Thursday Jan 30, 2014

The EPPM Board Weighs In on Top Industry Controversies

A new report from Oracle’s Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) Board in North America directly tackles two critical issues that have divided the project portfolio community for years. The first is whether organizations are best served by a central project management office (PMO) or by a decentralized approach that distributes project management responsibilities among individual business units. The second flashpoint is the rise of mobility among EPPM professionals and whether senior executives should encourage this trend. The EPPM Board Weighs In on Top Industry Controversies

Discussions of these issues are included in the report, “The Changing Face of Enterprise Project Portfolio Management,” by the Oracle EPPM Board, a prestigious international steering group of senior executives, academics, and industry experts.

Read the full report and learn how a balanced approach to mobility can help organizations address both the benefits and risks of this important issue. “A failure to embrace [mobility] could have serious consequences for the delivery of successful projects,” Board members say. They added that evidence shows that when projects fail, many people know well in advance but are worried by what the disclosure could do to their careers. “Smart devices, apps that deliver real-time data straight to the C-level, and dashboard analysis were all viewed as positive ways in which to combat such cognitive, but very human, behavior,” the report explains.

Tuesday Dec 03, 2013

Driving a Shared Vision with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management

Written by: Guy Barlow, Director of Industry Strategy at Oracle Primavera

“Write that down!” the CIO of an Indian Oil & Gas company exclaimed. Honestly I was caught off-guard when he hollered this to his reports during our discussion. So what was he so excited about? Simply put, he saw how his team could provide a solution to improve a key business metric; a single number that could not only strengthen the business but also his team’s relationship with operations. Not a bad thing.enterprise project portfolio management best practices

A shared vision, that’s what it is really all about. When an IT leader understands the key business metrics they can instill those metrics in their team to forge the much-needed connectivity between IT and business. The CIO was making a point to ensure his team “got it”. He certainly did.

In our client interactions we’re seeing a rapidly growing trend towards this shared vision and purpose. In some cases it’s by proactive design – the CIO comes from the business – or in others it’s borne out of a reaction to market necessities, like a declining share price, poorer KPIs, or regulatory scrutiny. Crises are great catalysts for initiating change. Similarly, the infusion of technology-thinking into the business is making for much more savvy executives on the operational side of things. In the end this is all good.

So what does this have to do with enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM)? As it turns out, quite a lot. Whether it’s a failed IT implementation for a bank, a cost blowout for a petrochemical facility or a late-to-market delivery of a new vehicle, these are all critical initiatives to the performance of their respective businesses. And guess what? They’re projects – big, small, complex, simple, local, and global. Manage them, by aligning technology and business, and you’re managing your enterprise more effectively.

This link between technology, the business and EPPM is naturally of keen interest to our clients and us. The ability to drive transformational change through greater innovation, efficient operations, a heightened risk and financial management approach is top of mind. Composed of business leaders and academics, the EPPM Board* was formed to explore these types of ideas and communicate to business leaders some of the latest thinking and innovation via research and thought leadership.

Take some time to review these reports generated from the EPPM Board; Hedging your Bets, Stock Shock and In the Firing Line and I guarantee you’ll “get it” too. And more is on the way. Enjoy.

P.S. So what was that number the CIO was interested in? What generated the excitement was, LPO, or lost production opportunity, and for the energy sector it’s a powerful metric. If a facility is down for maintenance it’s not making money. EPPM can reduce maintenance time via a number of areas and by doing so you reduce LPO…and increase revenue.

*The EPPM Board is a prestigious international steering group from Oracle. It brings together senior figures from leading organizations to discuss the business critical role of Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) and establish how the challenge can be better tackled from the top.

Wednesday Oct 30, 2013

How Important is Project Team Communication in the Public Sector?

By Paul Bender, Director of Public Administration Strategy, Oracle Primavera

It goes without saying that communication between project team members is a core competency that connects every member of a project team to a common set of strategies, goals and actions. If these components are not effectively shared by project leads and understood by stakeholders, project outcomes can be jeopardized and budgets may incur unnecessary risk.Project and portfolio management best practices for federal agencies

As reported by PMI’s 2013 Pulse of the Profession, an organization’s ability to meet project timelines, budgets and especially goals significantly impacts its ability to survive—and even thrive. The Pulse study revealed that the most crucial success factor in project management is effective communication to all stakeholders—a critical core competency for public agencies. PMI’s 2013 Pulse of the Profession report revealed that US$135 million is at risk for every US$1 billion spent on a project. Further research on the importance of effective project team communication uncovers that a startling 56 percent (US$75 million of that US$135 million) is at risk due to ineffective communication. Simply stated: public agencies cannot execute strategic initiatives unless they can effectively communicate their strategic alignment and business benefits.

Executives and project managers around the world agree that poor communication between project team members contributes to project failure. A Forbes Insights 2010 Strategic Initiatives Study “Adapting Corporate Strategy to the Changing Economy,” found that nine out of ten CEOs believe that communication is critical to the success of their strategic initiatives, and nearly half of respondents cite communication as an integral and active component of their strategic planning and execution process. Project managers see it similarly from their side as well. According to PMI’s Pulse research, 55 percent of project managers agree that effective communication to all stakeholders is the most critical success factor in project management.

As we all know, not all projects succeed. On average, two in five projects do not meet their original goals and business intent, and one-half of those unsuccessful projects are related to ineffective communication. Results reveal that while all aspects of project communication can be challenging to public agencies, the biggest problem areas are:

  1. A gap in understanding the business benefits.
  2. Challenges surrounding the language used to deliver project-related information, which is often unclear and peppered with project management jargon.

Public agencies -- federal, state, and local -- have difficulty communicating with the appropriate levels with clarity and detail. This difficulty is likely exacerbated by the divide between each key audience and its understanding of project-specific, technical language. For those involved in public sector project and portfolio management, I would be interested to hear your thoughts and please visit Primavera EPPM solutions for public sector.

Monday Oct 28, 2013

The Rise of Project Intelligence and Why It Matters

By Amy DeWolf

Are you doing any of these in your organization? How are you leveraging historical data to forecast projects?

There’s a lot going on in government today. The economic pressures agencies feel from the uncertainty of budget cuts and sequestration effect every part of an organization, including the Project Management Office (PMOPMO Best practices).  The PMO is responsible for monitoring and administering government IT projects. As time goes on, priorities shift, technology advances, and new regulations are imposed, all of which make planning and executing projects more difficult.  For example, think about your own projects.  How many boxes do you need to check and hoops do you need to jump through to ensure you comply with new regulations? While new regulations and technology advancements can be a good thing, they add an additional layer of complexity to already complex projects.

To overcome some of these pressures, particularly new regulations, many in the PMO world are adopting a new approach- Project Intelligence (PI). According to a new Oracle Primavera white paper, The Rise of Project Intelligence: When Project Management is Just Not Enough“PI uses Business Intelligence methods to leverage historical project data to make more informed decisions and greatly enhance project execution.”

Currently, project managers plan and forecast the possible phases in an execution cycle.  However, most project managers don’t have the proper tools to do this as effectively as they would like. As the white paper noted, “The underlying deficiencies in most forecasting approaches are that 1) the PM fails in most instances to leverage historical data and 2) the PM doesn’t employ current Business Intelligence tools.” PI seeks to overturn this by combining modeling tools used in Business Intelligence for projects with the understanding of Emotional Intelligence for managing people.  

  • Simply put, Project Intelligence is built off four main pillars:
  • Actively use historical data to forecast project cycles
  • Understand the intricacies of complex projects
  • Enhance social and emotional intelligence in projects
  • Actively use Business intelligence tools

Read our complimentary whitepaper and discover the importance of emotional intelligence and best practices for improving projects, specifically in terms of communication.

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