Monday Nov 11, 2013

EPPM Is a Must-Have Capability as Global Energy and Power Industries Eye US$38 Trillion in New Investments

“The process manufacturing industry is facing an unprecedented challenge: from now until 2035, cumulative worldwide investments of US$38 trillion will be required for drilling, power generation, and other energy projects,” Iain Graham, director of energy and process manufacturing for Oracle’s Primavera, said in a recent webcast. He adds that process manufacturing organizations such as oil and gas, utilities, and chemicals must manage this level of investment in an environment of constrained capital markets, erratic supply and demand, aging infrastructure, heightened regulations, and declining global skills. In the following interview, Graham explains how the right enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) technology can help the industry meet these imperatives. Project Portfolio Management Solutions for Capital Projects

Q: Why is EPPM so important for today’s process manufacturers?
A: If the industry invests US$38 trillion without proper cost controls in place, a huge amount of resources will be put at risk, especially when it comes to cost overruns that may occur in large capital projects. Process manufacturing companies must not only control costs, but also monitor all the various contractors that will be involved in each project. If you’re not managing your own workers and all the interdependencies among the different contractors, then you’ve got problems.

Q: What else should process manufacturers look for?
A: It’s also important that an EPPM solution has the ability to manage more than just capital projects. For example, it’s best to manage maintenance and capital projects in the same system. Say you’re due to install a new transformer in a power station as part of a capital project, but routine maintenance in that area of the facility is scheduled for that morning. The lack of coordination could lead to unforeseen delays. There are also IT considerations that impact capital projects, such as adding servers and network cable for a control system in a power station. What organizations need is a true EPPM system that’s not just for capital projects, maintenance, or IT activities, but instead an enterprisewide solution that provides visibility into all types of projects.

Read the complete Q&A here and discover the practical framework for successfully managing this massive capital spending.

Tuesday Oct 08, 2013

Explore the Fundamental Connections Between Stock Value and Project Management

Senior executives are today more accountable, even vulnerable, than ever before to poor share price performance. There are numerous reasons for this, but the increasing negative impact for organizations means that senior executives need to take a more active role in making the right decisions throughout business operations. According to research conducted by the global consulting firm Booz & Co.1, over the last decade the average tenure of a global chief executive has dropped from 8.1 years to 6.3 years. This analysis of the world’s top 2,500 publicly listed companies found that executive turnover had increased from around 12% in 2000 to 14.3% in 2009, with more than a third (36.7%) of departures in 2009 being dismissals rather than part of a planned succession. project and portfolio management on share price and stock value

For project-intensive organizations, there is even more intense pressure on executives to deliver forecasted returns on investment (ROI). With the current economic climate, shrinking margins and increased global competition, the impact of huge capital investment projects extending beyond their scope and budget carries significant consequences. This places even greater emphasis on capital planning, a core business process that remains fraught with difficulties. In a survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit in October 20102, only 11% of companies could claim they delivered expected ROI on major capital projects 90-100% of the time, and 12% reported planned ROI delivery less than half the time. These results highlight that organizations – irrespective of industry sector – are still struggling to manage risks, accurately predict levels of ROI and consistently deliver bottom line growth from their major capital investments. Bad investment decisions can lead to huge financial losses, which serves to place the spotlight firmly on the capital planning process. It also places greater emphasis on executive decision-making capabilities to determine which potential investments deliver the greatest value and reliability, as well as providing the financial stability to attract funding.

The danger of poor evaluation can quickly lead to a significant reduction in the value of the organization’s overall portfolio and compromise long range capital planning goals. From here, it is a short journey to poor share price performance.

Click here and read this full complimentary paper that looks at the intrinsic connection between long-term capital investment and short-term market performance, and how this can in turn affect the profit outlook for project-intensive organizations. Discover existing research undertaken in this area, and highlight case examples where project management performance has impacted – whether positive or negative – the stock price and, in turn, the overall image of both the company and those in the C-suite of these organizations.

Read here and share with your colleagues.

1Favaro, Ken et al, CEO Succession 2010: The Four types of CEOs. Issue 63 2011. Booz & Co

2“Prepare for the unexpected: investment planning in asset-intensive industries,” Economist Intelligence Unit, January 2011

Friday Sep 13, 2013

Top Challenges, Implications, and Strategic Solutions for Energy and Utility Companies

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts roughly a $38T capital outlay over the next 15 years for the energy sector. Global energy and utility demand isTop Challenges, Implications, and Strategic Solutions for Energy and Utility Companiesexpected to increase by over one-third in the period to 2035, while the primary energy supply mix shifts considerably to natural gas and unconventional sources. The ability for global power and process owners, operators, contractors, and E&C companies to meet demand will largely depend on their ability to overcome five pain points: a constrained capital market, erratic supply and demand, aging infrastructure, a heightened regulatory environment, and declining global skills.

Iain Graham, director of Process Manufacturing Strategy, Oracle Primavera, hosts a Webcast available On-Demand that spotlights three strategic drivers—operational excellence, financial discipline, and risk mitigation—which are key in driving success and helping to identify, select, execute, operate, and maintain assets in an increasingly complex world. During the Webcast, Iain discusses how financial discipline can help manage capital expenses and focus capital on areas that drive greater shareholder value. Through examples that Iain provides, you can learn how operational excellence enhances efficiency, optimizes resource pools, and reduces waste and inefficiencies. He also covers how improved awareness of cash flow and capital expenditures can help any power and process company better manage and react to uncertainty.

Read the full edition of Engineering News Record’s 2nd edition of Construction Connection to discover more successes and stories in the current and emerging environment in the engineering and construction industry. 

Visit the microsite to read highlight articles from the digital magazine.

Tuesday Sep 10, 2013

Project and Program Management: The Key to Thriving in the Regulation Nation

Written by: Mike Metcalf, Director of Services Industry, Oracle PrimaveraProject and Program Management System for Regulatory Compliance and Control

Between 2009 and 2012, US businesses were burdened with more than $500 Billion in regulation costs. In 2012 alone an additional $215 Billion in final rule costs were added. For financial services organizations, the Basel capital standards, Volcker rule and Durbin Amendment are most often cited as major drivers of additional costs. According to its own reported data, Bank of America spends over $4B on regulatory costs representing almost 3.5% of its market capitalization. In its 2011 annual report, JP Morgan Chase states, "It will take an enormous amount of resources across all of our disciplines – people, systems, technology and control functions (finance, risk, legal, audit and compliance) to get it done right. Over the next few years, we estimate that tens of thousands of our people will work on these changes, of which 3,000 will be devoted full time to the effort, at a cost of close to $3 billion." 

Remarkably, in spite of this explosion of regulations, increasing compliance costs, limited resources and emphasis on change management, most compliance efforts are dispersed across the organization and lack any formalized project and program management controls. As many CIO's have experienced, effective project portfolio management processes and systems can help via their ability to:

  • Communicate and co-ordinate change management activities that span functional and organizational boundaries
  • Improve governance and oversight of business-critical initiatives
  • Identify and eliminate duplicate or rogue initiatives
  • Leverage best practices across the organization
  • Mitigate schedule risks and help control costs

The American Action Forum estimates the total financial services regulatory cost over the last 10 years to be almost $25 Billion and growing. The 2013 Cost of Compliance Survey conducted by Thomson Reuters states that, "The fact that 67 percent of respondents expected their budgets to rise slightly or significantly indicated that those who make budgetary decisions are increasingly risk aware and appreciate the need to have a well-resourced compliance function to mitigate the myriad risks which firms may face in the coming year." It concludes by stating, "It looks as though 2013 will be characterized by the need to juggle a further increase in regulatory communications, to drive the implementation of agreed change and to ensure that senior managers focus on risk management and corporate governance. All this will have to be managed despite a lack of suitably skilled resources."

It is clear that we have entered an era of financial services re-regulation and that these challenges will continue for many years to come. It's time for risk and compliance officers to adopt proven solutions such as project portfolio management to manage the large and growing number of change initiatives resulting from these new regulations. Organizations that excel at managing regulatory compliance will minimize compliance costs, avoid penalties, and leverage regulatory mastery for competitive advantage. 

Monday Sep 09, 2013

Why Government Agencies Need to Prove Value by Producing Incremental Value

For years, government agencies have undertaken ambitious, multi-year projects often without a step-by-step project plan or documented ROI. This inevitably led to waste, a frustrated Congress, and a confused public. Now, government agencies must show their programs will achieve value from the very first stage of development.

By shelving expensive, multi-year IT programs for smaller projects that can show incremental value, agencies can prove to Congress real ROI. This makes it more likely that the agencies will receive continued funding and the projects can continue. Another benefit is that by breaking large projects into smaller ones, agencies can ensure that each phase works properly and will deliver the expected ROI before advancing to the next phase. If progress is not delivered, that project can be canceled or put on hold, without much lost. As Tom Davis, Director of Federal Government Affairs for Deloitte & Touche LLP notes, "significant amounts of government funding have gone to waste due to agencies trying to tackle too much at once." While this thinking is not necessarily new, the current fiscal environment has convinced many that "agile" is the right approach to successful programs. 

"Flat is the new up" may not be an ideal situation, but it is the one government agencies have come to know. To adjust, they will need to become more innovative in the way they extract efficiencies and cost savings out of their operations. Moreover, they will need to prove, every step of the way, that their programs are valuable. In a time of constrained budgets, failing to do so may result in reduced funding.    

Oracle's Primavera provides enterprise investment management technology that allows government agencies to propose, plan, and control investments that present the greatest value to both the agencies and the public they serve. With Primavera enterprise project portfolio management solutions, national and local governments can effectively manage time, costs, resources, contracts, and changes to all types of projects or programs—including management of IT investments, grants, military systems, capital facility projects, maintenance and improvement programs, and more. Learn more here

Thursday Aug 29, 2013

Top Strategic Drivers to Success in an Unpredictable, Changing World

Whether they are in the power or process industry, owners, operators, and their E&C partners face extraordinary demands in the next 20 years. The International Energy Agency (IEA) 2012 World Market Report estimates that a cumulative investment of US$37 trillion is needed in the world’s energy supply system by 2035.1 Of that investment, US$19 trillion will need to go to oil and gas facilities and infrastructure and US$17 trillion to meet generation, transmission, and distribution needs with the remaining targeted at other energy solutions.

The $19 trillion in oil and gas investments is expected to span the globe from U.S. shale and Canadian oil sands to Iraq’s new oil fields and Brazil’s deepwater drilling. IEA also points out that the current energy renaissance in the U.S. will have significant implications for energy markets and trade. By 2030, the U.S. should be self-sufficient in net energy needs and a net oil exporter because of its increased production of oil, shale gas, and bioenergy as well as improved fuel transport efficiency. As a consequence of the U.S. shift, international oil owners will place more emphasis on Asian markets and strategic links to the Middle East. Utilities face unprecedented pressures, as well, given IEA’s estimating $17 trillion investment in power infrastructure. Global electricity demand is expected to increase over 70% by 2035, according to IEA, with over half that demand from China and India. As well, electric utilities in the U.S. are expected to invest at least $51.1 billion in transmission projects through 2023.2 The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) estimates that more than three-quarters of the $51.1 billion will be used to support the integration of renewable resources in an effort to meet growing demand, relieve congestion, improve reliability, and support new generation sources to power grids.

Whether owner, developer, utility, or E&C company, success in the current and emerging environment will most certainly depend on an organization’s cost control, operational efficiency, and risk mitigation—read the full article in Engineering News Record’s (ENR) 2nd edition of the Construction Connection digital magazine to discover why.

Visit the microsite to read highlight articles from the digital magazine.