Monday Jul 14, 2014

Managing Change on Engineering & Construction Projects

By Krista Lambert, Engineering and Construction Strategy Director, Oracle

As the saying goes: change happens. But the recent report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Building in Change: Project Construction in Asset-Intensive Industries revealed that for engineering and construction projects, change is not only inevitable, it creates its own set of challenges. According to the report:

  • More than 60% of survey respondents blame unexpected change for at least one-half of all project overruns.
  • 55% of the executives surveyed consider their companies as average or below at anticipating change.

Clearly, both owners and EPC firms feel that they could vastly improve their ability to manage change. An enterprise-wide project management system not only provides greater visibility and insight into changes, but also improves communication across organizational boundaries, so you can quickly adapt to cost overruns, scope and schedule and quality impacts. To find out more, read the article Critical Components to Effective Project Execution in the latest issue of Construction Connection.

Tuesday May 06, 2014

Establishing an EPMO to Achieve Maximum Impact and Results

Recent research has shown that more than 60 percent of Fortune 1000 companies plan to implement an enterprise project management office (EPMO) over the next two years. Attend this session to learn the value of true enterprisewide portfolio management and the best practices associated with an EPMO. Don Kingsberry, deputy director and leader of the EPMO for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation–the largest private foundation in the world–shares what he has learned over 30 years in establishing six different EPMOs across multiple industries. Kingsberry's focus areas for the session include linking strategy to execution, prioritization, EPMO implementation, critical success factors, and resource management.

Watch the full keynote here.

 

Thursday Mar 06, 2014

Specialization in the Capital Asset Lifecycle

Taken from the 4th edition of Construction Connection’s digital magazine

Asset-intensive projects, regardless of scope and scale, are under constant pressure to control costs, meet demanding schedules and manage risk. For E&C contractors, one large problematic project could wipe out a year’s worth of profit. The risks to owners and operators are equally bad—ranging from discontented stakeholders to lost revenues.

Yet according to the Building in change: project construction in asset-intensive industries special report[1] prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), over one-third of asset-intensive companies miss their budget (39%) and schedule targets (34%) on major projects at least one-quarter of the time; and more than 60% of respondents blame unexpected change for at least one-half of all project overruns.

No doubt, the lifecycle of a capital asset project is fraught with challenges.

Craig Larson, director of E&C Industry at Oracle, explains, “Owners and project teams need effective ways to manage projects from concept to completion and react with agility to unplanned changes to deliver multiyear projects on budget and schedule.”

Read the full article to learn more about the common platforms and standards that support the lifecycle of a project and the long-term operational efficiency of an organization.



[1] oil and gas, utilities, infrastructure (excluding utilities), chemicals, mining and metals

Tuesday Dec 10, 2013

A Look Ahead at Global Construction Through 2025

The recently released Global Construction 2025 report, the third in a series of major global studies of the construction and engineering industry published by Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics, provides accurate and reliable forecasts to 2025 for the global construction and engineering industry as well as for key regional and country markets.

Sponsored in part by Oracle, the report estimates the global value of construction output will increase by 75% between 2012 and 2025, with the U.S. among the top three largest construction markets, despite depressed numbers in the last seven years.

Garrett E. Harley, director of Engineering & Construction Strategy for Oracle Primavera, says, “From a global perspective, the long-term investment volume and potential release of capital should make any construction company smile. However, the challenges and lessons exposed in the recent downturn still weigh heavily on the minds of public and private leaders and will continue to shape business strategies for both owners and contractors. It’s imperative that owners, their consultants and their contractors transform their business operations and delivery capabilities to maximize value and reduce risk.”

While the long-term forecast is optimistic, the short term

U.S. economy is expected to expand at a slow, but steady pace of 2.7% over the forecast period, which should reduce the unemployment rate to around 5%, but probably increase the rate of consumer price inflation to around 2.2%. Looking at specific markets, the report estimates that housing and non-housing sectors will grow at about 5%, while infrastructure—which includes transportation, highways, water and waste—will grow at half that rate over the next 12 years. Demand for public sector construction (schools, hospitals, etc.) is likely to increase, due to both the expected increase in the U.S.’s population and the higher proportion of elderly people. The high level of U.S. debt will likely make financing needed public construction work difficult.

Read the complete article here.

Read other similar article by visiting the microsite.

Tuesday Dec 03, 2013

Driving a Shared Vision with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management

Written by: Guy Barlow, Director of Industry Strategy at Oracle Primavera

“Write that down!” the CIO of an Indian Oil & Gas company exclaimed. Honestly I was caught off-guard when he hollered this to his reports during our discussion. So what was he so excited about? Simply put, he saw how his team could provide a solution to improve a key business metric; a single number that could not only strengthen the business but also his team’s relationship with operations. Not a bad thing.enterprise project portfolio management best practices

A shared vision, that’s what it is really all about. When an IT leader understands the key business metrics they can instill those metrics in their team to forge the much-needed connectivity between IT and business. The CIO was making a point to ensure his team “got it”. He certainly did.

In our client interactions we’re seeing a rapidly growing trend towards this shared vision and purpose. In some cases it’s by proactive design – the CIO comes from the business – or in others it’s borne out of a reaction to market necessities, like a declining share price, poorer KPIs, or regulatory scrutiny. Crises are great catalysts for initiating change. Similarly, the infusion of technology-thinking into the business is making for much more savvy executives on the operational side of things. In the end this is all good.

So what does this have to do with enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM)? As it turns out, quite a lot. Whether it’s a failed IT implementation for a bank, a cost blowout for a petrochemical facility or a late-to-market delivery of a new vehicle, these are all critical initiatives to the performance of their respective businesses. And guess what? They’re projects – big, small, complex, simple, local, and global. Manage them, by aligning technology and business, and you’re managing your enterprise more effectively.

This link between technology, the business and EPPM is naturally of keen interest to our clients and us. The ability to drive transformational change through greater innovation, efficient operations, a heightened risk and financial management approach is top of mind. Composed of business leaders and academics, the EPPM Board* was formed to explore these types of ideas and communicate to business leaders some of the latest thinking and innovation via research and thought leadership.

Take some time to review these reports generated from the EPPM Board; Hedging your Bets, Stock Shock and In the Firing Line and I guarantee you’ll “get it” too. And more is on the way. Enjoy.

P.S. So what was that number the CIO was interested in? What generated the excitement was, LPO, or lost production opportunity, and for the energy sector it’s a powerful metric. If a facility is down for maintenance it’s not making money. EPPM can reduce maintenance time via a number of areas and by doing so you reduce LPO…and increase revenue.

*The EPPM Board is a prestigious international steering group from Oracle. It brings together senior figures from leading organizations to discuss the business critical role of Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) and establish how the challenge can be better tackled from the top.

Tuesday Nov 26, 2013

Enabling Public Sector Efficiency, Transparency

Written by: Paul Bender – Director, Public Administration Strategy, Oracle Primavera

Whether focused on infrastructure, public safety, healthcare or education, public sector organizations face some common and complex challenges in today’s environment, most related to limited funding, oversight and transparency and the increasing and immediate demand to construct new or upgrade existing systems and services.

Public sector entities—and their engineering and construction consultants— must find ways to operate within the given budgets while still meeting the growing needs of constituents.

These entities must answer pointed questions: Given the present budget environment, how does a public works agency determine which program(s) to terminate or downsize to avoid minimal disruption to citizen services? How can an airport authority develop better program oversight and transparency? Is a university system able to model program and portfolio risk so it can create contingency plans? Are there ways that every public entity can reduce waste and inefficiency through better contractor/vendor management? project management best practices in the public sector

No doubt, technology tools can help. Today’s program management solutions, in particular, can help any organization determine where to invest capital that drives greater constituent or agency value, captures inventory for projects and programs, provides oversight for mission objectives…or all of the above.

Program management technology is an enabler designed to improve strategic investment decisions around resource allocation and maintenance. It’s the foundation for facilitating the three strategic drivers—financial discipline, operational efficiency and risk management—that characterize the success of any business regardless of size, scope or market segment. Using technology to enable these three strategic drivers will drive better coordination, compliance and control so that public sector entities and their E&C teams can meet the demands of constituents, stakeholders and regulators in a timely, affordable manner.

Already airport authorities, transportation agencies, universities, healthcare systems and public works organizations have applied program management solutions to make the most of limited funding, meet oversight and transparency metrics and reduce waste and inefficiency.

Read the complete online magazine here.

Visit the microsite to read more stories like this one.

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.

Thursday Sep 05, 2013

Transform your business with Oracle Primavera

If you use Oracle’s Primavera solutions, and you're attending Oracle OpenWorld, then the Primavera sessions are for you. Featuring 18 sessions, hands-on labs, demos, meet the experts and exhibits. The sessions are designed for you to gain valuable information on how to drive innovation, enhance operations or manage finance & risk, and effectively use our solutions to support both short and long-term growth through better formulation, alignment and execution of corporate initiatives and projects.

Add these ten essential sessions to your schedule:

  • What’s New and the Planned Roadmap: Primavera P6, Primavera P6 Analytics, and Primavera Gateway
  • Improving Productivity Throughout the Capital Asset Lifecycle
  • What’s New and the Planned Roadmap: Primavera Unifier and Instantis EnterpriseTrack
  • Instantis EnterpriseTrack Cloud Service for IT and Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
  • Primavera PPM Solutions for Manufacturing Projects
  • Leveraging Oracle’s Primavera Across the Enterprise at Pacific Gas & Electric
  • New Product Update: Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Scheduling Process
  • Primavera PPM Solutions for Maintenance Projects
  • Primavera PPM Solutions for Capital Projects
  • Qualcomm Streamlines Its Design and Manufacturing Process with AutoVue/Agile Products

In practical self-paced learning sessions covering everything from Oracle’s Primavera P6 solutions to Primavera Portfolio Management, Primavera Capital Planning and Instantis Enterprise Track and Unifier, you’ll discover new ways to derive maximum benefits from your Oracle software.

(Seven labs to choose from - see Focus on Oracle Primavera for more information)

Download the Focus On Oracle Primavera guide (pdf) and stay connected via Twitter.com/@OracleEPPM, LinkedIn, and Facebook/OraclePrimavera.