15 Dec 2017 News

Dear Members,

Please find below this weeks' newsletter.  We hope that you find it adds value to your day.  Please visit our sponsors as they keep our 5 servers running as without them we will cease to exist. 


If you would like to join our team of bloggers and content providers then do get in touch.  This period we say a huge thanks to Gholan Medalla who helped shape this newsletter.  If you'd like to get involved and want to join the team then do please get in touch :)

A Pre- Christmas Period Message from the Guild of Project Controls


In a land (not far from London actually) our FIRST TRAINING COURSE GIVEN BY a Guild Endorsed Training Provider (ETP)  with over 20 wise men (and women) attending at the Preparatory Level.

As expected the course brought good tidings for all who attended and their FULL STORY will be available for our Christmas Newsletter...

Needless to say with wise men from some of the largest Corporations in the world being present, the true power of Planning Planet was in focus as a supporter of our Guild ETP's...  so here is part of our Christmas Message.

If you are an established trainer in Project Delivery or feel you should be contact ppadmin@planningplanet.com and let's talk... make 2018 memorable!

 NEWS from Oracle Primavera....

How Railroad CSX Modernized Its Project Portfolio Management


CSX Transportation, a leading railroad with 21,000 miles of track across the U.S. East Coast and eastern Canada, recently set out to modernize its project management processes and improve information sharing for $1.8 billion worth of annual capital and operating expenses projects.

"We wanted a modern toolset that would give us mobile capabilities," A.J. Erdman, CSX's director of project controls, explained during a presentation at Oracle Industry Connect earlier this year that is now available to view on demand

Additional business requirements for the transformation initiative included having a platform that could manage the entire range of project types and enable enterprise-wide information sharing and reporting. The latter goal was critical for the various engineering groups, whose responsibilities range from renovating signal systems to installing new tracks, bridges, and tunnels. Individually, each discipline successfully performed its roles, but stakeholders from the various groups couldn't easily collaborate with each other when projects required combined efforts. "Part of the Projects Control Group's task is to make [these groups] speak to each other," Erdman says. 

In light of these needs, CSX turned to Oracle's Primavera Unifier, Which Erdman characterizes as having become "the core of project control" in his group. 

The company uses Primavera Unifier to document project scope, manage accounting and budgets, manage processes, perform time tracking, and serve as a master document repository. CSX pairs the platform with Oracle Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management for project scheduling.

  • To find out more about CSX’s modern  Project management practices, please watch A.J. Erdman’s entire presentation.

Levels of the Schedule

Post suggested by Jaeger Perez Galicha, BSCE, CET, PMP

Oftentimes the Level of Schedule can be confusing especially when the Project WBS is not clear for everyone and is taken in isolation from the Program Portfolio. This brief article from Planning Planet, provided by the users will give us some insights from a practitioners perspective - Read the Wiki Post

Powering Construction Productivity in the Field



Discover strategies for greater speed, simplicity, accuracy, and transparency in managing jobsite processes and documents.

At a time when construction firms value speed, agility, and efficiency more than ever, productivity growth continues to lag.

There is, however, no shortage of opportunities to flip this equation. Increasingly, firms are focused on jumpstarting productivity at the site level. 

In particular, they’re examining ways to transform and automate field processes and jobsite documentation to place the most up-to-date and actionable information at the fingertips of local decision-makers, while also uniting those teams and the office. 

Executed successfully, the end result is greater productivity, accuracy, accountability, and transparency from project setup through closeout - Read the whitepaper

Delivering Success in Water-Wastewater Infrastructure Projects

Delivering Success in Water-Wastewater Infrastructure Projects - Relying on the constant delivery of drinking water and treatment of wastewater is a basic human need. But have you ever questioned the services and processes that makes this happen?

Featuring co-presenters Riz Shah, Principal, US Capital Projects & Infrastructure Public Sector Leader and Danica Bartolf, Senior Sales Consultant, Oracle, this webinar covers the following topics:



Riz Shah,
Principal, US Capital Projects & Infrastructure
Public Sector Leader 
Danica Bartolf,
Senior Sales Consultant, Oracle              
  • An overview on the state of the water and wastewater agencies and some of the unique challenges the industry is facing, specifically related to funding/financing and ongoing maintenance/repairs
  • Strategies to bring the nation’s water systems to the needed level of performance to establish long-term sustainability and growth
  • Opportunities available to create more efficient, higher-performing water infrastructure through Oracle Construction and Engineering technology and solutions 

Eliminating Waste in Knowledge Work

by: Alan Zucker

Many of us are "knowledge workers."  We do not physically create a product.  We work in areas that are important to our enterprise, but do not directly serve customers.  We work in finance, marketing, technology, or similar functions.

As knowledge workers it is hard to see or measure the specific value we contribute.  We are busy. But are we adding value or creating waste?  Lean thinking defines value as work that directly benefits our customers—everything else in waste.  Waste may be unnecessary approval steps or reports that get generated, but are never used.

In manufacturing—where Lean first took root—identifying waste is easy. Waste is scrap thrown away at the end of the day.  It is excess inventory.  However, in knowledge work, waste is more difficult to spot.

“The DevOps Handbook“ describes sources of waste in knowledge work.  Most of us will recognize these items.  They are prevalent in our daily activities. But, we may not have realized that these activities do not add value.  Nor are we taking steps to eliminate waste.  Below are sources of waste in knowledge work and things that can be done to eliminate it - Read Full Blog


All aboard with the new PrimaveraReader

With the latest release PrimaveraReader aims to provide project members with a better understanding of the project work that needs to be done.

Schedulers and Project Managers can be more confident when giving their project members the ability to view the schedules in a dynamic way when running multi-cultural projects. On the other hand, project team members will be more confident when operating in their own language.  New features in version 4.2...

  • Multi-Language support
  • English
  • French
  • German (new)
  • Spanish (new)
  • Russian (new)
  • Chinese Simplified (new)

Presenting Financial Period for viewing stored values that represent a project's performance over a predefined period.

"The market is expanding and PrimaveraReader has become a worldwide accepted solution for viewing Primavera P6 schedules. Our clients are running multicultural projects in a variety of different industries and we have responded to their needs." - Magdalena J., BD Manager

About PrimaveraReader...

PrimaveraReader is a viewer for project schedules created with Oracle Primavera P6, where users can view plans in .XER, XML and XLS file format. PrimaveraReader is a standalone application and doesn’t require purchasing additional Primavera P6 license to view your schedules. It has been designed to replace the flow of sending plans in PDF to Project Managers, Team Leads, and Stakeholders so they can get a dynamic overview, advanced filtering, and send progress updates in a simple way, requiring no additional integration.

PrimaveraReader version 4.2 is available for download (free trial) here.

Project Planning in the Virtual World

by: Russell McCulley

Spotting an opportunity in a challenging offshore market, Siemens is drawing on its wide technology portfolio to help the upstream oil and gas businesses realise the benefits of digitalisation. 



Siemens’ new Topside 4.0 initiative, which it describes as “a digital lifecycle solution,” targets the offshore production industry.

The offering is centred around the “key modules” of compression, power generation, power distribution and automation, the company says.


Topsides 4.0 starts during an offshore project’s concept selection and design phase, when it’s possible to identify and avoid redundancies in processing systems and minimise interfacing risk.

It enables digital project management and manufacturing, virtual testing and commissioning, and delivers what Siemens calls an “intelligent digital twin” of the topsides — a digital replica of the plant, process and automation systems that shows how they interact. The technology reduces costs over a facility’s lifecycle through performance analytics and optimisation in the virtual environment - Read More


AI-Centric Megaproject Delivery


Traditional construction project delivery performance suffers from long and well publicized negative global productivity lags: negative compared to the industry 20 years ago, and negative compared to other industries.

Megaproject delivery is a messy process that lacks standardization, checks and balances, proper oversight, and accountability. The sheer magnitude of information makes unruly megaprojects appear impervious to deconstruction.

 It does not help that parties sequester information to themselves, selfishly begrudging their building partners to promote their own agenda. Change is in the wind, and that change is AI-centric megaproject delivery - Read the full article.

Project fails because of ineffective Work Breakdown Structure

by: Gholan Medalla

We have heard repeatedly the popular saying in Project Management “how do you eat a big elephant?” The answer, “one piece at a time”. This is the basic principle of applying what is called Work Breakdown Structure or commonly known as WBS. The Project Management Body of Knowledge or PMBook defines the work breakdown structure as a "deliverable oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team."



The work breakdown structure visually defines the scope into manageable chunks that a project team can understand, as each level of the work breakdown structure provides further definition and detail. 

So, using this principle if I am assigned a project, all I need to do is break it down into pieces until it is manageable? When is this “manageable level” attained? Level 1, 2, 3 and so on? When do we stop? 

Also, the word “Structure” should imply that it must be divided in an organized and consistent manner!   

So Not quite easy, right? Remember on the pre-requisite article Everyday Project Management Part I, where attaining success in any tasks is by being thorough with planning and preparation prior to execution of any task? Same thing applies here. If you fail at this stage to correctly use the WBS principle, then you will likely find difficulty in executing the tasks and reporting project status. Also, managing interface would eventually be an uphill battle.

Say you are responsible for a Design-Build Commercial Complex Development Project where your company acts as the General Contractor. As a project manager you will oversea the Detailed Design, Procurement, Construction and commissioning stages of the overall project. Remember, as the PM it is your duty that you are heavily involved in the creation of your project WBS as much as possible - Read Full Article  or  Watch Video

Megaprojects in Distress: Rethinking the Theory

by: Robert Prieto

The status quo of megaprojects these days is not good, with as many as two-thirds significantly disappointing on budget and schedule.


This is occurring despite our best efforts to rigorously implement systems founded on the basic principles of project management.  But herein may lie the problem that even the latest technology cannot fix.

Project management theory developed as a well-bounded exercise when projects were organized like industrial processes step-wise and linear, with limited interactions between owners and project managers. 

Emerging from PM’s earliest days, that model has been reflected in everything since—and it now holds us back!

In the way that Einstein found that Newtonian physics failed at scale, today’s large, complex projects do not fit that earlier PM model. Size and complexity create new challenges but also opportunities—if we understand what is not well served by existing PM theory - Read Full Article


By: TheP6Pro

There is usually more than one way to do just about everything in Primavera P6 Professional. One person responding to our blog How to Remove All Relationships in Primavera P6 commented “There’s a cool way to do it J”. It’s an interactive way that removes all activity relationships directly on the network diagram. And it supports the effort to generate a template as a base schedule for a new and similar project schedule.

This article looks at how to interactively remove all activity relationships from a Primavera P6 Professional schedule using the network diagram. Yes, in other words, it shows a cool way to remove all activity relationships from the schedule, and shows another way of doing this over our previous blog.

Whenever a new blog is posted we quite often receive comments from fellow Primavera P6 users. And our blog on How to Remove All Relationships in Primavera P6 is no exception. One commenter thought this blog “misleading” because it did not “address how to do this within a project”. Another commenter thought we would lose our layouts in our process of removing activities, which, we disagree with. Well, there’s a cool way of removing activity relationships that definitely assuages both concerns. The cool way is done within a project and, therefore, does not affect the layouts and filters; no questions asked - Read Full Article


Future Looks Bright for BIM

by: Steve Martin

Although BIM adoption across the industry remains slow, as it becomes gradually more commonplace, it's worth considering how its use might evolve in the future.  The next step could be the introduction of virtual reality (VR), which will further enable the project team - and the client - to understand all the project's elements and allow for greater collaboration, innovation and problem-solving.



The introduction of VR could ultimately help the client see how a finished project will look, in a manner that's more realistic than a 3D computer model. Doing this at the planning stage of a project should mean any issues are spotted - and resolved - as early as possible, which in turn should make the delivery of the project more straightforward.

Those who already work in this way have reported it leads to faster project approvals, better relationships with clients and higher levels of client satisfaction - not least because it helps them save time and money during a project's lifecycle - Read Full Article

ROADSHOW GERMANY - The Power of Integrated Project Controls

The performance of technical projects has stagnated for years, with 64 % of projects facing cost overruns and 73 % reporting schedule delays.

Some failing projects result from increased project size and complexity. However, another root cause shouldn’t be ignored: project controls is being treated as the collection of individual disciplines.


To improve the project performance and overcome the challenges, project controllers must start applying integrated project controls. 

The integrated approach between cost estimation, scheduling, cost management and benchmarking provides more accurate estimates, more time to focus on analysis and increased profitability on projects through less overruns and more efficient work processes.

Cost Engineering Consultancy will travel through Germany to meet with various companies, showcase our state-of-the-art software Cleopatra Enterprise, and discuss various topics:
  • How to improve project performance in today’s challenging environment
  • The value of using a project controls software that integrates the disciplines cost estimating, scheduling, cost management and benchmarking
  • Best practices in project controls, which drive continuous improvement with Cleopatra Enterprise
  • Open discussion on challenges in your project organization

Date: 29 January - 9 February 2018

Locations: Leverkusen, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, München, Leipzig, Berlin and aditional locations may be submitted for consideration.

Schedule a meeting: - Roadshow Germany

Merry Christmas from Primavera P6


By Do Duy Khuong Blog
Primavera P6, Microsoft Project Tips & Tricks

Titled "From Primavera P6 with love"

A small present from us here at the Do Duy Khuong Blog

You can download the Christmas Picture, the Project and the Layout


That's all folks... 

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