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Planisware OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Planisware is the #9 ranked solution in our list of top Project Portfolio Management tools. It is most often compared to Planview Enterprise One: Planisware vs Planview Enterprise One

What is Planisware?
Resource and cost scheduling, time tracking, risk and document management in a collaborative environment. Software solution that supports the end-to-end governance of company portfolios, from finance and resource planning, to the life cycle management of products.
Buyer's Guide

Download the Project Portfolio Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

Planisware Customers
Apotex, Alstom Transport, HP, Stryker, Rexam, Jotun, Gelita, Kraton Performance Polymers, Abbvie, Rio Tinto Alcan, Maruho, Teva, SK Chemicals

Archived Planisware Reviews (more than two years old)

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Senior Software Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
We have found it to be a good project and portfolio management tool.

What is most valuable?

I value the project and resource management.

How has it helped my organization?

We have found it to be a good project and portfolio management tool.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see improvements in the following modules:

  • Resource
  • Project
  • Portfolio
  • Timecard

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I have used it for almost six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a very high rating.

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

We have only used Planisware.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. The scripting was OPX2 scripting.

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

It is an expensive tool.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated other options. As this is a customized tool, we needed to provide a breakdown of how the organization is going to use it.

This included a technical breakdown of structures and an explanation of the different modules such as resource, project, portfolio, and timecard.

What other advice do I have?

Compared to other PPM tools, Planisware is more advanced. We can do more customizations with this tool.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
John Andrew Kossey
Project portfolio systems consult at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Facilitates business change without requiring corresponding programming intervention from IT workers

Valuable Features

1. Planisware (from legacy OPX2, P5, and now V6) is a flexible fusion of project, product, portfolio, and time management. It successfully enables prioritization of business cases, resource capacity planning and utilization, extensive scheduling, and multi-national monetary costs with individual rate escalations. Planisware can handle and display concurrent complex projects with long time horizons and intensive resourcing (such as R&D). User-adaptable views of data can be tailored to a variety of user classes.

2. Planisware has depth of capabilities to enable a given organization to address solutions according to most pressing need, whether that be resource planning, time card administration, project scheduling, or portfolio prioritization. Moreover, each solution can flexibly embrace local business processes. Within widely accepted project management principles, Planisware genuinely offers, "Have it your way." Adopting a narrowly defined vendor-imposed solution is out of scope.

3. Planisware excels in resource planning, especially with providing depth for an extensive set of algorithms in parametric estimation. For example, large R&D pharma organizations can exceed the limits of available database columns with locally defined attributes (or fields). Planisware makes provision for defining "drivers" (e.g., project complexity) in separate database tables from attributes used for sorting or filtering in order to remain within Oracle or SQL Server database constraints on any given table.

4. Planisware is not only a software application within IT, but more significantly, an enterprise solution that enables business change and evolution without requiring corresponding software programming or intervention. Without question, Planisware still requires extensive, skilled, and experienced team collaboration to effect successful implementation--probably more than less capable competitive offerings. In other words, Planisware *cannot* auto-implement effortlessly for a given company's actual business processes. Granting the need for planned, prioritized deployment and making ample provision for competent operational maintainability, Planisware offers unsurpassed empowerment to business users to extend and adapt the deployed configuration, particularly when application expertise is governed and embedded in the business rather than controlled exclusively within IT. Reducing day-to-day dependence upon IT is a hidden distinctive of Planisware.

5. Planisware thoughtfully builds additional capabilities into virtually every major release for enhanced functionality. In practice, Planisware, as an array of integrated, critical planning tools, will not become obsolete any more than comprehensive financial suites such as SAP. Planisware is a revitalizing "blank canvas" for enterprise project/product portfolio management that keeps conforming to organizational needs.

6. With V6, Planisware makes marked performance improvements in the underlying software kernel. Ease of use in V6 is substantially better than earlier releases. Capability for non-technical users to configure Planisware continues to expand. Many administrator changes are now more PMO-empowered instead of requiring IT superuser intervention.

Improvements to My Organization

1. Lessons learned from initial deployment usually warrant subsequent "refreshed" deployments. In some cases, these initiatives embrace newly identified requirements and use a later, major release of Planisware. While this may appear to be needlessly labor intensive, collective insights learned from one release can magnify the effectiveness of the next.

2. Planisware governance should be multilateral in scope under proactive leadership of a vice-president level "champion" of portfolio/project/product strategic deliverables.

3. Personnel involved with Planisware implementation, deployment, operations, training, and governance need to embrace succession planning. Responsibilities constantly change in organization; these roles must be appropriately renewed.

4. Commitment to Planisware, as with other enterprise solutions, calls for ongoing advocacy and frequent re-selling of effectiveness and benefit realization. That commitment and confidence must prevail at the upper level of a company and permeate throughout the organization for long-term success.

Room for Improvement

1. Through P5 SP2 custom Planisware reports (as distinct from built-in reporting styles on object lists) have been far too complex for non-specialists to master. Generally speaking, any given custom report used to require an experienced expert about a day to a day-and-a-half to design and implement. P5 SP3 inaugurated Planisware Explorer (PEX), a faster, drag-and-drop report designer that now enables users to visualize key performance indicators for both projects and portfolio. V6 PEX offers templates for dozens of charts and dashboards, including pipeline funnel, innovation map. "Delta reporting"--determining and displaying data differences for any given report at two points in time to answer the business question, "What has changed?"--remains unaddressed in V6 SP1.

2. Major Planisware releases typically require substantial manual and macro-enabled work to update from one version to a later one. Software updates (in-line "patches" that reside on top of the kernel) may also be necessary. The most efficient way to accomplish these occasional version updates is by retaining Planisware's own consultants, who are not inexpensive. They understand the technical challenges and can address them well.

3. Planisware scripting language enables remarkable customization of modules to address specific organizational requirements. The downside, beyond initial programming cost and special documentation, is that new functions are not typically accessible from longstanding "environment object" tools. Lack of integration adds more complexity to maintenance and troubleshooting. An elegant means for incorporating/viewing script functions and dynamic attributes--along with user-defined styles in Intranet Server--within overall environment objects would substantially enhance customer maintainability.

4. Knowledge findability and sharing concerning Planisware implementation, deployment, and problem resolution receive very modest peripheral attention and low priority from Planisware for customer access. By way of contrast, internal Planisware consultants-employees have open access to technical discussions and strategies that individual customers are forbidden to use for fear of violating confidentiality agreements. When an organization is prepared to pay Planisware consultants premium hourly fees, they will create, identify, and/or filter an answer. Planisware's business model depends upon customer's paying for consultants much more than making cutting edge technical information sharable for customer organizations on a self-service basis.

Use of Solution

Since 1998 Q4

Deployment Issues

1. Insufficient long-range planning for assuring ample resources successful, sustainable deployment.

2. Typical challenges: a) underestimating the scope of effort; b) being overly dependent upon IT business analysts and IT solutions managers who lack actual experience with using the Planisware application for actual project management; c) defining approved headcount roles for who will retain responsibility for operations and training after deployment.

3. Giving in to the sizzle of customization when out-of-the-box functionality will work effectively with appropriate training. (One of the major drivers for subsequent re-deployment initiatives is leaving early customization effort behind.)

4. Using too few database instances (e.g., Oracle environments) during deployment. Unintended consequences of inevitable changes that occur in a given database can roadblock progress from one or more teams and cause needless re-work. Generating a nightly copy of a given implementation instance can speed up problem resolution.

Stability Issues

1. Distinguishing between software stability and issues arising from data integrity is beneficial. Poor data can and will impact performance so greatly that the software becomes suspect. As an illustration, a custom module may falsely discriminate between a string that ends with one or more trailing blanks and the actual string itself. The underlying Planisware software is performing normally, yet it appears to end users that configuration itself is unstable.

2. Through P5 SP3, Intranet Server (the common Web interface) balks at certain bulk deletions from object lists, such as obsolete resources. (Retiring no-longer-needed resources is an effective workaround.) Using the Pro tool (Planisware ProWeb in V6), intended bulk deletions easily and normally occur.

Scalability Issues

When testing or quality assurance environment instances are hosted on a lesser physical server than production (particularly on an under-powered shared virtual server), confidence in performance and scalability will likely suffer and introduce stress among the deployment team.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Planisware service comes from highly-motivated internal consultants who have passion for excellence. Enthusiastic customer-focus pervades well-planned annual conferences that Planisware hosts.

Technical Support:

1. Planisware support quality is generally high and effective, particularly with consultants who have primarily responsibility for a given customer organization. Quite a number of these Planisware consultants that I have interacted with are very knowledgeable and stellar in responsiveness. They also understand project management in specific industries, such as pharmaceutical R&D.

2. A clarification from experience: Specialized technical support from Planisware primarily flows through a team of consultants that have initially implemented a specific configuration for your organization. In the years after that initial deployment, having a valid support contract is key to sustaining that technical support availability. The normal Planisware maintenance contract pertains to core software, version releases, and occasional software patches. Having this contract alone will *not* include continuing technical support for local configuration issues and possible customization concerns.

3. Understanding your local Planisware configuration is essential for addressing problems, whether they be data related, business-rule change, insufficient training, inadequate scripting, or software-based. In this sense, technical support for Planisware cannot be monolithic "one size fits all."

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Find out what your peers are saying about Planisware, Broadcom, Microsoft and others in Project Portfolio Management. Updated: September 2021.
541,708 professionals have used our research since 2012.
ITCS user
Consultant at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
‚ÄčThe integrated resource management capability enables fully-loaded project costing. Reporting needs work.

What is most valuable?

Overall, I would say this software deserves an 8/10 given the overall balance of features it provides and its flexibility to adapt to organisations.

Planisware integrates in a powerful way project scheduling, resource & costs management amongst other things. Such a mix is extremely useful in R&D matrix organisations. It is not a surprise if PLW is a market leader amongst Pharma companies, which struggle to maintain product portfolios with decreasing resources.

How has it helped my organization?

The integrated resource management capability enables fully-loaded project costing, more transparent portfolio reviews and budget preparations. Senior Management has access to one, single truth on projects in the portfolio.

What needs improvement?

Reporting out of PLW has been a definite weakness. But the recent PEX module is addressing that issue quite nicely, even if the product is still being improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

All in all, I have dealt with PLW for about eight years. Initially I used it with Legacy systems, then used it to build a brand new project & portfolio management platform (following a rigourous review of three other competitors)

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

A project this size generates LOTS of issues. Next to change management challenges and the complexity of building such an intregrated, transversal solution amid an existing landscape, the deployment has been, in retrospect, relatively smooth.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We worked hard on building a solid and generic data model, which has allowed us to avoid major stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not really. The solid data model, and selection of state of the art servers has guaranteed very decent system performance. Users located across Europe, US, and Asia continue to enjoy stable and equal performances.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have worked directly with PLW consultants. Their expertise and dedication levels have allowed us to find solutions to the questions and issues which would come up along the way.

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

Other than stand-alone MSP plans, not really.

How was the initial setup?

The solution we have implemented spans across the whole organisation. As such, we have raised a lot of organisational operating issues and misalignments during the design phase. It was a conscious effort to use the opportunity to challenge and revisit the way the organisation operates.

As a consequence, it is fair to say the technical set-up has been complex indeed.

What about the implementation team?

We worked with dedicated vendor consultants AND an in-house support team already knowledgeable about PLW. I can say that PLW consultants are, as a rule, dedicated, straightforward, competent and experienced individuals. I have dealt with about 10 different consultants (Paris office) and they have all contributed to my general satisfaction of the PLW product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did review four options, in an effort to truly choose what would be best for the company. We looked at the (then - around 2010) key names around, i.e. Oracle Primavera, MS Project, and SAP (given the extensive use of that ERP at the company). PLW came out in the end as the most flexible and capable solution for the business needs which had been identified. Please note that the advantage it had in terms of data migration (PLW was already being used in legacy systems) was excluded as a criteria during the selection process.

What other advice do I have?

Know precisely what you want to do. PLW is a very flexible toolbox (as stated by PLW themselves), so make sure to define clearly your goal, keep the end-user in mind and enjoy the trip!

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