Micro Focus PPM Review

Portfolio and resource management are the key features.

What is most valuable?

The portfolio management and the resource management are the key features.

How has it helped my organization?

When we're doing it the most successfully, we do not over-allocate resources. We schedule projects in such a way that they do not clash on resources. Instead of executing all projects at the same time, we put up a schedule. And when resources were needed, they were available as was previously agreed upon. It's difficult, but you can do it with a good planning tool.

What needs improvement?

Support and license management are two hurdles for us. Every time we purchase new licenses, it has taken us half a year to implement those. We've had to use HPE technical support to get the right licenses. We needed a cumulative license file and that took HPE forever to get right. We go through this every time. If you want to grow, there are no technical issues with stability, but the license bit is a pain.

For how long have I used the solution?

Ten years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were things that had to be customized to meet expectations.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is great. That's 100%.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

By US standards, we're a small company with about 1100 users. We have no issues. We don't need to change the scale much. We're using an on-premises solution and that's been without issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

We had bad experience with technical support. They don't do their best to try to help us solve the case. They tend to point away from the product to other possible problem sources. These are things you don't want to hear as a customer.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup. I know that the project involved a lot of consulting that took a long time. But the maturity with the organization was not very high either. We didn't have the process in place and we had to learn with the product. That's why it took a bit of time. It's a maturity thing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I'm pretty sure they looked at alternatives. I don't know what products were involved in the pre-study. They chose HPE, which was Mercury back then.

What other advice do I have?

There are lots of project management tools that do a good job, but not so many that can manage portfolios and the bigger planning picture. The key reason why projects fail, is the lack of necessary resources. With this in mind, projects need to be scheduled in such a way that their resource requirements can be met. You can’t just do all of them first.

That’s portfolio management (well, part of it). To be able to successfully execute the portfolio, it is necessary to have the required resources recruited, scheduled and committed to the different projects in due time. That’s resource management. Organizations who fail at either one of these, will find that the necessary resources tend not to be available when the projects need them, causing them to be delayed or fail completely. There are also other downsides, such as inability to project cash flow, ad hoc prioritization (usually at the wrong organization level) and, for the resources themselves, conflicting loyalties (serving the one who yells the loudest?), lack of clarity of what to do next, unclear work schedule expectations (You have to work weekend – surprise!) and just general overload situations.

Lacking portfolio and resource management, you are almost guaranteed that your projects will miss their targets. That is why I consider these the key features of PPM, although there are other aspects that make PPM a very powerful tool, such as being able to define your own request types and create work flows for them. Very neat, indeed!

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