A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant

Project Management

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Oracle Unified Method (OUM) for Cloud Application Services

Having used many of Oracle’s project management methodologies over the past two decades of implementing it I’m always interested to see what their latest offerings have in store. More recently I’ve been implementing their Fusion applications so have taken a natural interest in Release 6.4 of Oracle Unified Method which has evolved to include an approach for their Cloud Application Services (CAS).

Suzanne Armstrong highlights the key features on the OUM blog as follows

OUM release 6.4 provides support for Application Implementation, Cloud Application Services Implementation, and Software Upgrade projects as well as the complete range of technology projects including Business Intelligence (BI), Enterprise Security, WebCenter, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), Application Integration Architecture (AIA), Business Process Management (BPM), Enterprise Integration, and Custom Software. Detailed techniques and tool guidance are provided, including a supplemental guide related to Oracle Tutor and UPK.

This release features:

  • Cloud Home Page – Added to Highlight Cloud Support in OUM
  • CAS OUM (Cloud Application Services OUM) [previously OUM Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach] – Updated Task and Activity/Task Group Identifiers, Updated Terminology
  • Operate Focus Area – Added to Provide Visibility into Services Offered by Oracle Managed Cloud Services (OMCS)
  • Establish Governance Activity [previously Complete Project Management Plan] – Renamed and reframed to place greater emphasis on its main objective, which is to establish project governance by engaging in a dialogue to collaboratively define the processes which will be used to govern and control the project from start to finish. This approach recognizes that the delivery of documentation, while necessary and important, should be the by-product of rather than the driver for conversation.
  • Project Management Plan (PMP) template [previously Project Management Framework] – Developed to streamline the process for documenting project governance. The BT.070 task was renamed to Create Project Management Plan and the guidance was updated. All related tasks that contribute to the PMP were revised to refer to the new PMP template eliminating the prior individual templates. The PMP should be used to document the processes that govern the project.  Once defined, the PMP will remain relatively fixed and only require updates if there are material changes to the governance.
  • Acceptance Certificate [SM.040] Updated and Delivery Note [SM.040] Added - Clarified that acceptance, agreement, and acknowledgment should be secured using one of these templates.  Removed signature boxes / sign-off pages and project manager countersignature from all templates.
  • Risk Management Process, Tasks, and Templates – Streamlined Flow and Clarified Content

Bruce Dehner also has a really good overview presentation which talks about the Cloud Application Services Implementation Approach. It contains a pictorial view of the key activities at each implementation phase which also outlines who is responsible for doing what.

Oracle  OUM Cloud Application Services Approach

The Oracle OUM Partner Knowledge Zone has an abundance of further information and resources. Here you can download OUM collateral, obtain training and certification and view webcasts. Certainly I’m looking forward to making use of the templates and deliverables in my existing and forthcoming implementations.

Thursday, February 09, 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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Friday, March 25, 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.

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).

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