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Exclusive Webcast Series Explains How Project Success Drives Business Success
In the wake of the global financial crisis, organizations throughout the world are redoubling their efforts to enhance financial discipline, achieve operational excellence, and mitigate risk. How can they address all these areas with one comprehensive strategy? With enterprise project portfolio management solutions that provide greater transparency and visibility across all projects and portfolios, says Guy Barlow, Oracle director of industry strategy. In the following interview and in an exclusive, three-part webcast series, Barlow examines today’s new management realities and explains how organizations can succeed in this environment.
Q: Financial discipline has always been important, what’s different today?
A: A number of organizations are showing that by fiscally aligning projects with the business goals of their organizations, they can shave off hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in inefficiency and waste. For example, one Oracle customer, the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, reduced its unbudgeted costs from US$24.4 million to US$3.5 million, for an 88 percent improvement.
Q: How do organizations achieve results like this?
A: First, they need to have the vision to see project management as part of a broad and critical element in their overall enterprise strategy. That means using a single solution, such as Oracle‘s Primavera, to manage multiple projects across multiple functions within a company. So someone in corporate mergers and acquisitions as well as a capital projects team can standardize on the same technology. By doing so they all gain greater efficiency in planning and execution—because the technology can be configured for their specific roles and needs—and the IT organization really benefits from lower maintenance.
Second, enterprises must give executive leaders—CFOs, COOs, and CEOs—visibility across the entire business to easily see what projects are on track and which ones are falling behind. In fact, once executives see the power of enterprise project portfolio management, uptake is very quick across the organization.
Q: Once an organization achieves greater financial discipline, what’s the next step?
A: After an organization brings more rigor through better financial discipline—an example would be fine-tuning its portfolio and determining the best future investments—it’s time to pivot to operating more effectively. The keys are having real-time visibility into all initiatives, as well as enabling managers to quickly update the status of their projects, which is essential for helping people hit their project delivery times.
Q: Organizations face a number of risks, not the least of which is unforeseen events. How can enterprises manage risk more effectively?
A: It’s really about having a forecasting capability that provides transparency into projects and then using sophisticated but highly intuitive tools to drill into problems. This gives you the ability to react and course-correct for any issues you may be facing. For example, if one initiative is falling behind schedule, you might be able to pull in additional resources from a different project. If you don’t have visibility into those other projects then you can’t make those types of decisions.
Q: How does today’s regulatory environment affect risk management?
A: We’re seeing an increasing trend in financial services and other industries for new regulations coming out over the next few years. Organizations must gauge the impact of this from a strategic perspective. Important questions to ask are: How do we align business strategy with heightened regulations? Are we compliant with new regulations from a project perspective? What potential shortfalls exist that may keep us from meeting new regulations? How do we react to new regulations mid-project?
Risk is everywhere, but the good news is that by managing it more effectively, enterprises gain important benefits, including cost reductions, margin growth, brand integrity, and litigation avoidance.
For more details about how to drive business success with project success, view the three-part webcast series: “Drive Project Success with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management.”
Get more details about Oracle’s Primavera.