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.

Wednesday Jul 16, 2014

Top three considerations for #PMO deployment best practices

It all starts with good intentions; your good intentions to make a positive impact on the business, your good intentions to help the business become organized, and your good intentions to improve efficiencies and effectiveness. You’re thinking creatively, you’re excited about making positive changes and you’re full of optimistic energy. Yet with all these good intentions, your attempt to deploy a Project Management Office (PMO) is met with resistance from colleagues and fraught with difficulties in implementation. 

Why? 

Corey Spagnoli, Senior director of Continuous Improvement PMO from NCR Corporation, a PMO veteran with 13 years’ experience, talks through three of his most problematic examples of PMO rollout in IT and Continuous Improvement environments, and the critical success factors involved. Corey talks us through his PMO deployment mistakes, demonstrates the pitfalls to avoid, and shows us how to overcome the difficulties, becoming one of our PMO rollout success stories. 

Corey’s advice is to consider three key elements for a successful PMO rollout:

    1). Understand the needs of the business

    2). Match to the business culture

    3). Build in flexibility

    Read about the three key elements in more detail here. Full article here.

    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.

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