Tuesday Mar 31, 2015

OUM Spotlight - Keeping Stakeholders Engaged

Congratulations! Your new project is off to a great start and all of the stakeholders came away from the project kickoff meeting informed and enthused. Now you may be wondering how do I keep these very busy stakeholders informed and enthused as the project moves along?  One technique used by successful OUM projects is to communicate the project's status to all of the stakeholders upon the completion of the phase end milestones, and take this milestone opportunity to inform these stakeholders of upcoming critical events and decisions. This practice connects stakeholders into the flow of the project, thus promoting collaborative working relationships and reducing risk by continually demonstrating project progress and driving decision making.

Another widely used technique is to demonstrate configurations and extensions to ambassador users at key points in the development cycle. This gives ambassador users the ability to conduct testing throughout the project, which facilitates a smooth UAT and mitigates any potential surprises at the end of the project.

Have any tips and techniques on keeping stakeholders engaged on your projects?  Please share in the comments.

Saturday Jan 17, 2015

Oracle Unified Method (OUM) 6.3

ORACLE® UNIFIED METHOD RELEASE 6.3

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 6.3 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 to the Application Implementation Method (AIM) Mapping
  • OUM Project Workplan, available in Primavera format, includes Tasks from OUM's Manage and Implement Focus Area
  • RACI - Responsibility Assignment Technique, Template, and Examples
  • Document Application Configuration Changes [MC.055] Task and Template
  • Top-Level Business Capabilities Diagram [EA.040] Template and Capability Analysis Results Presentation [EA.040] Template
  • Maturity Analysis Presentation [ER.015] Template
  • Access to Oracle Managed Cloud Services (OMCS) Implementation Training to Aid Project Managers Interfacing with OMCS
  • Updated/Enhanced:
    • OUM Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach Guidance and Templates updated based on Field Input
    • Template Functionality and Format revised based on Field Requests, specifically removed Oracle Method Template Engine (OMTE) and converted to Microsoft Office 2007 format
    • Template User's Guide revised to address Template Functionality and Format revisions such as Changing Variables, Updating Field Codes, and Removing Yellow Notes
    • OUM Microsoft Project Workplan updated to include Document Application Configuration Changes [MC.055] Task and Activity Filter, converted to MS Project 2007 format, and removed reliance on
    • OUM-specific Microsoft Project Template [Global.mpt] *OUM Microsoft Project Workplan User's Guide updated to reflect changes to OUM Microsoft Project Workplan
    • Project Management Framework supporting Tasks and Templates updated based on Subject Matter Experts Feedback
  • 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

Wednesday Oct 22, 2014

Join the OUM User Community on LinkedIn and Twitter

As a member of the Oracle Unified Method (OUM) User Community you are able to share your knowledge and insight and benefit from the advice and experience of the global OUM user community.

You can quickly locate information; find other knowledgeable users; and provide answers, feedback, and experiences.

The OUM Group on LinkedIn and OUM on Twitter help to facilitate communications among members of the OUM Professional Community.

If you haven't already, we encourage you to join now and get involved!

Saturday Oct 11, 2014

Questions to Ask When Organizing Your OUM Workplan

So you’ve read all the tips and blogs about how to tailor OUM for your project and you’ve figured out what tasks you need. Now you have to put them into a workplan. What do you do? Do you use the traditional activity wbs structure highlighted in the method or do you need something else? The possibilities are endless. Think about how you implement your projects now. Think about what works now and what doesn’t. Consider this blog my Questions to Ask When Organizing Your OUM Workplan.

  1. Does the traditional OUM activity-work-breakdown structure fit my project?
  2. Does your project involve more than one custom-off-the-shelf (COTS) product? If so, maybe you want to do this work in partitions. Determine which activities/tasks should be duplicated into each partition.
  3. Do you need to consider copying sections of your workplan and putting them into iterations for accommodating use case packages?
  4. Can certain processes be run as “mini projects?” Some processes can almost be run as a side project on their own, for example, Technical Architecture (TA), Performance Management (PT), Documentation (DO), Training (TR), and Organizational Change Management (OCM). If so, it may make more sense to group and track these tasks under a process/activity heading and not space them out into the various phases.
  5. Do you use one workplan or a master workplan with individual plans that report or roll up into the master? This might work if you have Team Leaders that manage specific pieces of work. Use a placeholder activity/task in the master workplan and the detail can be managed in a sub workplan.

The bottom line is, be creative. Build your workplan(s) to suit your project. As you start another project, don’t be afraid to change something that isn’t working. Finally, share your workplans and experiences.

Wednesday Sep 24, 2014

Checklists Are Leading Edge

I recently ran across this blog on The Power of Checklists by Ivar Jacobson. In it he describes the value of using checklists on software projects since they: “keep software projects on track, and help maximize the delivery of value, and minimize the risk of project failure.” OUM practitioners know this since the method contains checklists in many places - templates, phase overviews, activities, tasks, etc.  In fact, the WBS itself could be considered a checklist since the activities and tasks are merely “placeholders for work.”

The OUM checklists which I find particularly valuable are the Activity Checklists found in each of the Lifecycle Milestone Summaries. These checklists are designed to assist you with the determining “completeness” of the project at that point. They also contain lists of key decisions and common risks that should be addressed during that particular phase of the project – kind of like a “you are here” checkpoint for the project's progress.

I think Ivar would agree with me about the value of the OUM Activity Checklists since he is a fan of Barry Boehm’s standard project milestones. You can read more about Barry Boehm’s standard project milestones in his seminal work – “Anchoring the Software Process” [Barry Boehm, November 1995].

Which OUM checklists do you find to be of the most value? Please share your opinion in the comments.

Wednesday Sep 03, 2014

Oracle OpenWorld and OUM

Oracle Unified Method (OUM) Enthusiasts:

I am excited to announce that I will be attending Oracle OpenWorld (OOW) from September 29th to October 2nd  representing Oracle's Global Method Group and the Oracle Unified Method (OUM).  If you are planning to attend, and are interested in discussing OUM, then send me a message on LinkedIn and we can arrange a convenient time to meet face-to-face.

I would love to discuss your experience using OUM and/or answer OUM-related questions.  

Hope to see you there!

Linda Lowitz

Wednesday Aug 06, 2014

Guard Against the Multitasking Brain Drain with OUM

Most people are aware of the perils of multitasking – it is bad for productivity, increases the possibility of distractions, and basically creates a mental traffic jam. It not only wreaks havoc in everyday life but also causes major problems on projects. If you look at OUM you might be thinking, “Hey wait! Isn’t the fact that OUM’s processes run in parallel and that it takes a cross-functional approach really multitasking?” My response to you (to borrow from Lee Corso) is, “Not So Fast, My Friend!”

The answer is directly related to magnitude of the shifts in focus. We know that those broad deviations in requirements and technology require more adjustment and time to switch gears. Human brains are okay with shifting tasks within reasonable limits. On a well managed OUM project, the team is focused on a discrete, prioritized list of functionality and technology. Only a limited number of logically grouped requirements are being worked at a time in order to achieve specific milestones. This means there is a narrow span of scope being addressed at any point in the project, even there may be a wide range of tasks and processes in play.

Extensive detours such as new requirements and major shifts in priorities are the catalysts that can lose the project to the nemesis known as multitasking. Fortunately, OUM has a number of tools to keep the focus and guard against the multitasking brain drain – timeboxes, MoSCoW lists, use cases, and system context diagrams...just to name a few.

What are some tools you use to keep your projects focused? Please share with us in the comments section below!

Wednesday Jul 23, 2014

OUM Training Program: Project Workplan Overview

Course Description | Access | Training Program

 
Course Description

The Oracle® Unified Method (OUM) Project Workplan Overview training consists of a collection of short, independent modules that provide information about and a demonstration of key features of the OUM Project Workplan.

The OUM Project Workplan, available in Microsoft Project format, includes tasks from OUM's Manage and Implement Focus Areas and can be: executed at the activity-level or task-level, tailored easily for most OUM Implement views, and updated with effort from the OUM Estimating Model.

  • Audience: Bid Management, Risk Management, Quality Management, Project Management, Program Management, Solution Architects, Team Leads, Delivery Consultants
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Delivery: This training can be taken on-line or downloaded and taken off-line at your leisure
  • Time Required: The duration of the modules ranges from 3 to 40 minutes

Access

Oracle Customers
Customers enrolled in the OUM Customer Program are able to access the training courses from the Oracle Learning Library.

  • Go to the OUM page on the Oracle Learning Library.
  • Select the "OUM Project Management Skills" tab. 


Learn about the OUM Customer Program.

Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Partners
OPN Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Partners are able to access the training courses from the OPN Portal.

  • 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.
  • Expand the "Training " section.
  • Select the "OUM Training Program" link.
  • Expand the "Level 2" section.
  • Go to the "Level 2 - OUM Project Workplan Overview" sub-section.

Training Program

The Oracle® Unified Method (OUM) Training Program helps to ensure that individuals in delivery and management roles have the level of knowledge about OUM that is required for them to competently perform their job.

The Program consists of four levels of training:

  • Level 1 – Overview and Awareness
  • Level 2 – Focus Area Overviews for Manage, Envision, Implement
  • Level 2 – Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach Overview
  • Level 2 – Use Case Overview
  • Level 3 – Gathering Requirements using OUM
  • Level 4D – Discipline-specific Delivery Readiness

Levels 1, 2, and 4 are online, self-service courses. Level 3 is a two-day, instructor-led course available for a fee. 

Monday Jul 14, 2014

Eleven Questions to Ask When Tailoring OUM for Your Project

I’ve posted several blogs in the past on tailoring OUM. Here’s one more. As you can see from the title, I call this one Eleven Questions to Ask When Tailoring OUM for Your Project. 

Start with the Core Workflow and adjust it based on the following questions.

  1. Do you need additional Business Requirements (RD) and Requirements Analysis (RA) tasks?  If so, add them.
  2. Are you implementing a custom-off-the-shelf (COTS) product?  If yes, review the Mapping and Configuration (MC) process and add any tasks not already included in the Core Workflow.  If no, remove the Configuration Sub-Flow tasks.
  3. Is there custom work?  If yes, add additional Analysis (AN), Design (DS), Implementation (IM) and Testing (TE) tasks, as appropriate.  If no, you may be able to remove the tasks in the Custom Development Sub-Flow.
  4. What are the Technical Architecture (TA) requirements?  Add TA tasks as appropriate.
  5. Will there be any data conversion?  Add any Data Acquisition and Conversion (CV) tasks as appropriate.
  6. Are there any Performance Management (PT) requirements?  Add PT tasks as appropriate.
  7. What are the Documentation (DO) requirements?  Add DO tasks as appropriate.
  8. What are the Organizational Change Management (OCM) requirements?  Add OCM tasks as appropriate.
  9. What are the Training (TR) requirements?  Add TR tasks as appropriate.
  10. What are the Transition (TS) requirements?  Add TS tasks as appropriate.
  11. What are the Operations and Support (PS) requirements?  Add PS tasks as appropriate.

Now that you’ve identified all the tasks you need, consider how you want to approach your project.  Can you use the traditional OUM WBS approach or do you need to configure your workplan a little differently.  The possibilities are endless, but that’s a discussion for my next blog.

Monday Jun 16, 2014

OUM Success Story: Multi-Product Implementation for a Leading Travel and Transportation Client

More success! Or in honor of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil we should say: "¡GOL!"  As follow-on to my previous blog entry on the OUM Success Quote, here we have an example of how OUM was used successfully on a highly complex, multi-product project.

Project Profile:  A leading Travel and Transportation Company increased customer satisfaction and streamlined accounting functions through an implementation of Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Business Intelligence Applications, and Hyperion Solution. 

Use of OUM provided significant value to the project by providing the framework to establish an Integrated Project Plan: Using the same phasing and terminology on the overall project workplan for the separate E-Business Suite, OBI EE / OBIA, and Hyperion project partitions, enabled the project to leverage an Iterative and Incremental approach while enabling a complete view of the major milestones and touch points between the different partitions.

One aspect of particular significance is that this project utilized the technique of partitioning the project plan so that the work was divided into more manageable pieces. When dealing with large and/or complex projects it is advisable to split the functionality that is targeted to be implemented into smaller bits of effort.  We call these partitions in OUM, but they can also referred to as workstreams, subsystems, pillars, etc..  No matter what they are called, the whole idea is to logically break up the work, while still allowing for a common approach and integration of the tasks at key points in the project.  As you can see, the result on this project was a successful implementation and a very satisfied client.  

Do you have an OUM project success you would like to share?  Please let us know in the comments. 

Thursday May 29, 2014

Success Quote: A Hybrid Approach for Success

We recently received this quote from a project that successfully used OUM: “On our project, we applied a combination of the Oracle Unified Method (OUM) and the client's methodology. The project was organized by OUM's phases and a subset of OUM's processes, tasks, and templates. Using a hybrid of the two methods resulted in an implementation approach that was optimized for the client-specific requirements for this project."

This hybrid approach is an excellent example of using OUM in the flexible and scalable manner in which it was intended. The project team was able to scale OUM to be fit-for-purpose for their given situation. It's great to see how merging what was needed out of OUM with the client’s methodology resulted in an implementation approach that more closely aligned to the business needs.

Successfully scaling OUM is dependent on the needs of the particular project and/or engagement. The key is to use no more than is necessary to satisfy the requirements of the implementation and appropriately address risks. For more information, check out the "Tailoring OUM for Your Project" page, which can be accessed by first clicking on the "OUM should be scaled to fit your implementation" link on the OUM homepage and then drilling into the link on the subsequent page.

Have you used OUM in conjunction with a partner or customer methodology? Please share your experiences with us.

Monday May 19, 2014

Oracle Unified Method (OUM) Partner Program

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

The Oracle Unified Method (OUM) is available to Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Partners as a benefit of membership.  Partners at these three levels are able to download OUM from the Oracle Unified Method Knowledge Zone on the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Portal at no additional cost.

Authorized use of OUM materials by Oracle PartnerNetwork Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Partners is described in Section G. of the Oracle PartnerNetwork Agreement entitled Methodology/Engagement Materials. It grants Oracle PartnerNetwork Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Partners a non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited license to use and make copies of the materials, subject to OPN policies, for the following purposes:

  • Use the materials in connection with the implementation of programs for end users who have acquired valid licenses for such programs;
  • Provide training to partner employees in use of the materials;
  • Demonstrate the materials to end users; and
  • Copy the materials for archival or backup purposes.

Oracle PartnerNetwork Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Partners may allow their agents and contractors to use the materials for these purposes, subject to the terms of the Oracle PartnerNetwork Agreement. All titles, trademarks, and copyright and restricted rights notices contained in the materials shall be reproduced in any copies of the materials. All copies of the materials shall be subject to the terms of this agreement.

Partners meeting the access requirements described above can obtain the OUM materials.  To access the method pack, related collateral, and training courses:

  • 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.

Monday Apr 28, 2014

Where’s My View?

With release 6.1 and continued with 6.2, the Home page access pull down was renamed from Select a View to Access Method By and the options were changed.  The view access is still available, but now you also can access applicable OUM content by role (Project Manager or Team Member) or by Supplemental Guidance (Solution Delivery Guide or Supplemental Guide) or by Method Repository.  So let’s talk about each of these options as well as review the View option.

By Role

Access is defined for two roles; Project Manager and Team Member.

The OUM for Project Managers access page provides quick links into OUM content that is applicable to Project Managers.  This includes the Manage views, the templates, and valuable resources such as Planning a Project using OUM and Tailoring OUM for your Project.

The OUM for Team Members access page provides quick links for all other roles.  This includes the Method Repository, the templates, examples, mappings and techniques.

By Supplemental Guidance

Supplemental Guidance access is by Solution Delivery Guide or Supplemental Guide.  Selecting either of these takes you to the appropriate section of the Supplemental Guide Index.  This access selection enables you to go straight to the supplemental guidance that best fits your immediate needs.  Choose Solution Delivery Guide to access the Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach Solution Delivery Guide.  OUM contains a good number of Supplemental Guides.  The guides are presented in alphabetical order. 

By Method Repository

The Method Repository section of the Access Method By pull down provides access to the core OUM process overviews, task overviews and templates for each focus area.

By View

If you are familiar with previous releases of OUM and you want to know what happened to your view, start with the ==VIEW== section of the Access Method By pull down.  This section is organized as follows, Manage, Envision, Implement, Business Process Management (BPM), Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Full Method.  Selecting the ==VIEW==, Manage, Envision, Implement or Full Method takes you to the appropriate section of the View Catalog.  Once in the View Catalog, choose your view.  Selecting Business Process Management (BPM) or Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) takes you to the associated landing page and you can then choose your view.

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.

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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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