Thales Naval Ltd is a global technology leader for the Aerospace and Space, Defense, Security and Transportation markets. In 2009 the company generated revenues of £11.5 billion (12.9 billion euros) with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales UK has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements.
Thales Naval Ltd (Thales) is part of a consortium building the new generation of aircraft carriers for the UK Ministry of Defence. Other key members of this consortium include BAE Systems, Babcock and The Ministry of Defense (MoD). These new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, which on entering service, will become the United Kingdom’s national flagships.
Thales UK had led the design of the QE Class program and is currently involved in the Power and Propulsion sub-alliance, which the company leads on behalf of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA).
During this time, Thales was implementing Oracle Projects as part of the corporate accounting infrastructure and needed to interface the plans for the CVF project with Oracle Projects. Prior to contract award, Thales was using Primavera P3 (P3) as the planning tool, and was only considering moving to Primavera P6 based on full contract award.
Thales needed to better understand and appreciate what was involved in integrating Primavera P6 and Oracle Projects and asked Ten Six to lead this initiative.
Ten Six Approach
The Ten Six team adopted the following approach to deliver to Thales the design and configuration of an interface between Primavera P6 and Oracle Projects.
- Initial Assessment
- Education of Thales team of available standard integration functionality
- Definition of integration scope
- Creation Functional scope
- Prioritizing delivery to meet Thales goals
- Agreement of testing process
- Technical training for Thales team
- Thales acceptance and handover
After the scope and implementation plan were agreed, the Ten Six team focused on the high priority tasks to deliver incremental benefits over time. Part of this initial delivery step, provided the ability to retrieve actual costs from Oracle Projects into Primavera P6. The initial actual costs interface had to be basic without error trapping or reporting, as its intention is to prove the capability in the hands of experts.
The actual costs are the first of a phased approach intended to provide functionality over a period of time. Thales prioritized the development of the following functionality in the order below.
- Oracle Projects actual costs to date loaded into Primavera P6
- Primavera P6 Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) detail loaded into Oracle Projects
- Primavera P6 Estimate To Complete (ETC) costs loaded into Oracle Projects
Once agreed, the Ten Six team focused on delivering to the planned schedule highlighting any issues and risks using the Ten Six Engagement Management Methodology.
All of this functionality was successfully delivered on time, in the planned sequence with rigorous client testing in between each release.
The integration consisted of the movement of two types of data:
- Enterprise Data – Non project specific data such as fiscal calendars, expense types, Organization Breakdown Structure, and resource lists.
- Project Data – Templates, WBS, Budgets, Forecasts, Actual Costs, Earned Value.
Thales’ Oracle Projects system was the master for all Enterprise Data and the planning tool only needs to be updated when Oracle Projects changes. Such changes are usually infrequent – typically:
- Resources – when people leave or are hired.
- Fiscal calendars – once a year when they have been agreed.
- Organization Breakdown Structure – For example, changes in the organization that warrants a new accounting organization, but not all restructuring requires a change. The OBS in some organizations can remain unchanged for two or three years and longer.
- Expense Types – these rarely change.
Project information requires that data from one side of the interface can be readily mapped so that it ends up in the right place on the other side. More robust mapping was created producing a more stable interface.
The integration between Oracle Projects and Primavera P6 was a resounding success demonstrating that good project management and delivery expertize can produce the right results on time and within budget.