Planview PPM Pro Review

Provides objective analysis of project delivery. I would like to see improvements in resource management and planning.

What is most valuable?

  • Project data
  • Reporting: My job involves data analysis, so the reporting feature is the most valuable feature for me.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Project data is used to make business decisions. It is used for objective analysis of project delivery, in terms of the project being on time and within the budget.
  • Prior to implementing this solution, there was no centralized system for project data, either collection or reporting, in the organization.
  • As the organization previously had no centralized PPM tool or a method of reporting on projects, having this data available via reporting assists in business analysis and decision making.
  • This solution has provided a tool for consistent reporting and for the information from which decisions are made.

What needs improvement?

  • Resource management
  • Planning: My organization has to plan manually using multiple reports from Innotas. This means that planning is neither “real time” nor efficient.
  • Visibility: The tool allows visibility to what resources are working on. However, there is no meaningful method for “What If” planning if the organization has more than a handful of projects and resources.

Their PPA (Predictive Portfolio Analysis) module is extremely cumbersome and does not readily offer a method to move projects in/out/delay to see the impact on role availability. There is also limited reporting on which roles are causing staffing issues. The What If Dashboard in Innotas is also EXTREMELY limited, and does not permit all projects to be included in an analysis. When we attempted to include all active projects and all upcoming projects, an error was received that our data set was too large. When we limited it to only our active projects (those currently being worked), the “too large” error was again received. If “What If” planning cannot accommodate all projects, and if Predictive Portfolio Analysis cannot offer a method to adjust schedules and see the impact, the tool is not useful for resource management.

We have had to develop our own methods for resource/portfolio planning, using information from multiple reports from Innotas joined in an external workbook. Since we have to work outside of the system (Innotas) to get all of the data we need in one place, the data must be refreshed manually, thus it is never real-time. This also means that users cannot refresh this information on their own, but must rely on specific employees to pull, compile, and analyze the data.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution of over three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were stability issues. There are monthly releases for this product. Following most releases, the system is either not available, or has major issues.

The new features in the release occasionally cause other functionality to break, making one wonder how extensively the new features were tested prior to release.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were some scalability issues. Our organization is too large/complex to use the planning tools (Predictive Portfolio Analysis and What If workbench) with this solution.

Other than that, there were no issues with scalability on day-to-day project management and reporting.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 4/10.

Technical support is requested via case submission, and Innotas rarely contacts you to discuss the issue.

The first response to a case is often “standard” and indicates that they did not read the description provided, or did not understand the case.

The first response is often “clear your cache”, which any user with experience with this product always does first before submitting a case.

Cases can take months to resolve, and occasionally remain unresolved. Sometimes Innotas cannot determine the cause of an issue or provide a meaningful solution.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

This is the first PPM solution used by my organization.

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

My organization purchases a block of 500 licenses. We have flexibility to add and remove users easily. I am not aware if there are other licensing models available with this tool.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was not part of the decision to implement this tool, but it is my understanding that there was no evaluation of other products.

We are currently evaluating other options, as the organization has matured and we need a tool that provides resource management and planning capabilities beyond what Innotas can provide.

What other advice do I have?

If you are relatively immature in your project management journey, this is a pretty good tool to start with. Your in-house administrators can do much of the customization that you want. Reporting is quite easy and straightforward with this tool.

If you are a small organization with only a few project resources and projects, this tool could likely provide you with what you need in a PPM solution.

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