Broadcom Clarity PPM Review

We use it to manage financial plans against projects


What is our primary use case?

We are using it for project management, but really in a federal perspective which is acquisition management: Contracts are deployed for what the budgets were, how much has been appropriated against that budget, and managing the financial plans against projects. 

It performs great!

How has it helped my organization?

Basically, it keeps us on track financially. Again, we are federal, DOD. We budget two years ago, and the world changes. We have to keep track of where that money was acquired, where it got shifted to, what is been spent against it, and when we are running out of money. It is tracking that whole, what contracts have been issued against which projects, and when they are coming due. Again, it is managing the lifecycle, multi-year programs, and the people who do the work and the funding associated with that work.

What is most valuable?

Configurability.

The UX works really well.

What needs improvement?

I would love the ability to add my own functionality to the UI. Right now, I have to play with HTML portlets and have to pick the system out. I can't add a button on the UI to go do some work, so I am always working really hard around it to get extra feature sets.

They get a nine out of 10 rating, because they won't let me put a button on the UI.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We are on demand. With on demand, those guys keep it running. We occasionally have an outage here and there, but very seldom. Nothing memorable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is fine. We run anywhere. We do not have the time sheet problem where everybody logs in on Monday. We have lots of users, about 300, not a lot but they are not timesheet users. They are all financial contract managers and PMs. We do not have the traditional " I have to do my time." 

We have what I will say is a different level of user, meaning they are in there to see if their projects are on, the date is up-to-date, and they are extracting stuff to feed the downstream processes. It is a different user type.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have use technical support when we had questions or we have issues.

They have always solved what we had.

We have a test environment and a dev environment, so nothing moves to production until we are happy with it. We ran into issues early on about task naming IDs, etc., but it is all stuff once you know it, you can avoid it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The tool that they had was not adequate, so we ended up inviting three different vendors in, did a down select, did a pilot, and it has been there since 2011.

How was the initial setup?

We just had to learn it. It is straightforward once you figure it out. It was not anything too tedious.

What other advice do I have?

Just make sure it handles all the business cases. Spend more time with the customer or the end users to get as many of the business cases and try to flush out "what ifs" with them, because it will make the configuration easier and you won't be backtracking. You do not want next year them saying, "They wanted that or we would have done this differently." 

Get upfront and mess with it, because it can do a lot of stuff. Join the communities, the CA communities, because you can learn tons. You can ask people questions. It is the best community that I have ever been in with lots of different software packages. Honestly, you can write a question, "Will this work?" and you get six people say "I did it," "It didn't," "Do it this way," or "Try this." Absolutely, the most active community I have ever been on. Good stuff.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: It has to be a vendor that is on the GSA, because it is government. It has to be the GSA and it helps to have schedules. It typically has to be someone that has a good credit score as we have to have software maintenance, because you can't run a piece of software in the government without it being under software insurance as they call it. We can't just pick any vendor, but of the big vendors, we can pick pretty easily. 

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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