Wednesday Apr 16, 2014

US Manufacturers Turn to Enterprise Project Portfolio Management to Capitalize on Growth Opportunities

A new white paper from Oracle, "Manufacturing Outlook: Improving Time to Market, Operational Effectiveness, and Innovation in a Highly Competitive Environment," explains that there's good news and bad news for US manufacturers in the current economic environment. On the plus side, manufacturing production is expected to grow by 2.4 percent in 2014 and 4.1 percent in 2015. The bad news? Many manufacturers are still struggling to recover in the aftermath of the recession, when many companies closed plants, reduced staff, and lost customers.

In the following interview, John Reichard, Oracle's director of discrete industry strategy, discusses how an updated business strategy and the right enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) solution can help manufacturers capitalize on growth opportunities in today's volatile market.

Q: What current fundamentals make the US a strong manufacturing environment?
A: First, this country has a mature and extensive infrastructure in place, along with a strong workforce that is highly trained and skilled with the latest technology used in sophisticated manufacturing processes.

Q: What's the flipside? What challenges will manufacturers be facing in the months ahead?
A: One of the biggest is the ability to quickly bring the right products to market at the right time. If a manufacturer can't meet changing customer demands, customers will look to competitors. The challenge extends beyond satisfying current demand—manufacturers must continually replicate the product delivery process to keep sales momentum growing and create greater market share.

Read the complete interview here.

Monday Jan 06, 2014

University of Minnesota Saves Millions with Fewer Construction Change Orders and Claims, Improves Collaboration with Project Management Solution

The University of Minnesota is one of the most comprehensive public universities in the United States, offering more than 370 fields of study at campuses in the Twin Cities, Duluth, Morris, Crookston, and Rochester. It also has six agricultural experiment stations, two biological stations, one forestry station, and regional extension services throughout the state. Project Management Solution for university of Minnesota

The university’s capital planning and project management department oversees approximately 300 capital projects annually, valued at US$250 million. Typically, 10 to 15 of those projects have budgets exceeding US$2 million.

Challenges:

  • Deploy a robust project management solution to support the university’s new capital planning and project management group, which oversees more than US$250 million in projects annually across multiple campuses and school facilities.
  • Standardize and automate processes and closely track the cost of capital projects, which range from classroom building construction to campus infrastructure initiatives, to ensure on-time, on-budget completion.

Read complete list of challenges here.

Solutions:

  • Gained a consistent project management methodology and process for the university’s construction projects with Oracle’s Primavera Unifier, improving the team’s ability to complete projects on time and within budget and achieving return on investment in three years.
  • Integrated contract and financial management and enabled the capital projects group to track and benchmark costs to gain a more accurate picture of expenditures associated with building certain types of campus structures, whether instructional buildings or infrastructure projects.
  • Reduced the number of change orders by 15%―saving US$3.7 million in 2009 alone―thanks to more detailed cost and scope information, audit trails, and transparency.

Read complete list of solutions here.

"With Oracle’s Primavera Unifier, we have introduced standardized project management methodologies, resulting in significant savings and enabling us to be better stewards of the projects entrusted to our group.” – Kevin McCourt, Business Manager, Capital Planning and Project Management Department, University of Minnesota

Read complete customer snapshot here.

Monday Oct 21, 2013

In the Firing Line: The impact of project and portfolio performance on the CEO

What are the primary measurements for rating CEO performance?

For corporate boards, business analysts, investors, and the trade press the metrics they deploy are relatively binary in nature; what is being done to generate earnings, and what is being done to build and sustain high performance?

As for the market, interest is primarily aroused when operational and financial performance falls outside planned commitments for the year. When organizations announce better than predicted results, they usually experience an immediate increase in share price. Likewise, poor results have an obviously negative impact on the share price and impact the role and tenure of the incumbent CEO.The impact of project and portfolio performance on the CEO

The danger for the CEO is that the risk of failure is ever present, ranging from manufacturing delays and supply chain issues to labor shortages and scope creep. This risk is enhanced by the involvement of secondary suppliers providing services critical to overall work schedules, and magnified further across a portfolio of programs and projects underway at any one time – and all set within a global context. All can impact planned return on investment and have an inevitable impact on the share price – the primary empirical measure of day-to-day performance.

Read this complete complementary report, In the Firing Line and explore what is the direct link between the health of the portfolio and CEO performance. This report will provide an overview of the responsibility the CEO has for implementing and maintaining a culture of accountability, offer examples of some of the higher profile project failings in recent years, and detail the capabilities available to the CEO to mitigate the risks residing in their own portfolios.

Wednesday Oct 16, 2013

RWE IT Updates Project Schedules with 10,000 Activities in Less Than One Minute

RWE IT GmbH is the internal IT service provider for the RWE Group, by revenue the second-largest German utility company, which supplies electricity to more than 20 million Project Portfolio Management software for Utilitiesconsumers and gas to more than 10 million consumers, mainly in Europe. Through technological expertise and extensive knowledge of business and processes, RWE IT helps RWE Group companies meet their challenges. The company’s competencies, aligned toward the processes of RWE Group’s value-creation chain, include the rollout of standardized systems for acquisitions, new business segments, and regions; flexible integration or expansion for acquisitions, new business segments, and regions; and optimized use and expansion of the group’s IT infrastructure.

 Challenges

  • Enable three group companies—RWE Technology, RWE Power, and RWE Innogy—to efficiently manage multiple power construction projects at the same time and optimize resource use across those projects.
  • Provide schedulers with the ability to effectively open and modify projects with thousands of activities—to ensure on-time and on-budget delivery of major capital projects

Read full list of challenges here

Solutions

  • Deployed Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management to optimize project scheduling for power station construction while reducing costs for project management and operations.
  • Enabled 80 internal and external schedulers to leverage information from a dozen databases, including country-specific and test databases, and perform multiproject management—including opening and comparing projects with thousands of activities—to drive more cost-effective and on-time projects
  • Enabled RWE Technology, RWE Power, and RWE Innogy to ensure construction quality and better meet project deadlines with optimized power station construction planning and monitoring.

Read full list of solutions here

Why Oracle

Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management is the only project management software capable of handling tens of thousands of simultaneous activities in multiple projects without using excessive computing time. It offers complete security and has the industry’s most advanced scheduling functionality. With the next Primavera release, we anticipate the introduction of advanced scheduling features, such as taking meteorological information into account when planning construction activities,” said Carsten Jung, applications corporate solutions, RWE IT GmbH.

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

Thursday Oct 03, 2013

Wrap-Up: Construction and Engineering Summit @ Oracle OpenWorld 2013

By Garrett Harley, Director of Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle Primavera Best practices for global construction and engineering projects

It's hard to dispute that this year's Oracle OpenWorld was anything short of spectacular. Oracle Team USA staged an unprecedented comeback to defend the America's Cup, and the first Construction and Engineering Summit at Leaders Circle @ OpenWorld was attended by more than 80 C-level attendees from many of the industry's leading global owners, contractors, and engineering, procurement, and construction firms.

Mike Sicilia, Oracle Primavera's GM and SVP, kicked things off with a compelling review of how Oracle technologies continue to strengthen and service engineering and construction (E&C) work across the globe. Mike was followed by Graham Robinson from Global Construction Perspectives, who shared his findings from their recently released Global Construction Perspectives Forecast through 2025.

Leaders Circle sponsor Wipro discussed a well-received E&C integrated solution platform built with Oracle technology that helps companies continue to transform their operations and streamline execution. Oracle customers Chiyoda, COSEA/VINCI, Lend Lease, and the Los Angeles Department of Power and Water then shared their stories of how they've leveraged Oracle technology, the challenges they faced, the solutions they implemented, and the benefits they've received from their partnership with Oracle. 

What struck me about this year's event can be summarized in one word: specialization. Atul Gawande (a general surgeon and author of numerous magazine articles and several books, including The CheckList Manifesto) positions the following hypothesis: As information increases, the need to specialize is required.

What does this have to do with E&C? Think of it this way. The age of the Master Builder is no more. There is simply too much information for any one individual to intimately know. Projects, like today's aircraft, are too much plane for one person to fly.

As customers shared their stories of how they approached resolving their business issues, it was their focus on integration of these specialties and how Oracle has continued to invest in supporting these areas that made me realize not only how far technology in our industry has come, but how much more we still have left to do. And how critical adjustments can lead to extreme performance.

That's something Oracle Team USA did in the face of what appeared to be insurmountable odds. And given the forecast for E&C work through 2025, a focus on extreme performance will be required for the monuments to come. 

Tuesday Sep 03, 2013

Accelerating Speed to Market in the Highly Competitive Automotive Industry

In the auto industry, introducing new products to market can cost up to $1 billion depending on the product’s complexity. Getting these products to market on time is crucial in order to realize ROI during the full lifecycle of the product. Without a timely launch, OEMs aren’t only affected, but suppliers, dealer sales & services and aftermarket ecosystems lose out, as well.

Earlier this year, we saw new product launches that struggled and experienced recalls, with the potential loss of thousands of units in sales and corresponding loss of market share and customer confidence -- something that in this competitive environment is hard to win back. Studies also suggest that for every day an automotive launch was late, an OEM missed out on a million dollars in sales.2 One OEM believed that after being three months late on a major launch – it had lost 60% of the lifecycle profit.

Why does production fall behind?

Getting these products to market on time is crucial in order to realize ROI during the full lifecycle of the product.

Read the complete whitepaper here to learn how an Enterprise Project Portfolio Management solution can help in accelerating the launch of new automotive products to achieve full lifecycle return on investment.

Monday Aug 26, 2013

NEW! Oracle's Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) Webcast Center

We have just launched Oracle's new EPPM Webcast Center, a single console where you can search and watch all EPPM related OnDemand webcasts and register to attend upcoming live webcasts.

These webcasts provide updates on new product features, best practices, customer case studies and more.

Simply log-on to the webcast center where you can filter by products and industries that you are interested in.

Click here to visit the webcast center now!

Thursday Aug 08, 2013

Upcoming Webcast: Discover Custom Solutions for your Oil and Gas Projects - Aug. 20th

Logo

Do you know how your oil and gas projects are performing day-to-day?

For project managers in the oil and gas industry, it’s important to know so you can better manage large and complex assets, better collaborate and share information across the value chain.

Register to attend this webcast, Primavera P6 Analytics Release 3.1 for the Oil and Gas Industry, on August 20th, 2013 and discover how P6 Analytics 3.1 delivers critical support for your oil and gas projects, alongside a host of other new features and capabilities. Learn how you can:

  • Minimize risk with smarter tracking of off-line and on-line maintenance projects.
  • Use specific solutions for shutdown/ turnaround/ outages, as well as routine and on-line maintenance.
  • Increase control with deep, day-by-day histories of project changes and performance.
  • Customize into planning and executions, helping you to minimize downtime, quickly address risks to the schedule and increase the odds of a safely operating asset.

Plus at the end of the webcast you will be given the opportunity to have all your questions answered during the live Q&A.

Date:
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Time:
10:00 a.m. PT/1:00 p.m. ET

Thursday Jul 11, 2013

UPCOMING WEBCAST - The $38T Challenge: Strategic Implications for Energy Companies

The Energy Information Administration forecasts roughly a $38T capital outlay over the next fifteen years for the energy sector.

Register today for this upcoming live webcast on July 31, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. PT / 12:30 p.m. ET and learn what is the needed practical framework for your company to successfully manage this massive capital spend.

Discover the answers to questions like:

  • Is your energy company identifying, selecting, executing and ultimately operating these assets properly?

  • Are you successfully reducing waste and inefficiency?

Listen to customer success stories from your industry and learn how they achieve operational excellence, financial discipline and mitigate risk int heir companies. Plus you will be given the opportunity to have your questions answered during the live Q&A at the end of the webcast.

Save your seat today, you don’t want to miss this webcast if you are in the energy and utility industry! 

Tuesday Jun 25, 2013

Just Released: Oracle Instantis EnterpriseTrack 8.5

Instantis EnterpriseTrack has been successfully integrated into the Oracle development process and the first release under Oracle is generally available. This release is a significant expansion of solution capabilities in resource management, project demand management, and project execution. It also includes customer requested product enhancements, reporting enhancements, performance optimizations, and user experience improvements. Key enhancements include:
  • New Resource Calendar functionality provides more precise capacity visibility for resource planning and increases project plan reliability.
  • Support for Activity Labor Cost Capitalization allows project teams to easily mark any WBS activity as CapEx or OpEx with Labor Expense Type and enforce proper classification of Labor Expense Type for activities by setting defaults through activity templates or at project level
  • New Variable Resource Rates functionality allows project stakeholders to specify resource rate accurately over time and account for wage revisions

Instantis EnterpriseTrack cloud and on-premise solutions provide a top-down approach to managing, tracking and reporting on enterprise strategies, projects, portfolios, processes, resources, and financials.

Upgrade now or Visit the Instantis EnterpriseTrack site to learn more.

Monday Jun 24, 2013

Uralelektrostroy Improves Turnaround Times for Engineering and Construction Projects by Approximately 50% with Better Project Data Management

LLC Uralelektrostroy was established in 1998, to meet the growing demand for reliable energy supply, which included the deployment and operation of a modern power grid system for Russia’s booming economy and industrial sector. To rise to the challenge, the country required a company with a strong reputation and the ability to strategically operate energy production and distribution facilities. As a renowned energy expert, Uralelektrostroy successfully embarked on the mission—focusing on the design, construction, and operation of power grids, transmission lines, and generation facilities. Today, Uralelektrostroy leads the Russian utilities industry with operations across the country, particularly in the Ural, Western Siberia, and Moscow regions.

Challenges:

  • Track work progress through all engineering project development stages with ease—from planning and start-up operations, to onsite construction and quality assurance—to enhance visibility into complex projects, such as power grid and power-transmission-line construction

  • Implement and execute engineering projects faster—for example, designing and building power generation and distribution facilities—by better monitoring numerous local subcontractors

  • Improve alignment of project schedules with project owners’ requirements—awarding federal and regional authorities—to avoid incurring fines for missing deadlines

Solutions:

  • Used Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management 8.1 to streamline communication with customers and subcontractors through better data management and harmonized reporting, reducing construction project implementation and turnaround times by approximately 50%, on average

  • Enabled fast generation of work-in-progress reports that track project schedules, budgets, materials, and staffing—from approval and material procurement, to construction and delivery

  • Reduced the number of construction sites by nearly 30% (from 35 to 25) by identifying unprofitable sites—streamlining operations at the company’s construction site network and increasing profitability

  • Improved project visibility by enabling managers to efficiently track project status, ensuring on-time reporting and punctual project deliveries to federal customers to reduce delay penalties to zero

“Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management 8.1 drastically changed the way we run our business. We’ve reduced the number of redundant assets, streamlined project implementation and execution, and improved collaboration with our customers and contractors. Overall, the Oracle deployment helped to increase our profitability.” – Roman Aleksandrovich Naumenko, Head of Information Technology, LLC Uralelektrostroy

Read the complete customer snapshot here.

Friday Jun 14, 2013

Oracle’s Primavera P6 Team Member for Android is Now Available!

Accurate project status is critical to the success of any project and capturing the information directly from the people doing the work is the best way to ensure your schedule reflects the true progress. A new interface has been added to enable project participants to update their status and communicate with others wherever they are. 

The functionality available in this new Android app is the same as the P6 Team Member for iPhone application that is currently available.

The release is available starting, June 13th, 2013, for general availability from Google Play store.