Take off your goggles…
DEFINITION: Seeing Red — Noun 1.) – a state of irritation or annoyance*
When your favorite product is first acquired into the world of Oracle, you might be seeing red. It truly does take some time to get used to the Oracle way of doing things. It does get better. Either that, or you just get used to the Oracle way.
Another cause of seeing red is the ambiguity and mixed messages that many get surrounding Oracle and the direction they are taking your favorite product. This has been and, continues to be the case lately surrounding the confusion with Unifier and Contract Management.
The first message we heard was that Unifier would replace Contract Management (PCM) because it contained 70% of the enhancements requested of the PCM team. Fantastic!
However, people in general are resistant to change and the PCM community sure didn’t seem receptive of Unifier. I heard several people who got a look at Unifier before me rattle off all the things Unifier couldn’t do that PCM could. And it was very obvious they were seeing red.
This is not a new thing in the Primavera world. My first thoughts as I saw my peers react to Unifier was of P3 and the horror of introducing P3e (now P6) to the user community. A campaign started soon after that essentially said ‘take off your goggles’.
Guess what folks? We are there again! Take off your Goggles!
Contract Management is a fantastic application. It can handle most things on your projects that P6 doesn’t. It can help you track and generate documents related to contracts, project communication and the supporting records such as RFI’s, drawings and submittals just to name a few. It has been a cornerstone product in the Primavera world since 1987 under its former name of Expedition. As a user, I have expressed frustration many times over a lack of change or flexibility within the application.
Unifier can alleviate much of that frustration, but it can also add to it. While Contract Management is an application, Unifier is a platform. So what is a platform? It’s the building block for an application or, as Unifier refers to them, Business Processes. What is business process in Unifier? Anything you want it to be….Well… okay, almost anything you want it to be.
The message as of today from Primavera is that Unifier isn’t an upgrade or replacement to PCM. It is a different tool that may suit your needs better than PCM. Primavera has put together some pre-built business processes for Capital Planning, Project Delivery and Cost Controls to date. They are also working on packages for Facilities Management and Real Estate Management.
The hope is that you will soon start seeing a different shade of red. Not the one of irritation or annoyance, but the one of the Oracle Red Stack. Red Stack refers to the areas of Oracle that are available to you including Applications, Middleware, Database, Operating Systems, Virtual Machines, Servers and Storage.
Watch for future articles on Unifier as we start exploring the new tool and pre-built options, or get in touch for a deeper discussion. We look forward to hearing from you!
* (definition of ‘seeing red’ by the Free Online Dictionary (www.thefreedictionary.com/seeing+red)read more
For more than a couple of decades, CBA has been involved with client implementations of Primavera applications. One would think after so much interaction with many different organizations that we have seen it all. Well, we have seen a lot, but certainly not all! We have worked with very large companies that had only a few users in one department and have worked with one person consultants who build schedules for very complex large projects for many different clients. We have worked for small, medium and large firms that want to track every project regardless of size – and other organizations that only want to track projects of a certain size or larger. Some are focused on documents and contracts, others on schedule, cost and resource tracking, still others on portfolio selection – and various combinations of those.
What I find interesting is some clients seem to know exactly what they want to do, and more importantly, why they want to do it. They have a compelling story of what their current problems and pains are, and the circumstances that led them to realize the need for a portfolio project management or document management solution. Other clients are complying with the request of an important client or meeting a contractual obligation. No matter what the reason, CBA is interested in helping organizations achieve their project selection and execution goals.
Implementations can take on various shapes and sizes. Some are simple and quick; install, train, advise and go. Others are much more involved with process and procedure development, custom user guides, dozens of template projects, and integration to more than one corporate application for cost, maintenance management or HR, and on-going mentoring. Some focus on complex independent projects for individual end customers, others focus on cash flow of an entire capital portfolio and still others are document and work-flow dependent engagements.
Our job is to “right size” your implementation to meet the current needs of your organization now and allow for meeting future goals. In order to right size your implementation it is important for us to understand what your company wants to accomplish and why. We also need to understand the capabilities and project controls maturity of the team you are deploying the solution to. This helps us understand the urgency and priorities, which in turn allows us to help focus the team on “why we came to drain the swamp”. Knowing the underlying reasons of why a team wants to do something is sometimes more important than knowing the industry or the details of how projects are accomplished in a specific organization.
We believe the success of an implementation is defined as putting a solution in place that accomplishes the objectives as identified by the organization within the desired (realistic) time frame and is adopted by the user community. Additionally the solution should remain in place and mature over time. We have accomplished this result most often when all of the following occurred:
- We were able to match the complexity of the solution with the skill sets of the team tasked with putting it in place
- There was a client organization responsible for the design and on-going execution of the solution
- Users were mentored until they have a firm grasp on the process
- Management of the client organization utilized the information gained from the team in a manner that showed they used it to make business decisions
Sometimes, this means phasing in deployment of all desired requirements over a period of time, initially incorporating the most critical subset of them based on what we mutually agree can be accomplished and carried out by the user community. For example, an organization may ultimately want to have fully resource and cost loaded schedules with Earned Value metric reporting on all projects over $5MM. What may be realistic is to begin with an approach of getting all of the projects identified within the database using a simplified template approach based on type of project, incorporating common milestones and establishing relationships between interdependent projects. Once the staff is used to creating, baselining and updating the schedules, they will naturally suggest modifications to the templates making them more accurate and granular. At this point, the concept of applying budgets, actuals and remaining forecasts into the process is ready to be introduced and upon familiarization with that process – the concept of EVMS reporting can be applied.
CBA wants your projects to win and your goals to be achieved. When you engage us, let’s be sure to discuss right-sizing your implementation to ensure its success for the long haul.read more