Archive for P6’ Category


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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Comments Off on CBA is at Collaborate11

CBA is at Collaborate11

If you’re attending Collaborate11 this year, be sure to visit CBA at booth #230 in the Primavera section and learn more about how our products and services can help your Project Management efforts.  We’ll be at the booth from 6-8pm tonight and 10:15 am – 4:15 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Visit our booth for a free gift. 

Bryan Gardner, CBA employee and one of the nation’s best Primavera P6 and Contract Management Consultants, was selected by Oracle to present at this year’s conference.  He will be presenting on Oracle Primavera’s Contract Management. Many organizations are awarded contracts based on units, where quantities are estimated by the owner and pricing is fixed. Most of these companies have developed spreadsheets for tracking these contracts. This presentation will explore tracking the same contract using Contract Manager’s (CM) contract, change management, materials, daily report and payment requisition modules. The contract is created using CM. Utilizing the Materials portion of the contract line items, users are able to log work accomplished in the daily reports module. These materials are then tallied and reported in the contractor’s monthly payment application to the Owner.

The Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) and the Quest International Users Group (Quest) annually host COLLABORATE, which brings thousands of oracle technology and applications professionals to one venue for oracle education, customer exchange and networking.

COLLABORATE 11, taking place April 10-14, 2011 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, will attract thousands of Oracle users across all spectrums.

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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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Comments Off on Trace Logic Tips/Tricks

Trace Logic Tips/Tricks

To set up the fields displayed in the Trace Logic view, open the network view, then the Activity Network Options and specify the requirements for the activity box. The box will be formatted within ‘Trace Logic’ as it was in the Network View. Next open the Activity view with the gantt option selected and click on the task you need to perform the Trace function on, then click the Trace Logic icon. From the Activity view select File / Page Setup – Options tab and select only the ‘Trace Logic’ checkbox. Close Page Setup and select Print Preview, from within Print Preview setup the print requirements needed and print.

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WBS vs. Activity Codes: Beyond the Obvious

I am often asked whether it is better to structure a project using P6 WBS or Activity Codes.  To a certain degree, it is a matter of personal preference, as either method can provide a structure in which to manage the deliverables of a project.   My preference is to build a schedule utilizing a WBS, in a traditional manner, to lay out the projects deliverables and workflow.  I would then use Activity Codes to supplement the ability to group, filter, and sort project data, therefore, enhancing performance analysis and reporting.  I have also utilized project structures where the WBS was built out to a level 3 or 4 and then activity Codes were used for the remaining project levels.  Project integration to Master Projects, owner requirements, and project management principles are other factors to consider when deciding how to structure projects.

And Now Beyond the Obvious…

Outside of personal preferences and integration needs, additional factors should be considered when deciding how to structure a project.  The following are WBS attributes that cannot be performed and/or utilized by Activity Codes:

  • WBS Summary Activities: A great way to highlight a Level 2 Schedule with a neat waterfall flow and to manage resources and costs at a rolled up level
  • WBS elements can have Notebooks assigned
  • WBS elements can have Work Products and Documents assigned
  • Security can be assigned at the WBS level
  • Thresholds, Risks, and Issues can be monitored and tracked at the WBS level
  • Budgets, Spending Plans, and Budgets Logs can be managed and tracked at the WBS level
  • Copying activities is a much easier task when grouped by WBS
  • Earned Value attributes including WBS EV Milestones can be set at the WBS level
  • The Tracking View is designed to use WBS elements
  • Long range Resource Planning can be performed at the WBS level
  • Projects can be summarized to specific WBS levels
  • In R8, you can use WBS elements to develop project template plug-ins or fragnets (mini-templates) to populate existing or new projects

So the next time you are planning out the development of a Primavera project consider all of the facts before deciding what the best method will be to structure your project.

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Comments Off on CBA Achieves Elite Oracle Primavera Specialized Status

CBA Achieves Elite Oracle Primavera Specialized Status

Critical Business Analysis is pleased to announce that we have become a preferred, elite Oracle Primavera Specialized Partner for Primavera P6 Enterprise Portfolio Project Management.  Oracle’s acquisitions of over 60 companies in the last 4 years has created a major need to differentiate their partners.  The specialized program developed by Oracle to certify their preferred partners expertise in; customer satisfaction, support, implementation, education, integration and sales, gives them the confidence to showcase their preferred specialized partners as part of the Oracle team.  There are currently less than 70 partners that have completed the specialization program in North America and only 5 specialized in Primavera, and we are proud to be part of this elite team. You can view our profile on Oracle’s website by clicking here.

Thank you to all of our customers for the excellent references we received during the specialized certification program and to our employees who worked extremely hard and put in extra hours to pass all the required testing.  We hope this specialized program helps our customers and prospective customers understand that CBA is committed to success in the Portfolio Project Management & technologies market place.

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The End of the Beginning: P3 and SureTrak Sales Stop on 1/1/11

All good things must come to an end and the end is at hand for Primavera P3 and SureTrak two venerable products that were the tools that made sure projects from The Big Dig to millions of miles of roads and bridges were completed on-time and on-budget. 

Contructech Magazine chimes in by stating:  

“Oracle continues to bring to market new releases of Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management—even announcing the latest release from Oracle OpenWorld last week. However, in the past few years, plans for both Primavera SureTrak and Primavera P3 have remained undefined.  Now, Oracle confirms it will stop selling both products on Dec. 31, 2010. However, the company does confirm it will continue lifetime support of both products based on its Applications Unlimited program.

Still, for the construction industry, questions linger. According to a recent survey of Constructech readers, approximately 35% of construction professionals use Primavera products from Oracle for scheduling. This shows SureTrak and Primavera P3 have been some of the most widely used scheduling products in the construction industry.

While SureTrak and P3 users can continue to receive support from Oracle, some may choose to make tough decisions and look elsewhere. Other options include moving to Oracle’s Primavera P6 software, which is more of a full project-management system, as opposed to a targeted scheduling solution.”

As stated above although the product will still be supported the implications for project managment professionals are huge.  First, both products will cease to be mandated for use in bid specifications for new projects.  Secondly, although the products will be supported by Oracle no new code will be developed, since both products have a 16-bit code base they will present an issue when upgrading to Windows 7 and beyond.

Here at CBA we have sold thousands of licenses of both SureTrak and P3 to our customers over the years and we are dedicated to providing the best migration path to other tools including Oracle Primavera P6 release 8.  We announced yesterday a series of webinars beginning on October 25th to introduce you to P6 r8 and to explain your migration options.  In addition, our newly announced Contractor Compliance Program will provide large owners and prime contractors a service that will help to ensure bid specs are written to proper tools and services and provide support to winning bidders to easily comply with bid requirements.  Please contact CBA for more details.

Here are the links to register for the P6 R8 webinar series:

October 25 Introduction – Release 8: The Future of P6

November 17 Demo – Release 8: The Future of P6

December 8  Migration – Release 8: The Future of P6

 We would like to hear your comments and concerns on this topic, so please visit our Facebook page to post your comments and talk with our support experts and consultants.

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