We’re currently holding a competition to give away a copy of Stephen D. Kelly’s book ‘Oracle Primavera Contract Management, Business Intelligence Publisher Edition’ which you can enter here. As we’re not announcing the winner until Monday July 29th, we thought it would be a great idea to sit down with the author and talk about his book. Before we start, if you’re interested in a review we did back in March of Steve’s book you can read it here.
Tell us why you wrote the book?
I wrote the book for a few reasons. (a) I have been asked by MANY customers about writing a book to help them get through Primavera Contract Management (PCM) and (b) I felt there was a real need for understanding of PCM and the contract management space in general.
Who will most benefit from reading your book?
I wrote the book with all users in mind. It puts users on the same playing field understanding what the modules actually can do for them and the organization as a whole. It is not just a data-entry tool; it can tell management valuable information in a timely fashion if implemented and used correctly.
We particularly liked the very descriptive chapter titles? Did you come up with them straight away or was it part of the original concept that you had in mind?
I came up with the titles straight away. It follows my typical consulting and training flow. The publisher seemed to like them and so they stuck. I did not want this to be a “techie” book
Do you find many companies using PCM exploit the potential of Business Intelligence Publisher?
Not as much as they should/could. HOWEVER, PCM does not allow for the full functionality of BI Publisher unless you run the reports from outside of PCM which can be a hassle. It is a VERY powerful tool but it has its issues as well (like any software product).
Good project management practice talks about gleaning lessons learned at project closeout. With the book project complete, what lessons have you learned?
Excellent question. My short answer is that it takes longer to write a book than I ever realized. The long answer is that it is very important to document a logical flow for projects. This book project was a lesson to me in organization of thought and flow. It would be so simple to rabbit-trail in so many ways – I had to stick with the topic and the chapter. As ideas came to me for other chapters I had to note them for that chapter.
How long did the whole process of writing this book take?
The book took exactly 1 year from typing my first paragraphs to the final published book. I look at it being just under 200 pages and taking that long seems like it should have taken a shorter amount of time but I was still working full time and spending as much time as I could with family as well. I now know what writers block is … even with a book like this. Some chapters I finished in a few hours – others took several months.
What other things would you want potential readers of your book to know about?
I would want them to know that PCM is very flexible and yet somewhat rigid at the same time. PCM MUST be implemented properly for the user and organization to get the best information out of the system. Trying to run it “out of the box” is a huge mistake that many customers have attempted. It needs to mirror the processes of the organization. Many times an organization has few documented processes (if any) and they expect that PCM will force a process – this is not the case. It does not enforce something that does not exist.
What are your thoughts about Primavera Unifier and Primavera Contract Management’s future?
I have presented several talks/discussions in several venues about my thoughts on Unifier and the future of PCM. There is definitely a future for BOTH products as they satisfy different needs in different ways. I say to people that Oracle Primavera has two tools that do some of the same tasks in different ways. It all depends on the customer and their needs. I do not see many PCM customers rushing to convert and switch to Unifier but there are some customers that have implemented PCM in years past that I know would benefit from the strengths of Unifier.
Perhaps you can share with us and potential readers why are you qualified to write a book on PCM?
I have over 25 years experience with almost all of it with this product. I have been in hundreds of organizations around the world and have seen many ways of managing contracts. Some good, some bad , and some truly ugly. Some where multi-multi-millions of dollars are managed on a spreadsheet. I will not say I have “seen it all”, but I have seen a lot. Experience is not matched by years in a university classroom.
Where you can buy Stephen’s book
You can buy the book directly from the publishers, Packt Publishing, in a number of different formats ranging from eBook, Kindle, pdf, etc. as well as paperback. Click here to go to the web page on Packt’s web site.