CA PPM Review

The tool brings transparency to the organization, but there is a lack of seamless integration with industry standard products


What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is about demand management and understanding where our resources are allocated and who is over or underallocated. Often we find that our shared services organization is caught blindsided when demand comes their way all of a sudden, and they have no previous inclination of that. 

Something like CA PPM would really mitigate some of that as we forecast our demand for the next six months, or whatever. Shared services would know ahead of time as to be able to balance, not only the work, but even make some hiring decisions ahead of time, as to be not caught by surprise.

IT just rolled out the tool. Therefore, we are in the process of rolling out the tool. That said, I have worked with CA PPM in other companies. It definitely has met the use case of performing well. Although in other companies, the bigger use case was really around portfolio, scenario planning, and long-range business planning in large companies, like Boeing.

How has it helped my organization?

It is about bringing about that transparency. Once you bring about that transparency, what happens is, you can use data to encourage people to pivot in a certain direction. If I just go with a gut-feel, I do not get anywhere. If I have data and I have our investments captured, and I have my resources captured, I can let the data speak for itself.

The data should be able to make decisions. Use the data as the catalyst, if you will, and I am just the messenger.

What is most valuable?

Transparency and just having the ability to procure information that is pertinent. Not just the execution of programs in a more systemic way, but also from a strategic perspective; to understand the big rocks in the organization and how much money are we putting where our mouths are.

What needs improvement?

  1. I would really like a modern UI. I do not want to get on a user interface and feel like I am in the 1990's. Today, at least prior to 15.3, that's the case. Even 15.3 does not really do it for me. When you look at the new UI, where they are looking at light project management and resource allocation, those are very compelling and modern interfaces.  
  2. It would be just seamless to integrate with some of the industry standard tools that are out there. I know they are making some headway with Power BI, Tableau, ServiceNow. JIRA, and others, but it just seems like they are just getting started. I would have thought that being 30 plus years in the industry, that they would have figured this out long ago.

For how long have I used the solution?

Still implementing.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We are going with the SaaS solution now.

I am hoping that it is going to be stable, because again, we have not hit production just yet at F5. However, in a previous life, we had on-premise CA PPM deployments, and they have all been pretty stable.

We are targeting a February launch.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has worked for organizations the size of Boeing, which is 160,000 people. F5 is 4,000, so I do not see a scalability issue.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have not used technical support yet.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We did not have anything before. We did not have a PPM software at all, let alone a process behind it. F5 is a pretty young company.

We have been in business for about 20 years and grown leaps and bounds. The focus has primarily been customer-driven features, products, and services. Now, I think we are pivoting more towards, "Hey, we better get our act together to be able to compete in the marketplace." 

I think the attention is shifting more towards internal process maturity.

How was the initial setup?

Nothing is straightforward, especially when it is company-wide. There is a lot of organizational change management that goes with it. There is a lot of, "Who moved my cheese-type of discussions?" that you have to have, but I think none of that is unexpected.

I would say there were not any unknowns that really came our way. I think the organizational change management takes the cake in that.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There were two others. They fell short in a few things that were absolute must-haves. Although, they were working on getting those features available, they were not there, and we just could not move forward with them.

What other advice do I have?

Look at the needs of your organization first. If you can meet that need with a scalpel, do not go with the sledgehammer. CA's outlook has a pretty broad spectrum in terms of being able to meet the needs of varying organization sizes. However, focus on the need that you have at that point in time and do not cast such a broad and wide net, because chances are your organizational change management is going to limit you anyway. 

Take a look at what your needs are. Choose a product that is modern and cloud-based. Do it in phases. Do not try to bite more than you can chew.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: It is the ability of the vendor to really understand where we are coming from in terms of our pain points and our requirements. Not using the book and opening to chapter 17, paragraph three. I do not want that. I want vendors to really feel the pain, relate, and be part of the team. 

There should be a seamless integration between full-time or contract people. Be honest, open, and transparent to the biggest extent possible without giving up any proprietary information. That is not what I am after. 

Just be upfront and honest about dealings and capabilities. Winning the trust of clients probably takes care of 80% of the headwinds that contractors and vendors face.

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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