Monday Apr 14, 2014

OUM Support for Cloud Implementations

You’ve heard that the Oracle® Unified Method supports the entire Enterprise IT lifecycle, including support for the successful implementation of every Oracle product, but you may be wondering if that includes support for implementing Oracle Cloud Application Services.

The answer is an unequivocal “Yes”. Since OUM 6.0, the method pack has included the OUM Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach Solution Delivery Guide

What is the OUM Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach?

The Oracle® Unified Method (OUM) Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach is Oracle’s lightweight approach for implementing applications running on a cloud infrastructure. It emphasizes an out-of-the-box approach and adoption of best practices inherent in the application products as a foundational element of the approach.

What does the OUM Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach currently cover?

The OUM Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach is applicable to Oracle Fusion Applications, Oracle Taleo Cloud Service, and Oracle RightNow Cloud Service implementations running on a cloud infrastructure. Support for additional Oracle Cloud Application Services will be included over time.

While the focus of the approach is on the implementation of the standard, out-of-the-box functionality embodied in the products selected for implementation, the approach also includes support for selected additional services, such as integrations, data loads, project-specific documentation, training, etc.

In what form is the OUM Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach Solution Delivery Guide provided?

In the early releases in which it appeared, the Solution Delivery Guide took the form of a PDF document, which contained all of the guidance, but without any templates. In the latest release, OUM 6.2, the Solution Delivery Guide is provided in HTML format with access to templates via links, just like other OUM Views. The PDF version of the Solution Delivery Guide is still included in the method pack, accessible from a separate Resources page, but the same guidance and templates are now available in the familiar HTLM format.

More about the structure of the OUM Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach in my next post.

Tuesday Mar 25, 2014

New in OUM - The Abbreviated PMP Template

Did you know that OUM now contains an Abbreviated Project Management Plan (PMP) template in the BT.070 – Create Project Management Framework task?  If you have been around OUM for a while, or have been a project manager using another methodology that aligns to PMI's global standards, you know that the PMP is key to promoting project success. The PMP is the work product that captures the project approaches for all of the OUM Manage processes. The Abbreviated PMP template in OUM is a MS-PowerPoint deck that serves to encapsulate the essential elements of the overall plan into a single presentation.

The Abbreviate PMP is applicable for smaller (<500 day projects is the general recommendation) and/or agile projects which call for lightweight, low-ceremony documentation. It is also well-suited to the PMP index approach where planning documents are written as separate documents and then linked within the master presentation. In any kind of project, it can serve as a scalable presentation which may be used during the project kick-off or other team meetings.

Regardless of which approach you take on your project, the PMP template (or any OUM work product for that matter) should be revised to fit the needs of your project.

Check out the new Abbreviate PMP template and let us know your thoughts.

Wednesday Mar 19, 2014

Oracle Unified Method (OUM) 6.2

ORACLE® UNIFIED METHOD RELEASE 6.2

Oracle’s Full Lifecycle Method
for Deploying Oracle-Based Business Solutions

About | Release | Access | Previous Announcements

About

Oracle is evolving the Oracle® Unified Method (OUM) to achieve the vision of supporting the entire Enterprise IT Lifecycle, including support for the successful implementation of every Oracle product. OUM replaces Legacy Methods, such as AIM Advantage, AIM for Business Flows, EMM Advantage, PeopleSoft's Compass, and Siebel's Results Roadmap.

OUM provides an implementation approach that is rapid, broadly adaptive, and business-focused. OUM includes a comprehensive project and program management framework and materials to support Oracle's growing focus on enterprise-level IT strategy, architecture, and governance.

Release

OUM release 6.2 provides support for Application Implementation, Cloud Application Services Implementation, and Software Upgrade projects as well as the complete range of technology projects including Business Intelligence (BI), Enterprise Security, WebCenter, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), Application Integration Architecture (AIA), Business Process Management (BPM), Enterprise Integration, and Custom Software. Detailed techniques and tool guidance are provided, including a supplemental guide related to Oracle Tutor and UPK.

This release features:

  • OUM Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach Templates
  • Updated/Enhanced:
    • OUM Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach Guidance and Templates fully integrated
    • The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) View updated to align with TOGAF Version 9.1
    • Scrum View enhanced based on feedback from Subject Matter Experts, including additional Tasks and Technique Guidance
    • Implement Core Workflow refined based on feedback from Subject Matter Experts
    • Manage Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) refined based on feedback from Subject Matter Experts, specifically CMM.060 Submit Final Reports task moved to Close Processes and Contract activity and QM.030 Conduct Project Team Quality Management Orientation task moved to Orient and Manage Team activity
    • OUM Microsoft Project Workplan Template realigned with Manage WBS
    • Compliance with Oracle's Accessibility Guidelines - Phase Two
  • For a comprehensive list of features and enhancements, refer to the "What's New" page of the Method Pack.

Upcoming releases will provide expanded support for Oracle's Enterprise Application suites including product-suite specific materials and guidance for tailoring OUM to support various engagement types.

Access

Oracle Customers

The OUM Customer Program allows customers to obtain copies of the method for their internal use – including guidelines, templates, and tailored work breakdown structure – in one of two ways:

  • OUM Customer Program – No-Cost Option:
    Customers, who have a signed contract with Oracle for a consulting engagement of two weeks or longer meeting some additional minimum criteria, are permitted to download the current release of OUM for their perpetual use. They may also obtain subsequent releases published during a renewable, three year access period.
  • OUM Customer Program – Purchase Option:
    Customers who do not qualify for the free option, and who do not wish to engage Oracle consultants, can opt to purchase the OUM Method Pack. The price for an unlimited, perpetual license is 16,000 USD. This allows the customer to distribute OUM within their enterprise for internal use. At the time of purchase, customers are also able to purchase an initial three year subscription for 15% of the purchase price or 2,400 USD. After the initial subscription period, the subscription may be renewed annually for 2,400 USD. This subscription allows them to download updates to OUM during the subscription period.

Contact your local Oracle Sales Representative about enrolling in the OUM Customer Program.

    Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Partners

    OPN Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Partners are able to access the OUM method pack, training courses, and collateral from the OPN Portal at no additional cost:

    • Go to the OPN Portal at partner.oracle.com.
    • Select "Sign In / Register for Account".
    • Sign In.
    • From the Product Resources section, select "Applications".
    • From the Applications page, locate and select the "Oracle Unified Method" link.
    • From the Oracle Unified Method Knowledge Zone, locate the "I want to:" section.
    • From the I want to: section, locate and select "Implement Solutions".
    • From the Implement Solution page, locate the "Best Practices" section.
    • Locate and select the "Download Oracle Unified Method (OUM)" link.

    Previous Announcements

    Scrum Teams -- Do you feel the rhythm?

    Hi, I’m Terri Merenkov a member of the Global Methods team at Oracle. This month I celebrate my 18th year with Oracle. You might be surprised by that, but many in the Global Methods team have more tenure than I do. This is part of what makes my job so interesting. If I don’t know the answer to something about Oracle Implementation projects of a certain type, I don’t have to go far to find someone who does. Even though some concepts have been around for a while, there is always something new coming so we are constantly adapting and changing.

    We have many things to learn about, today, even though they may have been around for a while, for example Scrum. Scrum was created in 1993 by Jeff Sutherland. The term “scrum” is borrowed from an analogy used in the 1986 study by Takeuchi and Nonaka (Takeuchi), published in the Harvard Business Review. In the study, the authors equated high-performance, cross-functional teams to the packs formed by Rugby teams.

    Here we are nearly two decades later actually applying Scrum in our software development projects. Yet some people think that Scrum is new,maybe it is coming into the mainstream perhaps because we realize that often taking something large and breaking it down helps support a successful software implementation.  It is only now that we're seeing teams celebrate success using Scrum.  Of course, not everyone is successful. Scrum seems so simple, it's often the human factor that really determines how well things go.

    In the 80’s I was very into music, I started in University as a music education major. My major was percussion as well as piano, with a minor in French. At the time, I had no idea what a computer was, however, I was playing electric keyboards “synthesizers” with built-in percussion instruments of course I was enamored with the Mellotron and Moog synthesizers that were being used by some of the progressive rock bands. Once I discovered that music was being cut from the curriculum of many schools, I decided to re-think my major. A software “recruiter” lived across the street from me. She suggested that I try taking some computer courses, since often people who are good at music and language happen to excel in using computers. I began taking classes in computer science, and the more I learned, the more I wanted to know!

    I find it interesting at this point in my life, I’m being reminded of good things that I learned about when I was younger, that are actually useful in my adult life – today.

    Just the other day, I was working on some updates to the Scrum View in OUM and I came across the word “Cadence”. Oh, I thought, I know about Cadence! Any good drummer knows that a cadence is needed to get the marching band to stay in step when marching across the football field or in a parade.  Of course the percussionists are experts in various percussion instruments,

    The percussionists in a marching band have a natural rhythm, in fact when the band is marching in between songs, the percussionists are keeping a cadence that allows everyone to step together, as part of a group, each individual takes nice even steps until we’re in place to play the next song.  This rhythm can me a steady tapping on the drum "rims" or use of the full percussion instrument.

    So think about a Scrum team, just the way you would think about a group of musicians in a band. Good Scrum teams “feel the rhythm” they have a cadence that allows the team to work together easily, almost naturally. With each Sprint retrospective, they examine what worked and what didn’t. Over the course of several Sprints, a true cadence is achieved by the team. A sustainable team cadence leads us to another term used in the Scrum approach; velocity.

    When I think of velocity, I think of speed, but in a software development effort, speed isn’t always our main focus. In Scrum, velocity is obtained by calculating the number of units of work that can be completed by the team during a specific timeframe (Sprint). Velocity refers to the speed at which a team can implement and test use cases (user stories) and change requests (that is, how much of the product backlog the team can complete). This is reflected in the Burndown Charts by showing the progress made so far versus the planned/estimated progress. Of course with each Scrum Sprint, the team becomes more experienced, and can determine velocity based on how many units of work they have completed during previous Sprints.

     

    Contrary to what some may say, even though Scrum uses the word Sprint, we aren’t necessarily only focused on going as fast as we can until we burn out the team. Rather, we work on building teams that can develop, test and integrate working software in a collaborative, yet agile fashion.  This results in a sustained rhythm. So I ask you - can YOU feel the rhythm? What experiences have you had in building expert teams that work well together?  Have you used Scrum successfully and why?  Listen... do you feel it?

    Saturday Nov 23, 2013

    Oracle Unified Method (OUM) Customer Program

    PURCHASE OPTION NOW AVAILABLE!

    Oracle’s Full Lifecycle Method
    for Deploying Oracle-Based Business Solutions

    The Oracle® Unified Method (OUM) Customer Program has been expanded to include a purchase option.

    The Program allows customers to obtain copies of the method for their internal use – including guidelines, templates, and tailored work breakdown structure – in one of two ways:

    1.) OUM Customer Program – No-Cost Option:

    Customers, who have a signed contract with Oracle for a consulting engagement of two weeks or longer meeting some additional minimum criteria, are permitted to download the current release of OUM for their perpetual use. They may also obtain subsequent releases published during a renewable, three year access period.

    2.) OUM Customer Program – Purchase Option:

    Customers who do not qualify for the free option, and who do not wish to engage Oracle consultants, can opt to purchase the OUM Method Pack. The price for an unlimited, perpetual license is 16,000 USD. This allows the customer to distribute OUM within their enterprise for internal use. At the time of purchase, customers are also able to purchase an initial three year subscription for 15% of the purchase price or 2,400 USD. After the initial subscription period, the subscription may be renewed annually for 2,400 USD. This subscription allows them to download updates to OUM during the subscription period.

      Contact your local Oracle Sales Representative about enrolling in the OUM Customer Program.

      Friday Nov 08, 2013

      Oracle Unified Method (OUM) 6.1

      ORACLE® UNIFIED METHOD RELEASE 6.1

      Oracle’s Full Lifecycle Method
      for Deploying Oracle-Based Business Solutions

      About | Release | Access | Previous Announcements

      About

      Oracle is evolving the Oracle® Unified Method (OUM) to achieve the vision of supporting the entire Enterprise IT Lifecycle, including support for the successful implementation of every Oracle product. OUM replaces Legacy Methods, such as AIM Advantage, AIM for Business Flows, EMM Advantage, PeopleSoft's Compass, and Siebel's Results Roadmap.

      OUM provides an implementation approach that is rapid, broadly adaptive, and business-focused. OUM includes a comprehensive project and program management framework and materials to support Oracle's growing focus on enterprise-level IT strategy, architecture, and governance.

      Release

      OUM release 6.1 provides support for Application Implementation, Cloud Application Services Implementation, and Software Upgrade projects as well as the complete range of technology projects including Business Intelligence (BI), Enterprise Security, WebCenter, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), Application Integration Architecture (AIA), Business Process Management (BPM), Enterprise Integration, and Custom Software. Detailed techniques and tool guidance are provided, including a supplemental guide related to Oracle Tutor and UPK.

      This release features:

      • Project Manager and Consultant views provide quick access to material relevant to each role
      • OUM Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach Solution Delivery Guide 3.0 and Project Workplan Template
      • OUM Microsoft Project Workplan Template and User's Guide updated to facilitate review and removal of out-of-scope Activities and Tasks
      • MC.050 Application Setup Template available in Microsoft Excel format in addition to Microsoft Word format
      • BT.070 Abbreviated Project Management Framework Presentation Template
      • Envision Examples for Enterprise Organization Structures (BA.020), Enterprise Business Context Diagram (BA.045), and High-Level Use Cases (BA.060)
      • Implement Examples for System Context Diagram (RD.005), Business Use Case Model (RA.015), Use Case Model (RA.023), MoSCoW List (RD.045), and Analysis Specification (AN.100)
      • Home Page drop-down menu allows access to the method by Role, Supplemental Guidance, Method Repository, or View

      For a comprehensive list of features and enhancements, refer to the "What's New" page of the Method Pack.

      Upcoming releases will provide expanded support for Oracle's Enterprise Application suites including product-suite specific materials and guidance for tailoring OUM to support various engagement types.

      Access

      Oracle Customers

      Oracle customers may obtain copies of the method for their internal use – including guidelines, templates, and tailored work breakdown structure – by contracting with Oracle for a consulting engagement of two weeks or longer and meeting some additional minimum criteria. Customers, who have a signed consulting contract with Oracle and meet the engagement qualification criteria, are permitted to download the current release of OUM for their perpetual use. They may also obtain subsequent releases published during a renewable, three-year access period. Training courses are also available to these customers. Contact your local Oracle Sales Representative about enrolling in the OUM Customer Program.

        Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Partners

        OPN Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Partners are able to access the OUM method pack, training courses, and collateral from the OPN Portal at no additional cost:

        • Go to the OPN Portal at partner.oracle.com.
        • Select "Sign In / Register for Account".
        • Sign In.
        • From the Product Resources section, select "Applications".
        • From the Applications page, locate and select the "Oracle Unified Method" link.
        • From the Oracle Unified Method Knowledge Zone, locate the "I want to:" section.
        • From the I want to: section, locate and select "Implement Solutions".
        • From the Implement Solution page, locate the "Best Practices" section.
        • Locate and select the "Download Oracle Unified Method (OUM)" link.

        Previous Announcements

        Friday Jul 26, 2013

        New in OUM 6.0: Scrum View and Project Plan

        Have you checked out the newly released OUM 6.0?  Amongst the many items on the "What's New" list you will notice that there is a new Scrum view and project plan, which are the direct result of collaboration by many global subject matter experts.  The Scrum view and associated project plan provide a conceptual look at managing a Scrum-based project using OUM as the method and source of work products.

        The Scrum view brings together into one place all the OUM tasks associated with managing a Scrum projects as well as all OUM Scrum supplemental content.  The view provides navigation via a familiar Scrum Framework diagram, as well as by the more textual "Task and Work Products" section.  The content within the view is grouped according to the Scrum Framework components of Project Kickoff, Sprint Planning, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective.  This grouping allows those who are new to Scrum as well as those who are Scrum experts to be able to find relevant materials for their engagements.

        Although a formal project plan may not be considered part of a highly agile environment, the Scrum project plan is provided to give projects a starting point for their plans and to leverage when the project situation calls for it.  Also, the plan may be helpful as an education tool for those audiences less familiar with Scrum.  As with any OUM project, this project plan should be tailored to suit the individual engagement.

        Be sure to take a look at the new content within OUM 6.0 and provide your comments.

        Friday Jul 19, 2013

        Oracle Unified Method (OUM) 6.0

        ORACLE® UNIFIED METHOD RELEASE 6.0

        Oracle’s Full Lifecycle Method
        for Deploying Oracle-Based Business Solutions

        About | Release | Access | Previous Announcements

        About

        Oracle is evolving the Oracle® Unified Method (OUM) to achieve the vision of supporting the entire Enterprise IT Lifecycle, including support for the successful implementation of every Oracle product. OUM replaces Legacy Methods, such as AIM Advantage, AIM for Business Flows, EMM Advantage, PeopleSoft's Compass, and Siebel's Results Roadmap.

        OUM provides an implementation approach that is rapid, broadly adaptive, and business-focused. OUM includes a comprehensive project and program management framework and materials to support Oracle's growing focus on enterprise-level IT strategy, architecture, and governance.

        Release

        OUM release 6.0 provides support for Application Implementation, Cloud Application Services Implementation, and Software Upgrade projects as well as the complete range of technology projects including Business Intelligence (BI), Enterprise Security, WebCenter, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), Application Integration Architecture (AIA), Business Process Management (BPM), Enterprise Integration, and Custom Software. Detailed techniques and tool guidance are provided, including a supplemental guide related to Oracle Tutor and UPK.

        This release features:

        • OUM Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach Solution Delivery Guide and Project Workplan
        • Scrum View and Project Workplan
        • Mapping and Configuration (MC) Process
        • Nominal Group Technique
        • Compliance with Oracle's Accessibility Guidelines - Phase One
        • Enhanced / Updated:
          • Business Intelligence and Analytics Custom Development and Business Intelligence and Enterprise Performance Management Implementation Views and Supplemental Guides merged into Business Intelligence (BI) View and Supplemental Guide
          • OUM Microsoft Project Workplan Template and User's Guide aligned with OUM 6.0 Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and Activity-level Dependencies, consolidated Views, and enhanced Row Filtering
          • Oracle Support Services Supplemental Guide expanded for Incident Management
          • Activities and Tasks in Implement Focus Area reorganized to achieve commonality of discipline and required skills for all Tasks within an Activity in order to facilitate planning using Partitions (for Configuration and Custom Work) and Iterations
          • Organizational Change Management Process aligned with current Leading Practices, specifically Activities and Tasks in the Inception and Elaboration Phases
          • Scrum to OUM Mapping

        For a comprehensive list of features and enhancements, refer to the "What's New" page of the Method Pack.

        Upcoming releases will provide expanded support for Oracle's Enterprise Application suites including product-suite specific materials and guidance for tailoring OUM to support various engagement types.

        Access

        Oracle Customers

        Oracle customers may obtain copies of the method for their internal use – including guidelines, templates, and tailored work breakdown structure – by contracting with Oracle for a consulting engagement of two weeks or longer and meeting some additional minimum criteria. Customers, who have a signed consulting contract with Oracle and meet the engagement qualification criteria, are permitted to download the current release of OUM for their perpetual use. They may also obtain subsequent releases published during a renewable, three-year access period. Training courses are also available to these customers. Contact your local Oracle Sales Representative about enrolling in the OUM Customer Program.

        Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Partners

        OPN Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Partners are able to access the OUM method pack, training courses, and collateral from the OPN Portal at no additional cost:

        • Go to the OPN Portal at partner.oracle.com.
        • Select "Sign In / Register for Account".
        • Sign In.
        • From the Product Resources section, select "Applications".
        • From the Applications page, locate and select the "Oracle Unified Method" link.
        • From the Oracle Unified Method Knowledge Zone, locate the "I want to:" section.
        • From the I want to: section, locate and select "Implement Solutions".
        • From the Implement Solution page, locate the "Best Practices" section.
        • Locate and select the "Download Oracle Unified Method (OUM)" link.

        Previous Announcements

        Monday May 06, 2013

        The Eating Contest - How a software project is like an eating contest

        It may be hard to imagine, but there are some similarities between software projects and eating contests. No, I'm not implying that both are messy  and leave you feeling ill. Done properly, only an eating contest will produce those results.

        What I am talking about is that both eating contests and software projects should employ an iterative and incremental approach. In other words, smaller chunks are better whether you're eating or implementing.

        Click here to hear about a guy named Steve, his eating contest exploits, and how my sleeping brain made a connection between Steve's approach and successful software projects. This brief video describes OUM's principle of iterative and incremental and how it should be used to create success in eating contests and on software projects.

        Whether it's an on-premises implementation or enabling a customer in a public cloud environment, businesses expect very rapid time to value for all of their IT investments. An iterative and incremental approach helps implementers live up to those expectations.

        Once you're finished viewing the video please leave a comment or go to the "Oracle Unified Method" group on LinkedIn to give us your thoughts.

        Monday Apr 22, 2013

        Tailoring the OUM Workplan

        Did you know that OUM has guidance for tailoring your project?

        Located in the Supplemental Guidance section of the Key Components on the Manage view is the Tailoring OUM for Your Project guidance.  This guidance describes a step-by-step process for tailoring OUM for your project.  This process starts with the Estimate and/or Proposal and ends with Assigning Resources and Duration to Activities and Tasks. 

        What this blog focuses on is the tailoring of the actual OUM Project Workplan for your project for activities and tasks (tailoring steps 2.0 through 5.2) including tips for applying a bottom-up as well as a top-down technique for tailoring the Project Workplan.  So let’s get started.

        For our example, we are starting with the OUM Project Workplan that is located in the Method Resources section of the Key Components of most view pages. In OUM 5.6, a new Project Workplan template was introduced with pre-tailoring capability for most Implement views.  Our example project also is most closely aligned with the Requirements-Driven Application Implementation view.

        To develop our Project Workplan, we have several options.  We can employ a top-down approach and start with all of OUM and tailor it down.  We can employ a bottom-up approach and start with the Core Workflow and build up from there.  The best approach is probably to start with the workplan that most closely matches our engagement and tailor up and down.  That is, immediately tailor down to a pre-tailored Workplan and continue to tailor from there based on the requirements of the engagement, while simultaneously keeping in mind the Core Workflow and building up from there.

        So for our example, we are starting with the Requirements-Driven Application Implementation pre-tailored OUM Project Workplan.

        Our next step is to eliminate activities/tasks that are not needed. Consider the following:
        1. Don’t eliminate anything in the Core Workflow without carefully consideration.
        2. Review any available supplemental guidance.
        3. Consider removing activities/tasks NOT included in the Estimate and/or Proposal.
        4. Determine if it’s possible to eliminate all if not most of some processes. For example, consider removing the following processes and corresponding activities and/or tasks, if your project does not include ANY requirements for them:
        • Performance Management
        • Organizational Change Management
        • Training
        • Data Acquisition and Conversion
        Now that we have tailored down, we should consider if we need to add any activities/tasks.  These include two types of activities/tasks:
        • Activities/Tasks that were excluded from the Requirements-Driven Application Implementation pre-tailored Project Workplan, and
        • Project-Specific (Custom) Activities/Tasks

        For the excluded activities/tasks, use the 01_OUM_Set_Project_Filter view of the OUM Project Workplan to review any activities/tasks that were not included in the Requirements-Driven Application Implementation pre-tailored OUM Project Workplan and determine if they are needed for the engagement.

        Project-specific custom activities/tasks are activities/tasks that are not already included in OUM. Add these to the Project Workplan.

        Now we have a tailored OUM Project Workplan for our engagement.  However, we still need to apply partitioning, if applicable, and iteration planning.  This however is a topic for another blog.  In the meantime, I encourage you to peruse the following OUM guidance:

        From the Manage view, Key Components, Supplemental Guidance:

        • Planning a Project using OUM
        • Tailoring OUM for Your Project

        Form the Manage view, Key Components, Method Resources

        • OUM Project Workplan – This link accesses the Project Workplan page which allows you to download a zipped file containing the Project Workplan and the Project Workplan User’s Guide.

        Finally, you might also want to review the Task Overviews for WM.010 (Develop Baseline Project Workplan) and WM.030 (Manage Project Workplan).

        Friday Mar 22, 2013

        Steps to Create an OUM Estimating Model - Part 5

        Welcome to Part V of the Five Part Blog Series -- “Steps to Creating an OUM Estimating Model”. 

        Developing the estimating model is only part of the process.  Equally important is the testing and refinement of the estimating model.

        Test and Refine the Estimating Model

        Once the implementation approach is identified, the conditions for whether the individual estimating components are included, and the factors that influence the effort for the estimating components have been identified and quantified, it is time to test the results.

        Testing, refining and re-testing the estimating model is an iterative process.  It is important to test many scenarios and to use top-down estimates to both validate the overall estimating result, and the distribution of effort to the phases.  Top down estimating is an effective way to identify red-flags and omissions that need to be fixed and retested.

        Using OUM’s Iterative and Incremental Development Approach

        Congratulations!  You have learned how to develop an OUM estimating model.  The next step is to maintain and improve the model.

         The most effective way to create an estimating model is to apply the iterative and incremental development approach.  Start simple and iterate with continuous improvement increments based on actual usage or expanded functionality.

        Good luck with your estimating model development efforts!

        Thursday Mar 21, 2013

        Steps to Create an OUM Estimating Model - Part 4

        Welcome to Part IV of the Five Part Blog Series -- “Steps to Creating an OUM Estimating Model”. 

        In today’s blog, I will share with you, from my experience, the key steps in creating a reasonable, repeatable estimating model.

        Steps for Developing an OUM Estimating Model

        A.   Assemble the Estimating Model Development Team

        As discussed, the goal of an estimating model is to estimate a scope of work yielding consistent effort for consistent scope regardless of the experience of person or people creating the estimate.  In order to achieve this goal, a team of diverse, experienced Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) must be assembled.

        B.   Defining the Scope of the Estimating Model

        Before you begin building an estimating model, always clearly define what is in and out of scope for the estimate.  Technology has become complex and product suites include multiple products and technologies.  Be sure to clearly define and document the scope of what you estimate, and what you do not estimate.  For example, if you are estimating integration effort for a particular product, you will need to define whether you are estimating the development of the entire integration, or simply the integration point (SOA enablement, API, etc) for your product. 

        C.  Determine the Estimating Component Level

        As you know, the lowest level of detail in OUM is the task level, but OUM also groups tasks into Activities.  For the purpose of a bottom up estimate, you will need to determine what level of detail you want to achieve in your estimating model – either the task level or the activity level.

        While the task level estimating model provides a higher degree of accuracy, the development and maintenance effort is increased.  For the purpose of estimating, the activity level may provide the level of detail that you need. 

        Once you identify the estimating component level – either the task or the activity level -- you will want to identify those OUM tasks or activities that are typically in-scope for the estimating model.   

        D. Understand the Implementation Approach

        You will not be successful in creating a reasonable estimate if you do not understand the implementation approach – in this case OUM.   This is one of the most important steps in creating your estimating model, especially a bottom-up estimate. 

        As you identify your implementation approach, think about whether the estimating component is always needed (required) or if it is optional.  If the estimating component is optional, then think about the conditions that will trigger it to be needed. 

        An estimating model will need to identify these conditions to add the optional estimating components and associated effort when the conditions are met.

        E.  Determine the “standard” effort and Identify factors that influence estimate

        For each estimating component regardless of whether they are required or optional, determine the “standard” effort and the conditions that increase or decrease the standard effort.  Here are a couple of approaches to doing this step: 

        • include a base number, and then ask questions to either add or subtract effort
        • Identify a range of effort for each estimating component and ask questions to help determine where in this range of effort you need to be.
        • Keep in mind that you can create a simple estimating model with each question influences the effort of one estimating component, or a more complex estimating model where multiple questions are asked to determine the effort of an estimating component, or one question influences the effort of multiple estimating components,  or both ( multiple questions are asked which influence multiple estimating components’ effort).  The correct level of complexity for an estimating model typically reveals itself during the development process.  My advice is to start simple and add complexity where and when it is needed.

        This step is the most time consuming and difficult for estimating model developers to perform.  I normally see a lot of passionate discussion from the development team reflecting unique experiences and past pain!  If you experience this when developing your estimating model, then take a deep breath and know you are on the right path!

        Wednesday Mar 20, 2013

        Steps to Create an OUM Estimating Model - Part 3

        Welcome to Part III of the Five Part Blog Series -- “Steps to Create an OUM Estimating Model”. 

        Today we will explore the different types of estimating models commonly used in the industry.

        Types of Estimating Models

                        Bottom Up Estimating – A bottom up estimate decomposes the project down to very small components of work, for example, an Activity or a Task.   It estimates each component to arrive at the estimate for the whole.  This estimating approach is the most time consuming, but typically results in the most accurate estimate.

                        Top Down EstimatingA top down estimate applies experience from similar projects to arrive at an estimated overall effort, or a distribution of effort to project phases.  For example, if you are estimating a WebCenter Portal engagement, you may create a top down estimate by reviewing past Portal projects with similar high-level requirements.  Based on this information, you may arrive at a broad estimate for the project as a whole.  You can also evaluate similar projects to understand high-level project metrics such as the % of overall effort consumed in each project phase.  This information provides a good starting point for creating an estimating model, and it can provide a key role in validating a bottom up estimate.

        In this blog, I will primarily be focusing on providing tips for creating a bottom-up estimating model as this type of estimating model is generally thought to be both the most accurate, and the most difficult to create.  Although the bottom-up estimate tends to create the most accurate estimate, it is worthwhile to apply a top-down estimate as a sanity check.  This is especially useful during the testing and initial roll-out of a new estimating model.

        Before we jump into the steps for creating an OUM estimating model, it is important to establish that this blog focuses on estimating effort (# days or # hours), not duration or price.  Both duration of the engagement and the price of the engagement are highly dependent how the engagement is staffed and the cost of each resource, and; therefore, highly dependent on your individual organization.

        Join tomorrow’s blog as the steps for developing an OUM Estimating Model are detailed.

        Tuesday Mar 19, 2013

        Steps to Create an OUM Estimating Model - Part 2

        Welcome to Part II of the Five Part Blog Series -- “Steps to Create an OUM Estimating Model”. 

        Creating an Estimate vs. Creating an Estimating Model

        First, let’s establish the difference between an estimate and an estimating model.   A one-time estimate based on one’s unique experience is NOT an estimating model.  Rather, this is an experienced based estimate.    Often this “experienced based estimate” resembles a Work-breakdown Structure (WBS) with number of hours or days filled in based on one’s experience with each task.  Although this type of estimate is slightly better than arriving at a number solely based on the high level attributes of a similar project, an experienced-based estimate is highly dependent on the experience of the person or people completing the estimate.

        The goal of an estimating model is to create a repeatable model that will provide an estimate that yields the same result for the same scope of work regardless of who completes the estimate.  To accomplish this effectively, the experience of many must be incorporated into the model in such as way as that the internal thought process that one goes through to determine the effort for a particular task is decomposed into questions and answers that can be presented by the estimator model and consistent effort calculated based on the answers.   

        Sounds simple so far, right??  Before we discuss the steps on how to create an estimating model, join tomorrow’s blog as we distinguish between various types of estimating models commonly found.  

        Monday Mar 18, 2013

        Steps to Create an OUM Estimating Model

        Welcome to my 5-part series – “Steps to Create an OUM Estimating Model”

        Introduction

        I am a methodologist.  Together with my Oracle Method colleagues, numerous hours have been spent defining method structure and developing collateral to support Oracle Services delivery.   We also facilitate the development of estimating models for a variety of technologies and applications.

        Estimating models come in many shapes and sizes.   I have been exposed to different estimating tools and approaches for estimating services -- both from the legacy Oracle estimating models and acquired estimating models.   Oracle’s own internal estimating models continue to evolve as the nature of service delivery changes and as best of breed approaches are identified.

        Although I cannot provide specifics of Oracle’s internal estimating models, I can provide tips that I have learned over the years that may help you build your own estimating model, specifically an Oracle Unified Method (OUM) estimating model.

        Join me tomorrow as we begin to explore how to develop an OUM estimating model.

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        The Oracle® Unified Method (OUM) is Oracle’s standards-based method that enables the entire Enterprise Information Technology (IT) lifecycle.

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