Our In-House Experience with Project Portfolio Management
Elire’s Cloud Journey began with an Application Roadmap Assessment with our Strategic Advisory Team leading the charge. The primary objective was to ensure our preparedness for implementation by reviewing our current state, identifying disconnects which could then be turned into opportunities in the future state, and build a plan for implementation.
The Project team presented future state recommendations and change management initiatives for a multi-Phase project for moving on to Oracle Cloud. Phase 1 would focus on removing Time and Expense Applications, which were requiring a new license agreement, and setting up the foundation of Cloud ERP, HCM and Projects. This included General Ledger, Payables, Projects Foundations, Expenses, and Time and Labor. Phase 2, rebranded as “Projects 2.0,” focused on process automation in Client Invoicing, and extending the functionality in ERP through reporting. This phase included Project Control, Project Costing, Project Billing, Project Performance Reporting, and Receivables
Next, we are going to review some of the key takeaways, lessons learned, tips and tricks for successfully implementing Oracle Cloud Project Portfolio management, and Oracle Cloud in general. Our goal is to help you unlock the power of PPM.
First, Follow your methodology. It exists for a reason, and it’s important to follow the process. If you do not have one, we recommend defining one before starting. It is important to utilize your organization’s assets like tools and templates. Don’t shortcut change management. Ensure your teams know what the future holds and how it works. A couple of specific components to methodology should be Pilot Sessions early on and Testing labs with users. Including Pilot Sessions with your user group early on helps with validating requirements and design. This was incredibly helpful for our project’s success. We learned a lot about the processes of the accounting team and found more opportunities for improvement in day to day operations and reporting with the functionality of Oracle Cloud.
Organize Testing Labs for key user groups. This is an important lesson as it confirms the Functionality will work for the organization to perform operational tasks. We learned, even at this stage of the project, a lot about the processes of the accounting team and found more opportunities for improvement in day to day operations and reporting. Don’t shortcut testing, this is important to validate the system and Training guides.
Second, take the time to learn about the Oracle Cloud Application. Explore the functionality it offers so your organization can take full advantage of it, and knowing this before the project starts helps tremendously. A lesson we learned from our Phase 2 was discovering new functionality mid-project, which required us to go back to design, but it was so important we did this. An example of this was transaction controls on the Project Control setup. As a Service Provider, Elire needs to ensure the costs booked to each project follows the agreed terms, which is critical for our operations. Transactions controls allow for our operations team to take terms from the contract and define what are allowable expenditures and who can book them. With the integrated functionality of Oracle Cloud, this prevents people from booking incorrect Time and Expense within Cloud, preventing issues at the source.
Another key piece of functionality we discovered were Cost Rate overrides at the Project level. Rate Schedules are great for planning and utilizing rack rate costs is great for some organizations which have agreed upon costs for the resources they are using on their projects. Our organization uses different types of people resources on projects, with flexible cost rates depending on the project they are staffed on. This required us to be able to override the cost by project for any person. This feature was more recently added to Oracle Cloud, and previously not a setting which came standard. Using Oracle Cloud Customer Connect and My Oracle Support, we found the right way to configure projects (at that time) for this to be enabled. Once we had this capability we were able to derive the exact project costs for each project, ensuring we could correctly budget and track actual costs to maximize profitability.
The third piece of advice; lengthen your design time to ensure thoughtful end to end planning of your process. Enterprise applications are fantastic for being able to have a one-stop-shop for transaction processing, making sure it’s configured correctly to maximize efficiency is important. Take Client Invoicing for example. We took Time & Labor, and Expense data, brought it through projects, into receivables to generate an invoice, which we could finally apply payment against. This touched a piece of HCM, all of Financials, and Projects in order to work! The key here is making sure the relationships between the Expense Template, Contract Template, Project Templates all are in sync for your transaction types to make these flow as seamlessly as possible.
Here, we have learned that Cloud Implementations require a hybrid project management approach for delivery, it’s not purely agile but standard waterfall also does not fit well with an Oracle Cloud implementation. This may be difficult for organizations to embrace and make changes to old ways, but trust us when we say it’s going to help the project.
We understand how this works not just because we’re a Service Provider with 15+ years of experience implementing for our clients, we are also customers of Oracle Cloud as well.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our PPM series! Check out our accompanying webinar recording below for more content and reach out to us at [email protected] to get any additional questions answered.
View Our PPM webinar recording below!