What is our primary use case?
The primary use case is project costing, resource forecasting, and financial reporting of projects. It is implemented only in departments that touch what we call our project portfolio. So, the people in IT who do the coding, programming, developing products for customers, and the maintenance on our systems, they're all in the solution reporting time. However, our payroll and human resources do business as usual. They run the company and business, keeping the lights on, but they are not part of our time reporting community.
How has it helped my organization?
As we grow, it will help us because nobody in the company speaks or understands Planview data. It allows us to take that and put it into a format where we can walk into a boardroom, and say, "This is where we are. This is where we're going. This is what we need."
The biggest impact on our company is resource forecasting.
Planview has helped connect funding and strategic outcomes with work execution. That is the key use that we have for it. We use it to validate the work that we're doing and the funding that we need. The difference between the previous version and current version for us would be the ICPM and the way it gives us different scenarios. We can go in and build that out.
What is most valuable?
Nothing is the most valuable. We're really just tapping into what Enterprise One will do for us, such as, the ICPM. planning, and data that comes out of the system right now.
The flexibility of the solution would be around the reporting, resource forecasting, work breakdown structure and how we build out a project, and the lifecycles at the beginning of a project.
What needs improvement?
We have required more time from our resource managers to spend time in the tool. The adoption has been slower than we would have hoped. So, I would think from a rollout perspective, if Planview could help us with material which gets non-Planview users or previously light Planview users to become more heavy users of the system, then this would help us with the rollout. Our biggest improvement that we've seen has been in the annual planning process each year that we go through to map out what projects we're doing and what are we handling next. It has become noticeably easier the better that we have gotten in Planview.
It's still a project management tool. It's that slow adoption thing. It hasn't come full circle in the other parts of the company. Therefore, it hasn't transformed our company's delivery.
The technical support piece needs improvement.
When we rolled it out, we rolled it out out-of-the-box, which didn't allow for hardly any customization. We found out that we probably should have slowed down and customized it. Giving advice to anybody, I would tell them don't do the out-of-the-box solution. It's worth it to sit down, customize it, and make it work your way.
For how long have I used the solution?
On December 3rd of 2018, we upgraded from version 11 to Enterprise One version 16.4. So, we've been using it for about 11 months now.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
So far, we've not had any problems with it. We did have a couple of little hiccups. Most of our stability issues have been around that it is hosted at Planview. When our network goes down, so does our connection to the outside world. Then, we lose all of our cloud-based solutions. When everything was on-prem before, we could lose that connection to the outside world and still function as a company. Now that all of our solutions have moved offsite, anytime we lose that connectivity, it's a whole office of people sitting around twiddling their thumbs because you can't get to JIRA, Confluence, etc. Most of our projects are still actively managed out of Microsoft Project and saved on their desktop. That's probably the only thing that we can still leverage when that connection goes down.
We lose Internet connectivity once every two to three months when there is a hiccup somewhere and something goes down in the matrix, then we lose connectivity. It is usually down for maybe 30 minutes to an hour, then we're up and running again.
How are customer service and technical support?
I would rate the technical support just slightly below poor. We have found that for us to communicate with Planview technical support and open a ticket, we have to make a business case with a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation including screenshots, red circles, and arrows. We have to draw it out for them, then we make a video showing this is us and everything the way it should look. Then, we do this activity: Here's the outcome and the malfunction with the explanation. We have to remind them that we don't use allocations, that we're just using reservations. We go through this whole diatribe of putting almost a packet together. Then, two weeks later somebody calls us, and says, "Hey, we're looking into your ticket. Can you explain what's going on?"
It's like, "I just spent all that time. Did you look at the video? Did you look at the PowerPoint?"
"Well, not really."
"Well, go back and look at it." Then it's, "Well, did you understand it?"
"Well, I don't know. I can't reproduce it. Let me..."
Then, the other day, we went through that same process. They called us up. and said, "Hey, we couldn't reproduce your problem, so we just went into your production version and updated your project for you." I don't ever want anybody from outside of my organization to touch one of my projects. So, I was pretty livid about that.
In some ways, the solution is flexible. In other ways, it is not. It seems that the support that we get from Planview when we call them up over the phone is almost misleading at times.
When we talk to people at Horizons that have had some of the same challenges, they found it very flexible because they knew about a thing to make Planview work the way they needed it to and we didn't get that assistance from Planview. The biggest benefit in being at Horizons isn't the support from Planview, as it is the support from the user community having been in the software.
My wish is the company, Planview, steps up to be just as valuable as the use cases and user stories.
How was the initial setup?
We found it straightforward. Some of our end users found it more complex because they were required to get in and do new things. The expression we used is, "We're all growing new muscles together. We're working out new muscles and we're learning new things." Like when you start a new workout routine, you're sore in the morning. You're going to get sore from Planview until you build up muscles to do this. There is a learning curve.
Our business users are still overcoming the learning curve, not as fast as we would like, but they are getting there.
What about the implementation team?
Glen Van Koojic and Mike Moulden were outside trainers and facilitators who helped us with the rapid deployment of Planview. They are contractors, not actual employees, of Planview. They are great guys and helped a tremendous amount.
What was our ROI?
We have seen ROI in non-tangible ways. There is still much more to be had there as we improve our business plan and operation.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We evaluated Clarity, Rally, and a Microsoft Project Enterprise solution.
We already had Planview. We looked for a while at Workday because Workday was coming on to do our HR stuff. The idea was, "Maybe we can get some sort of work management project piece out of Workday, then have it all be integrated into one tool with one check to write." There wasn't enough meat on the bone for us to go that route. So, we went with Planview.
We decided to go with Planview because of familiarity. We didn't have to change to a whole new system. Even though the difference between versions 11 and 16 was a totally different code base. It was beneficial for us to keep similar look and feel, layout, and shorter training time.
We still use Microsoft Project as a standalone. Most of our projects are managed out of that because we use Planview as a financial reporting tool. We will hopefully replace Microsoft Project with an expanded use of Planview Enterprise One.
What other advice do I have?
I am happy with Planview. I would give it an endorsement.
We're trying to move in a more lean, agile direction. Everything we use right now for that is JIRA, Excel spreadsheet, and Microsoft Project based.
We used Projectplace during the rollout. I really liked it and would like to keep using it. We don't currently use it, as we are not currently customers of it. I think it was their tool to use when they were rolling us up and because we were participating in that project with them, so we got access to it that way.
I find value in both products: Enterprise One and Projectplace. I didn't see any synchronization or data feeding between the two of them. So, I can't tell if there's any synergy between them. I believe there probably is based on what I've seen at Horizons, but I've not witnessed that synergy.
We barely use 20 percent of the features that are in the current version. I am excited about all of the products that Planview offers and how they seem to integrate together. I would like to see my company mature and develop to the point that we could bring on a second or third Planview product, then we can really start becoming lean, agile, and innovative. However, we need to get our own house in order before we can even talk about future features of Planview.
We need to do a better job of being us than we currently do. We need a little more leadership maturity. We need to refine our business processes. We have a new CEO, and he's setting a new direction for the company. We need to get his business vision a little further down the road than where we are. We're sort of in a state of flux right now.
The product is probably a seven or eight (out of 10), but I think our adoption of it and use of it right now is probably a five (out of 10). So, we need to be better at using the tool.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?