CBA Inc

Archive for Project Management’ Category

4

Dec
2012
Comments Off on The Skire’s the Limit, or is it?

The Skire’s the Limit, or is it?

If you missed it in the endless stream of Oracle acquisitions, in September 2012 Oracle acquired the assets of Skire.  Skire made it’s mark by  providing a complete set of management and government tools across all project phases from planning and building to operations, enabling companies to effectively manage their capital and construction programs. By combining Skire with industry leading capabilities from Oracle Primavera products, Oracle intends to create a full life-cycle Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) platform that provides a comprehensive offering from capital planning and construction to operations and maintenance for owners and operators, contractors and sub-contractors.  The ability to execute on that premise is being watched very closely by us at CBA and by extension our Primavera Contract Management customers.  While this is an exciting development bringing a true SaaS model, cloud-based solution to the Primavera family, it also puts into question the future of traditional Primavera products especially that of Oracle Primavera Contract Management

Oracle Primavera has already crowned Skire as the eventual replacement for Contract Management due primarily to the fact that Skire already contains 70% of the enhancement requests received for Contract Management.  Right now Skire is in a sort of hibernation and is in controlled release until the first Oracle re-developed versions and new modules are released in January through March 2013 according to Oracle Primavera.  For a sneak peak and an understanding of the Oracle roadmap for Skire, Oracle Primavera is hosting a webinar tomorrow December 5th, at 12:00 noon EST.  Here is a link to register for the webinar https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=registration.jsp&eventid=541959&sessionid=1&key=1648A6E955E7AA28696AB99D2A8A881D&partnerref=bulletin&sourcepage=register.  In the weeks and months to come we will continue to provide information and insight into this development.  Our CBA Sales and Technicalstaff will be glad to answer any questions you may have to help you understand the strategy and direction of both Skire and Contract Management.

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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

Sep
2012
Comments Off on Project ROI – Can you do better?

Project ROI – Can you do better?

Labor Day – The height of construction season for some, a winding-down point for others.  Is your portfolio of projects producing the bottom line you need? Are things going as bid?  Projects on-time, close to budget?

The answers lie in the proper application of a combination of standardized, best-practice project management processes and related technology implemented on an enterprise basis, such as the Primavera family of project management solutions, allowing timely project performance visibility and true collaboration on a company-wide basis.  In today’s competitive economic environment, these aspects are no longer an option – they have become a necessity for long term growth and prosperity.

The benefits of adoption are borne out when reviewing Aberdeen Group’s 2010 Project Management Report – “Standardized Best Practices and Technology Adoption in the AEC Industry” – January, 2010, and extrapolating the findings to your organizational situation and practices.

We have included pertinent references to the Best Practices and Technology Improve Performance section of the report – summarized and/or paraphrased – here for your convenience.  The full report may be accessed at http://www.oracle.com/us/2010-project-management-report-069877.pdf

In researching their findings for Architecture, Engineering and Construction firms, Aberdeen created three categories of AEC firms based on the extent of adoption of standardized best project management practices and enterprise level technology.

The first category of top performing companies utilize defined, documented and standardized best-practice project management processes and have implemented enterprise technology – implemented on an enterprise basis – that enables the insight and controls to deliver projects early or on time and within budget.  For those projects with time or cost overruns, the combined processes minimize the negative impacts significantly. The average firm in this bracket achieved:

  • 89% of projects delivered early or on time
  • Projects not delivered on time are on average four weeks late
  • 89% of projects delivered within budget
  • 10% average overrun on those projects not delivered within budget

The second category of AEC firms utilize defined and standardized practice project management processes, however, the technology is limited to desktop tools, spreadsheets or manual processes. The average firm in this bracket achieved:

  • 71% of projects delivered early or on time
  • Projects not delivered on time are on average six weeks late
  • 79% of projects delivered within budget
  • 14% average overrun on projects not delivered within budget

The third category consists of firms that may utilize best practices on a project-by-project basis, but not on a company-wide basis.  Technology resides solely on the desktop/laptop, severely limiting project visibility and collaboration.  The average firm in this bracket achieved:

  • 64% of projects delivered early or on time
  • Projects not delivered on time are on average six weeks late
  • 73% of projects delivered within budget
  • 20% average overrun on projects not delivered within budget

As the data above indicates, there are significant differences when standardized best project management processes and enterprise applications are not utilized in a true enterprise fashion to provide not only true project portfolio visibility and team collaboration, but also add substantially to corporate financial performance.   As budgets remain tight and project execution becomes critical, can you afford not to adopt such a holistic approach?

Are you planning for next season yet?

As the 2012 season wraps up, it is prime time to consider the funding of adjustments or refinements to your Project Management and technology approach, whether it is utilization of year-end monies or adequate budgeting for next fiscal year.

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27

Jun
2012

Checking Your P6 Schedule and Formatting your import Resource File

In the many Project Control Roles that I have performed over the years, one of the tasks that is always of substantial importance to the P6 Customer is managing the consistency of project data within an Enterprise Database.  As most of you may have experienced, when a P6 environment lacks the guidance for maintaining project integrity across all projects in the EPS, the pristine data that was present when you first set up your environment becomes a faint image of times past.  One of the easiest ways to manage these issues is found in P6 R8 and is called “Schedule Checker.”  Now, many of the tasks that were too time consuming to manage or just not available in a refined singular tool format, are at your fingertips.  Rather than setting up Schedule Logs, QC Filters, QC Layouts and Reports, you now have a simple 14 point checkup to provide a concise report where the QC results are determined by the configurable thresholds defined by you.  Items such as long lag and large durations are especially helpful if you are running Risk Analysis against your project.

The first  thing to do is set up the 14 Configurable User Thresholds.  The Schedule Checker can be run against one or multiple projects.  You can save the thresholds to run again for the project that is open.

Shown below is the top half of the Schedule Check Summary Report.

Reference below the lower half of the Schedule Check report. A detailed summary for all activities that fall outside of the thresholds can be displayed in each section.  Note the expanded Soft Constraint and Invalid Progress Dates sections.

Of course, analyzing the results is just the beginning for schedule maintenance, but the quick access to the QC data is great!!

Next up – Using P68.2 Web to import Resources from Excel

 

 

 

 

 

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15

Jun
2012

Ask CBA First – Ask the Experts — Webinar

Join CBA for our first ever roundtable Q&A with a panel of our most experienced Consultants from a wide range of industries. It’s your chance to ask a Project Management question that will be answered live on June 21st. Simply submit your question on the registration form and CBA will make sure it’s answered, either live or right here on our blog.

Ask CBA First…Ask the Experts
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EDT
June 21st, 2012

REGISTER NOW!

If you’ve been trying to figure out a specific function in Oracle Primavera or need help implementing best practices in your PMO, now is the time to ask. Take a look below at the experience of some of our top consultants.

Don Monteleone

Don has more than twenty-nine years of experience in project management, capital planning, portfolio management, business management, application integration, earned value, process engineering, software and hardware implementation, sales, marketing and education. He is the President of CBA and his experience includes: Utility, Manufacturing, Automotive, Information Technology, Construction, and Engineering.

Bob Ferris

Bob has more than thirty-one years of experience in project management, consulting, software development, organizational development and training, with specific expertise in the design, development and implementation of project management and information technology solutions. His extensive experience includes: Automotive, Utilities, Information Technology, Nuclear, Construction, Telecommunications, Government, Pharmaceutical, and Healthcare.

Bryan Gardner

In addition to 14 years of hands-on experience with Primavera products, Bryan is a certified Trainer and Implementer of the P6 Client and Web applications, as well as Primavera Contract Management. Bryan is proficient in the use of Sybase InfoMaker Report Writer in conjunction with Primavera products and trains others to be as well. His experience includes: Aviation, Manufacturing, Construction, Energy, and Public Works Sectors.

Marc Bobby

Marc has 23 years of experience as an Oracle Primavera P6 product expert and often performs assessments for clients to determine the appropriate solution and implementation strategy best suited for their requirements. Marc is a hands-on consultant capable of leading an implementation team or executing the plan entirely for smaller assignments. His experience includes: Utilities, Nuclear, Construction, Manufacturing, and Government.

Michelle Smith

Michelle has sixteen years of experience in project management, project controls and scheduling. She has performed project scheduling and consulting internationally and domestically. Her experience includes: Utilities, Manufacturing, Construction, and Nuclear.

Vickie Laskey

Vickie has more than twenty-five years of experience in project management, project scheduling, and consulting, with an extensive background interfacing with project controls and project management professionals. Her experience includes: Nuclear, Manufacturing, Automotive, and Construction.

Terry Buda

Project management specialist who provides project enterprise solution services to clients both internationally and domestically. He has demonstrated ability to strengthen organization operations in various information technology projects, improve project delivery rate, cut costs and win new business by coordinating multiple clients and operations to ensure remarkable delivery. His experience includes: Naval Nuclear Power Plant, Fluid Power, Manufacturing, Information Technology, Shipbuilding, Construction, and Telecommunication.

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24

May
2012
Comments Off on PCM News from Collaborate 2012

PCM News from Collaborate 2012

As with any user conference, there was some insight as to the future of Oracle Primavera’s Contract Management (PCM).  Many exciting things are in PCM v14.1, which is scheduled to be released in the second half of CY 2012.

The big item will be the availability of PCM via tablets and smart phones. Unlike the P6 application, this is to include Apple, Android and Blackberry. The focus will be on the field users, naturally.  Planned modules will include Daily Reports, Requests for Information (RFI’s), as well as,  Submittals and Punchlists. Additional functionality around Issues, Companies, Action Items, and Attachments was reported.  Even the ability to certify Payment Requisitions is in the works.

Another planned feature of PCM v14.1 is the use of e-mail to engage users.  This should allow for users to review and approve documents right from their inbox, and hopefully, their smart phone, if remote.  There was also mention of a Daily E-mail function, which should alert users to outstanding Actions and Alerts, as well as, RFI Questions and Answers.

PCM v14.1 should also enhance the out-of-the-box P6 integration.  This should include Search and Type-Ahead for both the Project and Activity lists, as well as, the visibility of Project ID in the Project list.  Exposure of the project’s WBS and better date refreshing are also planned.

The last area of improvement mentioned was around PCM Security. They are separating Contract Security, at least for Budget and Committed types.  I hope this will also include the Custom type and Purchase Orders.

Long term roadmapping of PCM may include Analytics, such as, Cashflow. Under development are also some pre-built BPM Workflows highlighting the ability to have alternative user interfaces and increased project collaboration.

Service Pack 1 for PCM v14.0 includes some nice updates as well.  The ability to select which attachments to include when emailing out of PCM, as well as, the ability to specify an alternate ‘reply to’ address. In the area of security, they have added the ability to apply updates to access Templates to existing assignments. Even the Project Tree is getting some attention with the ability to now sort the list.

Exciting Stuff! The release of PCM v14.x does require you to update your existing licenses to take advantage of the supporting technologies, so be sure to reach out to your CBA Account Executive.

The drawback to PCM v14.x is the retirement of Sybase’s InfoMaker as the reporting tool. Oracle has changed to BI Publisher for PCM and P6 Release 8.x. This is a challenge for those companies with an extensive library of customized forms and reports, as there isn’t a simple conversion utility out there today. Contact us for a review of your library and an estimate of the effort to migrate.

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10

May
2012
Comments Off on I Can Do the Install Myself…Until I Need Help!!

I Can Do the Install Myself…Until I Need Help!!

P6 is an enterprise application whether you are purchasing one license or ten.  There are many factors to be considered when installing the product.

Do I want a stand-alone install?  Do I want to take advantage of the web features?  Do I have an Oracle database or SQL?  Is my system 32 bit or 64 bit?  Which operating system am I using?  Am I installing a “Typical” or “Standalone” version and is it P6 v7 or P6 v8.2?  Which Java JDK is installed and to what Home location should the oracle software be pointed to after the install is done?  Which features of P6 should be configured?  BI, Collaboration, Workflow, Web Services?  Whew, and these are just a few of the things we need to understand.

I often am told “we can do the install ourselves”.  Sometimes this is true, however, more often than not,  because this is an enterprise application, it is not just a disc to fire up and click a few “next” buttons. I frequently get calls about error messages.  I am in sales and I’m pretty good at it, but technical enterprise application install questions fall outside my area of competency.  My suggestions would undoubtedly compound the problem.  What I can do is get the right people involved.

Proper installations as well as training on the product are critical to your success.  CBA, Inc. has been in the business of providing project management solutions, Primavera products, training, implementation and staff augmentation services since 1984.

Whether you are in the energy, oil and gas, construction, manufacturing, or any other industry that requires close management of budget, resources and timelines to be successful, CBA, Inc. can and does help.  Large or small companies across the country have benefited from our expertise, and as a result, we are sought after time and time again by our customers because of our successes.

To find out what we can do you help you save time and maximize your investment, please contact your CBA, Inc. Michigan Account Executive – Donna McLean at (248) 522-7931 or by email at dmclean@cbainc.com.

Mention this Install article from this blog and receive 5% discount on new license orders placed through May, 2012.

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