Monday May 06, 2013

Five Globalization Risks and How to Manage Them

Globalization may offer enterprises exciting new growth opportunities in emerging markets, but it can also introduce a complex array of operational risks. The challenge is that without the right infrastructure in place to confront these risks, international projects can immobilize an organization and lead to the biggest consequence of all—putting the company out of business.

“Investing in the Unknown?” is a new report produced by The EPPM Board that explores five key challenges facing global project delivery. Produced for enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) professionals, the report examines the challenges of operating across borders, and details the role of EPPM solutions in maintaining effective visibility and control.

A shifting risk profile. The increased scale of globalized operations is matched by the increased level of risk, ranging from fluctuations in interest and exchange rates to supply chain piracy. As these risks become more strategic, they frequently involve greater levels of uncertainty that can impact capital investments. Organizations therefore need access to a more comprehensive risk framework, and the ability to analyze different scenarios and model specific risks and costing options.

Regulatory obstacles. Fast-changing regulations and local policies can have a dramatic impact on the profitability of cross-border investments, heightening uncertainty in rapid-growth markets. By adopting a global platform for managing the project portfolio, greater visibility can be gained into the procedures for overcoming regional barriers—and for developing suitable contingency plans.

Cultural differences. Managing workforces when operations are separated by thousands of miles, international time zones, and cultural and religious differences can be an exacting challenge. To cope, the central organization must be able to refine portfolio management and create an infrastructure that maintains the diversity of international teams while also empowering local delivery.

Resource constraints. Increased competition for local talent often results in skills shortages in key functions. This creates increased demand for effective planning processes allied to dynamic resource management capabilities. While the tools exist to support these activities, the trick is to review intelligence from a consolidated global perspective. EPPM solutions provide a framework for adopting this perspective and for balancing the risks of individual projects across the portfolio.

Problem flexibility. The growing interdependence of international value chains makes the consequences of major systemic disruptions difficult to manage. Increased visibility into value chain performance, and processes for creating a collaborative, two-way flow of information are the vital ingredients for retaining flexibility and responsiveness. In addition, executives must be able to select the type and frequency of data they review and zoom in on any critical obstacles.

EPPM Is Essential
To succeed in globalization, organizations must manage challenges and risks at an executive level. As a result, EPPM technologies that enable a more integrated, top-down approach to managing projects and resources are becoming critical components in many globalization strategies.

Read the full report and learn about Oracle’s full portfolio of EPPM solutions.

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.

Sunday Jan 22, 2012

Intelligent project selection in the Federal government

According to the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of Americans believe that the government cannot run program efficiently and without waste.

The Economist Intelligence Unit issued a report sponsored by Oracle titled "Creating value in the public sector: Intelligent project selection in the federal government". The report explores how some agencies are taking a portfolio-based approach to improve program performance.

Programs can be run more efficiently when agency leaders and managers improve their program management practices. A solid portfolio management solution enables them to:

  • have a holistic view of all the projects to see if and where new projects will fit.
  • identify the right projects.
  • balance the project portfolios
  • select and manage resources
  • constantly adjust programs to account for changes in strategy and demands.

Read the full EIU report to find out how.

Monday Jan 02, 2012

How effective is your company at capital planning?

Asset-intensive industries are presented with many challenges when it comes to effectively managing the capital planning process. And failing to make good decisions when the stakes are high can lead to huge financial losses. Is your company making good investment decisions?

A recent survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Oracle, found that:

  • Only one in ten companies in the utilities, oil & gas, chemicals and metals & mining industries consistently achieve the expected return on investment on capital projects
  • 47% of executives surveyed rate their organizations as "effective" at planning, prioritizing and selecting capital investment opportunities, and just 8% say they are "extremely effective"
  • Fewer than one in five organizations involve program managers in capital investment planning decision-making

With the cost of projects running into the millions, and even billions of dollars, the stakes have never been higher: timelines are long, investments are huge and lifecycles are even longer. Good decision-making in the planning stages can have a tremendous impact on the bottom line and mean the difference between the success and failure of a project.

How does your company compare? Take the EUI five-minute benchmarking survey to find out. See how your views of the capital planning process compare with those of more than 425 asset-intensive industry executives around the world.

Monday Dec 26, 2011

How portfolio management can reduce project portfolio costs and speed time to completion

In today’s increasingly complex and volatile business environment, companies in asset-intensive process industries need to achieve the expected return on their capital investments. Portfolio management can help companies make critical enterprise investment decisions by simplifying the investment selection process. In addition, portfolio management solutions can help organizations balance short and long-term planning, integrate planning groups across the organization, and align planning with execution, resulting in better decision-making that delivers enterprise value.

The Benefits:

  • Select, prioritize and align initiatives to achieve objectives
  • Understand the impact of changing or adding initiatives to portfolios
  • Track performance throughout the investment lifecycle process

Here is a 2 minute flash demo explaining how to improve capital investment portfolios with portfolio management. 

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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