CBA Inc

Archive for Posts Tagged ‘Project Management’

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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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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19

Oct
2011
Comments Off on Sorting Expenses by Year

Sorting Expenses by Year

Wouldn’t it be nice if in P6 you could add coding to expenses? Expense can become a jumbled mess in the Expense view. Being able to sort through the mess can be difficult because grouping and sorting are limited. Many times I have wanted to separate my expenses by year to bring some sort of order to the mess. Finally, I came across a work around that would help me through this issue.

Here is my solution:
Create a UDF (User Defined Field) for Expenses called Fiscal Year.
1. Select Enterprise, User Defined Fields…

2. Select Project Expenses from the drop down arrow

a. Click “Add” on the right hand side
b. Title the UDF “Fiscal Year”
c. Choose “Text” as the Data Type
d. Close the window

3. From the Expense view add a column:

4. Add the appropriate fiscal year designation for each expense.
5. Finally, to sort, click the column header titled Fiscal Year to sort your expenses.

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26

Aug
2011

Oracle Primavera Releases P6 Team Member Mobile Application on iTunes!

The iPhone application for P6 Team Members is now available for download on iTunes App store!

This is an exciting milestone for the Mobile Project Team.  Currently the app is supported on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. iOS 4.3.   Oracle Development is actively working to support iOS 4+ in the coming weeks for those users that have older version of the OS. Additionally, iOS 5 has been officially released. Also of note, support for the the Verizon iPhone will be available shortly.

The Team Member app lets users:

  • Email changes to update P6 projects
  • Filter list of tasks
  • Send email to request tasks
  • View assigned tasks by project
  • Easily mark a task complete
  • Update time spent, time left & dates
  • Receive confirmation message for updates

Please contact CBA your Oracle Primavera Specialized Partner for additional information and a demonstration of what P6 can do for your organization.

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29

Jun
2011
Comments Off on How to Survive Project Management’s Wild Wild West

How to Survive Project Management’s Wild Wild West

One by-product of the Oracle acquisition of Primavera in 2008 is that now it is relatively easy to become an Oracle partner and sell Primavera products, however it is very difficult to become an Oracle SPECIALIZED Primavera Partner. This status means that you have provided the highest level of expertise and customer satisfaction in the industry today. Customer testimonials are an integral part of this process, so experience and competence matters. CBA is the only Specialized Primavera reseller based in Ohio and Michigan.

Since the 2008 acquisition of Primavera by Oracle we have seen many nameless faceless “groups” appear by virtue of the Oracle Open Market Model, which allows virtually anyone to become an Oracle software reseller. With Oracle’s excellence in marketing anyone can easily create a compelling website using their content. However the devil is in the details.For example we know of one “group” of one, who has proclaimed 12 years of experience (even though they have only been in existence for several weeks) while never having delivered the stated services or training to any company or organization. The website for this “group” contains not one single name of a principle owner, executive, salesperson, consultant, trainer, or implementation specialist although they boast to have a well-schooled team of people claiming those skills. However they do show stock photos of nice looking people in business dress that exist only in a photo shop somewhere. This “group” continues to claim experience in multiple verticals, however offer no customer success stories, references, or any other evidence that any company in any of the industries they list has ever done business with them. This “group” also claims to offer training and even has an inoperable link to a non-existent class schedule.

At CBA we are proud of our heritage of providing real value to real companies for 26 years. On our website you will find the names and bios of our ownership and management team, consultants and certified training professionals. We also offer real training classes with a real class schedule for all levels of Primavera training, for which you can really register. Why do sham companies like the one referenced above exist? It is because they try to make easy money selling software cheap to unsuspecting customers and then try to back-fill services through the independent consulting community. Because they don’t invest in their business the way real companies like CBA and our true peers in the industry such as Evans Technologies, DR McNatty and Associates and CDP have they can sell software at unsustainable margins. Unfortunately all you get is low-priced software. The faceless, nameless man behind the mask is not going to help you with maintenance or licensing issues, or help you to receive the support and training necessary to be successful. This is a very dangerous shell game because as any savvy project manager knows project management solutions are not “out of the box” ready products and qualified training and consulting specialists are hard to come by. Just like the wild west hucksters selling snake oil what they are really selling you is deception.

CBAcan lead you out of that wilderness. Only a company with the depth and breadth of knowledge that CBA possesses can offer you the lowest Total Cost of Operation for Primavera products via our Software Advantage Program. As an innovator in project management services and a Oracle Primavera Specialized Partner we have developed the CBA Software Advantage Program. For no additional cost when you purchase 5 or more Oracle Primavera software licenses from CBAwe will enroll you in the CBA Software Advantage Program. This program entitles you to up to 4 hours of product support and assistance from one of our senior consultants at no cost, a 15% discount for enrolling in any of our scheduled training classes conducted by one of our certified Primavera trainers, and a 15% discount on any additional professional services you may need for implementation and administration of your Primavera environment. This is our way of thanking you for your business and ensuring that you have the necessary help you need to make your project management initiative successful and affordable. Save yourself from the wild west of project management and make the prescient choice to call CBA. Please contact CBA for further details.

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16

Dec
2010
Comments Off on Streamline the Schedule Update Process

Streamline the Schedule Update Process

After all the effort you’ve put into the development of the plan, nothing is more frustrating than people not cooperating to keep it updated and maintained. So how can you get everyone on board and reduce the time and effort it takes to get update information?  One suggestion, dumb it down.  Really, simplicity is the key.  The reality of it is these people are genuinely busy.  In the mad rush of an ongoing project, you can’t slap a 26 page schedule on someone’s desk and ask them to update their tasks and have it back to you by the end of the day.  You’ve got to pare it down.  Make the process as direct and straight-forward as possible.  Fortunately, Primavera P6 makes it easy to do just that.  Use a combination of Activity Codes, Filters and Layouts, to create a very basic Update Request View tailored to each person.  

Consider showing only the columns in the schedule that you need the update information for – Activity ID, Activity Name, Actual Start, Remaining Duration and/or Activity Percent Complete and Actual Finish.  (For resource and cost loaded schedule’s, you’ll need a little more detail.)  Filter for only that person’s activities that have not started or are in progress.  Don’t include the layout activities that have been completed (you obviously already know the status of those) and if you’re two months into a ten month project, don’t show those activities that they’re responsible for but aren’t even scheduled to happen for six months.  Use a look-ahead filter to display only activities that are likely to have progress on them in a more reasonable timeframe – let’s say six to eight weeks out.  Lastly, increase your row height in the layout and choose not to show the Gantt chart in the print-out.  By following these few suggestions, you will have created a very basic, spreadsheet looking report only a few pages deep that they can simply mark-up and return. 

These recommendations won’t eliminate all schedule update resistance, but it should reduce the foot dragging considerably.  Filtered layouts are just one tool in Primavera P6 to assist the update process.  Explore some of the other options the program offers for updating like export to Excel, Reflection Projects, Auto Compute Actuals, and Progress Reporter (Timesheets).  For more information on any of these update features, contact Critical Business Analysis, Inc. for assistance.

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