A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant

Friday, November 26, 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).

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Troubleshooting Oracle Average Costing: The Actual Cost Manager’s Failure to Start

When troubleshooting the Actual Cost Manager's failure to start you will discover that it is not fully documented in one source document. There are pieces of the troubleshoot process scattered throughout Metalink's notes and FAQ's that take a considerable amount of time to locate. This article will help expedite the Actual Cost Manager's troubleshooting process.

When Average Cost Updates are not being calculated the cause can be related to the Cost Manager and the Actual Cost Worker not running.

There are several reasons why this is happening:

The first thing to check is the Inventory > Set Up > Organizations > Parameters > Costing Information [TAB] > Cost Cutoff Date.

  • If the cost cutoff date is set to the current date or the date is in the past the Average Cost calculations will not work. The Fix: It will need to be re-set to a valid date or cleared.

Other problems are associated with the Actual Cost Worker - if it does not start or if it completes with a warning or an error the Average Costs will not get updated.

  • If there are any errors in the MTL_MATERIAL_TRANSACTIONS table the Cost Manager usually will not spawn an Actual Cost Worker in an Average Costing environment UNTIL ALL ERRORS ARE CORRECTED in the table.

Problems can also be associated with the transaction rows that have a ‘null’ Distribution_Account_id which can cause the Costed_flag = ‘E’ which the Cost Manager identifies as an Error and then the Average Cost Update will not work since the Actual Cost Worker does not get started.

The Fix:

Add the correct Distribution_Acct_id and re-run the Average Cost update.

Errors relating to the MTL_MATERIAL_TRANSACTIONS can be viewed in the forms:  Cost Management > View Transactions > Material Transactions > select a date range when costs are not posting or an item that has not had its unit cost updated after an Average Cost Update has been posted. Look in the Transaction ID [TAB] Error Code column and the Error Explanation column. (Example: Error Code = CST_NO_TXN_INVALID_ACCOUNT and the Error Explanation = An invalid account is associated with the item being transacted.)

If an invalid account is associated with the item being transacted it could be because a Cost Variance account is missing from the Cost Group - verify this by: Cost Management > Set Up > Cost Groups > Account field (Cost Variance.)

The Fix:

Add a new Cost Variance account in the GL module and apply it to the Cost Group’s Cost Variance account.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Oracle Partner Feature - Project Partners, the experts in Oracle Projects

This post discusses the site of an Oracle Partner who specialises in the implementation of Oracle Projects and has some good white papers on this topic that can be downloaded.

According to the Project Partners site: -

Project Partners, LLC is a company dedicated to helping our customers achieve a competitive advantage through Enterprise Project Management. Our experience goes beyond standard Oracle Financials, Project Costing and Project Billing.

We have in-depth knowledge in Project Manufacturing, Project Management Integration, Self-Service technology, and much more. We understand the needs of your project driven business.

A summary of white papers and presentations that you can download from their site are as follows: -

Lastly, they also have a newsletter that you can subscribe to.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

11.5.10 (11i10) Release and Documentation

11i10 was released by Oracle last week. This post contains the link to the new downloadable documentation CD (note if you have not already done so, you will have to register with OTN).

You can now download the 11.5.10 documentation CD as I understand 11i10 was released last week. It contains documentation according to the following categories: -

  • Technology
  • Intelligence
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Order Management
  • Logistics
  • Supply Chain Planning
  • Procurement
  • Manufacturing
  • Maintenance Management 
  • Service
  • Projects
  • Product Lifecycle Management
  • Financial
  • Human Resources
  • Customer Data Management
  • Interaction Center Technology
  • Communications/Utilities
  • Public Sector University
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Aerospace, Defense and Transportation

The zipped documentation file is about 475MB and I understand it explodes to more than 1 CD now. There’s lots of new products and functionality - happy downloading and reading.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

A return to Blogging

It’s been a while since my last blog but I’m making a comeback as of today.

I haven’t posted any blogs for quite some time now and I’ve been getting serious withdrawal symptoms. I moved to the UK at the beginning of the year and have been busy setting up here. Having started a new job as a Principal Consultant with Thales Information Systems (a division of the Thales Group). I’ve also been travelling around a bit - in the past two months I’ve been to Geneva and Paris and am presently working in Hengelo in the Netherlands. Now that the dust has settled I can start to write again as well as respond to a backlog of readers mails - if I haven’t responded to your mails, I will be contacting you soon and if you still don’t here from me you are welcome to mail me again. Apart from a backlog of mails I also have a backlog of posts i.e. stuff that I’ve learnt over the next two months that I intend to write about so stay tuned to this site.

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