CA PPM Review

It provides us with a really granular, line-item overview of where we're at, pretty much almost real-time from expenditures. The UI needs to be improved.


Valuable Features

The most valuable features is the broad spectrum ability to pull in all of our portfolio information and drive that down to where the end result outputs to our financials. This allows us to close books each month.

Improvements to My Organization

We're a private company, so we do a lot around CapEx from the perspective of revenue and how all that is driven from a financial perspective, so by having a broad overview of bringing things in through ideation and portfolio management and approvals for money spent, we're able to keep a pretty good control over that from a holistic, enterprise-wide perspective.

Particularly in our technology department, we get approvals for projects, expenditure for each project, and when the projects are approved, we're able to track them on the portfolio down to the project-level.

This is from a global-perspective too, as we're headquartered in Nashville but we have heavy usage over in Asia, Hong Kong, and our Tokyo office. CA PPM is pretty good in getting a really granular, line-item overview of where we're at, pretty much almost real-time from expenditures.

Room for Improvement

They've got to come up to the year 2015 on user interface. It's really just not there. We've recently been looking at other products, wondering if we want to make a move. We don't really think that's the right answer, but at the same time we're hoping to see something here to help us with what we're doing.

They've really failed to innovate on the user-interface perspective. The complexities of the product are it's strength and it's weakness. We have a poor level of user adoption right now, just because it's so hard for people who who go in just once a week to do something. It's difficult for project managers to go in and remember how to do it, get through things in the user interface. We're kind of hoping to see something here at this conference, future road maps for user interface improvements, HTML5, whatever, to lessen some of those qualms.

Deployment Issues

Deployment has had no issues.

Stability Issues

Stability’s fine. It's feature-rich, and that's fine.

Scalability Issues

No issues whatsoever.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I don't believe that we've had any instance that made it outside of our internal support in recent memory.

Initial Setup

We recently upgraded to 14.2, and that was smooth and issue-less.

Other Advice

It's functionality is way up there at a grade of 9-8 out of 10. It's the industry leader in what you can do with it. The ability to get in and do that stuff, for people maybe with a lower technical aptitude than guys like us at these conferences, the user interface would make it a 4.

Make sure you have a PMO in place that is a very strong center of knowledge for your project managers. Also, make sure you're providing solid training on the usage of the tool. If you elect to go with a more agile model where you're kind of doing away with PMO, then what happens is you lose that center of knowledge about the use of PP MCA, and as I mentioned before, the complexity of the use of it is it's weakest point. We're experiencing a lot of problems with that right now.

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