Planview Projectplace Review

The transparency and ability to drive ownership to the person who owns a task has been very helpful


What is our primary use case?

We use it for a lot of large strategic projects from an implementation perspective. We used to have rather large Excel files that we were managing task and project work to be done. Then, we transition all of those work plans into Projectplace. We use it for large strategic project implementations, the new cancer center, we are currently using it for a new hospital tower that we're opening up this fall, and things like that. So large strategic projects is primarily where I use it.

We have some service line leadership teams across our healthcare organization that we use to manage their work that's aligned with our mission and vision and so we use it for a lot of those teams. Across our organization, we have a lot of teams that are using it for a myriad of different reasons and it keeps growing. We have an accrediting body called "joint commission." They'll survey your facility and show where there are some opportunities for improvement. When our quality team gets that, they've used Projectplace to create some standard work using those ways within that combined view to really manage their work. That's the same work that needs to be accomplished once one of those surveys comes back in. They've set up that standard work and now they use that for every survey across all of our different facilities.

That was a really cool use case that I was involved with helping them design but that's being used across the organization as well. There's some work intake because we also have PPM Pro. From a work intake perspective, there are a lot of teams that are managing work intake and then creating projects in Projectplace or cards in the workspaces as a result of that. That's just the tip of the iceberg of what our organization is using it for.

How has it helped my organization?

Using PPM Pro has improved our work intake but then funneling that into Projectplace helped to facilitate that work intake. It's just clarity of the work and visibility that needs to be done. The upgraded visibility across what's in process or what needs to happen across the organization has been helpful. That means the transparency, the ability to drive that ownership to the person that actually owns the task has been very helpful. We're in the fairly infant stages of using it but it's quite a bit with many strategic projects that we have going on.

What is most valuable?

I love the collaborative nature just from my role to help. I'm a strategist. I help manage those large strategic projects. Implementation is one significant piece of my role, but I love the collaboration that can exist within the tool. We're still trying to work through that but the ownership and trying to get people to really gauge and use the tool when you have 13,000 to 14,000 people across the organization isn't easy. It could be challenging because not everyone jumps right in the feet and feels comfortable with the technology, but the ability to drive ownership and visibility into what's going on is just wonderful from my perspective as trying to empower the teams that I manage. That's been very, very helpful.

I like Projectplace for working with detailed implementation plans for projects. Early, when I first started using it, it was just trying to get over a mental hurdle of how not to lose the details. There are so many different ways in which you can set up a workspace, the activities, the cards, and using a checklist on the cards. There are so many different ways in which you can set it up. It's fun to think through how to best transition those detailed work plans into the Projectplace environment. Its work. It's almost like there's so much ability to set it up to meet the team's needs or a specific project is good and bad in terms of having the options available to you. It's challenging at times because there are so many options but it's very flexible.

I think it's a very flexible tool for detailed work plans because we have a new hospital tower that we're opening now. I used to have a 350 to 400 row Excel file. We were considering rather large files that we got narrowed down into some more concise workspaces in Projectplace. Flexible is a keyword I would use.

Projectplace tracks work details and completion milestones. I normally try to set up as many milestones as possible. One of the challenges is the data that's from it if you try to mix people. People want to see more operational metrics or KPI finances, things like that. Things that aren't really project or task-related. I would say they're concerned about how other things are going related to a significant project and those things aren't always available but we can, obviously based on the activities and things, report cards, progress, milestone completion, and some other things. I know it's just a challenge. I know our leader that manages the tool and collaborates with Planview is really focused on metrics, reporting, and how we keep making that more robust. Finding a way to take it another layer down into a more detailed look at metrics and things outside of project metrics is a challenge. It's a challenge getting that fine layer of detail.

It definitely supports collaboration in real-time. The only challenge there is, is trying to manage the change of the way people do work. It definitely supports collaboration in real-time, and there are many people that have jumped in and use all the time. But then for my seat, I also need to know that an individual is not quite there yet. I may need to follow up with a separate note. I may need to follow up with a phone call or something to check-in. It does work. It's getting people to buy in and actually use it and get over the mental hurdle of understanding that it's not additional work, it's just a different way to do work. 

We also use Microsoft Teams as an organization so people need to understand how the different tools work and how they relate to one another and that sort of thing. Yes, it works, it's just getting over that hurdle as an organization of getting people to buy into, to using it in that fashion.

The overall visibility in the project status provided by Projectplace is okay. It should be a little more robust. I know we have some of it set up. I don't know all the details for certain types of projects. We can put in a specific project status, but for many projects, we don't have that functionality turned on and it's very vague. I don't know the behind the scenes of what someone is doing, but there are certain projects where the only status that people could see is very vague in terms of task and tasks completed. It doesn't talk about the details of the three potential barriers. Some people want to know a little more detail. We do use some functionality that is turned on for certain projects that we use that people can submit a project status and that's helpful. But we don't use it across the board. I don't know the details of what someone's turning off or on and why that's the case. I'm seeing that across different projects and different workspaces.

This ability to allow other teams to see into our project status affects my organization. One of the huge benefits, even just with the integration with PPM Pro, since we use that as well and Projectplace, we've had a huge leap forward in terms of visibility across the organization of just what's out there. What's available in terms of projects, what's currently going on and we organize that, based on the hospital service line. We organize those things that people could easily drill down and say, "Hey, what's being worked on"? We slice and dice that in numerous different ways. The visibility has been great. It's just so we can have a huge initial step and our internal team's done a great job to work with Planview to help build some of those dashboards and things and actually do that in PPM Pro. I think there's some room to make it even more robust down the road. But there is great visibility early on. There are things that never existed before.

It has helped to track resources allocated across multiple projects. Within PPM Pro we have some of that visibility. I don't know that we see that within Projectplace, they've been splitting hairs, but I don't know that Projectplace allows us to see that. For example, with the projects I'm leading, I'm aware of who's on all of them and the usual suspects right across our organization. But I don't know if it's organization-wide, if we're there yet, by using Projectplace.

Projectplace definitely dynamically updates schedules as progress is made. It's great. The real-time nature of it all is a great piece to have real-time changes. People are able to see those activities and how they may have changed. That visibility is great. Then I use the conversation piece and really communicate with the team there as well. That real-time change is really helpful from my perspective.

What needs improvement?

The reporting end of it needs improvement. There should be more reporting, more data at your fingertips. It should be easier and a little more user-friendly. I know there is some there, but it's just how do you get more meat on the bones, if you will, of what's available. If I were to be an executive wanting to see a summary of my project, how do I better understand what's really going on? Is there a way to do that? Projectplace is the right place to do that, to store some of those updates and KPIs and that sort of thing. 

They should make more robust reporting.

Anytime our organization submits some feedback Planview is awesome with thinking through it, making changes, and putting in future releases. It's great to be able to provide feedback and our internal team has done that and there have been numerous changes. It's great. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Projectplace for one and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've had no issues with stability. Occasionally I'll see something that looks funny, I refresh it and it's fine. As a user, I haven't had any issues with the performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is performing fine. It's the cultural change management side of bringing people along this journey because we're really in the infant stages, it can only have been a year and a half or so, we're still early in that journey. It's bringing people along. I think the tool's working wonderfully. I know we add more and more stuff to it every week if not every day. The tool's working fine from that perspective. It's the other end of it and bringing people along in that journey.

We're not looking to increase usage. I know there are some rather significant initiatives coming forth that we're going to roll out as an organization that's going to be hundreds of people engaged and we're going to use Projectplace as the primary collaboration space to manage that work. I know there is some big thing that's coming up that we're going to use the tool for as the primary source of truth in terms of what the work is, the work that needs to be done, and the status of that work.

We're looking forward to getting that going and nothing else specific outside of that that I haven't mentioned already in terms of the types of work. I would have envisioned more portfolio usage to organize multiple projects or workspaces along with some bigger initiatives. I could potentially see that in the future.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't dealt with technical support. I go to our internal team and they help me get the answer. I haven't had to reach directly out to Planview. All of the help information on the website is wonderful, straightforward, short, and sweet. I can usually find the answer I need and just go onto the website.

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

Prior to Projectplace, we were using Excel spreadsheets. Then we used Microsoft Project. It's a fine tool for what it is. It just lacks the collaboration, lacks visibility across different projects and across an organization. It's fine for a specific project in what it does but there are a couple of key differences that make Projectplace a pretty powerful tool.

How was the initial setup?

I don't know the behind the scenes set up that had to take place to make it happen but from a user's perspective, it was seamless. It was a couple of pieces of information, it links to our single sign-on for our organization. From a user perspective, it's super simple.

The setup took around six months. It felt fairly short from when I started hearing about it from our internal team to when that was getting rolled out. We rolled it out to certain groups first and started using it. It took around six to nine months.

It's pretty minimal in terms of day to day maintenance. There's a team of four, however, one doesn't work in there a lot. I think it's really only a director, one staff, that's working behind the scenes and some of that's PTM-Pro related too, it's not all Projectplace.

We have hundreds of users. We're over a thousand in terms of people that have accounts but it could be someone is not using it.

What other advice do I have?

Any department that's used it has seen the value. It's just the change of getting people to buy in, use it, and look at work in a different way. That's the key. Anyone who's used it has had a very positive experience, to my knowledge. It's very broad in terms of our organization of who's getting the value out of it.

From an organizational perspective, the transparency and accountability across a project, and the work that needs to be done is just wonderful. There's a ton of value as an organization for the transparency and accountability of work that needs to be done.

My advice would be to focus on the communication on the change side of it. The tool's awesome. It works. It's a wonderful tool, it's a great way to manage the work and do the work. 

I would rate Projectplace a nine out of ten. It's been a nice tool. I like seeing things visually as well. So I think it's the ability to have some detail, but the visualization of work and activities and things like that is very helpful and very powerful.

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