Sunday Feb 08, 2015

Managing Change on E&C Projects

Written by Krista Lambert, Director Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle

 As the saying goes: change happens. But the recent report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Building in Change: Project Construction in Asset-Intensive Industries revealed that for engineering and construction projects, change is not only inevitable, it creates its own set of challenges. According to the report:

  • More than 60% of survey respondents blame unexpected change for at least one-half of all project overruns
  • 55% of the executives surveyed consider their companies as average or below at anticipating change

Clearly, both owners and E&C firms feel that they could vastly improve their ability to manage change. An enterprise-wide project management system not only provides greater visibility and insight into changes, but also improves communication across organizational boundaries, so you can quickly adapt to disruptions in labor, materials, and costs. To find out more, read the article Critical Components to Effective Project Execution in the latest issue of Construction Connection.

Wednesday Feb 04, 2015

Visualization and the Digital Project

written By Garrett Harley, Director, Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle

5D virtual construction will transform the construction industry

 Redesign should take place on the computer, not on the construction site.

 5D virtual construction modeling, or 5D BIM (short for building information modeling) enables the various participants of a construction project—from designers and contractors to owners—to visualize and display the entire construction progress sequentially over time, factoring in a critical component: actual and forecasted costs. It has the potential to vastly transform the delivery of projects large and small.

 Here’s how BIM technology has progressed through the years:

3D: Three-dimensional design modeling that enables project visualizations, walkthroughs, clash detection, and item scheduling

4D: 3D modeling plus time, linking the project schedules: resources, tasks, etc.

5D: 4D plus cost, integrating design with estimating, scheduling, and costing

 Leveraging the data available in the 3D BIM model, 5D BIM optimizes construction project management, enabling project team members to visualize the progression of construction activities and the associated costs. Beyond the ability to maximize physical and constructability constraints, 5D virtual construction gives companies the ability to better manage budgets and forecasted expenditures. Understanding construction sequencing can help prevent problems related to constructability and optimize cash flow within the framework of construction sequencing.

 In today’s environment, many E&C companies and some owners have begun to adapt and adopt 5D into their work processes. Recent surveys predict that 100 percent of owners and 80 percent of contractors will use BIM in some way in 2014.

 Currently, there is no standard definition of BIM and many partial or incomplete solutions. Dual standards have been developed by different organizations such as the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) by the buildingSMART allianceTM and ISO 15926. The number of developers in the BIM space has also grown creating integration issues.

For visualization to drive projects from concept to completion and into operations and maintenance, developers must extend current BIM capabilities. Users need mapping and display capabilities between the embedded construction schedule and the 3D model. They need easy, effective ways to verify clearances, identify design incompatibilities, and detect clash or collision points.

 All construction contractors are currently investing in standalone, specialized niche technology, so now is the time to bring those niche technologies together in an interoperable environment.

 For more information on BIM, read the whitepaper: “Leverage 4D Building Information Modeling (BIM) to Help Meet the Challenges of Infrastructure Growth”

Monday Dec 08, 2014

Litmus Test: 86% of Large Enterprises See the Value of Business Transformation, Yet Nearly Half Are Not Fully Ready to Execute

Author: Mike Sicilia, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Primavera

 Today, “business as usual” simply does not, and will not, suffice for large enterprises seeking success. New competition is emerging, existing competitors are upping their game, and the legislative regulation is challenging organizations to reach new levels of transparency. The landscape is dynamic, and for those businesses that strive not simply to compete, but to win, the need for business transformation is urgent. However, while the majority of executives agree that business transformation is vital to maintain a competitive edge, nearly half (48%) are only somewhat or not at all prepared to successfully execute a business transformation today.

 Oracle, in partnership with Forbes Insights, explored what drives business transformation initiatives both internally and externally for a company, and what determines the success or failure of such initiatives in the study, “Making the Change: Planning, Executing and Measuring a Successful Business Transformation .

[Read More]

Wednesday Aug 06, 2014

The best practices of EPPM

Governance: Ensure alignment of strategy, execution and results.

Resource Management: Support top-down and bottom-up resource requests and staffing processes and make it easy for project and resource managers to communicate their requirements and decisions throughout a project’s lifecycle. Provide a graphical analysis of resource and role utilization in order to help project teams manage resources in a dynamic environment and allow managers to see where resources are being used across all programs and projects, as well as their forecasted future use.

Communication and Collaboration: Quickly record, access, and review elements often to determine the successful outcome of a project. Adopting the ‘one single view of the truth' approach enables you to store everything about your project in a single, secure place enabling visibility into any potential issues or delays via workflows and alerts.

Reporting and Analytics: Deliver timely information for accurate decision making.

Cost Management: Roll up all costs to a central cost sheet normalized by a robust cost code structure, where project cost information is available for drill down by work package or for the entire project.

Cash Flow Management: Reliably forecast final costs by taking into account actuals to date, changes, trends, and risks over time.

Funds Management: Leverage a funds management capability that is fully integrated with the cost sheet, ensuring visibility of funding against project budgets, actual spend, and forecasted spend.

Document Management: Ensure that everyone is always working on the most-current versions, for storage of attachments, file control access, e-mail alerts, and version control.

Contract Management: Manage all of your contracts regardless of type, from simple material procurement to complex construction contracts and capture all relevant contract details.

Change Management: Manage all transactions leading up to and resulting in a schedule or cost change using approval workflows 

Wednesday Jul 31, 2013

Design. Connect. Build.

Mortenson Construction helps large project teams collaborate and share information—on and off the construction site.[Read More]

Friday Jul 19, 2013

Oracle’s New Magazine Targets Readers in Engineering and Construction

The premiere issue of Construction Connection, Oracle’s new digital magazine and microsite, published in partnership with Engineering News Record, for professionals for engineering and construction companies, is now available.
Read More[Read More]

Thursday May 09, 2013

Resource Management Maturity Model Benefits

 Wayne Caccamo, Sr Director, Product Marketing, Oracle

In a previous post we introduced the the Resource Management Maturity Model (RMMM) which is described in a white paper which you can download here. We defined the purpose of the RMMM as a tool that enables organizations to define and execute an effective resource management strategy. Here we describe four potential high-level benefits of adopting the RMMM as an Enterprise PPM (EPPM) best-practice tool.

1. Common Language

The RMMM provides resource managers, portfolio managers and business executives in project-intensive organizations with a framework and common language for communicating about resource management objectives, issues and outcomes. Terms like resource utilization and capacity, for example, mean different things to different stakeholders. For example, some people include or exclude non-project work in their working definitions of utilization. Total capacity may include vacation time and holidays. The RMMM doesn't prescribe the "right" terms to institutionalize and the "right" definition for those terms. But, it does raise awareness about the need to create a standardized language and the challenges associated with accomplishing this.

2. Roadmap

The RMMM deliver a roadmap and a guide for stakeholders that helps them characterize their current level of maturity and determine the optimal, aspirational level of maturity. In other words, it's hard to plot a course to where you want to go without firmly understanding where you stand.

3. Clarity

The RMMM attempts to expose clearly the implications and consequences of aspiring to or operating at a particular level of resource management maturity in areas like data gathering and reporting requirements, software technology selection, governance infrastructure, and resulting business benefits. Too many organizations charge off with a software technology strategy, for example, without understanding the process and governance implications or vice versa.

4. Software Selection

One fall out of the RMMM, as eluded to above, is that it can prepare stakeholders to make better assessments of PPM software options for resource management and choose the solution that is best suited to meet current and projected needs. Many PPM software applications are geared for environments which assume a very high-level of process sophistication and burden users with resource-related data input requirements. Other solutions operate at a higher-level only while still others can provide a growth path from a low-level of maturity to a very high level. The key is to find a solution that let's you bite off only what you can chew at any given point in your resource management maturation journey.

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. 

Friday May 03, 2013

Oracle Instantis Complements and Expands EPPM Solutions

Late last year, Oracle announced its purchase of Instantis, a leading provider of cloud-based and on-premises project portfolio management solutions. Wayne Caccamo, a former Instantis executive and now part of Oracle’s Primavera team, discusses what the acquisition means for users of Oracle solutions for enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM).

Q: What new capabilities does the Instantis acquisition bring to Oracle’s already extensive portfolio of EPPM solutions?
A: Oracle’s Instantis EnterpriseTrack offers a number of complementary solutions and capabilities for the Oracle portfolio. At a high level, Instantis EnterpriseTrack brings top-down strategy execution and portfolio management capabilities to resource-constrained PPM environments. At the same time, Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management and Primavera Unifier provide robust bottom-up project-planning capabilities for schedule-constrained PPM use cases.

As such, Oracle’s Instantis product line has established market leadership in relatively lighter-weight project environments, such as IT; new product development; and process improvement. This, of course, complements Oracle’s traditional strengths in the capital planning, maintenance, and manufacturing environments that are prevalent in asset-intensive industries. This combination results in the most comprehensive single-vendor EPPM solution offering in the industry.

Q: Can current users of Primavera P6 and Oracle Fusion Applications integrate Oracle’s Instantis solutions into their existing platforms now?
A: Instantis EnterpriseTrack can integrate with Primavera P6, Oracle Fusion Applications, and other solutions through existing Web service APIs. More packaged integrations are on the product development roadmap. The vision is to move from the current, single-vendor EPPM solution to a single-platform EPPM solution by leveraging common cloud-service and Oracle components. At that point there will be a single, converged EPPM services layer for portfolio management, analytics, strategy alignment, and global resource and capacity management. However, there will continue to be a number of PPM-environment-specific configuration options to preserve cultural acceptability for each distinct user community in areas such as idea and demand management, project scheduling, financial modeling, and metrics tracking.

Q: What is the value of cloud computing to users of EPPM applications?
A: Often, cloud-based EPPM solutions are easier to deploy, use, administer, and afford. For example, deployment timeframes for Instantis EnterpriseTrack can be measured in days, not months. Oracle’s Instantis solutions are 100-percent Web based, which means they are easier to use since they are always on—anytime, anywhere—making it simple to support a remote and mobile workforce.

Q: Can EPPM users expect to see future upgrades and innovations to Oracle’s Instantis solutions?
A: Before being acquired by Oracle, Instantis built a 12-year track record of industry firsts and has been recognized by leading industry analysts as being innovative and visionary. With the additional resources being brought to bear under Oracle, it is expected that the rate of innovation will accelerate over time. Oracle is committed to continuous innovation in areas such as dashboards, reporting and analytics, user experience, and social/mobile PPM.

Read the full version of the EPPM Quarterly Newsletter here

Tuesday Sep 11, 2012

Webcor Builders Coordinates Construction Schedules and Mitigates Potential Delays More Efficiently with Integrated Project Management

With more than 40 years of commercial construction experience, Webcor Builders is a leading builder of distinguished, high-profile projects, including high-rise condominiums and hotels, laboratories, healthcare centers, and public works projects. Webcor is also known for its award-winning concrete, interior construction, historic restoration, and seismic renovation work. The company has completed more than 50 million square feet of projects to date.

Considering the variety and complexity of the construction projects Webcor undertakes, an integrated project management solution is critical to ensuring optimal efficiency and completing client projects on time and on budget. The company previously used a number of scheduling systems for its various building projects. These packages provided different levels of schedule detail and required schedulers, engineers, and other employees to learn multiple systems. From an IT cost and complexity perspective, the company had to manage multiple scheduling systems and pay for multiple sets of licenses.

The company looked to standardize on an enterprise project management system, and selected Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management. Webcor uses the solution’s advanced capabilities to schedule complex projects, analyze delays, model and propose multiple scenarios to demonstrate and mitigate delays and cost overruns, and process that information efficiently to deliver the scheduling precision that public and private projects require. In fact, the solution was instrumental in helping the company’s expansion into public sector projects during the recent economic downturn, and with Primavera P6 in place, it can deliver the precise schedule reporting required for large public projects.

With Primavera P6 in place, the company could deliver the precise scheduling and milestone reporting capabilities required for large public projects.

The solution is in managing the high-profile University of California – Berkeley Memorial Stadium project. Webcor was hired as construction manager and general contractor for the stadium renovation project, which is a fast-paced project located near the seismically active Hayward Fault Zone. Due to the University of California’s football schedule, meeting the Universities deadline for the coming season placed Webcor in a situation where risk awareness and early warnings of issues would be paramount. Webcor and the extended project team needed a solution that could instantly analyze alternate scenarios to mitigate potential delays; Primavera would deliver those answers.The team would also need to enable multiple stakeholders to use an internet-based platform to access the schedule from various locations, and model complicated sequencing requirements where swift decisions would be made to keep the project on track.

The schedule is an integral part of Webcor’s construction management process for the stadium project. Rather than providing the client with the industry-standard monthly update, Webcor updates the critical path method (CPM) schedule on a weekly basis. The project team also reviews the schedule and updates weekly to confirm that progress and forecasted performance are accurate.

Hired by the University for their ability to deliver in high risk environments The Webcor team was hit recently with a design supplement that could have added up to 70 days to the project. Using Oracle Primavera P6 the team sprung into action analyzing multiple “what if” scenarios to review mitigation means and methods.  Determined to make sure the Bears could take the field in the coming season the project team nearly eliminated the impact with their creative analysis in working the schedule. The total time from the issuance of the final design supplement to an agreed mitigation response was less than one week; leveraging the Oracle Primavera solution Webcor was able to deliver superior customer value

With the ability to efficiently manage projects and schedules, Webcor can ensure it completes its projects on time and on budget, as well as inform clients about what changes to plans will mean in terms of delays and additional costs.

Read the complete customer case study at : 

http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/customers/customersearch/webcor-builders-1-primavera-ss-1639886.html


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