CBA Inc

Archive for CBA Professional Services’ Category

6

Aug
2013
Comments Off on Lessons Learned at the Tip of the Spear – Part 2

Lessons Learned at the Tip of the Spear – Part 2

Improper Java configuration can be a Primavera P6 deployment hurdle"

Making sure that your Java is configured properly will help you avoid a major deployment hurdle.

Terry’s Oracle P6 v8.x EPPM Deployment Hurdles

      Part 2 – Six Primavera Java Tips (…read Part 1 >HERE<)

What is going on with my computer?  It seems that every time I visit our Primavera website or launch my Primavera client software, I get errors.

With 90% certainty, I can say your trouble is rooted in your Java setup.  Additionally, you probably have software issues elsewhere on your PC which are rooted in this same problem…until now, you just haven’t been motivated enough to ask questions or to try to fix them yet.

What is “Java”?

From Oracle’s Java information page:

Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day…

Replace the phrase “lots of applications and websites” with “Primavera” and you will quickly recognize how important Java is to the P6 Scheduler.  You simply can’t use Primavera software without Java.

How do I get Java for my Primavera Software?

The good news:  Java is free, freely accessible on the web, and can be downloaded in a couple mouse clicks.


Essentially, you point your browser at http://www.java.com/ and click the giant “Free Java Download” button.


If you don’t have Java at the time you install your P6 system software, Oracle takes the liberty of installing Java for you.  Is that a good deal, or what?!

What problems can happen if my Primavera Java is wrong?

Now the bad news:  Java is free, freely accessible on the web, and can be downloaded in a couple mouse clicks…


… a couple clicks that a typical Primavera user performs in diligent effort to fix their P6 system problems, when obediently following the instructions of the error message.  Are you starting to get the picture?


Here’s the problem:  Unlike most other software, Java does not replace itself with an updated or revised version.  It simply adds another installation to your existing version, and expects your very powerful computer to figure out what to do with all the details.  If, (following the directions given by the now spiraling-out-of-control error messages prompting you to do so), you keep going to the aforesaid website to download the “latest version”, you will simply compound the problem.


Amazingly, your first indication that you have problems developing with your Java installation may be a loud noise emanating from your computer.  The noise you hear is your computers cooling fan going into high speed, literally because the CPU is working so hard to get the Java mess sorted out!


Oh, and your Primavera software will continue to give you trouble and errors, looping you back to www.java.com for yet more “free software”.

Lesson from the Tip of the Spear

Get used to it; 3 Billion devices run Java.  Your Primavera installation runs Java.  Like it or hate it, we need Java as much as we need the operating system.  We are all well served to sharpen our technical skills on this foundational piece of software.

Regarding Primavera, here are 6 tips that may help you get your Java under control:

  • 1.  If terms like “Plugin”, “JDK”, “JRE”, or “Applet” confuse you, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FIX YOUR JAVA.  Instead, contact CBA for help.  When Primavera gives you Java trouble, getting the right eyes on the problem saves time, money and frustration.  We specialize in getting your Primavera problems fixed right, in short order. Critical Business Analysis, Inc 

  • 2.  Despite what Oracle recommends, Turn off the Automatic Update feature in Java. The method for turning off automatic Java updates varies with the version and your operating system.  Go to www.java.com for detailed instruction.

  • 3.  Uninstall all but one Java update.  It is particularly important that you go to www.java.com for details on how to get older versions uninstalled.   Make sure the one you have is compatible with your Primavera software. (Older P6 versions likely require use of specific update packages).

  • 4.  Try a different browser.  Firefox has consistently been my “Go-To” browser to diagnose problems with Primavera and Java.

  • 5.  Look for the symptoms of other Java issues.  Web page applets and plugin’s that don’t work, desktop executable programs or batch files that appear briefly then go away without doing anything, software that does not display correct and full interface views, and many other abnormalities are symptoms that your Java may not be installed properly.

  • 6.  Learn how to set “Environment Variables” for Java.  I realize this tip will seem very “geeky” to most schedulers – it’s a stretch and you may not “get” why I added it.  Simply stated, Environment Variables are a gold mine of great new skills.  Once you learn a few things about them, and know which ones you have, you will be able to beat almost anything Java throws at you.

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2

Jul
2013
Comments Off on Staff Augmentation – An Emerging Best Practice

Staff Augmentation – An Emerging Best Practice

CBA Staff Augmentation

Use CBA Staff Augmentation to fill your staffing needs

Many organizations experience fluctuations in their staffing requirements due to changes in workload attributable to: market conditions, rapid growth, project implementation, facility maintenance and turn around, employee attrition, regulatory requirements and a variety of other factors.  Staff Augmentation is an effective strategy which can address these fluctuations in 6 key areas.

TimeThe time saved by not having to recruit, screen, interview, hire and then train additional highly skilled and specialized resources can be substantial

CostThere are significant savings realized by contracting at hourly rates for specified periods of time. Included in these savings are the avoidance of costs associated with having to provide a competitive full-time benefits package and training for a traditional full-time employee.

RiskTargeted staff augmentation helps reduce the likelihood of costly project over-runs by having the right resources in the right places for critical time periods.

FlexibilityAgility is critical to any organizations success in responding effectively to market conditions and regulatory changes.  Staff augmentation provides additional flexibility in prioritizing resource and workload challenges by quickly addressing unanticipated staffing needs.

Control One of the trade-offs for outsourcing certain functions can be a loss of control.  Staff augmentation enables you to maintain more organizational control and oversight of your projects and initiatives

ExpertiseThe best staffing providers have access to many highly skilled and specialized candidates for particular and unique needs.  These candidates will enhance the “tribal knowledge” of your organization stepping in to fill leadership and supervisory roles and train your staff in the process.  Often these individuals are open to staying on as full- time staff when there is an especially good fit.

These are some of the reasons why many organizations are turning to staff augmentation providers for expert and timely support in response to fluctuating conditions.  Many of you may have had experiences as contractors or clients which will shed light on staff augmentation as a viable solution. We would welcome your comments and experiences.

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16

May
2013
Comments Off on Primavera P6 Configuration – Great Idea!

Primavera P6 Configuration – Great Idea!

CBA Configured Primavera P6 while I was at training

Happiness is CBA, Inc. configuring Primavera before returning from training

Let’s assume you have made an enterprise decision to manage all of your projects using Oracle’s Primavera software. Smart move! Let’s also assume that you have spent considerable amounts of dollars purchasing the product along with Oracle Maintenance. You have decided to have CBA, Inc. install your product and are ready to send your users to our terrific training classes.

Everything is installed, users are trained and it’s time to get to work – but wait…the system isn’t configured yet…the users cannot manage their projects yet…what to do?

Consider software configuration a time saver that each new customer to the Primavera software product line should seek out. Having a professional qualified provider, like CBA, work with you and your users to identify, develop and implement best practices for your unique business and configure the system according to your specific requirements will allow your team to not miss a beat when they return from training. Being proactive and pre-determining configuration services will allow your newly trained staff to know exactly were to find those very powerful tools they just learned about and know exactly were to begin.

As a part of your overall project plan, CBA’s Primavera Implementation services are extremely beneficial, cost-effective and an efficient solution to the learning curve blues.

Sure, you could try to configure the system yourself; but you’ll most likely end up wasting valuable time and spending more money trying to figure everything out by a process of trial and error than if you just paid to have the system configured ahead of time.

CBA, Inc., will make certain that your investment works from day one!

Call me: Donna McLean, Account Executive CBA, Inc. 567-202-9289

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8

Nov
2012
Comments Off on Convert Date Function – R_SB_09 Report in PCM

Convert Date Function – R_SB_09 Report in PCM

A friend reached out to me this week with a new wrinkle in report R_SB_09 where the date format in the received column was wrong. Instead of 10/28/2012 appearing it was showing up as 28/10/2012. My first inkling was to look at the presentation or layout side of the report and look at date format. Much to my surprise, there wasn’t any formatting. Hmm, must be an issue with the data model? Sure enough, when I edited the data model and looked at data, received was 28/10/2012 and sent right next to it was 10/28/2012. Suspicion confirmed! The data model contained the following: CONVERT(nvarchar(30),SBMT.LATEST_RECVD_DATE,103) as LATEST_RECVD_DATE, CONVERT(nvarchar(30),SBMT.LATEST_SENT_DATE,101) as LATEST_SENT_DATE, First thing I noticed was converting the date being part of the syntax rather than just pulling the date and the one I liked (Sent) had a 101 and the other (Received) had a 103 in the variables. Simple solution! Change the 103 to 101. I did and it worked but why? Turns out 103 is British formatting and 101 is English, but there are many more choices available. Google “Oracle SQL Convert 101” to learn more.

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5

Apr
2012
Comments Off on OCA and CBA – Managing the Transition from Primavera P3 to P6

OCA and CBA – Managing the Transition from Primavera P3 to P6

When the Ohio Contractors Association (OCA) looks for expert advice regarding Oracle Primavera solutions, they turn to Ohio’s only certified Oracle Partner specialized in Primavera P6 EPPM – Critical Business Analysis, Inc. (CBA).  We were asked by the OCA, due to our involvement with ODOT and ODOT contractors, to write the following article for the Association. The purpose was to emphasize the importance of maximizing your existing investment in P3 licenses for continuing contractual obligations, or analyzing under-utilized licenses for which you are paying support to determine if they can be migrated to new solutions.

CBA welcomes the opportunity to continue to support the Ohio Contractors Association and all organizations with project management initiatives across all industries. Please watch for future articles here on the CBA Blog, as well as, the OCA Newsletter.  We have re-published the article as presented for the OCA March 23, 2012 newsletter.

Managing the Transition from Primavera P3 to P6

Although Primavera P3 is no longer available for purchase, it is still mandated in many long term construction contracts including some recently let by ODOT. While that specific practice is to end next month with the roll-out of their P6 solution, the only way to utilize P3 in the new contracts is to manage your concurrent licenses previously offered by Primavera among the projects. If you find that you have excess P3 licenses that are current on support obligations, it is advisable to contact CBA, an Oracle Certified Primavera Partner, to review the possibility of migrating those licenses to another solution within the Primavera offering.

The current P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management solutions available consist of P6 EPPM release 7 (utilized by ODOT) with the majority of program administration occurring on the client, or desktop machine, with limited internet functionality, and P6 EPPM release 8.2 wherein the majority of program administration occurs via internet with limited client functionality. The license cost for either version is identical. However, release 8 does require a larger technical environment which may increase the cost of the investment.

In order to maximize your Primavera investment, proper training and implementation are critical elements. We urge you to seek qualified assistance in both areas.

Should you have any questions regarding your Primavera environment, please contact CBA – your Oracle Certified Primavera partner.
For more information, please contact CBA Account Manager for Ohio – Billie Feldkamp at (567) 202-9281 or by email at bfeldkamp@cbainc.com 

Mention the OCA article or this blog and receive an additional 3% discount on orders placed before April 30, 2012.

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