Project Management Culture

Leighton embraces Primavera best practices as a way of doing business.

by Alison Weiss, 2011 Primavera Special Edition

For companies where projects are central to the business, effective management can be essential to boosting the bottom line and guaranteeing success. Oracle Platinum Partner Fortior Global recently helped longtime client Leighton Contractors, a large mining, construction, and telecommunications company, take advantage of project management best practices embodied in Oracle’s Primavera P6 enterprise project portfolio management (PPM) solution. The goal was to implement consistent processes and encourage deep change in the culture.

Leighton Contractors has seen significant growth in the past five years; the workforce has doubled to 10,500 employees and work in hand has increased from US$3.9 billion to US$9.6 billion due to diversification into growing sectors in the construction market. This expansion required significant organizational change and the implementation of a number of enterprisewide project initiatives, such as Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management.

According to Robert Turner, group manager, controls and planning, at Leighton Contractors, this evolution led managers to implement a companywide corporate management system called “the Leighton Way.” “After we experienced significant business growth, we needed to have much more clearly documented, communicated, and consistent project management practices within the business,” he says.

The Leighton Way system captured all standard business processes, policies, procedures, tools, and knowledge resources for all areas of the business—including HR, IT, and project management. Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management also supported integration of project and program resources with other Leighton departments and locations, as well as the ability to interoperate across the enterprise.

Turner championed the initiative and led the build-out, offering crucial input and leadership throughout development and implementation. He sought buy-in from executive management at each step and developed standard processes in conjunction with leading practitioners from across the company.

Fortior Global helped Leighton Contractors map new PPM processes and procedures to the actual best practices inside Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, taking particular advantage of the standardized methodology and template components and visibility and reporting functions. “Primavera P6 [Enterprise Project Portfolio Management] is flexible, and that allows for a level of configuration that will map easily to the customer’s processes and procedures in planning and controls,” says Paul Butterworth, general manager at Fortior Global.

Butterworth believes project management can facilitate corporate vision, but only if basic functions are understood and well managed. In preparation for rollout, process and tool-based training targeted specific needs of each audience group, from senior management to construction team members.

Fortior Global also helped Leighton Contractors retrain users to use Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, creating training materials using Oracle User Productivity Kit (now embedded in the new Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management 8). Oracle User Productivity Kit can simulate PPM functions and processes for users to model exactly how to work through the new product.

With sound project best practices in place, Fortior Global associates emphasized efficiency and revenue generation. “Leighton Contractors have achieved a higher level of maturity with their overall project management as an organization. This affords them the benefit of now embedding stronger controls for planning efficiencies,” says Butterworth.

“User adoption and change management are key,” Butterworth says. “If users went about using Primavera P6 [Enterprise Project Portfolio Management] the same way they had used earlier versions for the last 10 years, they wouldn’t embrace the new processes and procedures as part of the Leighton Way.”