Recently in Primavera Category

Didn't See That One Coming!

Got to work this morning, to find an email from Primavera announcing their buyout by Oracle!

Oracle Buys Primavera

It can only be good news, with Oracle no doubt able to invest a lot more money in the development of P6. Also, with their databases and other applications, Primavera fits very well into their portfolio.

Of course, with any buyout there's going to be changes. Lets hope they're all for the good!

Kicking Off EVM?

Not exactly the best thing to end a week on, but I had the pleasure of attending the first of a series of working groups looking into coming to a common approach to the application of EVM within the business.

The common theme seemed to be that it's both a technical application of a methodology, as well as a cultural change. I hate using sound bites, but Hearts and Minds sprung to mind, no pun intended. For the projects which have implemented varying levels of EVM, it's been more of a struggle convincing people it's providing a benefit, and not simply another bat for management to hit them with.

It's going to be interesting learning how the business currently does it, how the different cultures and languages help and hinder, and how Primavera fits in with all of it. Not a light task, getting 3, and eventually 4, nations to agree on something we all currently struggle to agree on as individual nations. And we've not even brought in the customer angle!

Anyway, I'm off to Our Mutual Friend for a couple of pints, eager to investigate the earned value metrics of real ale and sour cream & horseradish crisps

Another Great Primavera Training Day!

I have to say it's still one of the most enjoyable parts of my job, training. So, whenever I've a course to deliver, I look forward to the day very much.

And today was no different! A good class, all keen and interested in learning about Primavera and what it can do for them. Plenty of questions at the end of the day, and a challenge digging out the answers tonight ready for tomorrow morning!!

Getting Ready To Go To P6!

Today was the first meeting to discuss the formal evaluation and rollout of P6 to the business. It's never an easy process, as there's 3 countries to agree when, why, and what we're going to do.

I'm quite happy we're starting the discussions, as it's been difficult trying to keep up to speed with the latest version, P6, and the version we're still using. Plus, it'll get rid of all the bugs and annoying errors we've got with P3e 4.1.

Of course, it means lots and lots of work for me. Updates to the training, the intranet support site, and weeks and weeks of testing with the guys in CSC. Looking forward to it, actually!

There'll Be A Bit Of Noise....

So they said when I checked in on Sunday night. What they hadn't explained was that it'll be continuing all week. So, the receiption is slowly being ripped apart. Last night in particular, it sounded like the carpet was being taken up by one of those turf cutting machines.

The day itself has gone great, we've flown through everything, and I've come to terms with resource driven activities, with a number of interesting real-life examples.

Oh, and before I forget, the wine I've been drinking is Eagles Point Vat 4A, a very nice bottle of red. Certainly giving me the power to sleep through all this noise ;-)

In London...

Primavera Authorised TrainerOn my Primavera What's New 6.0 - Training for the next 5 days. It's part of the Authorised Internal Trainer (IAT) agreement, attending the course and getting updated on the latest developments in Primavera software. It's much easier going than the release 5 training update back in 2005, mainly due to using the BETA since April. What's good, is seeing the fixes and enhancements I've logged in this release. I know, it's unlikely they're all down to me, but it's cool to see something I found, such as a bug, no longer there, shows they're listening :-D

Just realising, having bumped into a number of people I last saw back in 2005, just how long I've been supporting and training Primavera at work. In fact, it'll be over 4 years this year since that Boot Camp in San Fransisco. Hmmm, time for a change perhaps ;-)

I've also got internet access, and a good hour for lunch. So updates to the blog will be flowing all this week ;-)

Off to meet up with Gareth and Andrew afterwards for a beer. They're down in London for a meeting too, so it seems ruide not to go and have a pint in one of the many good hostleries down here ;-)

Off To Bristol

First time in ages. Was down there back in April, but this is the first time I've been down to run a Primavera training course in a long time.

Trying out the new Premier Travel Inn right next to work. Should be an experience, as there's no bar, no restuarant, in fact all there appears to be is rooms with beds and showers. Big advantage is, once I've popped in to configure everything for tomorrow, I can fall out of work and straight into the hotel, rather than fight my way through Bristol rush hour into the city centre. Of course, if it's a crap hotel, I'll be back to the rush hour drive next time, guranteed ;-)

Another Primavera Conference Over

Just got back from the Primavera UK User Conference. Didn't present this year, so it was a lot more relaxing than last year's, not worrying about my slides, the words, or what questions I'd be asked.

Interesting as always, with insights into the technology and where Primavera plan to take it. 2007 will be a big year for us, with plans already under way to look at the web-based side, myPrimavera, and how we can use it to encourage more of the "MS Project is best" brigade to move across to a proper project planning and scheduling application. I must admit, after seeing the snippets, I'm itching to get my beta copy next year and start having a play. Hmmm, I guess that's kinda sad?

Off Upt' North Once More

Another trip North to sort out how we plan on using Primavera in production planning. And, no doubt, an excuse to try another curry house, and malt whiskey from the hotel bar ;-)

Forgot to mention last time that we used the M6 Toll. Amazing. Hardly any traffic, and we sailed up and back down in next to no time. Worth the money, even tho we weren't paying. I'd be happy paying myself to be honest. It made what's normally a hellish journey fighting through the traffic round Birmingham, quite pleasant :-D)

What was surprising, though, was the lack of traffic on the road, and yet how busy the services were. And, unlike some of the M6 services (Jonathan knows what I mean), these ain't anything to write home about.

Not Long To Curtain Up

The rehearsal performance of my Primavera presentation yesterday afternoon, in front of a select group of peers and bosses, went well. A few pointers on delivery, to be expected, and a couple of ammendments on content. But all in all, an impressive 35 minutes, apparently ;-)

So, now it's countdown to Thursday and standing up in front of the bigger audience. Will let you know how it went on Friday, I suspect I'll be down the pub Thursday night celebrating, or calming my nerves ;-)

[UPDATE] The snippet from the Primavera site:

Challenges and Successes in Implementing Primavera across Europe
Alan Bell, Primavera Training & Database Manager, MBDA (UK).

With an annual turnover exceeding 3 billion, a forward order book of over 13 billion and over 70 customers world wide, MBDA is a world leading, global missile systems company. In 2003 it took on the task of implementing a single project management tool across 3 nations (France, Italy, UK). This session will describe the process followed, challenges identified, and lessons learnt from implementing Primavera across the business.

About Alan Bell

Lapsed: electronic engineer, scout leader, project controller.
Now: Oracle Primavera training consultant, business support manager, occasional website designer.

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