Planview PPM Pro Review

Removes organizational project silos to prioritize work based on ROI

What is our primary use case?

It's for strategic projects: Work intake as well as management of those projects.

How has it helped my organization?

It's taken us from being a very disparate organization around projects to all focusing in now on each other's needs. Before, we would work in silos and everyone would spend a lot of capital on these projects. What we are finding today is those people are more cognizant that the funding is not just for them, it's for the entire organization. We have to share and prioritize the work that we're trying to do. We prioritize based upon return on investment.

We help connect funding and strategic outcomes that work for the future. We will create a strategic request and that request becomes a project. We're mapping from start to finish the execution, work intake, and now we're also doing what we call post-implementation reviews to make sure we get the return on investment that we set out to accomplish.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features is probably the request module:

  1. The work intake component is why we selected the product. 
  2. The resource management capabilities with demand management and capacity management. This is very strong. 
  3. We like the fact that now, especially with the new request module, there's a nice colorful Kanban board view that goes along with it. 

There are so many components to it. It is like almost every day that we find some other use case for it. So, it's very flexible.

We use PPM Pro with Projectplace. It is absolutely 100 percent fantastic. Now, we can give people that more collaborative, comfortable look and feel with a Kanban board view. We give them a smart app that goes along with it, essentially not having to worry about using rigid project management. They are very complementary towards each other: PPM Pro and Projectplace. What one is not so strong in, the other one has strengths in it. It is fantastic.

What needs improvement?

Every time I think of something it's almost like magic, they implement it before I can even suggest it. They're in the walls, right? At this point, everything I've ever wished for has come true with PPM Pro. 

Now that we're just starting up on Projectplace, hopefully I'll see that same type of thing. If I had to make one suggestion right now on Projectplace is the ability to manage more of the roadmap features. You have the roadmap, the portfolio, and then the drill downs into components that feed into that roadmap. They are working on this, and it's coming along.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with the product for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are no reliability issues whatsoever. We are pretty close to 100 percent uptime. I know there's been a few hiccups here and there, but nothing of any significance. Whatever platform we're running it on, it's rock solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have no concerns over the flexibility of the combination of PPM Pro and Projectplace. The product will grow with us.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've been in this industry for 30 years. It is extremely responsive, not only from a time frame of responsiveness, but going above and beyond their recommendation or whatever suggestion will remedy the problem that I'm having. They typically go above and beyond. It has been an excellent experience. If I had to give it a rating from one to 10, I would give it a 10.

How was the initial setup?

It was pretty straightforward. We knew what we wanted and what our requirement was immediately. Where other folks that don't know their requirements or use case, I could see it being a bit of a challenge. 

What about the implementation team?

One thing in particular I'd suggest is that we used the fast track service to implement PPM Pro. While it had a lot of value to it, people may be expecting a different experience. An experience where maybe an entourage of consultants come onsite to help you do the implementation, as opposed to working over the phone with just one resource. This might be an option to offer later down the road where there are complex implementations.

What was our ROI?

$6 million has been the return on investment so far, and that was because of work intake. Now that we are scrutinizing the work intake and asking questions like, "Is there an alternative to your $10 million project?" We had one project come in for $10 million, scrutinize it through our gate review process, and wound up with the alternative, which was $3.8 million. So, a $6 million savings.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at other products. We looked at Primavera, which is Oracle's product. At my previous job, I was with Hewlett Packard for 20 years, so I looked at HPE's product PPMC. Then, we wound up on PPM Pro for a couple of reasons:

  1. It's cloud based.
  2. The cost was in line.
  3. It was going to scale as we grew. We could add more users and so on.

Primavera were extremely cost prohibitive. They wanted to sell a complete solution out-of-the-box. We talked about doing it on-premise. This means you need the data center to get involved. You need all that technology to evolve. We just didn't have it and needed to get going quickly. 

The speed was with PPM Pro. The power of the applications were with PPM Pro. The passion of the people that I met with Planview was just the clincher for me.

What other advice do I have?

I would give PPM Pro a rating overall of nine (out of 10). What would make me feel like it were a 10 is a simple, silly thing, but if the application had a little more color to it. It's very monochrome. With the advent of a Kanban boards, especially with the new request module, there is some color. I greatly appreciate that, but there needs to be a bit more color added to it.

We are not using the solution’s Lean/Agile delivery tools.

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

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