What is our primary use case?
Our primary use case is for IT project management. We're slowly rolling it out to all of our divisions. We have six divisions and some of our divisions are using it to start with IT projects M&A and then I have one division that's using it for a little more than just IT projects.
We have 60 users right now and eventually, we'll be probably close to 150. Our initial release for our divisions was going to be back in April, but we had COVID hit and a couple of our divisions had to have a reduction in their workforce. There's additional training going on. I've got one group that's going to go live by the end of this month and that's going to be another about 30 people.
There are PMOs that manage their projects, but as far as supporting the application, it's just me. Right now it's full-time maintenance only because I'm the one that has to work with all the divisions to get everything set up as far as what they want to see in their grid and their details. I do all the training and if there's a field that they need that Planview doesn't have I'll create a UDF. It's full time, but it's not like where there are issues all the time. It's still just rolling it out to the division.
What is most valuable?
The reporting and dashboards are the most valuable features. For most of what we're using it for almost all of it is pretty valuable to us.
One of our M&A projects are acquisitions.
I don't want to say that they do enable us to create reusable project templates that reflect our project management lifecycle because some of our IT PMOs that are using it, I don't know if they're creating templates and stuff yet to go that far. I am planning to utilize it in the future.
The time it takes to create a new project in PPM Pro depends on how many tasks are within the project. Currently, I have one group that has 191 tasks. That took them a while to put in. The biggest downfall right now for us is loading all the tasks in there. Some of them are not using Projectplace so they can't import from it.
The average time it takes to create a project is ten to forty minutes. Before PPM Pro it would have taken five minutes. A lot of our employees have Microsoft Project. On the PMO side, one of their concerns is that it takes them a little bit longer to input a project and tasks than it would in Microsoft Project. I have a couple of PMOs who are still on the fence, just because of the amount of time it takes them to put in projects compared to Microsoft Project. With Microsoft, you can copy and paste because Microsoft Project is basically Excel. That's about the most that I've heard their biggest complaint is that you can't just copy and paste into it and you copy task and things like that from Project. I've got one PMO who isn't hip on Planview, just because she can create a project in her task and project within five minutes and it takes a little bit longer in PPM Pro to do that.
The process for building a team within a project using PPM Pro is easy.
I only have one division that is using timesheets right now and we're still testing out in our sandbox site, but so far everything seems to be working great for what we want to do for time tracking. I think there's one little concern, and we're testing that out next weekend, but I think we'll be fine on it.
We've tried a couple of the different settings for the time cards and what projects they can charge time to. It comes back to that they want them to only be able to see the tasks that they're assigned to, but they can see everything now. If a task is in the future, they can still add time to it and they don't want them to be able to add time to it. Just a mistake-proof type thing is the biggest thing.
PPM Pro provides managers the insight that they need to empower decision-making. So far I've gotten good feedback from our PMOs who report and things like that. I would say that's a plus, that's a good thing for us.
I'm not really running any projects and taking feedback, from what I hear so far it has helped us to reduce project delays. It has also helped to increase the number of projects within our organization.
What needs improvement?
The reporting has room for improvement. I know it's all in the revamping all the time with it, but there are things that I know my PMOs don't like. For instance, they want a pie chart and I think it's a bug in the system. I've been working with somebody on it, but then she thought it was because they were trying to look at negative values, which a pie chart doesn't do, but little things like that quite haven't gotten to what we need as far as reporting, but I think it's on the roadmap.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using PPM Pro for a year and a half.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The stability is pretty good. I haven't had any issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have plans to eventually scale it up. Eventually we want to start using the request and the what-ifs, right now we're not using those. We'll probably do so mid-next year.
How are customer service and technical support?
Technical support is absolutely great. Anytime that I have to actually submit in a ticket, I have a resolution usually within that same day. They're great. Everybody at Planview is great to work with. All the ones that I deal with are great.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We just had to up our license by 25 because with the original quantity that we had it turns out where a lot of people think that their employees need full user licenses and now that they realize the cost of what it is per year per user, they've scaled back and well. That's a big thing with the license type is getting everybody to understand that not everybody needs a full user license. Other than that, it's fine. It would be great if we had something that was less than a full user, but a little bit more than a time user.
Cost-wise, it seems within reason, but I don't know what other applications cost is to see if it's compatible or within the range of what other applications are charging for their licenses and things like that.
What other advice do I have?
Overall it's been a great tool to use as far as project management.
They like the tool. I have a couple of PMOs who like MS Project but they're given the PPM Pro. I have other PMOs that love PPM Pro. It's just a matter of taking time to get used to when they're used to MS Project.
PPM Pro is a great tool and you can get it to your needs for the most part. There's not an application out there that you're ever going to find that's going to fit your needs 100%. You can only get the application to your status that far and then you have to adapt to its status as well but overall, it's a great tool. I would support it. I would hype it up to have people use it.
I would rate PPM Pro an eight out of ten in terms of the overall application, what it supports, what it can do, and for me, a project that I have only took me a couple of minutes only because I have a couple of tasks, but for me, this was the first project management application I've ever dealt with. It's fine for me. Especially since I only have to support it and not do projects.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?