Wednesday Jul 17, 2013

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

For highly regulated financial services organizations, the project management office is playing a more crucial role in maintaining agility and strategic project planning. Mike Metcalf, director of services industry strategy for Oracle, says the right enterprise project portfolio management solutions can help financial services firms become better equipped to deal with regulatory challenges.
Read More[Read More]

Thursday May 09, 2013

The Resource Management Maturity Sweet Spot

Wayne Caccamo, Sr Director, Product Marketing, Oracle

The Resource Management Maturity Model (RMMM) defines five levels of process maturity: 1: Work Visibility; 2: Controlled Assignment; 3: Governed Capacity; 4: Schedule-Driven Availability; 5: Granular Management. One of the principle tenets of the RMMM is that higher is not necessarily better when it comes to the maturity of your resource management process. In fact, for most organizations, the optimal level of maturity is Level 3: Governed Capacity.

We call this the resource management maturity sweet spot.

At Level 3, resources are managed at the "project" level rather than at a more granular level like project phase or task. In other words, resource management is essentially a top-down process as opposed to the next level of maturity where resource assignments are driven bottom-up from the project Work Breakdown Schedule (WBS) at either the project phase level (Level 4) or detailed project activity level (Level 5).

Managing resources at the "project" level of detail, provides most of the benefits organizations desire in terms of the ability to assign resources to the highest priority projects, manage capacity to meet existing and future demand, and track project and portfolio costs.

At the same time, it doesn't burden organizations with the additional process complexity associated with bottom-up resource management. The key business benefit of more granular resource management control -- the ability to accommodate incremental demand with existing resources in a highly time/schedule constrained environment -- may not be justified simply because of the potentially onerous information and supporting technology complexity and process maturity demands.

To illustrate exactly what you are signing up for when you go bottom up, consider this.  WBS-driven resource management puts the burden on project managers to accurately:

1. Maintain and update project phase dates
2. Assign individual resources to the relevant phases; and
3. Provide utilization requirements by phase. 

For a portfolio with 100 projects, with an average of 5 phases per project and 5 resources per phase, the required number of data values to be kept up to date by the PM is 100x5x5x3 or 7,500!

If the organization does not possess adequate process maturity, the dependent capacity planning and governance processes will be driven from a mass of unreliable underlying information. This is a big risk.

In sum, understand your resource information requirements carefully and make sure you can justify the incremental maturity level benefits with the additional process complexity and associated risks. 

Thursday Mar 21, 2013

Upcoming webcast: Discover Instantis EnterpriseTrack - March 27th

We are very excited to introduce you to the latest addition to the Primavera product family, Instantis EnterpriseTrack.

Attend our webcast, Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 11:00 a.m. PT and find out why this leading cloud PPM solution helps IT and business process leaders improve strategy execution and financial performance through more effective work and resource management.

Save your seat: Register today for this online event and discover the top-down approach to managing, tracking, and reporting on enterprise strategies, projects, portfolios, processes, resources, and results.

Sunday Jul 08, 2012

Business Insight, IT Execution: 9 Project Management Tips


Top piece of advice from Eaton Operations Services Manager Marcos Baccetto: Make it a business project, not an IT project. Read his other eight top tips.[Read More]

Wednesday Apr 25, 2012

Improving Performance Management and Project Control to Meet Cost/Schedule Milestones in DoD Procurement

In the wake of mounting economic pressure and historical shifts in defense strategy, priorities and tactics, Defense organizations are operating with significantly reduced budgets in FY2012. Despite the fact that Defense spending accounts for approximately 4.7 percent of the United States GDP, President Obama’s proposed FY2012 budget, which calls for $487 billion reduction over 10 years, significantly decreases the DoD’s buying power.

Although many Defense organizations have focused on IT reform and shared services to help them adapt to complex mission demands and diminishing resources, innovative program managers and procurement officers are implementing private sector solutions and practices to squeeze the highest value from new and existing defense programs.

It can be nearly impossible to build annual budgets that consider forecasted project and program work plans along with detailed cost data, particularly when attempting to reconcile actual and projected program costs with actual schedule performance.

Defense Systems is hosting a webcast sponsored by Oracle,on the following topic: Improving Performance Management and Project Control to Meet Cost/Schedule Milestones in DoD Procurement

In this upcoming webcast, Gary Winkler, former program executive officer for Army Enterprise Information Systems, and CEO of Cyber Solutions & Services, will share best practices and hard-won lessons aligning critical data on project performance, cost systems and schedules for truly big picture program management insight.

Participants will learn:

  • How to calculate project costs using direct and indirect costs per resource
  • How to determine if a project is ahead of or behind schedule, or over budget by analyzing the earned value of KPIs
  • Track the variances between forecasted budget and execution

To find out more information, register now for this live webcast.


Sunday Jan 29, 2012

Financial Services Industry Study Finds Swift Action and Proactive Approach Is Key to Reducing Project Risks

Volatile markets, weak customer demand, and heightened regulatory scrutiny require financial services firms to flawlessly manage project portfolios to minimize risk. Those that identify failure early in the project development process and respond to problems as they arise can invest in higher-risk initiatives without threatening their bottom lines or their reputations.

Those are some of the key conclusions in Preemptive Action: Mitigating Project Portfolio Risks in the Financial Services Industry, a research report created by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Oracle.

“[When] firms understand how to identify and deal with indicators of failure early in the planning process, they can safely invest in higher-risk initiatives, such as launching new products and acquiring other firms, without putting their reputations or bottom lines in jeopardy,” the report explains.

The report further explains that this proactive approach, which requires both a rigorous project management practice and intrepid executives willing to make difficult decisions, is unusual in the industry. Where it exists, it allows companies to mitigate project risks and use resources more effectively to propel growth. In its absence, companies become more risk-averse, focusing on low-risk projects that merely protect assets and meet regulatory requirements.

A discussion of the report and its key findings are the focus of a new Oracle Webcast now available on demand. In this Webcast, the benefits and impact of using the right project portfolio management solution is also discussed as a key factor in successfully managing the project portfolio and achieving success.

Success Factors and Other Findings

A primary conclusion of the report is that financial services companies that excel in executing projects, especially those that involve regulatory compliance, can gain a competitive edge by embracing opportunities unavailable to peers with a constrained appetite for risk.

Other key findings of the study include

  • Managing must-do regulatory projects requires a balance between flexibility and adherence to process
  • Processes are not sufficient in identifying signs of failure and finding solutions—effective communication and collaboration are crucial.
  • Many companies fail to reassess risks throughout the project lifecycle—assess risks during planning and at project milestones
The full report is available for download.

Wednesday Dec 14, 2011

How Mature Financial Services Firms Deal With Troubled Projects

Project Oversight in Financial Services

In today's uncertain global economy, firms must execute projects flawlessly or risk losing market share, eroding customer confidence or failing foul of regulatory compliance. Few financial services firms can afford to let their projects underperform. Those that do risk damaging their bottom line, their reputation and their market share.  But according to an Economist Intelligence Survey, only 17% of financial services organizations deliver projects on time - and only 20% deliver projects on budget - at least 90% of the time.

The smartest financial services firms use formalized project management practices to gain strategic and regulatory advantages. The Economist Intelligence Unit, in partnership with Oracle, conducted new research that will help financial services executives ensure successful governance of project portfolio planning and execution, and avoid failure. 400 Senior executives in the financial services industry were interviewed and asked for their views on how to achieve greater success. The key findings are highlighted in a report and discussed in a webcast. You can also benchmark your own performance by completing the EIU Benchmarking Survey" Project Oversight in Financial Services".


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