Thursday Mar 01, 2012

When to call an Oracle Enterprise Architect in on your project

When you aren’t sure about your physical health, what do you do?  Well, you may call in a doctor, maybe even a “specialist”.

As a Project Manager, and a PMP, I understand the need to “protect the project”.  Risks should be mitigated early on so that they don’t become issues.  So “When do I call in an Oracle Enterprise Architect (OEA) on my project?”  What signs should I look for to indicate that an OEA is needed?

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Oracle Consulting PM’s, Customers and Partners who saw the value of having an Oracle Enterprise Architect as a “trusted advisor” to the Project or Program Manager.   But some Project Managers may not be aware of what an OEA does, or when it is advisable to call an OEA in on a project.

The Oracle Unified Method (OUM) includes an Oracle Enterprise Architecture Development Process (OADP) View.  This view includes only tasks from the OUM Envision focus area. However, many of these tasks are “touch points” or prerequisites to tasks in the Implement focus area.  The expertise of an OEA is important on a Software Implementation project.

Did you know that the OADP View in OUM Envision was authored by a global group of Oracle Enterprise Architects (OEA)?  These subject matter experts were some of the earliest contributors to OUM and they continue to refine the guidance that OUM provides for Enterprise Architecture.


What is the role of an Oracle Enterprise Architect
An OEA does five specific things – that are unique to the OEA role:

  • Thinks in time (Current State / Future State / and more importantly – Intermediary or Transitional State)
  • Examines “Multidimensional Processing” (People, Process, Strategy and Technology)
  • Brings together Multi-pillar Architectures (Apps, Tech,  Hardware and Software)
  • Performs “Environmental Contextualization” – The fit of the System Under Discussion (SuD) into overall ecosystem – not just designing the architecture in and of itself
  • Provides Trade-off Analysis for Best-fit architecture (Architecture alternatives: balance Business, Organizational, Financial and Technical factors)

An OEA participates in specialized training that examines the current state architecture, discovers the Business Objectives and Strategy of the Enterprise and then develops future state architectures and practical roadmaps, that could be used to achieve those business objectives.


When to call an Enterprise Architect
So, under what conditions, does an Oracle Software implementation project or program benefit from the role of an Oracle Enterprise Architect (OEA)?

What are some of the characteristics of projects in the Enterprise IT Portfolio that would gain value and produce quantifiable return on investment, thereby truly benefitting from an OEA as a trusted advisor?

In general, a project that has a high level of complexity could benefit from an OEA.  This complexity could be technical, architectural or business, or some combination these.

Here is a list of some common project scenarios that provide increased benefit to the business by utilizing the skills of an Oracle Enterprise Architect as an implementation project trusted advisor:

  • Project includes multiple Oracle products - from different product families
  • Large scale combined application and technology projects
  • Project duration is more than 1 year
  • Project budget is in excess of $1M
  • Project includes integration with more than ten legacy systems
    Composite Applications includes several of those WebCenter Portals, Service Oriented Architecture, BPM Processes, Enterprise Security and Enterprise Applications such as CRM, Financials or HR.


Of course many software implementation scenarios could benefit from an OAE as a trusted advisor.  The above list includes just a few of the project scenarios that really should consider including an OEA.

Value of Enterprise Architecture and an OEA to the project
Having a framework (such as Oracle's OEAF) and a well defined process for Enterprise Architecture development (OADP) is of critical importance. Together they help produce artifacts (work products) that ultimately align technology goals and initiatives to business strategy.

An OEA participates in specialized training that examines the current state architecture, discovers the Business Objectives and Strategy of the Enterprise and then develops future state architectures and practical roadmaps, that could be used to achieve those business objectives.

Enterprise architecture is the alignment of IT and IT assets to support business strategy. By achieving the business strategy of the enterprise, we have increased the business value of the enterprise.  In order to really identify the true value of enterprise architecture we need to understand how we measure business value and develop a portfolio of implementation projects that help us reach achievable and measurable goals.

The OEA contributes to the success of a defined business strategy.  They help Software implementation project teams execute on a roadmap.  Each of these projects is part of a portfolio of implementation projects that combine to realize the defined future state architecture.  During the execution of the roadmap, they help to deliver the IT initiatives that provide measurable returns to the business.

The OEA acts as an advisor to the Project or Program Manager.  They keep the various functional partitions in alignment with the technical partitions, thereby assuring the OUM Principle of remaining “Architecture Centric”.

As the OEA examines the individual organizational units within the enterprise they can identify how the unit has performed by quantitatively measuring achievable goals as defined by the business for each unit. True business value may seem to be subjectively measured.  However, looking at the requirements of the System under Discussion (SuD) and determining the impact to the business with measurable goals, is more quantifiable.

As a project manager, I can examine the project profile and determine if it meets the characteristics outlined above, if it does… Well, who am I going to call?  I will call an Oracle Enterprise Architect (OEA).

What are your thoughts on this topic?

For more information about Oracle Enterprise Architecture Services, look on http://www.oracle.com/us/products/consulting/enterprise-architecture-services/index.html 

Many thanks to Ajay Ailawadhi and Paul Silverstein - Oracle Consulting Advanced Technology Services, ESG organization for contributing to this blog entry.

Thursday Jan 12, 2012

The Project Management Plan (PMP) in OUM - Creation and Evolution

According to the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) — Fourth Edition, the Project Management Plan is defined as a formal, approved document that defines how the project is executed, monitored and controlled.  In OUM, the Project Management Plan (better known as the PMP) defines the overall project management strategies and approaches applied to the project.  Since the PMP is considered to be the most important artifact created by the project manager, it is important to understand how the PMP is created and evolved in OUM.

Creation

The creation of the PMP is started with the Project Management Framework in the task BT.070 – Create Project Management Framework, which is part of the OUM Manage Focus Area’s Project Startup Phase.  The project manager creates the Project Management Framework, along with the project sponsor and other stakeholders.  At this point in the project, the Project Management Framework represents the PMP at the strategic level.  In fact, the Project Management Framework can be thought of as the initial or high-level version of the PMP. 

Evolution and Refinement

After the Project Management Framework is created early in the Project Start Up phase, it is then used as a key prerequisite for each of the OUM Manage process plans – Scope Change Management Plan, Quality Management Plan, Risk Management Plan, etc .  The PMP is refined in an iterative fashion through input and approval from the various project stakeholders and subject matter experts as the project progresses.  This means the PMP is not a static document, but is evolved to become the project management artifact that details the tools and approach for each of the 13 OUM Manage processes.

Need More Info?

For more information on how the PMP evolves from the Project Management Framework, check out the BT.070 Task - Create Project Management Framework in OUM 5.5.

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