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NEW! APPLIED ORACLE PRIMAVERA P6 PROFESSIONAL WORKSHOPS
After a considerable investment in terms of both funding and development effort, RPCuk launched its Applied Primavera Professional P6 Workshops in June 2019, in partnership with Oracle. We sat down with Pete Gable, who created the Workshops, to get his view on how the new offering is different to the traditional Oracle University Primavera courses.
You might say that it became interested in me! (laughs) My first exposure was at Railtrack (now Network Rail) back in 1998. I had been engaged to help deliver the training element of a project to integrate Primavera (‘P3’ as it was known then) with their existing project control systems. As part of that engagement, my role was further extended to be the Project Manager for a small project, using P3 as the planning tool. I gained real insights into how to use the software to best effect in a live environment and quickly realised that Primavera was extremely powerful and offered a lot of future potential. So, from a career point of view, that was when I began to really focus on Primavera product training and planning consultancy.
Since that first Railtrack training engagement in 1998. The Primavera product range was extended to include what is now recognised as P6 and planning solutions evolved from a standalone tool to a powerful enterprise application. And then, of course, the product range took a huge leap forward when Oracle bought Primavera in late 2008 and started investing huge sums in product R&D and adding to the range with further acquisitions. So, for over twenty years, through both knowledge transfer and consultancy, I’ve been using the experiences that I've gained working with many organisations in various industries to help companies to get the most out of their investment in Primavera product solutions.
Primavera products are world leading project management and planning tools.
Many organisations across the globe and in most industries recognise the potential benefits that can accrue from investing in Primavera solutions. However, the value in such investments is significantly diluted if the personnel who are to use these solutions are not equipped with the knowledge that they need to leverage the opportunities that Primavera products represent.
I am keen to do whatever I can to boost and accelerate Primavera product knowledge acquisition by users of the applications. Consequently, RPCuk has been an Oracle University training partner since 2009 and has undertaken several collaborations with Oracle University to enhance the user learning experience. For example, we produced Primavera Training on Demand videos for Oracle University and are contributing material for inclusion in Oracle University's Primavera Learning Subscriptions.
As the Primavera product has developed, it’s fair to say the training material available to users has not kept pace and does not adequately match what delegates need or expect.
The traditional Oracle University courseware has been produced by Oracle Primavera software developers and is great in terms of explaining product functionality but the labs are scripted and very generic and, looking through delegate feedback, it is clear that the training just isn't specific enough for their job role and industry.
When we asked for feedback on the traditional courses, it was usually “The training was brilliant, location was great, food was great.” However, when asked “What didn’t you like?”, the most common response was “It didn’t tell me what I needed to do when I got back to my desk.”. More specifically, delegates couldn't relate to the generic labs and the course topics did not align to what delegates needed, either teaching topics that were not needed or, more worryingly, did not cover what delegates did need.
Aside from its generalised nature, another problem was that the training materials weren’t always updated quickly enough to cover the latest product versions. Bearing in mind that we’ve built our company on providing quality Primavera training, it did concern us when the Oracle materials appeared to require a degree of attention. We decided to take a proactive approach and be the catalyst for change.
And that’s what it’s all about. What do I need to do when I get back to my desk? How can the training actually benefit my working life?
I had been working on developing a new, more responsive way of delivering the training that would allow us to meet the specific needs of students and, for the past few years, I’ve been thinking about how I could improve the experience for our students. The Applied Primavera Workshops are our latest collaboration with Oracle University aimed at helping delegates to be as productive as possible and as soon as possible once they have completed training.
We trialled these Workshops with a number of large organisations to see if they actually worked for different disciplines in different industry sectors. We worked with businesses in engineering, construction, energy and oil and gas and the Applied Workshop feedback was great. All in all, we have proved our concept by 'trialling' it with over 3,000 delegates before launching the workshops as a public schedule offering.
A challenging few days. The emphasis will be on the delegate's role and industry and we’re hoping that each attendee is going to bring something to the party. Delegates are obviously going to learn how to use the software but, at the end of it, it’s going to be specific to the role, sector and topics that each delegate really needs to understand.
And also, hopefully, delegates will share their experiences with the other students so there’s a cross-pollination of ideas across different industries and roles.
Where the traditional Oracle coursework tended to be a more passive experience for students where they’re mainly required to listen, the Applied Workshops are far more interactive and, crucially, students really steer their own instruction as to where they need it to go.
The trainers are there to respond to individuals rather than just deliver a scripted experience and, in particular, it’s the unscripted hands-on labs that make the Workshops a unique experience in Primavera training. In other words, practical tuition is driven by the delegates rather than simply pursuing a generalised script.
I hope they will get a challenging, yet enjoyable and productive training experience. And, whatever their role or level of experience, that they get the specific knowledge they need to go back to their job with confidence, ready to use Primavera effectively.
It’s role-specific, industry-specific. If you look at the Learning Path, we’ve split it into streams for Planning and Scheduling and Resource Management, with Advanced workshops for each. This is something we’ve done in response to student feedback. In the standard Oracle coursework, we could spend half a day teaching delegates something that they're never going to use. So, we’ve split the courses down so that they’re the topics that delegates need, in the order that they are needed — and, as we go through the workshops, they’ll be specific to the role of each individual.
I think the price, as well, is very competitive compared with the standard (P102) 3-day training. And, delegates signing up for a Workshop Bundle receive 12 months' access to an Oracle University Learning Subscription, which is a uniquely valuable bonus as it’s included at no additional cost. That’s a really great benefit for students.
I firmly believe that blended learning, where key instructor-led training is supported by additional digital, self-study material is the most effective mode of knowledge acquisition.
The benefit from this approach (and our collaboration with Oracle University) is that delegates receive top quality instructor-led tuition plus 12 months' access to additional learning material.
The scenario might be that a delegate will complete a Workshop and start applying that knowledge from day one. Or, it may be that a delegate is waiting to start a job that is a month away. Or, it’s six months before the delegate starts using Primavera but he/she has had the opportunity to come on the Workshop now. So, the Learning Subscription will give the ability to look at what was covered in the Workshop from a video, replay it, do a lab as well, and actually practice with the software again. It’s a refresher at any stage, whenever it is wanted.
For details and FAQs about the Applied Workshops, visit the Workshops page or ring us on 01943 222 001.