Project Partners Blog


Posts Tagged ‘Project Portfolio Mgmt’

By Kimberly McDonald Baker

We want to be sure you don’t miss a new case study article featured in the November 2012 issue of Profit Magazine, titled “Unifying Financial and Project Management” In this article you will learn about Colonial Pipeline Company’s integrated Oracle E-Business Suite and Primavera systems, and a few of the benefits that Colonial is receiving.

With the new, integrated Oracle system, Colonial will have all project related financial records and information in one centralized repository. Project managers and the leadership team will be able to view individual projects or overall capital spend easily. With the new system, Colonial expects time spent on monthly status reporting to decrease by 75 percent, from 8,000 to 2,000 project management hours annually.

“This is a paradigm shift of work for our project managers from doing data manipulation to actually being a project manager,” says Phillip Chandler, Financial Controls Administrator at Colonial Pipeline Company. “This allows them to support our customers both internally and externally in a more effective manner.”

Chandler says Project Partners has helped Colonial implement best practices into its processes, making the company more efficient. “The Project Partners team is sensitive to the specific needs of Colonial. At the same time, they are able to present solutions from an outside perspective that we also need to grow as a business,” says Chandler. “Project Partners has provided the expertise and professionalism that we needed for developing and implementing our project.”

You can read the full article here.

By Randy Egger
President, Project Partners LLC
Former chief architect of Oracle E-Business Suite Projects applications

Over 20 years ago, Finance and IT organizations (under the direction of the Chief Financial Officer), were in control of systems and desperately wanted to instill some financial controls and measures into the Delivery organizations that ran projects. The battle was always that the Project Managers (PMs) didn’t want to be controlled by departments they felt had no understanding of the world of project management, they wanted complete flexibility to best deliver their projects, and they were not concerned with the CFO’s desire for visibility into projects. Most PMs managed projects using personal systems based on Microsoft® Excel or Microsoft Access. The more sophisticated project managers used Microsoft Project, and the most advanced firms used Primavera, Cascade, Mantix, Artemis, and Cobra. BUT, the project systems used by PMs seldom could reflect accurate cost data which then made it difficult to really know the financial health of the project. Therefore, many PMs simply managed to effort and schedule.

In the “old days” a job code equating to a project was part of the general ledger chart of accounts – and most PMs were not strongly concerned about financials. So, how could you let accountants manage financials and project managers manage projects? You needed a system that allows both worlds to obtain the information that they wanted in the format that they wanted. To meet this need, in the early 1990’s Oracle released its first Project Accounting (PA) system: a true project based sub-ledger.

When the initial implementations of PA started, it was the Finance group that was imposing controls onto the Project Managers. Finance wanted visibility into ongoing projects, hence Finance was making most of the decisions, which generated friction between the organizations. To meet the requirements driven by Finance, PMs needed to change the way they were managing projects and that introduced a large opportunity for Change Management.

Getting structure into a non-structured environment was the primary challenge. When companies have been doing things a certain way for decades, it is VERY hard to change that culture… so compromises are made in an attempt to balance the needs of both organizations. Some folks would create a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) to map to a Cost Structure simply so that they could track and control costs. Other companies placed intelligence into both the Project number as well as the WBS … because that was the way it was always done in the past. Some would claim that it made controlling charges easier while others would claim that it made reporting easier. But, in both cases, Project/Task naming was mirroring the way a General Ledger chart of accounts is structured, and not the way a project manager manages a project.

As time progressed, operations and project-based delivery organizations matured and developed a better understanding of what is needed to facilitate harmony between Finance and Project based Operations. At the same time, Oracle developed a Project Management system that was closely linked to its Project Accounting application. When Oracle released its Oracle Project Management (PJT) application and companies began to implement it, it became clear that Oracle had taken one step closer to really bridging the Accounting world to the Project Management world. But that still was not enough. PMs wanted and needed an EASY tool to assist them with their Project Management needs. Then, Oracle made the smart decision to purchase Primavera.

For those companies that implemented Oracle Project Costing and Project Billing only, without a futuristic vision of having a truly integrated Project Management system in place, trying to implement any form of integration of Project Accounting to a Project Management system became a horrible mess. When that happens, the only real thing that can be done is to update the implementation of Project Costing and Project Billing with a clear understanding of how it would integrate with either Oracle Project Management or Primavera. If there are other major issues that also need to be addressed, then a complete reimplementation of these modules should be considered.

Any company that is upgrading to E-Business Suite Release 12, or implementing R12 for the first time, will have the opportunity to rethink or redefine how they will move to become a truly project centric organization. Whether you are implementing for the first time, updating your implementation or re-implementing, thinking through the business needs that address both Project Accounting and Project Management will be paramount for your future long term success.

This issue applies to more firms than one might initially expect. I have always stated that “every company is a project company … they just don’t know it yet.” As more and more organizations decide to operate their firm or certain divisions on a project basis to better understand costs and level of effort and to develop repeatable processes using a structured Project Management methodology they will look to Oracle’s Enterprise Project Portfolio Management solutions, which remain the most complete in the market. And they will benefit from the significant evolution of these applications that enable Finance and Project Management to work together in harmony.

The Southwest Regional Oracle Applications User Group will be hosting a conference on Friday, February 24 in Los Angeles, CA.  If you’d like to attend, visit their website here and click on “Conferences.”

At the SROAUG conference, Project Partners’ Neeraj Garg will be presenting Contract Based Project Billing with Fusion Project Portfolio Management

Neeraj will be presenting this content in his presentation:
Oracle Fusion Project Portfolio Management offers Project Contracts features that are part of the Fusion Enterprise Contracts model. Fusion Project Contracts offers sell side contracts functionality that helps to drive revenue and billing independent of project setup and execution. This presentation highlights the core features including a flexible approach to billing by contract lines, contract level summaries, consolidated bill plans, billing controls, improved user interface and improved process efficiencies.

If you can’t attend the conference in person, that’s not a problem!  You can view this presentation online here.

Oracle published an interesting article that lists the top three trends for the Engineering and Construction industry in 2012. We want to make you aware of this article.

“Technology professionals serving the engineering and construction industry should be aware of three major emerging trends in 2012,” said author Scott Bartlett.

The #1 Trend: Construction projects will continue to increase in complexity

The #2 Trend: Economic pressures will continue to force companies to work globally, with increased competition for the same projects

And the #3 Trend: Owners are demanding a more efficient way of turning over all documents at the end of a project

At Project Partners we see this same focus among our multi-national Engineering and Construction customers and are glad that Oracle’s products support these key trends.

You can read the full article here: http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/profit/opinion/012312-sbartlett-1496768.html

 

Businesses of various shapes and sizes across the globe continue to invest in and expand the footprint of their ERP applications. Much of this increased spend includes mission critical projects such as

1) Upgrades

2) Deploying new applications and

3) Migrating new businesses, acquired companies, countries and/or re-engineered processes into an existing “corporate” ERP.

So how do these companies begin the process? What are the key considerations in play to complete these daunting tasks within an Oracle ERP environment?

Oracle E-Business Suite Applications Releases 11i and R12, and Oracle Fusion Applications – the significant majority of existing Oracle ERP customers use these 3 applications suites.
Read the rest of this entry »

Have two minutes?  View our new video showing how easy it is for you to manage your timecards and charge time to a project, while leveraging Oracle Time and Labor Functionality - from your smart phone.  Check it out here

By Ravi Shankar, PgMP

This is Part 2 of a 2 part blog series on Program Reporting in Oracle E-Business Suite Project Management (PJT).  These  blog articles and our May 4th Webinar will help you understand how to use Program Reporting in your organization.

Program Roll-up Metrics

The following metrics roll up at the Program level:

  • Financial Performance (Budgets, Forecast, Actuals for Cost, Revenue, Margin, etc)
  • Effort
  • Cost
  • Revenue
  • Earned Value
  • Billability
  • Billing and Collection
  • Backlog
  • Read the rest of this entry »

By Ravi Shankar, PgMP

The Oracle E-Business Suite Project Management (PJT) application offers a key feature that is not yet widely used, but delivers valuable functionality: Program Reporting.  This 2 part blog article and our May 4th Webinar will help you understand how to use Program Reporting in your organization.

Program Level reporting, as distinct from managing the Program itself, is the process wherein related Projects are linked to the Program Project. While the Program itself is a Project, and hence could have its own activities for costs, budgets revenue, etc, it could also be the recipient of rolled up data of related Child Projects, whose financial, Workplan and Progress information are visible in the Performance Management Tab of the Program.

For the Program level roll up reporting, we link the individual child projects to the lowest WBS of the program project. A linked child Project could by itself be also a Program i.e. could have roll up of Projects to itself. Read the rest of this entry »

By Kimberly McDonald Baker

Project Partners is pleased to announce that our OP3 product, which provides bi-directional integration between the Oracle E-Business Suite Projects Applications and Oracle Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management applications, is now certified to work on all supported releases of these Oracle applications.

OP3 is the only bi-directional integration product currently warranted to work with all releases of Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management and Oracle E-Business Suite Projects (Oracle Projects) Release 11.5.10.M through Release 12.1.3. OP3 integrates project structures and plans, budgets, actual costs and committed costs. Read the rest of this entry »

By Jason Ames, PMP

Concluding our discussion from the prior blog articles, we now address success factors number 4 and 5.

Finding the Bottlenecks

One of the big advantages to having an Enterprise Project Portfolio Management system is the ability to see how each project affects the rest of the projects. Project managers have been trained to look at the critical path of their own projects but do they know if other projects are impacting their performance?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do team members work on multiple projects?
  • Does your project share a facility with other projects?
  • Is your project dependent on another project’s output? Read the rest of this entry »