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.

Tuesday Mar 25, 2014

Delivering Consistent Project and Portfolio Management Success

As the business impact of project portfolios grows, organizations worldwide are challenged to deliver operational excellence, maintain financial discipline, and mitigate risks.
Watch a series of short videos from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)
, and download EIU reports to get unique insights into how enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) can help. Listen to senior executives at global organizations as they discuss how to plan, resource, execute, and assess projects—and what to do if things go wrong. 

Listen to the following experts:

  • Wells Fargo, Vice President of Project Management Office Manager

  • NASA, Chief Knowledge Officer

  • Conoco-Phillips, Senior Vice President of Project Development and Procurement

  • DuPont Vice, President of Corporate Supply Chains and Central Competency

  • US Department of Energy’s Office of Project Management and Evaluation

  • Fluor Corporation, Senior Vice President

  • CH2M Hill, Senior Vice President and Programme Manager

  • American Water Company, Vice President of Operations

  • Voltaix, LLC - Executive Vice President of Operations and Technology

  • Gates Corporation, President and COO

Thursday Mar 13, 2014

Discover new agility and build your competitive advantage

As customer expectations grow, many financial services organizations are struggling to keep up. Customers want a faster, more efficient service across all channels, and won’t hesitate to look elsewhere to find it. But how can you accelerate service, stay on top of ever–evolving regulations, and stay ahead of the competition?

It’s important to:

  • Develop new agility to stay ahead of the competition
  • Simplify compliance to protect and enhance your reputation
  • Increase customer satisfaction in a highly competitive market
  • Take full control with enterprise project portfolio management

Learn how you can improve operational efficiency, quickly respond to changing customer demand and build competitive advantage.

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.

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, technolo