Archive for Project Management’ Category


Comments Off on P6 User Group – Graneda Dynamic

P6 User Group – Graneda Dynamic

Primavera plus Grenada Dynamic equals WOW!

Primavera P6 with Granada Dynamic will give your Project Management Graphics a boost

One of the principles that we at Critical Business Analysis take great pride in is supporting Primavera P6 User Education through our continued partnership with Construction Process Solutions, Ltd. to promote and support the Southern Ohio P6 User Group.


Make sure to mark your calendars for the next meeting scheduled for July 17.  More info to follow.


Southern Ohio P6 User Group

Give Your Project A Graphics Boost


At the May 15th meeting, facilitated by Co-Chairpersons, Randy Rapin from Construction Process Solutions, Ltd. and Billie Feldkamp from CBA Inc.,  our very own Bob Ferris, Senior VP of Professional Services presented a webinar titled, “Graneda Dynamic: Making Oracle Primavera Graphics Even Better“.


Presented by: Robert C. Ferris – Senior VP of Professional Services at Critical Business Analysis, Inc.


May 15th Meeting 

Graneda Dynamic:

Making Oracle Primavera Graphics Even Better

Graneda Dynamic has been the leading Project Management Graphics tool for more than 15 years.  Now Graneda Dynamic supports the Oracle Primavera P6 product.  With the ability to view Network Diagrams, Gantt Charts and Work Breakdown/Organizations Breakdown Diagrams, Graneda Dynamic is an essential tool for all organizations using Oracle Primavera.

Network Diagram

The Graneda Dynamic network diagrams are Best in Class because of their optimized node arrangement and minimum crossing of relationships.  Grouping of activities by time orientation is also a key feature that is found in very few Project Management graphics products.

Network Diagram

Network Diagram


Network Diagram

Gantt Chart

Although the Primavera P6 Gantt Chart is an excellent tool, the Graneda Gantt Chart is a step above.  Some key features give you the ability to split the timescale into sections of varying detail.  You have complete control of the bar shapes, colors and styles.  In addition each activity can be displayed differently based on the data.  When you want to display a lot of data, Graneda allows for stacked columns in the activity table area, giving you the maximum space for your bar chart.

Gantt Chart

Gantt Chart


Work Breakdown Diagram

Activity lists are transformed into smartly organized graphical overviews.  You can easily see the structure of your project at a glance.  In the work breakdown diagram, sub-activities are structured and displayed hierarchically.

Work Breakdown Diagram

Work Breakdown Diagram

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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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Comments Off on The $3.3 Million Dollar Pothole

The $3.3 Million Dollar Pothole


Five workers patching potholes on the highway

Oversight of seemingly small projects can result in devastating consequences.


Recently an article ran in the Cleveland Plain Dealer about a tragic fatal accident where a Columbiana county mother was killed when a truck lost control, due to a pothole. The article caught my eye for two reasons, first because the attorney representing the woman’s family was a high school friend and secondly because this record judgment paid by the taxpayers of Ohio was the result of a pothole that was not fixed in a reasonable amount of time.

So I bet you’re wondering what this has to do with the subject we cover here which is project management? I’ll be glad to make that connection. Since CBA has a long relationship with ODOT we know that at the time of the accident in 2008 ODOT was still using Primavera P3 and SureTrak as their construction project management standards. Since those tools were designed to schedule and track single projects it would be very easy to lose sight of a seemingly small project such as patching this particular pothole in a timely fashion, which was the basis for the record judgment. ODOT has now made the transition to P6 and along with stellar project management capabilities it provides enterprise project portfolio management capabilities by being able to track and manage your whole project portfolio and manage it by exception. This is an important point because knowing when a particular project in your portfolio needs resources or is in danger of not meeting it’s start or finish date enables management to easily spot and address the issues, that as pointed out here, could lead to catastrophic consequences.

Since both P3 and SureTrak were discontinued by Oracle at the end of 2010 many of our customers have migrated to Primavera P6, however they still attempt to use this powerful new product in the same fashion as they did with the older less capable products. In essence they are completely ignoring the enterprise project portfolio features of the product therefore potentially exposing themselves to the same types of oversight issues that exposed ODOT to this record judgment. Some may say managing multiple projects in P6 adds a layer of complexity that previously didn’t exist and I wouldn’t disagree with them, but I would say that trying to manage tens if not hundreds of projects simultaneously without the project portfolio capabilities of P6 increases that level of complexity exponentially. With the help of CBA’s professional services team we can provide the guidance and training necessary to achieve your project management goals and avoid letting a comparatively small project apple spoil your whole project management barrel.


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Comments Off on Join CBA at Collaborate 2013 in Denver April 7-11

Join CBA at Collaborate 2013 in Denver April 7-11


Visit CBA at COLLABORATE13 located at booth 1371

During the course of the year we have the opportunity to participate in a number of quality events.  The event we feel that has the most value  for us and our customers is CollaborateCollaborate is centered around education and networking, since it is sponsored by the Oracle Application User Group, Primavera Special Interest Group and Quest it has an independent point of view.  For the Primavera user community this event has far and away the deepest collection of sessions presented mostly by the user community.  In fact, once again this year one of our own is presenting at Collaborate.

On Tuesday April 9th CBA  Sr. Consultant Bryan Gardner who for 18 months was an integral part of the project team implementing Contract Management at Cenovus, will be delivering a joint presentation with Cenovus on Integrating PCM Cost Tracking with JDE 9.0.  PCM was selected by the Project Controls Group within Cenovus Energy Inc. as the preferred application for tracking project costs for their Canadian oil sands projects. JDE 9.0 was the selected as the Supply Chain application with the finance cost accounting structure. This presentation will demonstrate the challenges and method of integrating two cost structures within the constraints of the ERP system implemented at Cenovus, as well as extending the cost tracking to external sources such as the legacy system and external stakeholders.

  • Objective 1: Demonstrate the combination of two cost structures in PCM

  • Objective 2: Extending JDE enterprise cost accounting into PCM project cost accounting

  • Objective 3: Show how standardization works in an enterprise environment

 Here is the schedule of all the Primavera sessions:  Collaborate Primavera Schedule

By attending Collaborate 2013 for over five exciting days, you can trade ideas with more than 5,000 like-minded attendees, network with Oracle Corporation and more than 250 top third-party providers including CBA in the Exhibitor Showcase and choose from nearly 1,000 educational sessions to attend. Collaborate provides the best opportunity to explore how you can get the most out of your existing products and learn about others that you can integrate into your environment.  Here is a link to find out more about Collaborate 2013 and register for the event .  If you are attending please visit CBA at booth 1371 to visit with myself and CBA President Don Monteleone and enter to win a iPad.

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Comments Off on iPad Mini winner at the Construction CPM Conference

iPad Mini winner at the Construction CPM Conference

Construction CPM iPad mini Winner

Visit CBA at the 2013 Construction CPM Conference

We at CBA is pleased to announce that we’ve picked a winner for the brand new iPad Mini we gave away at the 2013 Construction CPM Conference at the beautiful Sheraton New Orleans.  We’d like to thank everyone who visited our booth and filled out our survey. We had a great time talking with everyone about our world class project management consultants, training and software offerings.  Our lucky winner was G.B., Capital Project Manager from Canada.  While we’re happy that his organization doesn’t use the back of a napkin for project cost estimating, I’ll warn everyone that he plans to use his new iPad Mini for work purposes and… World Domination.  Obviously, we had some fun with our surveys and we hope you did too.

Check back to our website in the coming weeks for the official announcement that we’ll be attending COLLABORATE13 this year on April 7-11 in Denver, CO.  There will be giveaways for people attending the show and even for those who don’t.

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Comments Off on In Memorium-Aaron Buda

In Memorium-Aaron Buda

In Memorium - Aaron Buda

In Memorium – Aaron Buda

Last week the CBA family suffered a tragic loss.  Aaron Buda the 24 year-old son of CBA Sr. Consultant and P6 Implementation Specialist Terry Buda was killed on January 29th in a 6 car accident in his hometown of Lansing, Mi.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Terry and his family as they deal with this tragedy.  I wanted to use this space to post the following article written in the Lansing State Journal after the accident that sums up what a special person Aaron was:

Aaron Buda Remembered for His Passion.

Soon after he signed on at Biggby Coffee’s headquarters in East Lansing, Aaron Buda’s co-workers came to appreciate the passion and enthusiasm he brought to everything he did, including the carnitas and baked goods he brought to the office.

“He was always smiling, full of laughter,” said Katie Koerner, a public relations assistant for the coffee shop chain. “He was also a very good cook. He’d continually bring us cookies and goodies. He was known for his carnitas.”

On Wednesday, friends and family were trying to cope with the loss of Buda, 24, who was killed Tuesday morning in a crash involving six vehicles on Interstate 496 in Lansing. Police closed parts of the freeway for several hours after the crash.

Three other people suffered minor injuries. Lansing police have released few details about the accident, saying the investigation could take several days.

“There’s just disbelief,” Koerner said. “How can something like this happen to a person like Aaron, to someone who was so full of life?”

Buda grew up in Davison near Flint and joined Biggby in early 2011, friends and family said. Before that, he attended Michigan State University for a short time and worked as a legal assistant at a Lansing law firm.

Buda loved to cook and also enjoyed weightlifting and body building, they said.

“He was amazing, talented and intelligent and a wonderful husband to his beautiful wife,” said his sister, Jilleanne Buda, of Portsmouth, Va.

Koerner and Sue Vander Jagt, Biggby’s accounting and human resources director, described Buda as personable and outgoing. He started out in the accounting department and was promoted to manager of organic development less than a year ago – a position he helped develop, they said.

In that role, Buda worked with franchise owners to help them grow their businesses, they said.

“He was the definition of a Biggby enthusiast,” Koerner said. “He wore Biggby attire during weightlifting competitions. He had such a passion for what he did and the company he worked for.

Buda is survived by his wife, Jennifer; parents Terry and Lori Buda; and siblings Dominic, Jilleanne and Victoria.

Services for Aaron will be held at Harmony Baptist Church 5106 E. Bristol Rd Burton, MI.

Please include Terry and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

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Comments Off on What A small / BIG World We Work In

What A small / BIG World We Work In

The CBA "Client Advisory Board"

“What can we do to help your business succeed?”

On October 26, 2012 CBA (Critical Business Analysis) held their first Client Advisory Board (CAB) meeting for the sole purpose of supporting our clients to the best of our ability. Very simply, we wanted to find out from our core clients, “What can we do to help your business succeed?” There were in excess of 30 people in attendance which, for the inaugural meeting, was a fantastic turnout.

The first guest speaker was one of the two original founders of the Primavera products,  Dick Faris.  As always Dick provided an update on where Oracle was headed with the product as well as my favorite, “Dick’s Picks for 2013”. I always enjoy listening to Dick speak, so much so that I came to the meeting on my day off and as expected, his presentation was well worth coming in for. The ultimate compliment of the day I think came from Dick himself, he congratulated CBA for initiating the Client Advisory Board and complimented those companies in attendance for stepping up to help CBA with the guidance they were looking for.

Following Dick’s address, CBA then presented a little background: Who and what we are, how we started, brief summaries of CBA as well as employee histories and finally CBA goals and challenges over our 27+ years of business.

The floor was then turned over to our new Advisory Board members which are a diverse segment from several industries. As conversations started by one company after another there were brief exchanges of how the tool is, other software interfaces (if any) and finally the product data output and how it is used. As CBA requested there were also issues brought forth to document for future resolution. But the most relevant thing to me was that one conversation after another seemed to spark interests between the board members on the different uses and the prospect for the resulting output that users were achieving. That spark lead to the enthusiasm  for just what being part of this board could do for their own issues as well as potentially finding resolutions from amongst the peers in the group or ultimately by guiding CBA towards not only resolving their issues but providing a knowledge base to tap for future needs. Business cards were exchanged during lunch with much interest shown for several conversations to continue individually outside the meeting.

As the meeting came to a close, I also found it very enlightening to hear so many positive comments voiced by board member after board member regarding the consistent dedication, extreme knowledge and overall willingness to step up to the plate ‘no matter what’ to help our clients meet their deliverables. It was very nice to hear that my fellow colleagues at CBA are so well thought of! I guess I knew it deep inside because when I have an issue, I look to CBA internally for support first and find that I very rarely have to go beyond our team for an answer. The accolades to CBA support employees echoed round the room confirmed that not only to me but to all in attendance. I look forward to working with this group as well as being a part of what it can become going forward.

One additional perk for me in attending this meeting was the collection of past and current supervisors that I had or am working for. I selfishly asked them for a photo as I wasn’t sure I’d ever have the opportunity to have so many in one room at one time again.

Vickie with bosses of the past, present & future?

From left to right: Todd Haberland – DTE Manager, Nuclear Support, Projects and Contract Management (formerly from Davis Besse, 5 consecutive Davis Besse Outage assignments), Bob Ferris * – CBA (currently assigned as my lead at Fermi 2), Don Monteleone* – CBA, President, John Gordon* -CBA, CEO, Chuck Wolfe* – DTE Manager Nuclear Projects and Mods Fermi 2 (current DTE Manager), Ed Rimpley – Middough Inc., Senior Major Projects Manager (2 past assignments, one at AVL North America and one for Giffels and Associates), and Bob Locurto* – URS Vice President, DTE Alliance Program (current contract manager under the DTE Alliance)

So simply put, I currently work for 5 (* noted) of the 7 gentlemen in the photo below. And people wonder why I’m always so busy…. So now ya know!

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