University of Utah Completes Cancer Center Expansion US$9 Million Under Budget and Two Months Early with Cloud-Based Project Management System
 
 

University of Utah Completes Cancer Center Expansion US$9 Million Under Budget and Two Months Early with Cloud-Based Project Management System

The University of Utah is a leading education and research institution that serves more than 33,000 students. The university offers more than 90 undergraduate degree programs and more than 100 fields of study at the graduate level, including law and medicine. The campus is growing rapidly and has approximately 300 capital projects in progress, totaling more than US$900 million.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from University of Utah

  • “Oracle’s Primavera Unifier enables us to more tightly control campus construction budgets, as well as provide seamless access to information about capital projects. The solution played an important role in helping us complete a cancer center expansion project US$9 million under budget and two months ahead of schedule.” – Greg Colf, Senior Business Systems Analyst, University of Utah

  • Improve collaboration and transparency into project details to enable on-time, on-budget completion of initiatives that range from construction of new campus buildings, to small remodeling projects
  • Accelerate and improve visibility into request for information (RFI) and change order processes
  • Create a single system for project information to create transparency and improve financial control
  • Ensure that the new system can integrate easily with the university’s PeopleSoft Financials solution to automate vendor payments and improve financial tracking
  • Lay a foundation for scalable project management processes moving forward

Solutions

Oracle Product and Services

  • Deployed Oracle’s cloud-based Primavera project management system and created a single system of record that reduced the time required to take action, enabled project transparency, and provided concrete data for better budget management and control of university capital project portfolios
  • Used the solution to help complete a major cancer center expansion project, budgeted at US$105 million, completed two months early and US$9 million under budget
  • Used electronic workflow for RFIs and submittals—which can number in the thousands for large campus projects— shortening response times by 75%, on average—and from as long as eight weeks, down to a few hours in some cases—while increasing the transparency of the process and eliminating significant paperwork
  • Reduced project closeout time from up to three years, to an average of three to six months, improving internal client satisfaction, as the project team can more quickly return unused funds
  • Provided university administrators an expanded view of projects underway, enabling them to answer many questions on their own, better manage project portfolios, and focus on future initiatives
  • Integrated Primavera Capital Planning, Primavera Project Delivery Management, and Primavera Cost Controls with the university’s PeopleSoft Financials environment to automate payment processes and ensure consistent information between systems
  • Streamlined financial audits for projects, thanks to greater transparency
  • Improved collaboration and ensured visibility by giving external partners—including more than 90 consultants and contractors—access to the system for day-to-day project management
  • Created a flexible project management environment that the university plans to leverage in the future to track key performance indicators, facilitate state reporting, and expand portfolio planning capabilities

Why Oracle

Prior to the acquisition of Primavera Unifier, the University of Utah used an in-house, ad hoc, Pick database for construction project tracking. A lack of control and accountability of the system led the university to seek a more robust and secure system which could better meet its current and foreseeable future needs. The university issued an RFP and evaluated several respondents and, after presentations, narrowed the selection to two finalists —one of those being Primavera Unifier. Site visits to an established customer for each finalist were performed. Finalists were evaluated through a weighted point system that included site visits, an extensive cost analysis, and several other factors. The Primavera Unifier system was determined to be the best value for the university. The cloud-based approach employed by Primavera Unifier provided a lower total cost of ownership, reduced IT management costs, and greater flexibility in deployment to end-users.

Implementation Process

After acquiring Primavera Unifier, the university examined its project management processes to leverage best practices that the flexible solution supports.

“We created several teams to look at our processes, how we could best model existing processes in the system, and where we could change to improve efficiency. We also took a look at our decision process and who needed to be involved in key decisions, making sure that they were actively involved with the application, as well,” said Greg Colf, senior business systems analyst, University of Utah. 

The university also integrated Oracle’s Primavera Unifier with its PeopleSoft Financial environment, also from Oracle to automate payments to vendors and ensure fiscal transparency. It is now looking to integrate the system with its facility operations, maintenance management, and geographic information systems for greater data sharing and integrity.