CA Clarity PPM Review

We're able to leverage the data behind it to do more portfolio management. Combining the portfolio and project management aspects would be an improvement.


Valuable Features

We are mandated by law to rigorously manage change to our systems and to ensure zero or very minimal impact to our customers. Given the systems that we had in place -- and we've got thousands of users and thousands of projects in major systems, comprising a large part of the economy -- we could no longer use disparate systems to govern all of those things. So we implemented Clarity PPM to enforce a standard change management protocol.

However, what we have found is we are leveraging the data behind it to do more portfolio management, which really boils down to, are we working on the right things? Are we using the right people? Are we getting return on investment? Are we utilizing our resources and it has opened up a level of transparency into our change delivery efforts and costs that we've never had before?

The answers are, yes. It's an amazing solution.

Improvements to My Organization

It has been severely disruptive in a good way, which is exactly what I had hoped for. Although we manage projects well, our practices were immature. But we didn't manage portfolios well. There was a lot of room for improvement and now that we're migrating to be a more data-driven organization with strategic alignment and execution and quality and performance and those kind of measures, it's changing the paradigm of project management in our organization.

Typically, a portfolio management tool or project management tool is bought by people that need to govern the process, but it is used by people who have to get the work done. It's nice to actually see a transition to the governance space to the user base because you will enable teams to collaborate, giving you better performance and better quality if you focus on the end users rather than a strict governance command and control model.

Even using basic functionality, capturing all the data, and standardizing simple practices has literally in the last 12 months lead to the behavior change that we wanted to see. It helped us accomplish our goals. It did that for us. We would not have been able to do it without this tool and/or the support.

Room for Improvement

I'd like to see improvement in broader portfolio management. It still seems to kind of be a specifically separate module from the project management and we really are aggregating a lot of data to make higher-level strategic decisions. Now that we're in that space, our executives want more. Specifically, they want to see high-level reports. They want to see the underlying data that supports it so that we can build that trust. So combining the portfolio and project management aspects would go a long way towards that.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I'm more of a super user on the business side of adoption. We are constantly in contact with our sales rep about challenges we have in maturity adoption and what pieces of the tool will support what types of strategic adoptions. I know that we had a technical resource on site to help us configure. I'm very happy with the level of support we've got from CA.

Initial Setup

I'm actually leading adoption efforts and was part of the team that reviewed and implemented the tool. Adoption is always difficult. Change is hard and it's never really a technology-type thing. It's more of a human behavior-type exercise. We were challenged. We were absolutely challenged. We found our champions early. We set some minimum baselines and adoption. We reported on adoption and quality of data to motivate people to clean their stuff up. We let people innovate and go farther ahead and as they they pioneered some of the functionality. That's the hardest part of the whole thing, is getting people to adopt.

Other Advice

The thing with software is it can do anything but you can't adopt anything. Know your audience, know your internal customers. Start small. Keep it simple. Get the blocking and tackling and the basics down pat. You will see change. You'll see lasting change but you've got to stick with basics and build upon them.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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