is unsuccessful (fails to deliver the anticipated results), the damage to the business can be significant, and the responsibility for the damage can fall on the project manager.

In addition, while most traditional projects have a well-defined beginning and end, PI initiatives include ongoing monitoring, measurement, and assessment that extend long after a new process has been introduced—requiring the ongoing involvement of the continuous improvement team.

With PPM solutions, metrics from individual projects can feed up into strategic themes and give an up-to-date picture of where they are headed. Users can drill down to see which projects are not performing as expected based on predetermined success factors.

Achieving process excellence is a journey

Process improvement is a journey. Trial and error might get you where you want to be eventually, but at a significant price in terms of financial and time investment. If you want to improve business processes in the most intelligent, efficient, and strategic way possible, it’s important to find tools that can grow with you.

From visibility and idea evaluation, to collaboration and post-improvement analysis, the right enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) platform can give you a single source of truth for all your process improvement efforts, and help you track your progress towards process excellence.

If you’re planning your journey to process excellence and want to find more about the tech that can help, read our best practice guide at https://go.oracle.com/LP=29197 today and get more expert advice to help you make sure every step you take is the right one.

Tuesday May 31, 2016

Setting the Stage for Lasting Success with Project Portfolio Management

By: Mike Sicilia, senior vice president and general manager, Primavera Global Business Unit, Oracle

Process improvement (PI) and process excellence (PEX) initiatives, stalwarts of the modern enterprise, are increasingly under the corporate microscope. Starting in the C-suite, expectations are rising as organizations – facing a challenging economic climate and growing regulatory burdens – embrace continuous improvement as an essential element to securing a competitive advantage.

PI and IT have a complicated relationship. Enterprises undertake IT initiatives to improve business performance. In many cases, however, the technology ends up driving process change – for better or worse. Insufficient alignment between business and IT is often at the heart of this growing issue.

Ultimately, leadership wants to ensure that these initiatives align optimally with and support broader business strategies, and are flexible enough to adapt to a web of ever-changing regulations. As important, they want to better predict, measure, and optimize the impact of their PI/PEX initiatives. Speed is also essential in the age of digital transformation as enterprises seek to accelerate insight, action, and outcomes.

These competing requirements can be a tall order for many enterprises as they work to achieve a new level of maturity for their PI/PEX programs. Increasingly, organizations are finding an answer in an unexpected place – project portfolio management (PPM) – a domain traditionally associated, in many enterprises, with IT initiatives.

Selecting the Right Tools

Many PI/PEX initiatives are, in fact, complex projects. As such, it’s logical that PPM methodologies and tools can help to ensure their success.

A McKinsey & Company report found that organizations that actively manage their initiative portfolios can create significantly more value – up to 30 percent more. Further, organizations that formally manage the OpEX initiatives as a portfolio report that projects are always aligned with business strategy 62 percent of the time. These are promising proof points for PI practitioners focused on integrating strategy and action.

It’s important to consider that not all PPM solutions are universally suited to all types of initiatives. Many were designed to support traditional projects, such as capital improvements or IT installations. Line-of-business managers responsible for PI/PEX initiatives have a distinct and often broader set of requirements. For example, PI/PEX professionals must not only manage execution of the project, but facilitate its integration with larger enterprise strategies and goals and then measure its ultimate impact on operations.

When evaluating PPM solutions for use in P/PEX initiatives, it is important to consider multiple factors and requirements, such as:

  • Does the solution enable strategy mapping and tracking to promote alignment between business priorities and PI/PEX initiatives?
  • Does it support continuous improvement over time – enabling migration from one area to the next – from business transformation to continuous improvement?
  • Are you able to identify, track, and manage costs – direct and indirect, capital expenses and operational expenses, real time vs. historical?

The Road Ahead

The PI/PEX landscape is changing, spurring organizations to turn to PPM methodologies and tools that help ensure success while juggling the balance and intersection of IT and PI. PPM offers a clear and strategic path forward – enabling PI leaders and professionals to overcome the complex strategy-execution gap of PI/PEX initiatives and continually sustain change and build on success. PPM solutions, like Oracle’s Instantis EnterpriseTrack, provide organizations with the tools needed to improve strategy execution and drive successful business transformation initiatives.

Check out our white paper, “Process Excellence Re-Imagined,” to learn more and get ongoing insight and practical advice on effectively managing process improvement in an upcoming blog series from Mike Metcalf, director services industry strategy, Oracle Primavera.

Monday Dec 14, 2015

Discover the latest version of Oracle's Instantis EnterpriseTrack and EnterpriseTrack Mobile

Oracle's Instantis EnterpriseTrack is the leading, cloud-optimized enterprise project portfolio management (PPM) software used to improve strategy execution and financial performance through better work and resource management.

Join us for our webcast and live Q&A to learn about significant improvements in the 15.2 version.
Register Now . [Read More]

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.

Monday Aug 26, 2013

NEW! Oracle's Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) Webcast Center

We have just launched Oracle's new EPPM Webcast Center, a single console where you can search and watch all EPPM related OnDemand webcasts and register to attend upcoming live webcasts.

These webcasts provide updates on new product features, best practices, customer case studies and more.

Simply log-on to the webcast center where you can filter by products and industries that you are interested in.

Click here to visit the webcast center now!

Tuesday Aug 20, 2013

Oracle Expounds on Primavera Software Roadmap

Since acquiring Primavera in 2008, Oracle has worked on enhancing several features of its software, such as application integration and mobile functionality.

Looking to the future, Oracle seeks to provide more governance of the project portfolio management (PPM) application. Tony Banks, product director for Primavera software, spoke recently to TechTarget editor Lena J. Weiner about the roadmap for Primavera software.

In the video, Banks said that Oracle's goal is to continue to deliver "its vision" of a "true" enterprise PPM solution. According to Banks, that means "single platform, single vendor."

But Banks added that it also means being able to organize projects across all departments, capitalizing on similar business functions across departments while acknowledging specific business use cases. Watch the video for more details.

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.*

------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 Jun 28, 2013

Watch ON-Demand Oracle's 4th Annual Primavera Virtual Summit

Did you miss Oracle's 4th Annual Primavera Virtual Summit? Or, maybe you attended the virtual event live, but want to re-watch some presentations or download industry-specific assets - well you can! Watch and visit here, on-demand

This event is now available On-Demand for your convenience. Feel free to log-in anytime to listen again about:

  • New cloud based PPM solutions presentations.

  • Special Primavera Roadmap presentation- what's new and what's coming.

  • Customer stories highlighting their successes with Primavera Unifier, Oracle Instantis and Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management.

And don't forget to visit the Resource Library to check out all the latest product information, whitepapers, and demos which are all available to download and read at your convenience. During your visit to the Virtual Summit ON-Demand, we would appreciate you visiting the Networking Lounge and taking a few minutes to fill out the survey. We would really like to hear what you think.

You can also visit the Primavera Website for more information about the newest EPPM solutions and offerings.

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.

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