Planview Enterprise One Review

Offers the ability to track a project with relevant milestones but the upgrade process is complex

What is our primary use case?

Enterprise One is a centralized area to allow project portfolio and planning managers to track, schedule, organize, and begin the billing process for projects. That's it in a nutshell.

Our company as a whole is using both cloud and on-prem right now. For project management, we have business sponsors, we have businesses, and we have IT. IT has chargeable projects and we account for all of the application work that's happening and that's done on-prem. The business side has recently started moving over to Planview on the cloud. So currently we're on-prem. Potentially we could end up being on the cloud as well.

How has it helped my organization?

We have all the projects in Planview on-premise from an IT perspective. We know if we wanted to find out about a project, scheduling, or who was working on what, we'd be able to find that out with Planview. Planview highlights the human resource hierarchy within it in our on-prem solution so we know who's working on what projects.

Enterprise One provides a variety of types of resource assignments for assigning work to people.

It also allows program managers to group work together and see the resource demands and cost at a consolidated level. I have five different projects and I can do that.

What is most valuable?

We use expenditures quite a bit. We put in forecast expenditures and then we actualize them below the line in the little box in the bottom tray. Being able to track the project with relevant milestones is also valuable. Milestones are valuable because it helps us to keep the project on track. The expenditures are valuable because we need to be able to understand expenses that are beyond the regular resources in the projects.

I don't believe we're using the resource capacity to the highest extent. The project managers and resource managers are managing that outside of the tool. There are a few select Planview experts areas that are utilizing resource management to its full extent, not in my company though. 

Its ability to create summary reports across multiple projects is good. Our solution on-premise is a bit hamstrung though because we don't have Power BI. It's on the Oracle platform right now. It's not at that level for some of the reporting, but the reporting that we do have is good. Even our Planview administrators can make new reports if required.

It feels like Planview is moving away from Oracle and guiding people towards SQL server. For us to do a migration like that, it's going to be very costly. I don't know if they'd be able to support their analytics solution through Oracle or not. We'd love if there was a way to do that.

We don't use the summary reports on-premise to go to upper management. At least in my case, there are some areas within the bank that are using it. I know that we've got the data flowing out of Planview on-premise into our own recording database and we're using Tableau to report up there. We've created the functionality that we didn't see in Planview on our own.

There's integration with Planview Enterprise. We've created an integration with all the data out of Planview and we pull all of our other project management tools into this database, as well as other relevant interfaces, such as HR. We're looking at getting JIRA in there as well.

To a certain extent, it does facilitate end-to-end management but we have to use multiple tools. We're using our MIS in-house tool along with Planview. That may not be a limitation of Planview. It's likely one of our company's needs.

What needs improvement?

I find it a little difficult to forecast the remaining effort but even though I've been using it for years I don't think that as a company we have been using it to its full extent. There is probably a little bit of process change that's required on our side, as well as understanding as to how Planview works with forecasting.

It's more internal for us to look at from a process point of view, to understand how the forecasting works. We're a bit unique because we're also using another tool called MIS along with this application and it's integrated with Planview Enterprise One. It gets a ton of the information from there and that's where we're actually relying on financial forecasts.

The integration was okay until Planview changed its integration software from Appian. They have Integration as a Service now and we're not using it. We're continuing to use Appian with our own licensing of the software for on-premise.

Being the IT development manager who implements the upgrades for Planview, I would love to see more thorough testing of expenditures and more thorough testing in general. When we do an upgrade, we have to do quite a bit of testing because we can affect the bottom line. We have to understand that Planview is upstream from our financial tool that derives the capitalization of applications. We have to do extensive testing and when we implement a release, we find numerous bugs and we have to have hot-fixes and patches put in on top of whatever we're testing at the time. Because it's such a huge amount of effort to upgrade the application we can't go to the next release, even if it has the next fixes on it because we're going to have to redo all the testing. We'll set the project back months, and then we find another bug. It's very difficult. If we can have better and higher quality testing coming from Planview software, then we'll have higher confidence in putting the software in and not testing the out-of-the-box functionality.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Enterprise Pro since 2012. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The application has been around for a long time and there's some legacy framework that's still hanging around in the background that hinders them from moving forward. I think it actually hinders their stability at the same time. I know that Planview addresses it, but I think not addressing that legacy code framework is limiting and it is reflected in Planview's stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have over 10,000 resources within Planview on-prem, so it seems pretty scalable. They used to enter times, so you could consider them users at one point. I think there were 10,000 to 12,000 users. There are around 1,200 project managers.

I have eight to ten people working for about four to five months to do an upgrade. After the upgrade, there are probably only a couple of people for maintenance but we have a full production support team that has a large budget on a yearly basis to support Planview. Not just Planview, but our whole project and portfolio-management system, from Planview all the way to our other integrated systems. It's mostly testers. We've got a lot of QA analysts, a QA lead, plus infrastructure technical leads, and then technical systems analysts.

How are customer service and technical support?

From my experience, I think their overall tech support is good. They've got a Planview ticketing system. I don't know if it's us or what but it just seems like we do have to escalate sometimes unless they've heard of this issue before with other companies, whenever there's an issue. I think they're pretty good. From a development point of view, they're pretty good.

I've been dealing with them for so many years. Recently, their turnaround time and knowledge are good. If something new happens, then they have to get their legs right. I think part of their development was moved offshore at one point and we were right there at the beginning of it. It wasn't the best. Everybody individually was trying, but as a whole, they just had to figure out the process. Once they did, then they were able to work things very well. We had to have a little bit of patience.

How was the initial setup?

I was around for the upgrade and it wasn't overly complex, but it's not an upgrade. It's an installation and a migration of the database, which is into itself complex. If you could just do a simple upgrade and not have to worry about that, that would be so much easier, which is my experience with other applications.

A typical upgrade takes four to six months and costs half a million dollars. 

In terms of strategy, we have to use swing equipment and we set up a parallel environment all the way from pre-production into production. Once we are confident in each environment level, then we can move on from dev to QA. Then once we're happy with QA, we've done our full functional system testing, integration testing, and all-inclusive regression testing, then we can promote it to production. There's so much configuration that's done after and because there's so much configuration done after you install, that's what makes it complex. Planview does a configuration upgrade because all of their configuration is captured in the database. They'll take an extract of that and then they'll work on it and provide it back to us so that we can apply it into our environment. It's not the easiest thing to do.

What about the implementation team?

Every time we do an upgrade, we have to have Planview heavily involved. We end up spending quite a bit of money on just the Planview consultants to do the upgrade which is on top of the half a million.

We do have to be on top of them. If we're not on top of them, then they're not there, but it takes two to tango so if we end up getting caught up busy working on our environment, and we don't go and talk to Planview, then all of a sudden they're not available anymore. But when we do need them, sometimes we do have to escalate to get their availability.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Enterprise One a seven out of ten. I give it this rating because of the quality when I do the upgrades. There are just so many things and I feel like it's a commercial off-the-shelf piece of software. I feel like I shouldn't have to have my team testing out-of-the-box functionality.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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