Planview Projectplace Review

One of the best tools out there for collaboration that affects a project's progress quite a bit

What is our primary use case?

I'm an R&D Project Manager for new product development. We develop valves, pumps and seals, and I come from the valve background. I'm a Mechanical Engineer. We build new products from the beginning to the end and we use Projectplace to track the tasks.

We use Projectplace to track our project schedule. We also use Projectplace for the document feature where we tag our company's SharePoint links on to a Projectplace document so that all the documents that we are going to use in the project, be it any kind of piece, an Excel file, a PowerPoint, or a Word document, everything sits on Projectplace. It's super useful.

What is most valuable?

The command feature on the cards is very, very helpful. We can update the cards. It is very useful.

We already have a set process in our company for tracking work details and the completion of milestones. We run an integration with Enterprise One. The template is already available in Projectplace as well as Enterprise One. So we follow that template as the corporate suggested, but under each and every line outcome we have a task which we create in Projectplace and assign cards and connect the cards to the tasks. So in terms of how helpful it is for tracking milestones, it is very good.

Projectplace absolutely supports collaboration in real-time. It's probably one of the best tools out there for collaboration. It affects the project's progress quite a bit. I started two very similar projects in two separate business units, on very similar teams. I did one with Projectplace and one in Enterprise One just to see how the mileage would vary. The one with Projectplace had a very short cycle time so we were able to finish the project earlier. The one with Enterprise One was less engaging and it took a little more time. Because we were tracking the tasks inside the schedule it was not on the cards. We don't have cards on Enterprise One. We had to create many lines and it was very hard for people to navigate. In that sense, I would say Projectplace is extremely good for collaboration and it really helps to finish projects very quickly.

It allows our teams to view the project status. The project status is much more visible with Projectplace. It's way better for the project team. For leadership, Planview Enterprise One is better in terms of status because there is an overview screen on Planview Enterprise One. 

We also Projectplace to connect Gantt chart activity and Kanban boards. It positively affects the stakeholder's ability to view progress because when they come to the project plan, they can easily see whatever is required. I also have created a dashboard which actually shows them the progress as well. I created the dashboard on Power BI and it's very easy to create a Power BI dashboard using Projectplace data.

We use Enterprise One for time tracking and reporting features for work done by project team members but there is integration between Enterprise One and Projectplace. There is a tab inside Projectplace where if you click on it, it takes you to Planview Enterprise One. We track our time through that.

What needs improvement?

I would give Projectplace's ability for working with detailed implementation plans for projects a seven out of ten. Projectplace has one feature that is missing called Baseline. Baseline is when you can capture a committed date and freeze it. And then when you're starting your project you can keep changing the dates. We don't have a Baseline date, so it's not very robust. We have to sync the project schedule to Planview Enterprise One and set the baseline in Enterprise One which is not very useful. I would prefer it if the Baseline feature was available inside of Projectplace itself. As for Projectplace, it is very simple to use. Planning is very simple and straightforward with Projectplace. But I wish Projectplace's plan could work more like Microsoft Project for the web. The way they handle the connection is much easier. 

They should also improve the interface. There are other competitors like Microsoft Project for the web, Wrike, and Teams, who have a way better, modern user interface.

We can't do financial management in Projectplace. Financial management cannot be done on Projectplace but it also can't be done on Project for the web.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Enterprise One and Projectplace for quite a long time. I think Enterprise One started around nine to 10 years ago. My company has been using Projectplace since 2016, but I have been using it since 2017.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would rate its stability a seven out of ten. In India, we have found that it crashes once in six months and we lose some data when there is a crash. There is a connector issue with Enterprise One and Projectplace which is horrible. The connector from Projectplace and Enterprise One is quite bad but apparently, they have fixed it in the later version. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would give scalability a ten out of ten. We started with R&D then we went to transformation offers, then we went to different teams, and now they're trying to use it for our operation teams. It has been a very scalable product.

The only reason why it's not scaled as much as I would have liked to or expected is because Enterprise One does not scale very well, it's very bad and our organization focuses a lot on Enterprise One. Unfortunately, because of that, we haven't been able to scale Projectplace more. The dependency on Enterprise One has been its Achilles heel.

We don't have plans to increase usage. I think it's going to reduce because our contract is ending soon, so I'm not sure what the status is going to be based on corporate. But for now, I think it's going to remain the same or reduce the head count.

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

Microsoft Project is robust, it's for advanced project managers and for teams that can understand advanced project management things. But unfortunately in our organization, it's mostly used for casual project management.

I still use it for some projects that are quite complex but Projectplace works for scheduled projects, like product development projects and Agile projects. If you want a project to be more advanced, I think Microsoft Project could be perfect.

I would say Microsoft Project compares well against Enterprise One and Projectplace compares well against Project for the web by Microsoft. I have been using Microsoft Project for the web on one of my projects. If you asked me which one I would pick, it would be Project for the web because of the user interface and integration with Microsoft products. We are Office 365 customers so the integration with their products is excellent. That's the only reason why I would choose that, otherwise I would stick with Projectplace.

Microsoft Project for the web is a completely different application. Microsoft Project for the web is a new product from Microsoft which was introduced this year. Microsoft Project for the web and Planview Projectplace are very similar. In terms of the user interface, I would say Microsoft Project for the web is amazing, compared to Projectplace, it is way better. In terms of usability and stability, I prefer Projectplace.

In terms of cards and collaboration features, I prefer Projectplace. I really liked the user interface for connecting various tasks in the Gantt view. MS Project for the web is nice, it looks modern, but Projectplace looks very dated.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is extremely straightforward because it's a single sign-on in our organization. It only took two weeks or so to roll out. It was not very difficult. 

Maintenance used to require four people but now it's just one because COVID-19 happened. The person who maintains it is a solutions architect. We have around 800 to 900 users. 

What was our ROI?

We don't absolve cost savings by using Projectplace, but we do see cost savings by using Enterprise One, due to tax reductions in American and European regions when we do R&D projects. Enterprise One gives us a good amount of savings in R&D tax, but not Projectplace. You could indirectly say that Projectplace is saving money.

What other advice do I have?

Collaboration was not the focus of our organization. Once we started to use Projectplace we gave it to everybody in the team, from the junior engineers, lead engineers, tech leads, to directors, to have one single platform to have conversations. It enables them to tag people on cards and tells them who is responsible for what. It helped me bring accountability back into a project.

I'm happy with Projectplace. I think Projectplace is the reason why Planview is surviving in my company. The scope is good, so people like it.

I would rate Projectplace a nine out of ten. 

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