Hydro Tasmania – Our Business

Hydro Tasmania is Australia’s largest producer of renewable energy. We generate hydropower and wind power in Tasmania and trade electricity and energy-related environmental products (such as Renewable Energy Certificates) in the Australian market.

Hydro Tasmania is the largest water manager in Australia.

We own and operate an advance hybrid power system on King Island. It uses wind, solar, diesel and innovative energy enabling technologies to maximise renewable energy use. It’s a good example of innovative use of combined renewable technologies.

Hydro Tasmania is also involved in several joint ventures.

We’re owned by the Government of Tasmania and currently employ over 1100 people. We have assets worth around $5 billion.

We manage and operate 30 power stations and all associated infrastructure required to generate the electricity. On top of that we own and operate all support services of IT, Fleet, Property Management, HR, Administration, Finance, just to name a few.

Project Management in SAP

Hydro Tasmania manages all Capital Expenditure spend through the Project Systems module, along with selected Operational Projects when deemed necessary. Some parts of the business have chosen to run entire Operational budgets through the Projects module in order to provide a one-stop-shop for all expenditure within their business unit.

Hydro Tasmania has an annual Capital Budget in excess of $100m and this is managed through approximately 300 live projects at any given time. These are split across the business with some two-thirds being projects related to major maintenance / construction of infrastructure / generation assets, and the other one-third are IT based projects. The portfolio spend at any time is in the order of $300m as many projects span multiple years. The projects range in value from as little as $5k to as much as $50m.

The plan for how SAP would be utilised to manage projects included:

  • Creation and management of the project structure (Work Breakdown Structure)
  • Scheduling
  • Creation of resource demands
  • Procurement straight from the projects
  • Budgeting and cashflow projections
  • Forecasting
  • Management of Project Progress
  • Reporting
  • Project Issues and Risk Management
  • Variation Management
  • Link to Plant Maintenance to ensure costs are captured against the assets
  • Link to PPM (portfolio management) to provide portfolio management and reporting

Integral to the total solution was that the management of individual projects then fed in to other parts of the system to provide up-to-date information to all parts of the business. In particular the finance team could obtain up-to-date forecast data direct from the project data, without having to collect separate reports from various parts of the business.

Hydro Tasmania and SAP

Hydro Tasmania went live with SAP on 1 July 2013. The implementation was made business wide to provide a fully integrated system, and covered all areas of:

  • Human Resources (including Timesheeting and Payroll)
  • Finance
  • Procurement
  • Portfolio and Project Management
  • Plant Maintenance
  • Outage Management
  • Asset Portfolio Management
  • Resource Management (MRS)
  • Mobility
  • Governance and Risk Compliance
  • EH&S

What Created the Need to use Noveco

Following implementation, it became apparent that there were several shortcomings with the standard SAP Project Management tools regarding the way we wanted to use the system and the benefits we were expecting:

  • The standard SAP toolset for forecasting was challenging in terms of understanding how the tool calculates and re-calculates Cost to Complete. Further, we link work orders to the majority of our asset related projects and the forecasting module does not cope well with this. The standard screen layouts did not help, as they were not intuitive and user friendly. Accurate forecasting was one of the key benefits we expected to achieve through implementing SAP. Our implementation partner had advised us to utilise Invoice Plans as a means of managing the cashflow. These were time consuming to maintain and update.
  • We intended to use the Progress module for earned value reporting, but once implemented no one was able to understand how it worked in different scenarios and data update was difficult and time consuming. It is also difficult to create a meaningful, detailed, baseline of approved project expenditure.
  • For Project Managers to monitor their projects required them to run numerous transactions (actuals, purchase orders, different reports for Plan vs budget vs forecast etc.) and both Forecasting and Progress required three transactions for each process.

Ultimately the product proved not to be an ideal fit to service the diverse needs of our business. The impost on resources was unacceptable and an alternative needed to be found. Our implementation partner was not able to provide an alternative solution.

Here you can create the content that will be used within the module.

Why Noveco?

Our main driver was resolving our forecasting issue. As with any business … “Cashflow is King”. We needed to resolve our forecasting issue. With a simple Google search we stumbled across the Noveco solution and on the surface it looked a simple solution to our problem, while providing additional functionality that may also help some of the challenges our Project Managers were facing when using the new SAP tool.

It did not take many discussions with Noveco for us to be convinced that this product would do the job. It was easy to make a business case showing a very quick Return on Investment. Noveco made the claim that it was very quick and easy to install and configure to work with our existing implementation; and at the end of the day, this was not a hollow claim.

At the time I also asked “Could Noveco solve our problem with managing Progress and Earned Value analysis?” At the time it could not but Noveco explained it was one of the next developments in the pipeline. A year on we are now installing the new Progress components with what looks like a solution our management and project managers will be very happy with.

Noveco ePM provides an easy one stop shop (Project Workbench) for Project Managers to forecast, monitor and control their projects. Once their project is built in Project Builder there is little need to access any other transactions other than the Workbench. They can clearly see all financial information including budget, forecast, commitments and variations in the one area, update CTC, profiling and actual percent complete data. The drill through capability to actuals, commitments (and more) makes interrogation of financial data quick and easy. The automatic recalculation of the forecast makes it quick for managers to update their forecast by exception. With Noveco ePM residing in ECC no customisation is required to existing processes which is often a blocker to implementing non-SAP (core) product.

Noveco ePM has provided the tools which make project management within SAP much easier for Project Managers in particular the visibility and ease in forecasting projects with work orders linked.


How have our Project Managers taken to Noveco ePM

Prior to the implementation of Noveco, we were struggling to get buy in from the Project Managers to use the Project Management functionality in SAP. They were using it because the “had” to but they were quickly finding the short cuts to just put in the bare essentials, rather than using the tool to manage a project. This resulted in poor and inadequate quality of data available to portfolio managers, our finance team, and other parts of the business. We were starting to collect data “off-system” because of difficulty managing data collection through SAP.

Since going live with Noveco, we have had a 100% take up of managing projects in SAP. Those parts of the business that were resisting are now seeing how easy it is to use the Workbench and how beneficial it is to manage and maintain their projects using these tools. After the first training session we ran for using Noveco, one of our most senior Project Managers hugged the instructor. For a guys who rarely shows emotion, this really epitomised how much easier this tool was compared to what we had been using. This was all the feedback we needed to know we got the right product.

We have trained over 100 project managers in how to use Noveco, and most don’t need any follow up assistance. Our Finance team has jumped on board as they can easily use the interrogative nature of the Workbench to ensure costs are correct and use it to find transactional errors.

Implementation of Noveco

It wasn’t quite “plug and play”, but it was very close. Configuration of Noveco was minimal (less than a day) and most importantly we did not have to modify our existing system. Testing found minor issues, but these were quickly resolved by the Noveco team. We use Noveco differently to how the designers intended, but it still does the job we need.

The main area of change in our existing systems was redesigning reports to extract data from Noveco, rather than from existing tables. Noveco uses core ECC tables as much as possible, but has some specific tables for its own use. So the change to our reports was minimal.

After someone is trained in the basics of Project Builder, the training for Noveco is only a couple of hours. We’ve develop support materials that are simple and easy to use and it doesn’t take a user much time in the workplace to pick up all the little tricks that make this a very powerful tool for managing their project.

The information we can now see from a portfolio perspective is immense and it is easy to identify the “problem children” and then use Noveco to report and identify issues. This then makes targeted questions to Project Managers an easy task.

Progress Analysis in Noveco

Noveco 3.0 has just been released. With it comes the promised solution to Progress Analysis. Progress is a vital component of Earned Value Analysis, a management tool Hydro Tasmania uses to highlight projects that are potentially “going off the rails”. Noveco worked closely with Hydro Tasmania during the development of this solution in order to understand Hydro Tasmania’s need and deliver a solution that would work for us.

This has basically been achieved, while maintaining the use of the standard tables in SAP and not developing a completely separate package. At the time of writing this is yet to be rolled out to the business, but the implementation / testing team is confident it will be adopted as easily and readily as the total Noveco solution has been to date.

The additional, new, features of Noveco 3.0 are further evidence that Noveco are listening to their customers’ needs and adapting and improving to produce an excellent project management product.

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CitiPower and Powercor Bio

CitiPower and Powercor are Victoria’s largest suppliers of electricity to both residential and commercial customers. CitiPower delivers services to Melbourne’s inner suburbs and the CBD, and Powercor deliver electricity to customers in central Victoria and Melbourne’s outer suburbs. The business owns and manages core electrical infrastructure such as power poles and wires and are responsible for providing safe, reliable and cost effective electricity to over 1 million Victorians daily.

Powercor and Noveco ePM

Noveco ePM extends SAP PS, SAP PPM, SAP CPM functionality for Powercor by greatly increasing the productivity of Project Managers who oversee the effective maintenance of electricity infrastructure across Victoria.

Powercor’s SAP Limitations

The major issue with SAP PS, SAP PPM, SAP CPM before we implemented Noveco ePM was the inability to create project estimates, perform cost forecast, manage project variations, compare approved budgets with forecasts, run drill down reports in one central system. Although there are some standard transactions to report on project actual cost and commitments, SAP standard PS lacks functionality to manage project key financial parameters. At every month end we used to download data from SAP into excel sheets and had to run various macros to process and calculate project forecasts in excel sheets (including overheads on cost to complete). This was time consuming, inaccurate and inefficient. Having implemented one of the best ERP systems in the world we still could not manage project monthly forecasts, review projects and programs KPIs instantly at any given time and had to rely on excel sheets.


Noveco ePM Brings Efficiency and Standard Approach

Noveco ePM solutions made SAP to be the single source of truth where projects estimated costs, approved budget, forecasts, actuals, remaining commitments, variations are available in one central system. Noveco automatically recalculates project forecasts, so our Project Managers only had to make manual adjustment where it is necessary. Because Noveco ePM resides directly in SAP ECC and not in BW, all projects key financial information including the latest actual costs is available across all projects in all company divisions at any moment instantly. There are no data downloads and uploads required.
This increased both productivity and efficiency, as Project Managers do not have to maintain separate data sheets to manage their project financials outside of SAP. Noveco ePM brought a standard and consistent methodology to manage all of our projects; it also enabled detailed analysis on program expenditure right within SAP ECC.

“Noveco made SAP to be the single source of truth where projects estimated costs, approved budget, forecasts, actuals, remaining commitments, variations are available in one central system.”

Deepak Sharma

Noveco Implementation Results

The implementation process involved a number of User Acceptance Tests, where some issues were found but promptly addressed. The implementation process required a collaboration between various stakeholders, as it was going to change the culture of the organisation with regards to its projects cost governance.

Noveco were very adaptable with regards to customising the product to meet our requirements. For example, one of the biggest blockers to this product was the use of cost elements (and there are thousands.) Noveco devised a solution to group the cost elements as ‘Resource’ group that resulted in a lot of blockers adopting this system. Noveco were always looking to continuously improve the product to accommodate the requirements.

sap project management software

Built Inside SAP

Directly Into SAP ECC Or S4 HANA-No Interfaces, No Middle, Always Real-time


Get in Touch

Our Customers

Noveco is a suite of software programs developed with extensive
industry experience and deep knowledge of SAP functionality

nishit si 1.fw