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Buyer's Guide
Project Portfolio Management
July 2022
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Senior Analyst - Technology at LPL Financial
Real User
Helpful for clearly aligning the work and strategic initiatives within a single source, but needs better reporting
Pros and Cons
  • "The resource management and assignment features are valuable. The timesheet management is also valuable because that is a requirement for us. So, the ability to see timesheet forecasting and timesheet actual submission from resources has been very useful and valuable to us."
  • "Its ability to create summary reports across multiple projects is very limited. In terms of the out-of-the-box reporting for summary reports, the reporting that we typically leverage is around forecasting for resources, timesheets, and actuals, and just looking at what is the capacity. There is no real summary of what work is being done and how work is being accomplished. So, what we typically do is that we get a copy of the data files from Enterprise One daily, and then we have a team that manages the data mod outside of Enterprise One. They use data from Enterprise One as well as other additional sources to provide the reporting that we share with the management. So, we leverage a lot of Enterprise One data for reporting, but we don't use the reporting capabilities within Enterprise One. So, reporting can be improved, and they could help us make more customized reporting. I know it is very configurable out of the box, but we have to leverage an outside data mod that pulls in a lot of data from Enterprise One. So, the reporting function, and being able to customize reports, is the area that could be very beneficial."

What is our primary use case?

It is primarily used for project and portfolio management within the technology department. Only our technology department is using it. It is what we use to manage our technology work in terms of resource assignment, timesheet submission and entry, and work schedule.

We're on version 18. They do monthly versions, so we are just a couple of months behind at this point. We're using the June 2021 version.

How has it helped my organization?

Enterprise One's view into resource capacity and availability helps us in managing work. We are able to see the capacity of the team and the capacity of the resources. Once you're aware that a team is above and beyond its capacity, you can go back and look at the work that they have scheduled and try to reprioritize any work if need be. If Enterprise One is showing us that the team is over capacity, then it is likely that some of the work that they have scheduled and is in the backlog won't be completed within the indicated timeframe. For example, if we're looking at a forecast through the end of this year and it is showing that the team is above their capacity, then it allows us to go back and at least start talking about how do we reprioritize the work that's scheduled for them, what can be pushed away, or what can be deprioritized.

With Enterprise One, we can see the end-to-end work management. It provides 60% to 70% capability for the end-to-end work management for the full spectrum of types of work. 

We have it lined up against our strategic initiatives, so we're able to see underneath those initiatives what work is being completed and get at least a high-level view of when that work is scheduled to end. With Enterprise One, we have the ability to see that alignment clearly in one view or in one source, and it is a source that is maintained more frequently. In the past, it was typically done in spreadsheets, and because different versions of spreadsheets may have been passed around, you wouldn't know what the true reflection or the true status was. So, it has helped us in terms of being able to align the work and the strategic initiatives clearly within one tool or within one source. If any adjustments are made, those adjustments are visible to anybody who has the necessary permissions and access to see them. So, it has probably helped us in terms of accuracy for work and strategic alignment, but it is hard to put data around that. It has definitely helped us with being able to clearly see the big-picture alignment. Knowing that any changes that are made are instant, and we have one true source of this visibility is very helpful.

Enterprise One has helped with the prioritization of projects through alignment with strategic objectives. It is used to help with those discussions at a senior leadership level. So, it has been helpful because the visibility of how much work is being done and the potential cost of the work helps people make that decision. They do use data out of Enterprise One to come up with how they need to prioritize it. So, it is a contributing factor, but I wouldn't say it is the only thing that is used for prioritization determination. It may be has made us 25% more efficient in terms of knowing how to prioritize. That's simply because we have that visibility and a true source or one source where we can see where work is and where resources are. So, at least, that's a contributing factor, and there has been an impact there.

Enterprise One allows program managers to group work together and see the resource demands and costs at a consolidated level. It makes everything more effective because you're able to see where work is aligned. The way we've configured and structured it, work has to be aligned under a particular initiative. So, the program managers can certainly see all the active work that is going underneath their program. It definitely makes it more effective for them to manage their work and be able to make certain decisions.

With Enterprise One, you can drill down to the individual work items and the resource assignments from the high-level program. It did affect the ability in a good way because program managers can look at it initially from a program manager's lens. They'll see the high-level status of where everything is aligned, and then they can start to drill down. If they think that one project might be overburdening or spending more than what was planned, they can drill down to see where that impact is.

What is most valuable?

The resource management and assignment features are valuable. The timesheet management is also valuable because that is a requirement for us. So, the ability to see timesheet forecasting and timesheet actual submission from resources has been very useful and valuable to us. 

The configuration of the application helps us in aligning the projects to our strategic initiatives. So, we're able to configure that hierarchy or structure.

Forecasting is very valuable because based on the user profiles and resource profiles, we can add the utilization and the capacity for the work. So, once we do the forecasting, we're able to see if somebody is being forecasted above their capacity. There are good indicators within Planview Enterprise One that, at least, notify us to say, "Hey, this person is being forecasted above and beyond what the current capacity is." So, that's a good feature for us. It doesn't prevent us from overloading resources, but at least it indicates that somebody is overloaded. In terms of forecasting, I would rate it a four out of five.

What needs improvement?

Its ability to create summary reports across multiple projects is very limited. In terms of the out-of-the-box reporting for summary reports, the reporting that we typically leverage is around forecasting for resources, timesheets, and actuals, and just looking at what is the capacity. There is no real summary of what work is being done and how work is being accomplished. So, what we typically do is that we get a copy of the data files from Enterprise One daily, and then we have a team that manages the data mod outside of Enterprise One. They use data from Enterprise One as well as other additional sources to provide the reporting that we share with the management. So, we leverage a lot of Enterprise One data for reporting, but we don't use the reporting capabilities within Enterprise One. So, reporting can be improved, and they could help us make more customized reporting. I know it is very configurable out of the box, but we have to leverage an outside data mod that pulls in a lot of data from Enterprise One. So, the reporting function, and being able to customize reports, is the area that could be very beneficial.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using it for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable for a cloud environment. Over three years, we've had very few incidences beyond our internal network issues. So, it has been very solid. It has very good stability. I would rate it an eight out of 10 in terms of stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The version upgrades that they've done over the past two years have definitely increased the scalability. I would rate it a seven and a half out of 10 in terms of scalability.

Currently, we have 2,100 users. When we first deployed it, we had about 800 users. So, we have definitely grown exponentially over the last three years. 

The majority of our users are simply team member users. They just submit their timesheets there, and that's the majority. More than 1,600 of those users are simply timesheet users. The other users are in the Portfolio Manager role. They are the people who are serving in the project management role and have to manage the work and assign resources as well as resource managers. So, we have about 400 or so users in that role. We also have six Planview administrators who are providing day-to-day operational support for our users, and then we have some senior leadership, which is part of the portfolio management, but they mainly just take a look at it from month to month to see how the work is progressing and how we're looking in terms of the costs with our strategic initiatives.

It is currently being used extensively for project portfolio management. As a growing company, there is a likelihood of increasing usage. The number of users is likely to increase and continue to grow beyond the current 2,100. So, our usage will certainly continue to evolve, and we're also looking to do integrations with other applications and tools.

How are customer service and support?

We submit cases from time to time. If we see any errors or encounter any system behavior that we're not able to understand from an administrative perspective, we do submit tickets on their website. That's the way we all contact them.

They're very efficient. They're very responsive as well. They typically help us in terms of explaining system functionality, and if there is a determination that there is a genuine issue with the application, they also make sure to explain that clearly to us. I would rate them an eight out of 10.

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

We used what's now known as Planview PPM Pro, but when we were using it, it was known as Innotas, which was prior to Planview's acquisition. At the time we were looking at upgrading from Innotas, Planview actually acquired them as an organization. So, we're using Planview PPM Pro.

We switched because we just wanted greater functionality. With the growth of the organization, we just wanted to use a tool that was more geared to help with enterprise management for projects and portfolios.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward because we had great support from Planview. They do provide consultants who work with you and walk hand in hand with you in terms of setting it up. Maybe the complex nature is just the way that the tool is designed. I know they've made improvements to it, but at the time, the interface wasn't very user-friendly. So, we knew we had to do a lot of handholding and training, but the implementation was very straightforward.

The whole project exercise, from the initial inception of the idea to the actual implementation or just the actual deployment going live, took about seven months. So, it was about a seven-month project from sitting down to gather requirements to full deployment and getting users onboarded, etc. Because it was a cloud deployment, it was very seamless.

The implementation strategy was just going through meeting with stakeholders and understanding the requirements. We initially rolled it out to a sandbox environment, and we did some user acceptance testing in there for about a month or so. We rolled out all the features and full capability after about a month of the UAT from our sandbox and copying over that information into another sandbox environment. We had created a parallel environment. So, we had two environments for us. One that we actually had rolled out, and one that was a cut-over environment, just in case something went wrong with the full deployment.

What about the implementation team?

We worked directly with Planview for its implementation. For its deployment, we required at least three of the administrators at a time. We could obviously leverage all six administrators.

For support and maintenance, at any given time, we have three administrators available, even though we have six of them. The maintenance is mainly around timesheet management. It involves helping users facilitate in terms of making sure that users have access to the work on their timesheets, and they are assigned to the correct roles. The way we have it configured is that we have work project roles and project attributes. So, it is just maintaining that access and making sure that if there are any changes within the organization, we maintain our organizational structure. Similarly, we also need to maintain access to the various users if their roles change or if their positions change within the organization.

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

I don't know about the actual pricing. I have not come across any costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I believe prior to me joining the team, they'd also looked at Clarity. I wasn't part of that initial review, but I understand that Clarity was one of the other options that they looked at. I am not too sure why they decided to go with Enterprise One. The cost might've been a part of it. It could also have been because of a previous relationship with leadership and being familiar with using Enterprise One. At the time, because we were using Planview PPM Pro or Innotas, the relationship was already established. So, we were able to grow with that relationship.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is more on the change management process and the training. I know Planview does offer great training with that. So, I would advise just making sure that your key stakeholders are involved with the implementation approach on the progress of it. That's because as a tool, it can be hard to understand and use. So, you just want to make sure that people who are going to use it are very aware of its full capabilities. You should definitely leverage Planview's help in terms of training and working with the consultants to know the full-scale capabilities of the application. You can probably go for a phased approach. There is a lot of capability within the tool that can be leveraged. So, you can maybe do a phased implementation to understand and get familiar with each of the different functionalities that are available.

It doesn't give full visibility in terms of managing project plans and seeing the stage of work. The way we have it designed, our teams do put in schedules and the tasks that are related, but they don't see the day-to-day task accomplishment. It is still very manual. If they know that the work or the task is actually done, they would have to go into each one to manually close out that task. There is no automated closing out of the schedule, and it is more at a very high level at this point in terms of project scheduling and management.

Enterprise One provides many types of resource assignments for assigning work to people, and we use the one that's more aligned with just our processes. So, it does give us different types of work assignments, but we don't require flexibility just based on our process. This flexibility doesn't really affect us because we just have one approach to resource assignment. We know that we can switch it and be flexible if we are able to change our processing, but at this point, there is no impact or no effect. However, just looking at it from our initial implementation and the way the functionality worked, the flexibility is good. So, I would assess this flexibility as a strong component or a strong feature. Depending on their process, each organization can do a resource assignment that is effective and the best fit for the organization.

Enterprise One has not increased our on-time completion rate, but I don't think that has to do with the tool itself. That's more with just our own internal processes that impact how our work is managed.

I would rate Enterprise One a seven out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

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

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Luis Alejandro Sarmiento - PeerSpot reviewer
Agile PMO Chief at Claro
Real User
Top 20
Simple user experience with good usability and accessibility
Pros and Cons
  • "The usability is excellent."
  • "We need to be able to compare milestones, calls, and other variables regarding the projects we are working on. I have to contract developers to make reports, which is where things get complicated. They need to develop personal and custom fields for us."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution based on its mobility. I can use it online or via mobile phones or anywhere I can get internet access.

How has it helped my organization?

I'm able to curate the SPI (Schedule Performance Index) and the CPI (Cost Performance Index) that helps us measure the performance in regards to costs and even taxes that projects have.

I can create metrics about costs either project by project or phase by phase.

What is most valuable?

The permissions are the most valuable aspect of the solution. I can configure groups to access different information. The solution allows us to manage the project baseline very well. I can control the baselines in specific user groups, which is very useful for me.

The solution offers very good availability in that we can access it from anywhere, whenever we need to.

The usability is excellent.

We've found the user experience to be quite simple. The views and filters in particular are very good.

What needs improvement?

The reports need to be improved. It's complicated. The default views are good. However, we need more. We need to be able to compare milestones, calls, and other variables regarding the projects we are working on. I have to contract developers to make reports, which is where things get complicated. They need to develop personal and custom fields for us. We also need to use Power BI, which needs to connect with Project Server, in order to generate reports.

The scalability capabilities could be improved upon.

There should be an interaction between Microsoft's Planner app and this solution. Their Planner is a good solution. I would like them both to connect directly, with the Planner tasks in the Project plans. It would also be helpful if the solution integrated with Microsoft Teams. My company uses Office 365, and therefore it would be great if everything was integrated.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a long time. It's been longer than a decade. I'd say it's around 15 years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution's stability is good. Of course, it depends on the cloud provider. This is important. When you have a good cloud provider or infrastructure provider, stability is good. You have to play with the servers and processors and memory about the solution. When you have a good provider, it's no problem. When you have a bad provider, you have problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability could be improved upon. Sometimes I want to create some instance or other Project Servers to create, for example, test environments. We need to create a test to do a pilot to sell the idea. However, it's complicated to establish what is the best instance to manage the project. 

We have about 2,000 users online, however, it depends on the cloud environment. How many users we have depends on the infrastructure provider. They ensure the scalability and stability of the environment.

We do plan to increase usage. We still have to configure new project types in the project server to gain more users. We want to achieve 1,000 users this year. Right now, I have 300 active users. The plan for this year is to include more project types in the project server throughout the environment and at the end to achieve 1,000 users, at a minimum.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't really dealt with technical support. The relationship with Microsoft is in the IT area. I am not personally part of that group. I am the portfolio manager, therefore I don't have a direct relationship with Microsoft. That said, I'd say it's good, as I don't have any problems. When we have made a request to IT they answer it quickly. Therefore, I'd say we're pretty satisfied with the level of support on offer.

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

I used to use Clarity for our Agile projects, however, this solution is less expensive.

Clarity is good, however, it is complicated to use as it makes it more challenging for the final users to understand the project plans. Also, the templates to manage the project plans are complicated. I like Microsoft Project better than Clarity. 

How was the initial setup?

At the moment, the initial setup is not overly complex. It's pretty straightforward. that's due to the fact that I know the solution very well. I've worked with the 2010 version as well and have ten years of experience and have used it in my everyday work for so long, the setup is not hard for me.

The deployment depends on the company and its culture. I have implemented Project Server in two months, which is pretty fast. However, it depends on the organization's needs. 

The reports, for example, are a viable gain for executive teams. When the executive teams watch good reports to manage the portfolio projects, it's easier to deploy the solution. 

My strategy is to do a pilot. Over two months, I may do ten projects. I'll generate reports and deliver good information and the executive team of the steering committee can easily see the value for the company. Once the pilot shows the value to the steering committee, I usually have the go-ahead to continue the deployment in our organization. 

We had five people for deployment and maintenance. It's a good number. You need one person, that knows the information in regards to users and other people training the other people. There should be another person working on the cost measures such as the reports. 

What about the implementation team?

I handle the implementation myself. I have a good amount of experience and therefore don't need further experience. I don't need the help of integrators, resellers, or consultants.

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

While the solution is less expensive than Broadcomm's Clarity, it more expensive than Planview.

That said, I'm unsure of the exact pricing or how often we pay licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've also looked at Planview and Jira. We found that the solution has better technical support on offer than other options. That said, I like Planview as it's even less expensive than Project Server.

What other advice do I have?

We are Microsoft Partners.

Currently, I am using Project Online and Project Server. The 2015 versions.

At the moment, I am in the process of deploying, the solution in more areas. I start with IT projects and telecom projects. Currently, I am working to introduce regular projects, marketing projects, product projects, etc. I am working to introduce more areas in the Project Server environment.

On a scale from one to ten, I would rate it at an eight.

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?

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
IT Consultant with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Top 10
Has strong reporting features but it can become unstable when using advanced features
Pros and Cons
  • "The reporting features are quite strong. Being able to do team reports and find out what work is pending, what work needs to be done are key in my day-to-day management of the team. The earned value analysis capabilities and critical path capabilities inside the tool help me make sure that I'm keeping the projects on track."
  • "When you start getting into the more advanced features, it can become unstable. The more you use the advanced features, the more exposure you have to an unanticipated result. I think we need to add the Kanban Board capability to the product that would help them advance that board into the project management methodology that's being used in the industry today. Being able to depend on Scrum management is key."

What is our primary use case?

Our use cases are all related to project management and I've actually developed project schedule templates that support both the standard waterfall and all different aspects of project lifecycle management including Agile and Scrum.

How has it helped my organization?

Microsoft Project is used as the basis for all the tracking and monitoring that we do for the projects. Everything from staffing resource plan to estimates for work completion and estimates for the project completion. It's all integrated in that way. We also have developed a capability to have interlock tasks that work across schedules. We can look at one schedule and determine whether or not we're being impacted by another project. From those standpoints, integration coordination is key.

What is most valuable?

The reporting features are quite strong. Being able to do team reports and find out what work is pending, what work needs to be done are key in my day-to-day management of the team. The earned value analysis capabilities and critical path capabilities inside the tool help me make sure that I'm keeping the projects on track.

What needs improvement?

When you start getting into the more advanced features, it can become unstable. The more you use the advanced features, the more exposure you have to an unanticipated result. I think we need to add the Kanban Board capability to the product that would help them advance that board into the project management methodology that's being used in the industry today. Being able to depend on Scrum management is key. I actually developed a template that allows me to do that, but if they actually productized that, that would help.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Project for 20 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

When using the standard features, it's fairly innocuous at that point, it works as intended.

We used shared resource pools and we have multiple project schedules linked into the shared resource pool using Project Server. At that point, if you have a project schedule that is open and you are using a resource pool but you haven't properly baselined that that project schedule, the cascade of change can span across multiple project schedules. That's actually dangerous. What Microsoft may want to do is put an alert in the application that tells you that you're linked to an active, shared resource pool. You are making a change inside your schedule that could impact other project schedules. Similarly, they need to do that based on updates. Then if you were linking into that same resource pool with a schedule, it should come up with an alert that says that changes have taken place. It doesn't do that.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is like anything. If you're doing fine tasks inside the tool, you can get into a multi-thousand line schedule. When you start dealing with schedules at that level, it's inherently complex. 

Mostly project managers use it. We also have business analysts and other team members who in several instances may be able to go in. I don't do this with my teams because I want to be accountable to the team and make sure that the schedule is up to date and that it's accurately representing the work that's being performed. I use a timesheet entry approach and actually collect data from the team and enter that data into the project schedule. I've got one point of entry and one point of failure. I do know there are other project managers that are out there that allow their teams to go in and update their time in their tasks. I've seen that both work successfully and I've seen it cause significant issues so I prefer to hold onto the control myself that way.

How are customer service and technical support?

They used to have a very robust help capability and I found that to be quite useful. They cut back on that now. I find that some of the support that was in the product before has not been kept up to the same level. Then we find ourselves having to reach out to the internet and looking for help texts out there from other users. That becomes then less professional. I'd recommend that they continue to upgrade and maintain the in-product help capabilities.

I've had very good support and I've had the support that's been frustrating. I would rate them a seven out of ten. 

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

I've had exposure to Clarity and several of the other products that are out there. TFS itself as a squiggle management tool.

How was the initial setup?

In terms of the initial setup, if you're using it as a fairly basic tool, it's fairly straightforward. When you start getting into the more complex tools and the features of the product, it becomes harder to use. That's to be expected. You have to have knowledge of the tool to be able to use it properly.

What other advice do I have?

It is a mainstay product. A lot of people use that as their first introduction and it's not meant to be a project management ERP solution, like Life Clarity or the others but it is a capable product that establishes a framework and a basis that can be used across the industry.

I would rate Microsoft Project a seven out of ten because you'd have to have in-depth knowledge of the tool for it to really be beneficial to you. It also allows the new developers and new project managers to come in and be proficient and be able to develop schedules fairly readily. From that standpoint, it's fairly strong. From the overall usability of the product, it can be cumbersome.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
Project Portfolio Management
July 2022
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