CA Clarity PPM Review

It has highlighted areas in our company that were deficient in resources. However, the integration needs to be improved with Jaspersoft and MS Project.

What is our primary use case?

We use it for both portfolio and project management, as well as time tracking and resource management.

How has it helped my organization?

It has highlighted areas in our company that were deficient in resources. It has allowed us to hire, then realize more benefits regarding the number of projects we can get done.

What is most valuable?

  • The portfolio management
  • The waterline functionality
  • The data that we can get out of the timesheet information.

What needs improvement?

One of the things that was highlighted that is coming was the top-down planning functionality and that looks pretty compelling. 

If there is support or guidance around how to take a more waterfall-based shop and transition it into an agile-based team framework within the tool, that would be good as well because it is definitely different in how you manage and execute projects.

The integration needs to be improved with Jaspersoft and Microsoft Project.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It seems fine. We have not had any issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are a fairly small shop, so we really do not run into any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their online documentation is okay. It is not great. It is hard to get to some of the answers to the things that we may be running into, such as use cases that we are trying to fix. So, frequently we have to put in tickets. 

Sometimes they are great and exceed expectations, and sometimes, they take a little longer than I would anticipate.

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

The one that we had at the time, Microsoft Project Server, which was pretty basic in the data that you could get out of it. It did not have near the functionality around portfolio management that this CA solution does. So, that was really one of the reasons why we were evaluating new tools.

How was the initial setup?

As with any fairly complex tool, there were a lot of things that you can't solve for. You can't write a 100% of the requirements and expect to roll it out. So, we ended up with some gaps. One of the areas that we would improve upon is not necessarily with the tool, but having more tips/tricks on adoption. How to get people outside of the PMO to use the tool and get the information.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at staying with our current solution, which was Project Server, and seeing how we could leverage it. We also looked at Innotas, then CA. So, those were really the three. Innotas had a great portfolio functionality, but its project management was very basic. Its resource management was kind of non-existent. So, CA had the full package. It really had everything that we wanted.

What other advice do I have?

I would give them advice that the learning curve and the adoption curve for an organization, which is attempting to bite off this much functionality and complexity, is a lot longer than they will think. Put some serious energy into how to get the groups involved into driving adoption. Then, knowing that the new OData connector is now out, finding ways to quickly leverage data, so you can start telling business stories and showing the value of the tool.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Stability in the marketplace. We definitely wanted to go with something that was going to be around for a while, and they were constantly improving.

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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