Monday Oct 05, 2015

Don’t Be Late

By: Garrett Harley, Director, Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle Primavera

Don’t be late, be better informed

If nothing else, construction and engineering projects present ample opportunity to fail. Complexity in assets, supply chains, finance, workforce skills and client requirements all present risk that could jeopardise success. A small slippage or error in any of these areas can easily cascade through the project to contribute to catastrophic failure. It’s little wonder construction and engineering project management is such a tough job.

In a survey of 304 senior executives from a variety of asset-intensive industries, more than a third said they miss their budget (39%) and schedule (34%) targets on major projects at least a quarter of the time[1]. The study by the Economist Intelligence Unit also found more than 60 percent blamed unexpected change for at least half of all project overruns.

The answer is in the data

It’s true that data is everywhere. But finding that nugget of data can help to reduce risk and improve the chances of success. To achieve this, you need to have the ability to manipulate your data in searching for better questions….this is where there is real value.

Every project creates a huge volume of data. From the bid process through to the project’s handover to clients or operators, there is a myriad of Word files, spreadsheets, PDFs and databases. But is the small valuable data easy to find and use? And is it available to the right people at the right time?

There are five main areas where construction and engineering firms are benefiting from improving how they organize and access data:

1. Lead to contract execution: win the right work with the right customers, at the right margins

2. Project and construction execution: manage change while reducing risk and improving margins

3. Digital handover: simplifying the transition to Operation and Maintenance

4. Project visualization: simulating construction sequences and spotting challenges

5. Lifecycle data hub: organizing data and making it coherent

But as with anything in life, it’s impossible to eliminate risk. But you can improve the chances of success.

To discover more, read our latest business brief.

[1] Building in change: Project construction in asset-intensive industries

Wednesday Jan 21, 2015

Is your company ready to successfully execute a business transformation?

Intelligent Utility – January 18, 2015

Author: Guy Barlow, Director of Industry Strategy, Oracle Primavera

For companies that don’t want merely to succeed in the utilities industry but to lead, continual business transformation is a must. It appears, however, that actually achieving this transformation is also one of their most vexing challenges. New research from Oracle Primavera and Forbes, “Making the Change: Planning, Executing and Measuring a Successful Business Transformation,” shows that while the ability to execute transformation is critical to remaining relevant, nearly half of the 534 executives surveyed---from a number of different industries, including utilities---say their organization is only somewhat or not at all ready to successfully execute a business transformation today.

Continual business transformation is crucial for companies to stay ahead of emerging players and maintain a competitive edge. From bringing new offerings to market to embarking on major capital expenditures, business transformation can take countless forms. Many utility companies, however, are struggling with their transformation efforts. Despite strong agreement that business transformation is fundamental to success, 48% of total executives surveyed say their organization is only somewhat or not at all prepared to successfully execute a business transformation today.

Beyond the preparation, it’s the execution of the business transformation initiatives and projects that make or break its success. The most often cited cause for failure in the rollout of a business transformation initiative is inefficient execution (41%), followed by resource and budget constraints (35%). Additionally, top reasons for successful initiatives include support from leadership (51%) and strong, competent execution (48%).

When it comes to tools needed to ensure successful business transformation, respondents from utility companies say that having a summary of all costs associated with transformation initiatives is the single most critical capability (55%). More than half of utility industry respondents (55%) cite inefficient execution as the top reason for transformation failure while noting that the top reason for transformation success is support from leadership (48%). And, those who have successfully implemented transformation initiatives in the last three years say that business transformation met their expectations (47%).

Transformational change in utilities is needed. Given, among other factors, the volatility of commodity pricing, heightened regulatory scrutiny and diminishing talent, boards and executives realize the need for a step-change in their business. And it often depends on the successful planning and execution of strategic initiatives – that is, projects. (…)

Read the complete article here.

Tuesday Jun 17, 2014

Why Time-to-Market is Critical for Today's Automotive Suppliers

After years of slumping sales, the auto industry is rebounding at an unprecedented pace. Auto parts and components suppliers, who were equally battered, now face the challenge of quickly retooling and re-staffing to regain status with OEMs.

This White Paper looks at the current trends and how automotive suppliers can get back on the fast track.

Learn how automotive suppliers can position themselves to help OEMs meet their new model goals.

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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

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!

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.


  • 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


  • 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.


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