Project Partners Blog


Oracle issued a press release today announcing a new Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solution named Oracle Primavera Prime. Oracle Primavera Prime is the first Enterprise PPM offering designed to leverage Oracle’s Engineered Systems vision, a tightly integrated technology “stack” of Oracle hardware and software components, to deliver superior performance and ROI.

The first module in the Oracle Primavera Prime suite is Oracle Primavera Prime Capital Plan Management. Oracle Primavera Prime is integrated with Oracle’s Primavera P6 and enables time-phased details to be shared between each solution related to budget, cost and schedule progress.

The full press release is below.

Next-Generation PPM Solution, Oracle Primavera Prime, Leverages Engineered Systems Vision to Deliver Exceptional Performance and ROI

Oracle Primavera Prime Capital Plan Management for Developing and Managing Long-Range Capital Plans is the First Offering Available within Oracle Primavera Prime

News Summary

Prioritizing, planning, managing and executing projects, programs and portfolios on a global scale demands powerful, robust, and easy-to-use solutions. To further meet this demand and extend its support for mission critical Project Portfolio Management (PPM) requirements, Oracle today introduced Oracle Primavera Prime as well as the first available module in that offering, Oracle Primavera Prime Capital Plan Management. Oracle Primavera Prime is the first Enterprise PPM offering designed to leverage Oracle’s Engineered Systems vision, a tightly integrated technology “stack” of Oracle hardware and software components, to deliver superior performance and ROI.

News Facts

A key element of Oracle’s vision and strategy is to offer integrated hardware and software solutions in all of the major enterprise application and tool categories to deliver superior performance, reliability, support and ROI.

Oracle Primavera Prime represents the initial realization of this vision in Project Portfolio Management (PPM) with the culmination of Oracle platform technology and PPM application innovation, expertise and best practices.

Oracle Primavera Prime Capital Plan Management is the first Oracle Primavera Prime application module available as part of a broader plan to offer a complete portfolio of integrated capabilities in areas such as scheduling, resource management, project team collaboration, scope and cost management.

Oracle Primavera Prime Capital Plan Management leverages the performance of Oracle Primavera Prime to help organizations develop and manage long-range capital plans that are strategically aligned to the business in order to help maximize financial returns.

Oracle will also continue to invest in its portfolio of strategic PPM applications and cloud service offerings which include Oracle’s Primavera P6 EPPM, Oracle’s Unifier and Oracle’s Instantis. Enhancements and innovations to these product lines will continue to be leveraged by the Oracle Primavera Prime application suite.

News Details: Oracle Primavera Prime Capital Plan Management

Key capabilities of Oracle Primavera Prime Capital Plan Management include:

  • Budget Planning: Enables capital planners to allocate budgets, review annual budgets against targets, recommend priorities, and model strategies to manage long-range capital planning requirements.
  • Project Initiation Governance: Allows key stakeholders to review proposals for new projects and support planning for active as well as planned projects.
  • Project Costing: Empowers project managers to easily manage the time-phased cost planning of a project from inception to completion.
  • Project Selection: Supports the project prioritization and selection process allowing capital planners to develop a capital portfolio that is balanced and configurable across multiple dimensions such as location, project type and risk/reward.
  • Business Process Management: Provides customizable forms and business workflow processes to facilitate the easy and smooth execution of the capital planning process.
  • Strategic Alignment and Compliance: Supports alignment and compliance with company priorities by providing reporting and performance monitoring controls to meet company targets, monitor project performance against pre-defined thresholds, predict spends and to mitigate risk.
  • Portfolio Monitoring: Enables capital planners to make easy, agile and strategic changes, when necessary, across multiple projects by providing visibility into project budgets and timelines.
  • Collaboration: Facilitates collaboration between project managers, capital planners and key stakeholders during critical budget negotiation cycles as well as throughout the capital project lifecycle via inbuilt workflows, discussion and notification capabilities.
  • Integration with Oracle’s Primavera P6: Enables time-phase details to be shared between each solution related to budget, cost and schedule progress.
  • Mobile Support: With zero additional applets or plugin footprint, Oracle Primavera Prime Capital Plan Management is designed for easy consumption on mobile devices.

Supporting Quote

“Prioritizing, planning, managing, and executing projects, programs, and portfolios on a global scale is an incredibly complex management process that requires the highest possible levels of performance,” said Mike Sicilia, senior vice president & general manager, Oracle Primavera Global Business Unit. “Oracle Primavera Prime marks the dawn of next-generation for Project Portfolio Management systems. The software and hardware have been engineered to work together from the ground up to offer exceptional performance & ROI, while enabling organizations to achieve strategic alignment, operational excellence and repeatable success.”

Find more information about Oracle Primavera Prime Capital Plan Management here.

By Steve Sexton

In recently working with a major software company, it became quickly apparent that this organization was a great example of the scenario many captive services businesses face as the high-tech industry continues to evolve. Experiencing declining revenue and margin, this organization is introducing significant change to align and execute against new go-to-market strategies, but the organization’s operational maturity and supporting infrastructure will have to rapidly progress to support performance goals and its ability to invest in developing strategic capabilities.  Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t miss the latest issue of our Primavera Newsletter!

You’ll find links to new on-demand webinars, invitations to new live webinars, an excellent new report by Oracle about the Changing Face of Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, and more.

Read the newsletter now.

 

 

Are you attending the Construction CPM Conference in sunny Orlando this week?  Then don’t miss this session on Friday, immediately after lunch:

FRI42 – R12.2: It’s Not Just a Technical Upgrade; the Value for Project-Centric Organizations

Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) Applications Release 12.2 has been generally available from Oracle since September 2013. This long-awaited release provides significant enhancements across the integrated suite of business applications spanning enterprise resource planning, project performance management, and supply chain management. Join this presentation to understand the various approaches in upgrading to R12.2. Additionally, receive a baseline for measuring the potential value in driving cost savings and improvements to cash flow with new features specific to project centric industries including, but not limited to project supply chain planning, planning by cost breakdown, subcontractor management, and mobile project management.

This session will be presented by Rhonda Straub, Project Partners’ Associate Vice President, Oracle ERP Services.


10. Business Centric Charter and Plan

Ensure the initiative charter is not too narrow to ensure required business involvement and expected results are aligned.  It is often said, “a bad plan well executed will produce less than desired results whereas a good plan executed half as well will produce more desirable results.”

9. Vision with Ability to Execute

Identify and dedicate a knowledgeable global design leader who can articulate future business/technology vision and build alignment with stakeholders.

8. Question Traditional Norms

Simply applying new technologies to old habits, process, and ways of doing business often can do more harm than good.  Seize the opportunity to ask how business may be executed differently with the intent to add greater customer value, build greater consistency, and improve business performance.

7. Empower the Field

Ensure greater balance between what is easiest and valuable for customer facing teams vs the back office.

6. Build Business Acumen

Assess the organization’s competencies and capabilities to perform to a desired level, notably sales/relationship management/project management – process and technology change alone may not achieve the desired result.

5. Be Serious About Managing Change

Have a well defined and widely communicated plan for organizational change. Identify process owners and establish targets for sustainable execution including business results and process health indicators.

4. Buy-in from the Beginning

Ensure stakeholders are involved in business design, process design, and technology selection.

3. Eyes Bigger than the Stomach

Don’t try to introduce too much change too soon.  Take a holistic view of scope and the level of change and disruption it presents to business stakeholders.  Be pragmatic in your deployment strategy, open to incremental phases, and prioritize early in the program so expectations and business results are achieved.

2. Support with a Human Touch

Regardless of how much training, the ability to talk to a person or have someone walk the user through a particular situation can mitigate hours of self help research or mistakes

1. Follow Through

Many programs claim victory out of the need to deploy to the business due to extended timelines and overall fatigue.  While this is common, it requires leaders and the organization to follow through on those elements originally planned to ensure the intended vision and business value is realized.  Further, continued focus is required to sustain momentum and drive continuous improvement.

By Neeraj Garg

Oracle E-Business Suite Project Costing

Labor Costing Enhancements: Labor transactions in Oracle Projects can now be costed via several new methods:

  1. Costing using HR Rates (includes support for multiple rates and rate by criteria). This feature now enables support for the Davis-Bacon Act.
  2. Support in Oracle Time and Labopr for additional data to be captured to support rate by Criteria.
  3. Total Time reporting. This feature allows the standard/actual cost for Exempt employees to be automatically pro-rated over all hours charged to projects by the employee. Prior to this enhancement, exempt employee costs could be over-counted if they charged more than the standard working hours.
  4. Labor costing using Payroll actuals. This feature supports using actual payroll costs to drive project labor costs. Support is included for Oracle Payroll or a third party payroll system.
  5. When using Payroll actuals for labor costing, you can choose to accrue labor cost using standard rates prior to payroll run. This allows you to continue billing all project costs using the accrued standard cost and then post adjustment entries to invoices based on the actual payroll run. When combined with the “Adjusted transactions on standard invoice” feature in Oracle Project Billing, this makes the accrual adjustment feature seamless to the end client.
  6. Expenditure Batch Reversal: In order to support the payroll feature of reversing a payroll run, Oracle Project Costing now supports reversing the costing for an expenditure batch and reverting the costed transactions to an uncosted state.

Integration to Oracle Complex Maintenance,Repair, and Overhaul (cMRO):  Support for unplanned and non-routine  maintenance has been added to the integration to Oracle cMRO in addition to existing support for Regular maintenance. Such maintenance visits/activities can now be associated to new or existing projects/tasks.

Enhanced Cost Collection by Cost Code: A new classification –Cost Code – is now available on a project/task. A Cost Code can be a multi-segmented attribute and can be setup to represent a hierarchy of values.  These cost codes are predefined during implementation and can be associated to a project. Each task can then be assigned one or more values for the cost code. Once this is done, all actuals must now include valid cost code values in addition to project and task. This allows for more granularity in setup and collection of actual costs and easy comparison of similar types of costs across projects and tasks for metrics like productivity that are key in the Engineering and Construction industry.

Self-Assessed Tax from Payables: Oracle E-Business Suite Projects Applications will now bring over any self-assessed tax on project related supplier invoices from Oracle Accounts Payable as a project expense.

Oracle E-Business Suite Project Billing

Standard Invoicing for Adjusted Transactions: Adjusted transactions can now be included on a net new invoice instead of going to a credit memo. This is controlled via an option at the project and task level for labor transactions only, or for all transactions.

Oracle E-Business Suite Project Management

Planning with HR Rates: If you use the HR Rates option for labor costing, these rates are also available in the planning screens (WorkPlans and Financial Plans) to determine planned cost for labor lines.

Forecasting Using Updated Rates: When generating a forecast, ETC amounts are now computed using updated rates (from the rate schedules) for all rate based resources.

Planning Without Resource Classes: You can now plan for projects, tasks and resources without assigning a resource class. This allows additional flexibility in determining the planning granularity

Planning by Cost Codes: You can now plan by cost code (assigned to project/task) and further at any level of the cost code you choose.

Technology 

Online Patching: In addition to these features specific to Oracle E-Business Suite Projects, the biggest technology update is Online Patching.  Online Patching uses the Oracle Database 11g Release 11.2.0.2 feature of “edition-based” redefinition to significantly reduce the downtime traditionally needed for patching and related maintenance activities.

The way this works is fairly elegant. An “edition” is a private environment in which you can redefine database objects. With online patching, patches are applied to a separate edition while users are working with the original edition. After applying patches, the system is cut over to make the patch edition the new production edition. After the initial upgrade to Release 12.2, all future patches and maintenance packs will be applied online, requiring only a brief cutover period to make the new functionality active.

If you have any questions about the new features in Oracle E-Business Suite Applications, Release 12.2, don’t hesitate to contact us via our online form, or call me at +1.650+712.6200.

By Jay West, BS/MS AE, MBA 
President, EAM Master

For Oracle Enterprise Asset Management (eAM) customers, managing maintenance documents is both important and challenging.  Project Partners offers an exciting new product that streamlines the use of Oracle eAM and Microsoft SharePoint, and makes managing maintenance documents easy. 

In today’s industrial environment, information drives the efficiency and effectiveness of the maintenance organization.  Maintenance managers, planners and workers use a variety of documents from different sources to maintain complex plant equipment, facilities and infrastructure.   To be productive they must be able to quickly and easily find, understand and use all of this information.

Much of the information used by the maintenance organization resides in a variety of hardcopy and electronic documents such as drawings, vendor manuals, safety procedures, inspection sheets, repair instructions, etc.  Hardcopy documents can obviously be difficult to find, share and use, particularly if they are needed in multiple locations or job sites.  Electronic documents can also be challenging to manage.  If they are not in a centralized document management system, they often reside on multiple PCs or network locations with little security and version control.  If a document management system like SharePoint is in place, there are still challenges with keeping documents organized, easy to find and linked to the proper data items and transactions in Oracle eAM.

Oracle eAM offers two options for linking documents to entities like Assets, Activities (job plans) and Work Orders.   One option is to use a “File” type attachment to load the document into the Oracle database.  The challenge with this option is that it creates additional copies of documents; there is no version control and the large number of embedded documents tends to bloat the database.  The other option is to use a “URL” type attachment which serves a link to the file in a document management system like SharePoint.  The challenge with this option is that it requires that users first carefully file documents correctly in SharePoint and then make certain that proper links are established.  This option thus requires that users have good knowledge of SharePoint and follow good procedures.   It is also laborious and prone to errors.

The Project Partners Document Management Integration product provides a much more complete and automated solution for managing maintenance documents.  When a document is attached to an Oracle eAM entity, the product automatically creates an appropriately named folder in SharePoint and then files the document properly.  This level of automation makes the whole process of managing maintenance documents easier and more mistake proof.  I recommend that all Oracle eAM customers evaluate this product as a way to streamline and improve management of maintenance documents.

LEARN MORE: Register to attend this webinar: Streamline the use of Oracle eAM and Microsoft SharePoint, and Easily Manage Maintenance Documents.  If you can’t attend the live event, register anyway and we’ll send you a link to the recording after the event.

About the Author:
Jay West is an author and professional speaker within the maintenance professional community and has been an active member of the Oracle eAM Field Advisory Board for 7 years. He holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Alabama. Mr. West is also the president and founder of EAM Master LLC.

We’ve just published a new whitepaper discussing four key areas that predict success for Professional Services firms. 

  1. Sales and Marketing Planning,
  2. Collaborative Pipeline Management,
  3. Perfect-Order Processing, and
  4. Delivery Optimization. 

By focusing on incorporating best practices around these four areas, companies can realize increased performance throughout the “Lead-to-Cash” process and achieve crucial customer satisfaction benefits and organizational wide performance improvements.

The paper includes statistics that quantify the improvements delivered by a Services Resource Planning system, and first steps on the path of success.

You’ll find this paper in our Resources Library.

Please let us know what you think about it.

 

World Issues and Actions Center (WIAC) Replaces Tedious Manual Processes with NetSuite Cloud

By Kimberly McDonald Baker

HALF MOON BAY, Calif., June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Project Partners, LLC, the experts in solutions for project-centric organizations, announced that the World Issues and Actions Center (WIAC), based in Los Angeles, California, has significantly improved operational efficiencies and enabled better utilization of employee resources since implementing NetSuite. NetSuite enables instant visibility into critical business information for WIAC, providing consistent donor data and accurate campaign planning to further focus fundraising. NetSuite’s integrated accounting and reporting has saved significant time and costs over prior manual methods, and self-service reporting delivers the information WIAC’s international team needs to manage its worldwide human rights campaigns.

The WIAC selected Project Partners’ management consultants to assess its operations and recommend systems that would provide immediate return on investment, saving WIAC more money than the system cost.

Project Partners analyzed WIAC’s existing system, consisting of Intuit® QuickBooks® and Microsoft® Excel™ and identified the following challenges.
•Manual tracking using spreadsheets consumed hundreds of labor hours annually
•No ability to work collaboratively with staff and volunteers around the world
•Non-integrated data streams from QuickBooks and Excel made it difficult to place financial controls on these independent processes
•Lacked ability to automatically produce reports by campaign and donor
•Poor planning abilities made fundraising difficult

With its cloud-based architecture, Project Partners implemented NetSuite in just under one month. WIAC’s end users around the world quickly accepted and adopted NetSuite, and WIAC immediately recognized increases in collaboration among its staff.

“Project Partners exhibited forethought for assessing and planning out our needs now and into the future,” said Jules Boyele, president of the World Issues and Actions Center. “Prior to NetSuite, we had no real system to communicate internally outside the sharing of e-mails, and static reports to collaborate efforts and campaigns. Now with NetSuite, we are planning our first collaborative fund raising event, working with staff and volunteers in real time around the globe, while improving communications and donor activities. NetSuite can enable the World Issues and Actions Center to scale seamlessly, as we plan to reach our vision of being a major international non-profit. We are truly grateful to Project Partners for illustrating the value and cost benefits of NetSuite.”

About the World Issues and Actions Center

The World Issues and Actions Center (WIAC) is a worldwide movement, alliance, coalition, partnering and working network of people, organizations, groups, associations, businesses and nations joining forces to raise its voices and combine efforts, resources and energies against all unjust causes and conditions that threaten human dignity. Learn more about WIAC at http://www.1wiac.org/

About Project Partners, LLC

Project Partners, LLC, a global company headquartered in Half Moon Bay, California, with offices in Canada and India, is the global leader in optimizing business processes and Information Technology investments within project-driven organizations. Project Partners’ business process experts understand the challenges faced by project-centric organizations and help customers improve processes and deploy technology to maximize project life cycle ROI. They are experts in leveraging Oracle’s ERP and Primavera solutions, and NetSuite Service Resource Planning applications, and have also developed products and solutions to support and augment their customers’ off-the-shelf products. Learn more about Project Partners, LLC at http://www.projectp.com/

Implementation Profile and Key Requirements of a Global Project Centric Organization

Global project centric organizations using EBS have the following implementation profile:

  • Multiple Legal Entities
  • Multiple Business Groups
  • Multiple Ledgers
  • Multiple Operating Units
  • Multiple Currencies
  • Multiple Languages

Key requirements for operating in such an environment include contracting projects globally, executing these global projects via a geographically distributed work force, allowing resources to go across all the above-mentioned boundaries to execute projects and the ability to receive reimbursement for work done on such projects belonging to other organizations.

 

Oracle Projects enables such global organizations to cross all of these boundaries to effectively execute global projects. The following sections show how this is accomplished.

 

Business Structures in EBS

Organizations are the basic building blocks of business structures in Oracle EBS. In Oracle HR, they represent the resource-owning structure. For Financials, these are modeled to be cost centers and for projects, these are project owning or expenditure owning structures.

 

Operating Units are the financial boundaries that separate and secure transactional data. Business Groups do the same for HR data. OUs roll up into Ledgers while Legal Entity is weakly represented as an attribute of Operating Unit in HR.

 

These structures can be implemented in a simple manner or complex as shown by the following representations:

 

Simple structure:

SimpleS

Complex structure:

ComplexS

Oracle Projects, enables you to go across all of these boundaries to enable project work in global organizations.

 

All HR entities are limited by  Business Group (BG) and this is linked to a responsibility allowing you access to data within the BG. This is the S(ingle) B(usiness) G(roup) A(ccess) mode. In order to enable global organizations, you need to have visibility across BGs and hence need to enable C(ross) B(usiness) G(roup) A(ccess) mode. CBGA is enabled via a profile option at the site level along with setup of global organization hierarchies  and security profiles that permit access to organizations across business groups linked to responsibilities. There is an additional feature called global job groups that may be mapped to BG specific job groups in order to enable needed features for global organizations such as global rate schedules for billing and transfer pricing.

 

Finally users can choose to enable organizations to be project owning or expenditure owning exclusively or both meaning that projects are owned by one set of organizations and project resources by another set or that projects and project resources are owned by the same organizations. This is purely dependent on how the business is organized to operate.

 

Cross-Charging and Cross-Charge Processing

For the purposes of determining cross-charging, the project owning organization and OU are termed as the “Receiver” org and OU and the expenditure org and OU are termed as the “Provider” org and OU respectively. Each cost transaction stores the provider and receiver org and OU independent of the project and expenditure org and OU. These can be different if you choose to use the Oracle provided extension to climb the hierarchy and determine cross-charging at a high level than the base project and expenditure owning organizations.

 

Once the provider and receiver org and OU are known, the next step is to determine the type of cross-charge as follows:

  • If Provider and Receiver OU different
    • Then If Provider and Receiver LE different
      • Inter-LE Cross Charge
    • Else Inter-OU Cross Charge
  • Else if Provider and Receiver Orgs different
    • Then Intra-OU Cross Charge
    • Else No Cross Charge

Processing for cross charged transactions is can be done by accounting entries associated with Borrowed and Lent accounting or via Inter-Company Documents. The method to be used for processing cross-charged transactions is from the following options and is determined based on setup in provider-receiver controls:

  • Intra-Operating Unit (Across Organizations)
    • None
    • Borrowed and Lent Accounting
  • Inter-Operating Unit (within the Same Legal Entity)
    • None
    • Borrowed and Lent Accounting OR
    • Intercompany Invoicing
  • Inter-Legal Entity
    • None
    • Intercompany Invoicing

 

The next step in the process is to determine what the amount to be processed will be. This amount represents the reimbursement to be sent to the provider organization for work done for on a project for the receiving organization. This amount is also termed as the “Transfer Price”. The transfer price may be classified as cost or revenue representing if the providing organization is sharing it’s cost with the receiver or receiving a share of the revenue from the receiver. Transfer price is determined by a transfer price schedule that specified a transfer prices rule to be used to determine the transfer price amount between a pair of provider-receiver organizations along with a markup or discount% and amount type (cost or revenue). The transfer price rule in turn determines the basis of the transfer prices as raw cost, burdened cost or revenue and if the basis is to be used directly or to apply a burden schedule or markup/discount% to the basis.

 

Multi-Currency Support

This is the next major requirement to support global project centric organizations. Handling multiple currencies is a complex piece of function in Oracle Projects dealing with core entities for costing and billing along with the transactions for each.

 

Base Project: Project (single currency used to manage project) and Project Functional (accounting) Currencies

Agreement: Agreement Currency in addition to the base project currencies.

Funding: Is always in Agreement Currency in addition to the base project currencies.

Budgeting/Forecasting: plan lines can be enabled to be in any currency and are automatically converted to the base project currencies. Approved revenue budget must be entered in project functional currency only and is baselined against the funding amount in the same currency.

Budgetconv

Cost Transactions: have an expense report transaction and expenditure transaction (includes expense report reimbursement) currency in addition to the base project currencies

exprepconv

Billing Transactions: Can have an Invoicing currency, a revenue currency (san be functional or invoice currency), a bill transaction currency (currency in which bill amount is computed for base billing transactions – this can be event currency, rate schedule or cost transaction currency) and bill processing currency ( common currency used to perform funds checking  during billing processes – can be project, project functional or funding currency).

agmt-fund billing

 

With funding in foreign currencies, there is always the challenge of fluctuating funding amounts based on currency fluctuations. In order to handle this, Oracle Projects has a function called funding revaluation. This process handles two different pieces of puzzle as shown below:

  • Revaluating funding adjusts funding available in functional/project currency based on current exchange rates
  • Creates adjustment funding lines in functional currency and baselines to revenue budget

With invoicing in a foreign currency and receipt timing

  • Two different amounts that need revaluation
  • Invoice Backlog and Currency Gains/Loss from Receipts
  • Each results in revenue adjustments via special events
  • Enable Currency Gains/Loss only if you are holding PM responsible for managing currency fluctuations

 

Support for Multiple Languages

Oracle natively provides two different types of support for multiple languages as part of EBS:

  • NLS: National Language Support
    • Each User Interface is Translated to local language (Headings, Prompts, etc) – Forms, Reports, Messages, HTML Screens
    • Projects is fully compliant with this
  • MLS: Multi-Lingual Support
    • All key data elements are translatable
    • Seed Data, Setup Data, Key Entities (like Project, Task)
    • Projects is partially compliant with this – Not all setup entities are MLS enabled. For example, Expenditure Type is not MLS-enabled

 

The biggest challenge with multiple languages comes with global projects where resources from different language speaking regions work on the same project. A common language is needed in these cases in order to enable effective communication is global projects and hence any initiative for handling multiple languages can include NLS but MLS must be handled with a lot of thought.

 

Global Projects

Oracle Projects provides 4 different models to support global projects but that discussion is further elaborated in the paper for session #12420. In conjunction with these models and the functions described above Oracle Projects provides comprehensive functionality to support global organizations executing project work.