In today’s ever-evolving business world, Oracle continues to be widely recognised as the leading provider of ERP software. This is hardly surprising when you consider the comprehensive suite of modules it offers, covering almost every business need. One of these modules is Project Portfolio Management (PPM), a platform designed to simplify project management processes and improve decision-making through centralised data and easily accessible analytics.
Despite its impressive credentials, PPM often stands out as the black sheep of the Oracle family in my experience. Many organisations are hesitant to implement it, and those who do often find themselves unsure of how and when to use it. This post aims to explore some of the underlying reasons why people are often afraid of PPM.
PPM, like all enterprise-level software, is expensive. Licensing, implementation, and maintenance costs can quickly add up to significant amounts. It is understandable why smaller organisations or those with budget constraints might avoid PPM, as they may struggle to justify the return on investment (ROI). However, with a better understanding of how Oracle PPM can improve business practices and bring savings, many in these categories might reconsider. That initial investment could yield substantial dividends.
Implementation and Integration
ERP implementations can be challenging, and PPM, with its size and complexity, can be particularly intimidating for organisations, even those with experience in PPM. Organisations that switch to Oracle often have established systems and processes in place. While some modules may be straightforward, the fear of PPM configuration, data migration, and changing business processes can lead to a decision to stick with the current system for the sake of simplicity.
Introducing new software often means adopting new ways of working, processes, and sometimes creating new jobs and roles to adapt. People, in general, tend to resist change, and for large organisations, change can be a significant risk. Additionally, people prefer the comfort of what they know and may not want to learn a new system. The associated disruption to productivity during implementation and the transition period can be overwhelming for employees and stakeholders in some organisations.
Fear of Difficulty and Uncertainty
In the industry, there seems to be a perceived fear surrounding Oracle PPM. People often express sympathy when they learn that I specialise in Oracle PPM training, as if I have been thrown into the deep end. Comments like “trainers who do that are like unicorn doo-doo” and “better you than me” are not uncommon in these conversations. There is a perception that Oracle PPM is too complicated and not intuitive. As a training company, we often find that PPM is one of the modules that requires the most post-go-live support.
Many companies are unsure of how PPM fits within their business. During my work with one organisation, they told me, “We don’t know how a project is going to look yet” in our initial contact. Another company was so uncertain about how projects worked that they seemed evasive when I tried to scope their training because they simply didn’t know what they wanted. In my experience, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are hesitant to approve course outlines or materials because they worry that something has been overlooked or that they might change how PPM is used.
How can we address these fears and help customers unlock the true benefits of PPM in their organisation? The key lies in familiarity and comfort. Ensuring that stakeholders are familiar with PPM before training can help alleviate their fear of the new system. When people walk blindly into training on a new system, they often feel overwhelmed and lost. The introduction of new technical terms, processes, and an unfamiliar user interface can lead people to resist the training. Therefore, it is important to provide a suitable pre-training introduction to PPM, which will give stakeholders and trainees confidence and increase their understanding and buy-in.
Tailored training is crucial in helping employees and stakeholders appreciate the benefits of the new system and ensuring quick and effective user adoption. By offering tailored training that takes into account current and new business processes, FudgeLearn can ensure that users feel confident in using the new system once it goes live. To further support this training, Oracle Guided Learning (OGL) can provide additional on-screen support through process guides, beacons, and smart tips. This can help users navigate the system after completing the training, providing a safety net for those who may be hesitant about using a new system.
There are various training options available to assist users in adopting PPM. FudgeLearn offers tailored training that considers both current and new business processes. Additionally, our OGL design and implementation service can provide long-term support by offering “at point of need” support and tips to guide users through tasks and activities within PPM.
If your company uses PPM or other Oracle Applications and needs support to understand best practice use, we’d love to help.