Micro Focus Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) Review

Provides a good balance of flexibility and functionality; very powerful


What is our primary use case?

We generally provide PPM services for our customers, and we use PPM solely for our in-house development. Most of the time we implement and provide services and consulting on Micro Focus PPM. We are partners with Micro Focus and I'm the PPM services director.

How has it helped my organization?

That is not applicable to us. But in terms of customer experience, the usual value of the implementation MF PPM can be described as follows: one of the main successes is to help the company standardize procedures across business units/geographic spread branches and set up end-to-end lifecycle processes, consolidate all demands, improve visibility, transparency, and control of portfolios of investments and projects, optimize the use of resources, and focus on the investments aligned within strategic goals. 

What is most valuable?

There are two key areas where the features are valuable; from the implementation perspective and end-user functionality. PPM really has a powerful workflow and form engine that allows us to create workflow complexities and processes. There's a good balance between flexibility and best practice and it generally allows us to implement any kind of requirements a customer might have. It's a good balance of flexibility and functionality for configuration. It's a really powerful tool. I saw the other tools bending, compared to them it's really good. 

UI is user-friendly, it is quite simple and intuitive. It ships with a balanced content of the dashboards and the reporting features. There's a good interaction between modules, that allows organizations to have a full e2e cycle starting from the idea/proposals in the demand management, transform and execute in project management and track and manage grouping into programs and portfolios with out-of-the-box roll up and roll down features and data transparency. Approach management is really very powerful. It has also integration with Microsoft Project and supports the hybrid projects with ready to use out of box agents that integrate with the agile tools like ALM Octane, Jira, CA Rally and etc. 

I like the new release approach on the Micro Focus side that turned into a rapid quarterly basis with transparency for the end-users and the ability to impact the content of the future patches and versions.

What needs improvement?

There's also room for improvement in other areas such as configuration which is a little old from an implementation perspective. There could also be improvements in API which is rarely used but we do use them in some cases. From a user's perspective, it's becoming more necessary in that agile transformation. More of our customers are now looking to have everything in one place and I guess Micro Focus could make some improvements in that area as well as improvements in communication and corroboration functionality in the tool.

On the strategic and portfolio functionality can be a bit more balanced and improved interactions with the other modules. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for 13 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable, it fully supports HA and has wide HW/SW platform options. Performance on a very good level.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is also scalable and has good guidelines and recommendations for hardware sizing. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support could be improved. Support is a competitive issue in the market with this tool, at least for medium sized customers. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward and it's important to keep in mind that this is an ePMO solution, so it takes some time, as well as based on the maturity level and readiness of the organization, business requirements, professional services, etc. It can be deployed as a fully complete solution or incrementally that can be a good approach to start getting values at the early stages. Complete solution in common case deployment may take around 10+ weeks, incremental deployment can happen in 3-4+ weeks cycles. Any specific case may increase or decrease the duration of the deployment. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In terms of cost, I think this solution is competitive with others in the market. I like that it has a transparent price without hidden extras like some other vendors.

What other advice do I have?

I would suggest that in the first year of implementation try to keep it simple and keep close to best practices. One of the main mistakes companies have made in the past is to replace the best industrial-based practices with their own technics and this doesn't always work and they end up migrating problems and issues, that may be part of the internal culture moved to the new platform. I would advise soft adoption and incrementally in distributing the use of the tool across the company.

Every solution can be improved so I would rate this product an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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