OracleAppsBlog

Project Management

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

ACE Project Issue Tracking Software

On an implementation I’m involved in right now we’re using ACE project as an issue tracker. On most implementations I’ve been on before issues, bugs and problems that weren’t tracked or recorded on the official Project Plan were monitored via a spreadsheet. ACE has enabled us to effectively monitor issues and updates, prioritise them and track their progress via e-mail notifications and various statistics the tool generates. I highly recommend it.

According to the ACE site:

AceProject is the next generation of high-level  project management software solutions for today’s corporations. Improve your organization’s productivity. Get projects done more quickly and intelligently.

From collaboration software to an online planning tool, AceProject lets you manage all kinds of projects within your organization. Use AceProject to plan all stages of software development, implement construction and engineering projects, revamp your web site...your ideas are as good as ours!

AceProject’s useful timesheet module, project calendar and email notification keep both your employees and project managers informed. Moreover, with its Gantt chart, numerous reports and comprehensive statistics, AceProject gives you the big picture on project advancement.

I’m interested to know what other issue tracking tools and software people may be using.


Monday, March 28, 2005

Oracle AIM Pricing

I received an e-mail the other day asking how much it would cost to purchase Oracle AIM. This post contains information on the pricing of this product.

Oracle’s Application Implementation Methodology (AIM) is their methodology for the implementation of it’s e-Business Suite (eBS). According to Oracle: -

AIM Advantage is a time-tested implementation approach and toolkit for planning, executing and controlling the implementation of your Oracle E-Business Suite. It is the only implementation method specifically built for Oracle Applications, and has been used in thousands of successful implementations by Oracle Consulting, Oracle’s select implementation partners, and customers.

I’ve used this methodology on all of the Oracle Applications implementations I have been involved in and have found it to be a very useful tool. The methodology helps you plan and document an implementation at all stages of the lifecycle. Information on the pricing can be found by performing a search for "AIM" at the Oracle Store. Here you will find two options: -

  1. AIM Advantage without Supplement Option - Packaged Method Named User (US$2,200)
  2. AIM Advantage with Supplement Option - Packaged Method Named User (US$2,530)

Both of these options provide you with the aim CD-ROM and documentation whilst according to the Store, with the supplement option:

Oracle will provide access to AIM Advantage 3.0 supplements made generally available to commercial customers for a period of twelve months from the effective date of purchase. Supplements may include new deliverable templates and point releases of AIM Advantage (e.g. version 3.0 to version 3.1), but will not include new major releases (e.g. version 3.0 to version 4.0); major releases are licensed separately.

As the pricing is based on a named user, an organisations implementation cost would be directly related to the number of users that would make use of the software. To continue receiving annual updates via the supplementary option the cost would be 15% of the current list price of AIM.

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What do you think of the price of Oracle AIM?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

ERP Implementations and Contract Negotiations - Top 12 Tips

I came across an interesting discussion on the ITtoolbox forums the other day which contained some useful tips on negotiating SAP implementation contracts as well as general implementation advice. Despite the discussion being SAP orientated the advice given could quite easily apply to an Oracle eBS implementation or any other ERP deployment.

ITtoolbox has several good forums which one can read. Personally, I subscribe to the ERP-SELECT and ORACLE-APPS-L forums and can highly recommend them to anyone implementing ERP systems. A post the other day entitled about ERP(SAP) consultancy contracts caught my attention and in particular some comments by Bob Woitaszewski (a former SAP Implementer) caught my attention. I asked Bob whether I could post his comments on this Oracle Applications Blog and he agreed so here’s an excerpt of what he had to say:

Remember any consultancy wants to do a good job, however, they usually want to make sure that the contract will favour them in the end, not YOU. Having done 7 SAP implementations, 4 as a PM for a consulting firm using the ASAP methodology, let me pass this on: -

  1. Make sure that you work with SAP and their current methodology, what ever that is.
  2. Make sure you call out every deliverable for each phase.
  3. Make sure that you include DATES that each deliverable is due.
  4. Make sure that you specify what you are responsible for and what the consultancy is responsible for, for EACH deliverable.
  5. The consultancy is required to deliver a fully configured, PRODUCTION system, not a "prototype!"
  6. Specify that you have a customer acceptance clause.
  7. Make sure that you develop a matrix that ties each requirement to a test for each requirement.
  8. Make sure that you include a "Not to exceed" clause where you figure what the maximum is and they agree to it. It’s essentially a fixed price contract; but forces consultancy’s to bill you by hour.
  9. Always make sure that you include in the contract that the consultant PM must report hours weekly. That way you make sure that you aren’t getting "double Billed" by some rookie at the consultancy’s back office.
  10. Make sure that the consultants are on site at least Tu-W-Th. It may cost a little more but with all the local talent that exists, the travel expenses will be minimal compared to a botched implementation.
  11. Make sure that the implementation team is given sufficient time to "play" with SAP and learn the ropes. Co-locate them into a separate office section so they can make real time decisions. Bring in out-of-town key team members. Relieve them from all but the most critical job functions. 
  12. Make sure that your team is "empowered" to make change happen, and BTW, implementing is ALL About CHANGE MANAGEMENT and COMMUNICATION.

One last word of wisdom. I have found that thing will be a lot easier for your company if you reengineer your processes to match SAP processes whenever possible. Use the "default" process for 6 months and then if you must modify them I had to offer that even though as a consultant, not ONE of my clients ever heeded that pearl. And when I went back after 6 months or so, almost everyone wished they had followed that one piece of advice.

Having been involved in IT and ERP implementations for the past 9 years I can certainly agree with all of the points on Bob’s checklist and hope that posting them here will provide useful advice and ideas to readers currently implementing or planning to deploy enterprise software solutions.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Prince 2 Project Management Methodology

This post explains the Prince 2 Project Management Methodology and points you to where you can download related templates and documentation.

According to the official Prince 2 web site: -

PRINCE, which stands for Projects in Controlled Environments, is a project management method covering the organisation, management and control of projects. PRINCE was first developed by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) now part of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in 1989 as a UK Government standard for IT project management.

Since its introduction, PRINCE has become widely used in both the public and private sectors and is now the UK’s de facto standard for project management. Although PRINCE was originally developed for the needs of IT projects, the method has also been used on many non-IT projects. The latest version of the method, PRINCE2, is designed to incorporate the requirements of existing users and to enhance the method towards a generic, best practice approach for the management of all types of projects.

This methodology seems to be fairly popular in the UK and I’m seriously thinking of becoming a Prince 2 practitioner if I get the chance to get sent on some training. You can also download some useful case studies and templates from the official site (personally I think the Oracle AIM ones are much better) as well as this other Prince 2 site (for this site, you will have to perform free registration before you can download).


Do you think Prince 2 is a better project management methodology than Oracle AIM?

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Oracle ERP implementation - the Douglas Omaha Enterprise Resource System (DOERS)

This post contains a review of the Douglas Omaha Enterprise Resource System (DOERS) site and highlights useful documentation which can be downloaded. 

Last week I came across a really good site documenting an Oracle ERP implementation at the City of Omaha which has been named the Douglas Omaha Enterprise Resource Systems (DOERS). According to their site and related documentation: -

The City of Omaha, Douglas County, and the Omaha Douglas Public Building Commission are participants in a joint implementation of Oracle HRMS application suite, a project called DOERS (Douglas Omaha Enterprise Resource System). The DOERS project is a phased implementation and Oracle HRMS is Phase 3 of the total project.Phase 2, which includes Inventory, Grants Management, Projects and Public Sector Budgeting, began in early 2002. Phase 1, involving the Oracle Core Financials, began in early 2001 and includes General Ledger, Receivables, Payables, Fixed Assets, Cash Management, Purchasing and iProcurement.

Following is a summary and analysis of key areas of the site: -

HRMS

According to this section of the site: -

The City/County DOERS project continues building an Oracle Solution to integrate HR, Payroll, and Benefit functions with the new Oracle Financial modules. This initiative falls under the DOERS project umbrella specifically called Phase 3. This Phase of the Oracle implementation also named HRMS for Oracle’s Human Resource Management System has been made significant progress. Douglas County and the Omaha Building Commission went live on version 11.5.5 in January of 2004. Due to the complexity of this phase and limited resource availability the Go Live date for the City has been pushed back.

Here you will find two very good documents to download, namely the RD.020 documents for Human Resources and Benefits. The RD.020 Current Business Requirements is an Oracle AIM (Applications Implementation Methodology) document which is designed to identify and document current business processes and requirements. This document often incorporates a questionairre and is completed during the Definition phase of a project.

Inquiry and Reports

Contains business forms, chart of accounts and end user documentation and training material for Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable and General Ledger.

Chart of Accounts

Here you can download the latest Chart of Accounts which is structured according to the following segments: -

  • Funds
  • Orgs
  • Activities
  • Assets
  • Liabilities
  • Fund Balance
  • Expense
  • Revenues

Current Practices

Here you will find the RD.020 documents for the various modules implemented in each phase of the project.

Future Processes

Contains the RD.030 documents for the following future processes: -

  • Payables
  • Purchasing
  • General Ledger
  • Fixed Assets
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Grants and Projects

The RD.030 document is an Oracle AIM document which is used to establish a process and mapping summary for your organisation. It is normally completed within the Operations Analysis phase of the project lifecycle. In this task, you create the repository for key project findings and decisions that occur during the process and functional requirements gathering activities. 

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