Tuesday May 31, 2016

Setting the Stage for Lasting Success with Project Portfolio Management

By: Mike Sicilia, senior vice president and general manager, Primavera Global Business Unit, Oracle

Process improvement (PI) and process excellence (PEX) initiatives, stalwarts of the modern enterprise, are increasingly under the corporate microscope. Starting in the C-suite, expectations are rising as organizations – facing a challenging economic climate and growing regulatory burdens – embrace continuous improvement as an essential element to securing a competitive advantage.

PI and IT have a complicated relationship. Enterprises undertake IT initiatives to improve business performance. In many cases, however, the technology ends up driving process change – for better or worse. Insufficient alignment between business and IT is often at the heart of this growing issue.

Ultimately, leadership wants to ensure that these initiatives align optimally with and support broader business strategies, and are flexible enough to adapt to a web of ever-changing regulations. As important, they want to better predict, measure, and optimize the impact of their PI/PEX initiatives. Speed is also essential in the age of digital transformation as enterprises seek to accelerate insight, action, and outcomes.

These competing requirements can be a tall order for many enterprises as they work to achieve a new level of maturity for their PI/PEX programs. Increasingly, organizations are finding an answer in an unexpected place – project portfolio management (PPM) – a domain traditionally associated, in many enterprises, with IT initiatives.

Selecting the Right Tools

Many PI/PEX initiatives are, in fact, complex projects. As such, it’s logical that PPM methodologies and tools can help to ensure their success.

A McKinsey & Company report found that organizations that actively manage their initiative portfolios can create significantly more value – up to 30 percent more. Further, organizations that formally manage the OpEX initiatives as a portfolio report that projects are always aligned with business strategy 62 percent of the time. These are promising proof points for PI practitioners focused on integrating strategy and action.

It’s important to consider that not all PPM solutions are universally suited to all types of initiatives. Many were designed to support traditional projects, such as capital improvements or IT installations. Line-of-business managers responsible for PI/PEX initiatives have a distinct and often broader set of requirements. For example, PI/PEX professionals must not only manage execution of the project, but facilitate its integration with larger enterprise strategies and goals and then measure its ultimate impact on operations.

When evaluating PPM solutions for use in P/PEX initiatives, it is important to consider multiple factors and requirements, such as:

  • Does the solution enable strategy mapping and tracking to promote alignment between business priorities and PI/PEX initiatives?
  • Does it support continuous improvement over time – enabling migration from one area to the next – from business transformation to continuous improvement?
  • Are you able to identify, track, and manage costs – direct and indirect, capital expenses and operational expenses, real time vs. historical?

The Road Ahead

The PI/PEX landscape is changing, spurring organizations to turn to PPM methodologies and tools that help ensure success while juggling the balance and intersection of IT and PI. PPM offers a clear and strategic path forward – enabling PI leaders and professionals to overcome the complex strategy-execution gap of PI/PEX initiatives and continually sustain change and build on success. PPM solutions, like Oracle’s Instantis EnterpriseTrack, provide organizations with the tools needed to improve strategy execution and drive successful business transformation initiatives.

Check out our white paper, “Process Excellence Re-Imagined,” to learn more and get ongoing insight and practical advice on effectively managing process improvement in an upcoming blog series from Mike Metcalf, director services industry strategy, Oracle Primavera.

Monday Mar 07, 2016

Two Worlds Colliding

By: Krista Lambert, Director, Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle Primavera

Bringing together the best of both worlds

Site foremen are formidable people. You don’t want to feel the force of their frustration. When someone else’s mistake plays havoc with their plans or makes them miss deadlines, it can create unbearable situations.

But you can avoid frustrating your foremen with short interval planning. It’s a technique used in Lean Construction, designed to flush inefficiency out of the system. The technique relies on frequent and open collaboration on the job. The idea is that short-term plans are created daily to adapt to changing circumstances, ensuring employees are not left scratching their heads with nothing to do.

But it has its shortcomings.

It could miss important dependencies in the project which, if ignored, could delay completion. Since the 1940s the critical path method has been developed to seek out these dependencies, showing project managers where to focus their energies if they want to avoid being late.

And yet the critical path method is often set against short interval planning as if project managers and planners must pick one method or the other to succeed. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

The tools and technologies to bring the two approaches together – and get the best from both – are available today. The reality is that an open approach can help you stay in touch with the project whatever is thrown at you at any stage of the project giving you greater control.

To discover more, read our latest business brief.

Wednesday Nov 11, 2015

Stop Wasting My Time

By: Krista Lambert, Director, Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle Primavera

Make better bids, win better work

The average engineering and construction firm only wins one in every four bids for capital asset projects. For a $1 billion company, that’s around $75 million wasted on failed bids every year.

The industry has always worked this way, and some executives will justify the waste as a cost of doing business. But there is another way of looking at it.

Given the costs, it’s no surprise that engineering and construction businesses are picky about the jobs they bid for. The question is, whether they can target more profitable work, improve their chances of winning each bid, or launch more bids with fewer resources? The answer is they can do all three.

Unlocking the value of knowledge

In geographically dispersed businesses, bids are managed autonomously by local teams. Valuable experience and knowledge is often lost to the rest of the organization. This might be based on analysis of opportunities in the marketplace, costings for materials, researching the supply base or understanding a potential client’s wants and needs. There’s a huge opportunity to pool this knowledge across the organization and improve bid quality while lowering cost.

Currently, too many organizations are comfortable with a lack of collaboration which leads to errors and omissions, increasing costs and lowering the chances of success. But tools exist that can ensure data is shared throughout the organization, and readily available to anyone who needs it. And when you’re bidding for new jobs, knowledge is not only power. It’s also profit.

To discover more, read our latest business brief.

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.

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".


About

Information and insights on project portfolio trends and best practices, including cloud project management.

Stay Connected

Twitter

Search

Archives
« July 2016
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
     
1
2
3
4
5
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
      
Today