Planview PPM Pro Review

Good reporting, promotes transparency between teams, and improves efficiency in resource allocation

What is our primary use case?

We mostly use this solution for high-level project planning and resource management. We're looking to expand that using the integrations, such as LeanKit or Projectplace.

We do not have LeanKit, yet, but we are looking to move towards Agile, so in my opinion, LeanKit fits well for our use cases.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution is valuable because it saves us a lot of time from having to consolidate. Before PPM Pro, we didn't have a good way to consolidate our actual costs from an IT department. This has made it possible to capture all of those, plus mix in outside costs just by putting them in manually and then have that be able to be displayed in a dashboard.

We have projects that we work on, but we also have smaller work in there that is related to our own business. We use reporting for all of our prioritization with the business and the order of when stuff will be released. It's saved us a lot of time and it has been a huge boost for communication between IT and the business side.

From my perspective, our strategy has changed in that we have become more transparent, and Planview was part of the solution for that. Aside from transparency, I don't think that the integrated product portfolio has been part of transforming our strategy.

With respect to transforming our delivery, I would say that this solution has definitely helped with that. We have an on-premises version for all of our change requests, but that was always just on the IT side. With us being able to have it where both IT and the business can easily go into one place is helpful. The way that we have it set up is that it gets prioritized by our business relationship managers. From a delivery perspective, we can actually have them have more of an input and more transparency on costs, hours, what's coming next, and what the timelines are.

This solution is flexible in some ways but not others. There is a decent amount of configuration that we've been able to do to control the different categories of projects. On that side, I would say yes, we can have multiple different requests or project types that have their own fields. Then, on the other side, it's kind of limited. You can configure it, but then you can't take it to really make it into a task management system. It's very hard to expand past just what the basic tasks are. That would be one place that I'd like to see a little bit more. It looks like they are trying to do that by introducing the backlog and putting more Agile context into PPM Pro. It looks like that's on the roadmap for Planview.

Collaborative Work Management has helped a lot by having everybody on the same page and allowing us, within IT, to be able to manage our work resources. It has helped a lot.

This solution has helped us connect funding and strategic outcomes with work execution. A lot of our dashboards are built around the financials. We're looking at buckets for how much each department has and we roll all of that up into dashboards that allow us to keep track of where everybody is, the actual expenditure for the year, and who has what left. We definitely use all of that capability.

The biggest impact that Planview has had on our organization is related to resource management. It was really helpful, because before we were so siloed into project teams that it was hard to get an idea of who is available from other teams if I need a resource. This has made it possible for us to actually get capacities and see what the schedules are going forward. This has been a huge benefit.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is reporting. It is one of the biggest things for PPM Pro because we do all of our resource management within it, including the timesheet tracking and financial tracking, and a lot of that all rolls up. We have lots of dashboards built out, and we definitely use the reporting capabilities a lot. From IT to the business side, we use the actual projects to report statuses and do all of that kind of management as well.

What needs improvement?

Managing a project at the executable level is very difficult using PPM Pro alone, so it is necessary to use one of the integrations such as LeanKit of Projectplace.

This solution does not work well as a task management system because it is very difficult to expand beyond just the basic tasks, and this would be a worthwhile area for improvement.

The dashboards are very blocky. You can get all of the information but they just don't look great.

One of the issues that we have is related to capacity, where it is very limited in how you can input the capacity for people in future items. One of the things that we would like to see is the ability to have more control over scheduling. For example, you can switch into a scheduling mode but then it just takes whatever the time period of the task is and it spreads the entire workload for that resource over that entire time period. It doesn't take into account if they are off work, and I can't put them in twice. So if they have a gap, I'm still going to show that they have all of this free time, but really they only have the two chunks before and after their time off that they're available. More control in this aspect is a big thing for us right now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Performance and stability have been fine. We have not had any issues with that.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, I think for what it's built for it scales well. It's just whenever we get into the integrations it's something I need to see more because we get to a point where it's hard to track everything within just Planview. I think the integrations that they're doing improve that scalability, hopefully.

LeanKit and Projetplace both have the cards and the actual task-level definitions that can just build into what's in PPM Pro.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support for this solution is good. We haven't had a lot of tickets, but anytime we have had a problem or needed something fixed, it's been great. We have had no problems.

What other advice do I have?

There are changes in the product roadmap that I am excited about, including improvements to the reporting and enhancing the dashboards. I think it will help a lot.

My advice for anybody who is researching this type of solution is that Planview is definitely a good option. Whenever you're setting things up though, try to think of things at the big picture because once you start creating your solution, you're kind of in that solution. It's really hard to backtrack. So, just make sure you're thinking it through. Don't just give everybody access and tell them to give it a try, and then try to work backward whenever you figure out which one you want. Use sandbox environments. The tool works very well, but because it does have the ability to be extended and configured pretty well to what you want to do, you can make a mess of it as well.

This is obviously a leader in the market and there's a reason for it. It does what it's built to do very well. There are a few places where it can be improved, but overall, it definitely seems like it's in a good spot and it's going in a good direction.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

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