With some familiar mixed with a large number of new faces the Primavera Conference lived up to the 'refreshed and renewed' community event it had promised to be.
"Brilliant, best Primavera community event ever!" Simon Noble, Oracle
What really stood out was the fantastic mix of industries present at the event. With so many different areas of business discussing strategies and planning techniques with each other the output of information for business' who attended was vast. With real take-away value from the information received to use in their everyday working lives.
"This has now become the essential go-to conference for primavera users." Mario Sanvitale, MileStone, Primavera Committee member
Dick Farris, Oracle, the opening keynote was a huge hit, as to be expected. Flying in from the states Dick was met with a warm reception by the primavera community, who feed off his passion for the User Group, the Conference and the Primavera offerings. He is a familiar and very welcomed integral member of the Primavera Community having stuck around after the Oracle accusation of the product.
...with billions in costs and having the expectations of the world to deliver against...
Attendees were then treated to a journey through the Olympic Process Planning as David Birch, Head of Programme Controls, Olympic Delivery Authority gave his Customer Keynote. The scale of the job in hand was impressive, with billions in costs and having the expectations of the world to deliver against this was an enormous planning project. David and his team with the use of their Primavera product alongside other software completed on time and in budget on all the London 2012 Olympic Projects they were tasked with.
The implementation elements, and project planning techniques against the backdrop of excitement for the up-and coming Olympics made for an inspirational session. The Olympics really came to life through the slides and understanding of the planning and work that took place to make it a success.
The Central London bright and open venue helped spark conversations and worked well during the networking time. With a sociable hub at the centre from which refreshments were served, there was no one left awkwardly in the corner, everyone was integrated and involved with this community conference.
LSC Group gave a fascinating customer presentation about outage planning using Primavera P6 for EDF Energy. Working with time pressures on scheduling and reporting, it gave a deep insight into how to approach planning. Having to plan to the minute detail because of it being such a sensitive area showed those who attended the session, what true planning looks like.
Phil Budden & Mark Paulding from Costain, delivered a session on the Journey to Enterprise and Deployment of Primavera P6 & PRA in UK Construction. In this session they shared a lot of the issues that most primavera users do, in terms of sharing data and keeping systems clean. Lots of useful hints and tips on potential issues and how to avoid them left attendees satisfied.
Guest speaking at the conference was Luke Cunliffe, Ultra-Marathon and Extreme Footrace Competitor! With an amazing display of the challenges he has faced, from trekking across deserts to multiple marathons through the Amazon Jungle. Planning was at the heart of his success and kept him alive. The audience could relate to him as he seemed like a fairly 'normal bloke' but had managed himself in a way that meant he could achieve amazing feats of human endurance. It was truly inspirational and showed the power of planning correctly, and what can go wrong when you don't.
The question left on the Primavera Committee's mind at the end of the day was why is it still so hard to engage this community, when there are such fantastic things coming out of it. The challenge for the User Group will be to reach out and break the barriers allowing an open dialogue between all users. Pippa Grayshon from UKOUG presented after lunch to those who attended about the benefits and influence members can achieve when joined to the user group as members. 2013 is set to be the year of growth within the User Group with a new membership package available for those companies not yet 'signed up' officially to the Primavera community.
"What a refreshing conference, to see so many industries all under one roof, coming together to learn from one another. It is exciting to physically be able to see the community develop and grow." Niall Faris, Transport for London