Monday Mar 11, 2013

OUM’s Oracle Support Services Supplemental Guide – What’s in it for you?

As highlighted in this previous post, the Oracle® Unified Method (OUM) includes supplemental guides to provide product, technology, and business area specific guidance, which complement and expand on the general guidance found in OUM’s baseline method materials.

There are a number of Supplemental Guides currently available in OUM covering a variety of areas from Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Application Implementations to WebCenter.  Because they provide targeted guidance, most supplemental guides are applicable only to projects that include the subject area being addressed in that guide.  However, there is one supplemental guide, which is applicable to virtually all projects – the Oracle Support Services Supplemental Guide.

The Oracle Support Services Supplemental Guide provides OUM practitioners, and Oracle customers alike, with the guidance needed to effectively manage and support the lifecycle of Oracle environments during an implementation and after go-live.

So, what’s in this guide for you?  Well, in a word, plenty.  Like all of OUM’s supplemental guides, the Oracle Support Services Supplemental Guide is comprised of several sections, including:

  • Oracle Support Services Lifecycle Management Strategy Overview
  • Oracle Support Services Lifecycle Management Methodology Mapping
  • Supplemental Task Guidelines for Lifecycle Management of the My Oracle Support Services Portal, and
  • Supplemental Task Guidelines for IT Change Management

 

The Oracle Support Services Lifecycle Management Strategy Overview section describes the lifecycle management strategy along with an overview of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Service Lifecycle upon which it is based. 

The Oracle Support Services Lifecycle Management Methodology Mapping provides a mapping between the OUM and ITIL lifecycle management methodologies.  This mapping should be used to gain an understanding of the relationship between OUM and ITIL, as well as how to leverage the value of the ITIL best practices to achieve excellence in the lifecycle management of any Oracle investment.

The Supplemental Task Guidelines for Lifecycle Management of the My Oracle Support Services Portal should be used in conjunction with the standard OUM task guidelines to supplement baseline guidance for affected tasks when planning and implementing the processes, policies and procedures used for lifecycle management of the My Oracle Support Services portal.  This section contains very helpful guidance regarding the recommended configuration of client environments, and establishment of best practices, to take full advantage of the My Oracle Support Services portal.

The Supplemental Task Guidelines for IT Change Management likewise should be used in conjunction with the standard OUM task guidelines to supplement baseline guidance for affected tasks when planning and implementing the processes, policies and procedures used for implementing changes in Oracle environments.

Accessing the Oracle Support Services Supplemental Guide is fast and easy.  A link to the guide can be found in the Key Components area of nearly all Implement Focus Area Views – look for it in the “Other Supplemental Guidance” section in the middle of the screen.  Alternatively, you can access it by selecting the “Supplemental Guidance” option in the Method Navigation drop down menu from any OUM page.  On the Supplemental Guidance page you’ll find it listed in the table of Supplemental Guides, which are listed in alphabetical order.

Take the time to check it out and revisit with each new release, since new sections are being added over time.  I think you’ll find the information very helpful!

Wednesday Jan 30, 2013

A Method Store – Supplemental Guidance (Understanding the Structure of OUM)

My last blog in this series on understanding the structure of OUM discusses supplemental guidance.  This is the final section of the OUM Repository “store” that you need to consider.

Going back to our grocery store comparison, the grocery store contains additional specialty items.  These items complement the groceries.  You don’t always need these items, but sometimes they come in handy.  These items might include sections for gourmet or hard to find groceries, a book section with cookbooks or a section with small kitchen appliances and utensils.  While you don’t need these items all the time, different items may be useful for different recipes or occasions.

OUM has supplemental guidance that complements the base method materials.  This is additional supplemental inventory that might be useful for your project.  Just as you narrowed down the base method materials based on your type of project, you can also narrow down the supplemental guidance based on your type of project.

If you have decided to use a particular view, applicable supplemental guidance can be found in the Key Components section at the top of the view.  The first column contains view-specific supplemental guidance.  For example, if your project is a Requirements-Driven Application Implementation, this view includes links to the Application Implementation Overview and Supplemental Guide.  

Additional supplemental guidance is found in the second column of the Key Components.  This can be anything from additional supplemental guides, such as Oracle Support Services, to additional resource links.  The last link in this column is to the OUM Supplemental Guidance page that provides an Index to ALL supplemental guidance in OUM

The final column in the Key Components section of the view is to method resources.  This includes the OUM Project Workplan, Key Work Products and the OUM mappings.

Review the resources found in the Key Components section of your selected view or go straight to the Supplemental Guidance page from the Method Navigation pull-down menu of any view in OUM and see what additional guidance is available in OUM and if it is useful for your current project.

Monday Jan 28, 2013

A Method Store – Views (Understanding the Structure of OUM)

This is the fourth blog in a series of blogs on the structure of OUM.  In the previous blogs, I compared the OUM repository to a grocery store or a store with method materials with three main departments (focus areas); Manage, Envision and Implement and each of these having sections for phases, processes, activities and tasks.

So now you have your project and you know you don’t need to use everything in OUM but with all this material, where do you start?

Start with a view, or a pre-populated shopping list that provides access to the method materials (or inventory) for a particular type of project, for example, Application Implementation, Software Upgrade, etc.  The OUM views have been determined with the help of experienced subject matter experts (SMEs).

Views can be selected from the OUM Home page using the Select a View pull-down menu.  Alternatively, you can use the Resources button on the Home page to go to the Resources page and from there open the View Catalog.  The View Catalog describes each of the views supported in the current release of OUM.

Each view is organized similarly to the original focus area views.  If applicable, there will be Guidelines sections for each focus area that allow you to access the phases and processes.  At the bottom will be a filtered list of Tasks and Work Products.

Start with the view that most closely matches your project and then tailor it for your project requirements.  You can even start with the OUM Implement Core Workflow and add additional method components based on your project requirements.

My next and last blog in this series will discuss OUM Supplemental Guidance.

Friday Jan 25, 2013

A Method Store – Base Materials (Understanding the Structure of OUM)

Once again, building on my previous blogs where I compared the OUM repository to a grocery store or basically a store with method materials with three main sections (focus areas); Manage, Envision and Implement.

Each focus area is organized similarly.  Within each focus area of the OUM repository, there are sections (or departments) for phases, processes, activities and tasks.

Phase guidance is found in the Phase Overviews.  Phases are a chronological grouping of tasks.  In OUM, services are delivered by phase in order to reduce project risk.  Each phase allows a checkpoint against project goals, and measurement against quality criteria.  Phases are temporal groupings, that is, they are bound by time.  They cut vertically through project activities and provide natural points for establishing project milestones for progress checkpoints.

Process guidance is found in the Process Overviews.  A process is a discipline or subproject that defines a set of tasks related by subject matter, required skills and common dependencies.  A process usually spans several phases.

Activity guidance is found in the Activity Overviews.  An Activity is a set of tasks related either by topic, dependencies, data, common skills/roles, or work products. The tasks in an activity may come from different processes.  Activities in OUM begin and end in the same method phase.  Activities are spread within the project phases according to the time and ordering where they logically occur during the life of the project.

Task guidance is found in the Task Overviews.  A task is a unit of work that is done as part of a project and results in a new or revised work product.  A task is the smallest traceable item on a project workplan, and forms the basis for a work breakdown structure.  A work product is simply the output of a task.  Many OUM tasks have work product templates.

Once again go to the Select a View menu on the OUM Home page and select “Full Method and Focus Areas”.  From this page, choose the focus view.  Once in any of the focus area view pages, expand the Guidelines window or choose it from the Current Page Navigation menu.  From within this window, you can access the focus area phases and processes.  You can access the tasks and their associated work products by expanding the appropriate Tasks and Work Products sections at the bottom of each focus area view.

Okay now that you know how the base method materials are organized in the OUM repository, my next blog will discuss the OUM views, or your pre-populated shopping lists.

Friday Jan 18, 2013

A Method Store - Focus Areas (Understanding the Structure of OUM)

If you remember my previous blog entry, I compared the OUM repository to a grocery store, that is, a store with method materials.  Just as the grocery store is organized into sections or departments, the OUM repository is segmented into three main sections or focus areas; Manage, Envision and Implement.  

Each of these focus areas has its own view.  From the OUM Home page, use the Select a View menu to go to the Full Method and Focus Areas page.  From there choose the focus area view.

The focus areas provide the framework for all the other method materials. Specifically, the Manage focus area provides the framework for program and project management.  The Envision focus area provides the framework for enterprise-level planning and the Implement focus area provides the framework for project implementation.  In OUM, focus area guidance is found in the Focus Area Overviews.

So, if you are making your shopping list for your project, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do I need project management for my project?  In most cases, you always need project management and therefore, should consider the Manage focus area.
  • Is my project an enterprise-level planning project?  If so, consider the Envision focus area.
  • Am I implementing a COTS product, or doing a BI/EPM, WebCenter or custom project?  If so, consider the Implement focus area.
Once you know what focus area(s) you need, use the Select a View menu on the OUM Home page and select “Full Method and Focus Areas”.  From this page, choose the focus view.  Once in the view page, you can access the method materials available within each focus area, which is the topic for my next blog.

Thursday Jan 17, 2013

A Method Store (Understanding the Structure of OUM) - Introduction

This blog entry is the first in a series of blog entries to assist you in understanding the structure of the Oracle Unified Method.

The Oracle Unified Method (OUM) is a repository of information that can be used to support the entire enterprise IT lifecycle, including support for the successful implementation of every Oracle product.

Think of OUM as a grocery store filled with inventory (method materials) that can be used to implement your project.  When you shop, you never select everything in the grocery store.  You pick and choose what inventory is appropriate based on your grocery needs.  The same is true for the OUM repository.  You pick and choose the method materials appropriate for your project

When you shop at the grocery store, you have some idea of the inventory and how it is organized.  Even if you have never been in a grocery store, you know that the inventory is organized by sections or departments, such as, a bakery, and departments for meat, produce, dairy, canned goods, etc.  

The OUM repository or “store” contains a comprehensive set of method materials to support your projects.  These materials are organized as well.  The OUM inventory is organized by focus areas, phases, processes, activities, tasks, and work products.

Last, when you shop at the grocery store, you usually have a shopping list of what you need.  This list is based on experience, habit and planning.  

OUM has views, or pre-populated shopping lists that provide access to the method materials (or inventory) for particular types of projects, for example, Application Implementations, Software Upgrades, etc.

Now that we have been briefly introduced to the OUM repository and what it contains, my next few blogs will discuss how the OUM repository or “store” is organized.

Wednesday Dec 05, 2012

Finding "Stuff" In OUM

 

One of the first questions people asked when they start using the Oracle Unified Method (OUM) is “how do I find X ?”

Well of course no one is really looking for “X”!! but typically an OUM user might know the Task ID, or part of the Task Name, or maybe they just want to find out if there is any content within OUM that is related to a couple of keys words they have in their mind.

Here are three quick tips I give people:

1. Open up one of the OUM Views, then click “Expand All”, and then use your Browser’s search function to locate a key Word.

For example, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer: <CTRL> F, then type in a key Word, i.e. Architecture

This is fast and easy option to use, but it only searches the current OUM page

2. Use the PDF view of OUM

Open up one of the OUM Views, and then click the PDF View button located at the top of the View. Depending on your Browser’s settings, the PDF file will either open up in a new Window, or be saved to your local machine. In either case, once the PDF file is open, you can use the built in PDF search commands to search for key words across a large portion of the OUM Method Pack.

This is great option for searching the entire Full Method View of OUM, including linked HTML pages, however the search will not included linked Documents, i.e. Word, Excel.

3.  <!--[endif]-->Use your operating systems file index to search for key words

This is my favorite option, and one I use virtually every day. I happen to use Windows Search, but you could also use Google Desktop Search, of Finder on a MAC.

All you need to do (on a Windows machine) is to make sure your local OUM folder structure is included in the Windows Index. Go to Control Panel, select Indexing Options, and ensure your OUM folder is included in the Index, i.e. C:/METHOD/OM40/OUM_5.6

Once your OUM folders are indexed, just open up Windows Search (or Google Desktop Search) and type in your key worlds, i.e. Unit Testing

The reason I use this option the most is because the Search will take place across the entire content of the Indexed folders, included linked files.

Happy searching!

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Dec 04, 2012

Finding Tools Guidance in OUM

OUM is not tool – specific. However, it does include tool guidance.  Tool guidance in OUM includes:

  • a mention of a tool that could be used to complete a specific task(s)
  • templates created with a specific tool
  • example work products in a specific tool
  • links to tool resources
  • Tool Supplemental Guides

So how do you find all this helpful tool information?

Start at the lowest level first – the Task Overview.  Even though the task overviews are written tool-agnostic, they sometimes mention suggestions, or examples of a tool that might be used to complete the task. 

More specific tool information can be found in the Task Overview, Templates and Tools section.  In some cases, the tool used to create the template (for example, Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Project and Visio) is useful.

The Templates and Tools section also provides more specific tool guidance, such as links to:

White Papers

Viewlets

Example Work Products

Additional Resources

Tool Supplemental Guides

If you’re more interested in seeing what tools might be helpful in general for your project or to see if there is any tool guidance for a specific tool that your project is committed to using, go to the Supplemental Guidance page in OUM.  This page is available from the Method Navigation pull down located in the header of almost every OUM page.

When you open the Supplemental Guidance page, the first thing you see is a table index of everything that is included on the page.  At the top of the right column are all the Tool Supplemental Guides available in OUM.  Use the index to navigate to any of the guides.

Next in the right column is Discipline/Industry/View Resources and Samples.  Use the index to navigate to any of these topics and see what’s available and more specifically, if there is any tool guidance available.  For example, if you navigate to the Cloud Resources, you will find a link to the IT Strategies from Oracle page that provides information for Cloud Practitioner Guides, Cloud Reference Architectures and Cloud White Papers, including the Cloud Candidate Selection Tool and Cloud Computing Maturity Model.

The section for Method Tool and Technique Cross References can take you to the Task to Tool Cross Reference.  This page provides a task listing with possible helpful tools and links to more information regarding the tools.  By no means is this tool guidance all inclusive.  You can use other tools not mentioned in OUM to complete an OUM task.

The Method Tool and Technique Cross References can also take you to the various Technique pages (Index and Cross References).  While techniques are not necessarily “tools,” they can certainly provide valuable assistance in completing tasks.

In the Other Resources section of the Supplemental Guidance page, you find links to the viewlets and white papers that are included within OUM.

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