Oracle Customer Success — Yarra Valley Water

Yarra Valley Water

Yarra Valley Water Delivers Projects on Schedule, Maximizes Resource Capacity, and Generates Reports up to 3x Faster

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We chose Oracle’s Primavera because it offers flexibility, ease of use, and anytime, anywhere access to project data. It also enabled us to deliver quality project schedules, improve staff productivity, and maximize resource capacity. We’ve renewed our focus on keeping project information up to date and earned the confidence of management.

— Adam Smith, Primavera Project Officer, Yarra Valley Water

Yarra Valley Water (YVW) is the largest of three water corporations in Melbourne, Australia. It provides water supplies and sewerage services to more than 1.76 million people and 52,000 businesses in Melbourne’s northern and eastern suburbs. The company owns and maintains more than 9,000 kilometers of water mains and 9,000 kilometers of sewer mains over approximately 4,000 square kilometers.

In 2008, YVW implemented Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management to manage, control, and forecast procurement lifecycles for its capital works program across six divisions. The program was part of the largest capital expenditure budget for water and sewerage projects at YVW. With more than 60 key documents linked to each project, YVW needed to further improve project data visibility and ease of use, so that users could easily update project information. This enabled project managers to provide accurate forecasts for project costs, improve resource management, minimize project risks, and increase project management efficiency. In July 2013, YVW upgraded to Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management 8.2, running on Oracle Exadata and Oracle Exalogic and integrated with Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite and Oracle WebCenter Content.

Taking advantage of new functionality in Primavera, YVW achieved greater data transparency across six divisions through simplified workflow processes. It increased ease of use and allowed users to access data anytime, anywhere to increase staff productivity. The company also improved risk management and helped to achieve regulatory compliance. Finally, it ensured high availability and high system performance, and generated project reports up to 3x faster to support decision-making.
  • Gains Anytime, Anywhere Access to Project Data and Increases Ease of Use
    Using a web-based Primavera application, YVW’s project team can access real-time project information anytime, anywhere, rather than installing software on individual staff members’ computers or laptops. With Primavera’s flexible user interface and business-process automation capabilities, project managers can easily and quickly update project data and status through interactive dashboard or web applications.

    “With anytime, anywhere access and ease-of-use capability, we’ve improved communication and collaboration between teams and project managers. Our senior management also has the confidence that the data is up to date and our reports are accurate. It’s a huge benefit for us,” said Adam Smith, Primavera project officer, Yarra Valley Water.
  • Generates Project Reports up to 3x Faster with Engineered Systems
    With Primavera running on Oracle Exadata and Oracle Exalogic, YVW achieved high levels of availability and system performance. It also saved significant licensing costs by integrating multiple applications, such as Primavera, an in-house financial system, and other customized applications on a single platform. The company can now generate reports much faster, thanks to the extreme performance of Oracle engineered systems.

    “Project managers can now run a project summary report—including the most current data for the projects they managed—in 10 minutes instead of 30 minutes. This helped project managers to respond quickly to potential project risks and issues. Having more timely data made decision-making easier,” Smith said.

    With integrated data from Primavera and YVW’s in-house finance system, YVW embedded the procurement process into Primavera and allowed users to raise a purchase order directly in Primavera rather than using multiple systems.

    “The simplified procurement process enabled us to track costs against forecasted budget, which wasn’t possible before. By integrating applications on Oracle Exadata and Oracle Exalogic, we’ve greatly increased process efficiency,” Smith said.
  • Provides Greater Transparency and Analytics Support, Improves Resource Management
    With Primavera, users can filter a portfolio by up to 20 attributes rather than just 3, giving managers a detailed and wider view of resource management across different projects and improving their ability to avoid delays. In addition, the progress-reporter feature in Primavera enabled managers to get a snapshot of the true labor requirements for a new treatment plant or pumping station through timesheets, activities, and the resources assigned to each project.

    “With greater visibility and a consistent view of resource requirements, a team manager can see what projects might come through to their staff and ensure that resources are not overextended. Managers can also better match the right people with projects,” Smith said.

    Primavera Contract Management, Business Intelligence Publisher Edition provides a role-based dashboard for managers to customize the view for key performance indicators across multiple projects. It greatly improved transparency and enabled managers to easily track project status, budgets, and cost variances. YVW plans to provide a monthly snapshot to managers for rapid identification of potential problems and a better understanding of their impact on project schedules and budgets, preventing minor issues from becoming major problems.
  • Enables Targeted Planning, Supports Five-Year Water Plan
    YVW needed to prepare a five-year water plan with the forecasted capital expenditure for water and sewerage programs, and also incorporate the budget for capital expenditure into the annual business plan. YVW then submitted the five-year water plan to Victoria’s Essential Services Commission for approval.

    Using Primavera’s user-defined field, managers can compare the water plan and business plan for particular projects over the next five years. Managers can drill down into actual spending for the water plan to identify cost variances against the business plan. The upgraded version also allows managers to easily export the cost variance values to Excel for calculation, before updating the budget amount in Primavera. As such, it provides YVW with greater flexibility and accuracy in planning and forecasting its five-year water plan and ensures that the strategy is synchronized with Essential Services Commission requirements.

    “For example, the Essential Services Commission may want us to bring a project forward because it’s in a high-growth area and is critical to guarantee a certain amount of water for the area over a short period of time. On the other hand, we may need to scale down water requirements in some areas where it’s not as essential. With Primavera, we can plan ahead and clearly understand our roles and expectations, enabling us to make more informed decisions,” Smith said.
  • Improves Risk Management and Ensures Regulatory Compliance
    As a government corporation, YVW is bound by compliance and governance requirements in the utilities industry. The company needs to ensure that risk assessments, such as occupational health and safety assessments, are completed for all contracts. For example, project managers are required to ensure that insurance policies are in place and up to date with all contractors.

    With Primavera, YVW gained the ability to make these risk assessments mandatory and part of the standard workflow process. Project managers can only obtain a contract number after they have completed the occupational health and safety risk assessment by entering a risk score for each activity in the project plan into Primavera. This workflow requirement minimizes mistakes and means that the project can safely progress to the next staff member.
  • Simplifies Workflow and Improves Staff Productivity
    Before the upgrade, YVW stored project and contract documents on network drives and copied and entered the drive locations into Primavera. When users moved or changed the files, the link to the project file was broken and no longer available in Primavera. It was also time-consuming and complex for users to access documents previously stored in Primavera’s iManage workflow. Users had to find the workflow first, locate the actual file, and save their own copy.

    By integrating Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management 8.2 with Oracle WebCenter Content, YVW created a centralized repository for all project documents, which users can quickly access via the link to Oracle WebCenter Content in Primavera. YVW’s staff can now easily and quickly locate project and contract documents using only the project name, eliminating the need to have expertise and knowledge about the document. The centralized repository also improved file version control issues and eliminated potential human errors.

    “We’ve seen a big improvement in ease of use and access to project information. Our staff can start working productively without backtracking. They are more accountable for ensuring their project data is up to date. Everyone, from top to bottom, is more confident that all the information is actually entered and the data is accurate. It’s a game changer for us,” Smith said.

    By moving from Primavera iManage workflow to Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite, users can view project workflows on a single page, including attached documents and comments. It also allows users to redirect, escalate, or reassign workflow by automating the workflow approval hierarchy instead of the previous manual process. Team managers can more effectively manage projects, particularly when there is a priority change or staff absence.

    “Thanks to Oracle Fusion Middleware, our users are certainly enjoying the simplified workflow processes and the reliability of the project documents, not only in the workflow, but also in Oracle WebCenter Content and Primavera. It has saved us time and costs,” Smith said.
 
Challenges
  • Increase project management efficiency for capital works program across six divisions through simplified workflow and high system availability
  • Improve staff accountability for project data accuracy and increase management confidence in the quality of reports
  • Enhance data visibility to improve forecasting accuracy and ensure that water and sewerage projects are on schedule and within budget
  • Provide better insight and analytic support for a five-year water plan and ensure the strategy is in compliance with Essential Services Commission requirements
Results
  • Generated reports up to 3x faster by running Primavera on Oracle Exadata and Oracle Exalogic, enabling faster response to potential project risks and issues
  • Ensured high availability and high performance for Primavera and saved licensing costs by integrating multiple applications into a single engineered system
  • Improved procurement process efficiency by integrating Primavera with the finance system, enabling managers to raise purchase orders from a single system rather than multiple systems and to track project costs against forecasted budget
  • Improved staff productivity with anytime, anywhere access to project data
  • Increased management’s confidence by improving communication and collaboration between project teams
  • Gained greater transparency into resource requirements across water plan projects by enabling managers to customize reports and filter a portfolio by up to 20 attributes, preventing potential delays and unforeseen resource limitations
  • Ensured projects are on schedule and not over budget by allowing managers to easily track project status, budgets, and cost variances
  • Provided analytic support for the five-year water plan by enabling managers to better plan and forecast actual spending against the business plan, ensuring the strategy complies with Essential Services Commission requirements
  • Simplified workflow, saved time, and cut project management costs by enabling users to view project workflows on a single page, including attached documents and comments, and automating approval hierarchy
  • Improved risk management by creating a mandatory occupational health and safety risk assessment in the workflow process and ensuring compliance with utilities industry regulations

Why Oracle

YVW did not consider any other applications because the company had used Primavera for several years—the key objectives were to take advantage of improved functionality in the Primavera suite and to seamlessly integrate the solution with Oracle Unified Business Process Management Suite and Oracle WebCenter Content to improve workflow efficiency.
 

With the new ease of use and anytime, anywhere access to project information in Primavera, we’ve renewed the focus on users, keeping project information up to date, and we’ve engaged them to use the system more effectively.

— Adam Smith, Primavera Project Officer, Yarra Valley Water

Execution

In its upgrade to Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management 8.2, YVW’s IT team worked with Oracle partner inSynchro to install and configure all required applications, including Primavera and an in-house finance system, databases, and Oracle Fusion Middleware products, two weeks prior to the production cutover. YVW then completed data migration and production verification testing before the new system went live, approximately one year after the upgrade project began.

About Yarra Valley Water

Headquarters

 
Melbourne, Australia

Employees

 
620

Annual Revenue

 
$500 Million to $1 Billion

Partners

YVW engaged inSynchro for the Primavera upgrade, as the partner was also involved in the first installation in 2008. InSynchro configured the Primavera product suite, determined the data migration strategy, and ensured that all components were integrated successfully to meet YVW’s business requirements. As YVW was the first company to run Primavera on Oracle engineered systems and integrated with Oracle Fusion Middleware products, the partner provided assistance to YVW to ensure a smooth implementation process.

“We’re very impressed with inSynchro’s customer service, particularly the group’s ability to resolve issues. The team’s knowledge of Oracle Fusion Middleware products and expertise in developing a new integration layer were critical to the success of our project and enabled us to realize the benefits of our Oracle investment,” Smith said.
Published:  Nov 12, 2014