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Buyer's Guide
Project Portfolio Management
September 2022
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PM Systems Analyst at a insurance company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Increases our on-time completion rate and helps in managing the demand and capacity, and we get excellent service in terms of feature requests and support
Pros and Cons
  • "We provided whatever feedback we had to the Planview team, and they went in and built those additional features that we requested. For example, they created a great way for our users to search for a specific resource, project, program, or role. We were not using some of the features, and we wanted them to not be visible, and they helped us with that. They also brought a feature to provide visibility into when a resource was never assigned to any task. There was no visibility to this before. This feature was really very good for visibility into the resource portfolio."
  • "We don't use the Progression feature. We will use it at some point in time. Until then, we want to have a way to set time to help decide what's in the past, present, and future. It is one of the things we've been discussing with Planview."

What is our primary use case?

They have the PRM portion and the CTM portion. We predominantly use the PRM portion. We have installed the CTM portion, but we have not put it into production. We concentrate mostly on the PRM portion. Within the PRM, we use the Strategy module, the Planning module, the Work module, and the Resource module.

Our production has the July 2021 release. We typically take two to three months to upgrade. We are in the process of upgrading to the October release at the end of the month.

How has it helped my organization?

Its view into resource capacity and availability helps us in managing work. It helps our management team to see where the demand is and whether we have the capacity, which allows us to ramp up and ramp down so that we do not have any constraints. Even if we have the budget, we might not have the resources to fulfill the demand. So, that gap has greatly reduced for us. 

It allows us to create summary reports across multiple projects. They have provided reports, and we also develop our own reports for certain specific needs of our business. Because we are on-prem, we have the ability to create those custom reports within our own environment. There has been no issue with what we want, and we're getting that information. These summary reports help us a lot in sharing the big picture with the management. There is visual and graphical information that we can drill into. We can see how things are happening and dig into the raw data that is feeding the charts.

It has helped with the prioritization of projects through alignment with our strategic objectives. We use the Strategy module, the Planning module, and the Work module to get that visibility. About five or six years ago, we used to do all of this in spreadsheets. We had to maintain multiple versions of those spreadsheets, and we would miss things. The result used to come to us, and then we had a huge amount of work at hand to replicate all of that into Planview where we were only using the Work module. Planview has replaced all those spreadsheets, and with the additional improvements that Planview is making and where it is right now, we can bring into place both agile and hybrid models of project management. In a short time, we were able to wean our users away from spreadsheets. The system is supporting them. So, there is one source of truth.

It provides various types of resource assignments for assigning work to people. We do demand management for when a project comes in and there is an ask for funding and different types of resources. So, we make use of both the requirements and reservations. 

It increases our on-time completion rate. When a particular project extends or crashes, it gives us visibility on the demand within a particular month, which helps in managing our teams. If there is a requirement for an additional resource, they can bring someone in. They can also move someone out. Projects are not an island. There are multiple projects, and a task of one project may be dependent on another task or other projects. Planview gives us the ability to link tasks from one project to the other project. Their Dependency Management module provides visibility to the program managers and the project managers who are managing those individual projects. They are able to see where the demand is and their bottlenecks, which helps them in better management. We have seen our project teams having more success. We have never seen any kind of surprises and delays. People know in advance if there is going to be a delay because of its features. When some task gets finished sooner, other project teams get to know that they can start their task sooner. This way, our time-to-delivery has actually improved.

What is most valuable?

We have different users for different modules. We manage programs and portfolios by using the Strategy module. Our project teams predominantly use the Work module. Our resource management team uses the Resource module and RMA to manage resources capacity, demand, etc. So, each of the modules is important for the respective people. We have a yearly planning process, and we use the Planning module to a certain extent to do the portfolio creation work.

RMA has been really good for forecasting the remaining effort. Planview has been making a lot of improvements. The recent improvement that they have done to provide visibility to the actual timesheets that are submitted has been really good. The roadmap that Planview has and the way they're continuously and quickly improving and providing solutions have been very positive for us. We know that we don't have to wait for six months to realize the benefits of their development. From the delivery point of view, that has been one of the best things about Planview.

It helps our management team in planning resource capacity and availability pretty nicely. We've been doing this for over two years now, and consistently, it has improved. Even though the functionality was there, we only started using it in the last two years. We provided whatever feedback we had to the Planview team, and they went in and built those additional features that we requested. For example, they created a great way for our users to search for a specific resource, project, program, or role. We were not using some of the features, and we wanted them to not be visible, and they helped us with that. They also brought a feature to provide visibility into when a resource was never assigned to any task. There was no visibility to this before. This feature was really very good for visibility into the resource portfolio. If we have about 60 resources, and four of them have never been assigned to any task or any project, we can see that. So, the search option and the visibility into the resources that have not been assigned are the quick features that they provided.

What needs improvement?

We've been encouraging our users to manage their schedules directly in the Work and Assignments module. So far, it has been good, but we've been in conversation with the vendor product team to improve the performance of the Work and Assignments module. Right now, it is a bit slower.

We don't use the Progression feature. We will use it at some point in time. Until then, we want to have a way to set time to help decide what's in the past, present, and future. It is one of the things we've been discussing with Planview.

It provides flexibility for configuring assignments, but one of the things about which we've been talking to Planview is related to certain resources that are associated with a project. When the project extends, their demand also equally goes up. There are also resources where if a particular task has to crash, it may need additional effort. So, it is between the fixed effort versus fixed duration. Planview is more duration-based. For example, if you crash a task, the system rightly thinks that you're crashing the task, and you need to finish the work by doing overtime or working additional hours. If you are taking 30 hours to finish a task in three weeks, and for whatever reason, you have to crash the task into two weeks, 30 hours need to be fulfilled within those two weeks. If the task moves to four weeks, instead of three weeks, you still have 30 hours that get distributed among four weeks, so you will be able to finish the task. That makes sense for those resources that are associated with the task, but there are certain resources, such as a project manager or project administrator, for whom when a project extends, the demand also equally goes up. So, if somebody is assigned 50% for a project, and assuming that the project is moving out by a month or two or three months, the effort shouldn't go down. Currently, the allocation goes down, and our resource managers have to go and update the effort back up to 50% or whatever the demand is. We are interacting with Planview to provide a solution. Right now, we have to go and update the additional demand because of the change in the project.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Planview since 2010. It wasn't called Enterprise One then. In 2010, it was still called Planview. It became Enterprise One a few years ago when they changed the platform to include the CTM portion. 

How are customer service and support?

They have been excellent. They're very accessible. I would give their support team the highest rating because of the way they respond. Most of the time, the issue gets resolved within the same day. If not, it is resolved the next day. We've been very happy with their support system.

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

We were using Business Engine Network before we moved to Planview. Business Engine Network was bought over by Planview.

Until about a year and a half ago, our users used to use Microsoft Project for schedules, and they used to update the schedule into Planview on a regular basis, at least once a week. Of late, we have started to move to Planview for full work resource management. We've been encouraging our users to manage their schedules directly in the Work and Assignments module.

In my previous work experience, I have mostly used Microsoft Project and some of the products that Microsoft gave. At one point in time, I used Rational, but that was mostly from the software development management point of view.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I wasn't part of the team. I joined in 2010, and all the discussions and evaluations happened in 2009. All I know is that our company went in and looked at all the other products that were available at that time, and then they decided that Planview would be a better solution. It has been one of the very good decisions the company has made. We've been using it for close to 11 years.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, it has been a good tool. Based on my conversations with other users and colleagues who moved from other organizations, I would rate it higher than other solutions. 

In a way, it provides end-to-end work management for the full spectrum of types of work in one tool. Our IT team uses different systems. They use Jira and another home-grown system. We have done integration with some of the IT systems that they use, and we are also planning to integrate with Jira, which is critical for us to do. Right now, we have a way to integrate that information, and we are making use of it, but we are looking at seamless integration with Jira. Our IT teams are looking at updating and moving some of their work into Jira for easy management, and that's where this whole end-to-end solution would become a reality, but the integration that we currently have is meeting the expectations of our users as well as the business.

I would rate it a nine out of 10. There is always room for improvement, and Planview is constantly making changes. We've been a part of their inner circle programs where we provide our feedback, and they look at our requests. They have been great in terms of looking at those requests.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Solutions Development Manager at Wake County
Real User
Has taught us to collect better data and the benefits of having good data
Pros and Cons
  • "Just about everything about the solution is valuable. I can't pinpoint one specific thing. The tool has helped us mature as an agency, has taught us to collect better data and the benefits of having good data."
  • "Integrations need improvement. We have the ability now with the FLEX licensing to take advantage of the different applications. But if you want them integrated there's a really large cost associated with that. The integration should be included in the cost per license. We shouldn't have to pay these really high fees to get the systems to talk together."

What is our primary use case?

I'm with the Wake County government and PPM Pro is our project portfolio and application portfolio management tool that is used enterprise-wide throughout the County.

How has it helped my organization?

Wake County government recently received a second place in the Center for Digital Government award. A lot of the information that was provided during the application process was an easy export from our system. We were able to provide lots of very valuable and invaluable data with a couple of clicks.

PPM Pro provides our managers with the insights they need to empower decision-making. I don't think it's utilized enough. We make the information available and give access to those that need it. They've seen the benefit of the system. But I don't think it's utilized to its capabilities.

It has also helped us to reduce project delays by 50%. A little over a year ago, we implemented a new process for us whereby we no longer change dates within the system. We put in more processes in place for baseline tracking and held project managers and teams accountable. We've seen more accurate estimating and projects when they do miss their deadlines, we have substantiated reasoning behind that.

We're staying at an even rate with the number of projects. The projects that we do are based on the board of commissioners, elected officials, and revenues within the County. When revenues are down, the number of projects are down. So, we can't really put the two together like a private industry would.

What is most valuable?

Just about everything about the solution is valuable. I can't pinpoint one specific thing. The tool has helped us mature as an agency, has taught us to collect better data and the benefits of having good data.

It enables us to create reusable project templates that reflect our project management lifecycle. We utilize many different types of templates from intake forms to review processes, to standard status reporting. There are very different use cases. It's streamlined the project management process. My group is not an official PMO. We're referred to as solutions development. We are the project managers and business analysts for the organization and so, it has helped us to understand the work where it's coming from and how to organize it. It also makes the necessary information available to our higher-ups within the organization.

It only takes a few minutes, depending on availability, to create a new project. We use a standardized template to collect the information. The project request initiator fills out a short form through automation within the system and the approvers are notified. They go through the process of determining whether the project will be added to the portfolio or not. And if it's approved through workflow automation, the requester is notified. It gets added to a series of reports which get updated on a weekly and monthly basis.

It's always been an easy process to build a team within a project. The users are familiar with the system. It's not like we have to do training every time a new project is spun up. It's pretty intuitive. There is not a lot of hand-holding necessary. The tool gives us what we need and we get what we need out of it.

The task management features are very robust within the system and the other platforms like Projectplace, for example, offer more variety for task tracking and task responsibility and so forth. We don't really utilize the system from that perspective for tracking at the PPM Pro level. We use that more as high-level portfolio management.

It's very good for viewing projects and timelines. The reporting is getting better. It was good before but now, with all of the new improvements to reporting and dashboards, it's improved quite a bit.

What needs improvement?

Integrations need improvement. We have the ability now with the FLEX licensing to take advantage of the different applications. But if you want them integrated there's a really large cost associated with that. The integration should be included in the cost per license. We shouldn't have to pay these really high fees to get the systems to talk together.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been with Planview before it was Planview so we were actually originally Innotas customers. We originally implemented in 2015.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. We've had less than a handful of issues over the years with the system, as far as uptime. Whenever we've run into a problem, customer support has always been right there for us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I definitely believe that it's scalable. Just listening to where they're going and their ideation is exciting. 

We have 53 licensed users currently and they range from a project manager to system administrators, to stakeholders and senior-level management.

There is a staff of two for the deployment and maintenance: myself and one other. We are portfolio managers.

PPM Pro is primarily utilized in the IT department but we do have representation in most of the departments, not all of the departments. There is at least one licensed user per department.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is on top of things. They really know the system and we've stumped them a few times over the years. It's taken a little bit of time for them to research things and get back to us. But for the most part, we feel like we're given adequate support.

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

I have used other Microsoft solutions. I don't think they're on the same playing level. I see Microsoft Project as a heavy tool when it comes to project management. I think Planner has similar features to Projectplace and it's the same thing with Teams. Teams has the functionality for the cross-collaboration and they integrate seamlessly because they're all Microsoft tools. With Microsoft, you have one license and you're integrated with all of those things. You don't have to pay a fee to integrate one tool to the next. It would be nice if Planview did the same thing.

I don't think we could do what we do with Planview with Microsoft. We've tried. Planview has more functionality within one application than multiple applications in the Microsoft world. You can do everything in one place, which is a benefit for us, speaking from our experience, not having to go from Excel to SharePoint, to Planner, to Project. Having to do all these functions in different applications rather than having it all in one place is the key benefit.

How was the initial setup?

We started out when it was Innotas and I would say that the setup was very complex because we built the system from the ground up. It wasn't what it's like today. We've heard from newer customers that it's a lot easier today than it was before. When the company was switched, it was like relearning it all over again. We implemented a system and then we had to relearn it 14 months later.

The deployment was started in November and we were live in February so it took about four months.

Our deployment strategy was to take baby steps. We bit off small increments. We started with creating the project portfolio and then, once we got that up and running, we focused on the application portfolio. 

What about the implementation team?

We didn't use a consultant for the deployment, we did it ourselves.

What was our ROI?

We've seen the benefit. We've put a lot of work and a lot of effort into cleaning up the data, maximizing the functionality and we've seen the benefit. Our executive management has seen the benefit. It would be easy to jump ship and go to another product but we have that background. We've made relationships with the company. We know everybody on a first-name basis. They support us and they're willing to work with us. The main reason why we stay is because we get that support and we feel cared for. The only area that I wish that we could come to a better understanding is with the pricing,

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

PPM Pro is pricey. We've been with the company for a long time and the main thing is that if you're a government agency like we are, funding is an issue. If we want to expand this on a larger scale, they really need to come up with a pricing model that will benefit us, as customers. We can't afford 200 licenses. We have to really think about how we expand when we purchase new licenses because of that price point. It's constantly increasing and we have to think about how we can expand it and roll it out to the enterprise on a yearly basis.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked at Captivate, Adaptive, and Innotas. At the time we were very immature in the capability and maturity that Gartner put out there. That's where we started. Those tools were for very mature project and portfolio management offices. We were just beginning and we were looking for a tool that would grow with us. That's why we chose Innotas at the time because it gave us that flexibility. 

We had a homegrown tool in the past that crashed and burned. The reasoning behind that was due to the fact that the users were given too much upfront. It just became one more thing that they had to do. We took a different approach and said that we were going to do this step by step. We had the flexibility and it worked for us. 

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to take your time, learn it, and understand it. Know that what you put into it is what you're going to get out. Just like anything, you want to nurture it so that it grows, matures, and really shows the work.

For myself and my team, it has helped to foster our reputation for accuracy, for estimating, for being able to produce or anticipate what our management's needs are, and having that information there. It helped with being able to help project what things may look like with predictive analytics.

I would rate Planview PPM Pro a nine out of ten. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Blake Clifford - PeerSpot reviewer
Project Manager / SME at USCCG
Real User
Top 5
It's cloud-based, so it's more accessible, so we don't need to worry about saving versions of the file when someone makes changes.
Pros and Cons
  • "Smartsheet offers more than Project because it's similar to a table-based, database-type system. It's like a hybrid between Excel and project software. We were able to enter the formulas and do much of the automation. We added budgets to it and linked them to a vendor page. Smartsheet let us integrate the budget into the project seamlessly. With Project, we needed to open up Excel."
  • "Smartsheet should continue to expand the spreadsheet-type functionality because it's limited currently. Most business users are familiar with Excel and Office, so Smartsheet should adopt a similar way of navigating the program."

What is our primary use case?

We're using Smartsheet at the enterprise level throughout the organization. We did a test at the corporate office before moving forward. In the beginning, we were only using Smartsheet to help our corporate users open new facilities and convert warehouse management systems. Also, we used it in implementation at sites with new customers. Eventually, we began using Smartsheet for entire projects. We transitioned from Microsoft Project to Smartsheet for all of our projects.

What is most valuable?

I'm consulting with a company that uses Microsoft Project, which isn't cloud-based. Smartsheet is cloud-based, so it's more accessible. We need not worry about saving versions of the file when someone makes changes. For example, Microsoft Project locked up while someone was saving a file, and we couldn't access the original file properly. 

Smartsheet offers more than Project because it's similar to a table-based, database-type system. It's like a hybrid between Excel and project software. We were able to enter the formulas and do much of the automation. We added budgets to it and linked them to a vendor page. Smartsheet let us integrate the budget into the project seamlessly. With Project, we needed to open up Excel. 

What needs improvement?

Smartsheet should continue to expand the spreadsheet-type functionality because it's limited currently. Most business users are familiar with Excel and Office, so Smartsheet should adopt a similar way of navigating the program. 

When you're moving through cells or fields, you can't move with your arrows flipping back between things. If you hit enter, it doesn't do the same thing it does in Excel.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Smartsheet for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is excellent. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Smartsheet is scalable. We deployed it in 47 large distribution centers across the United States, and we had six projects running on it. The corporate office could view all of the projects at once because the program management option is terrific.

How are customer service and support?

Smartsheet support is fantastic. It's better than any I've ever dealt with before. They could answer any question I had about the functionality in a given use case. They were serious superusers. It wasn't just like, "Well, let me check." They actually knew the answer. We'd have a resolution in minutes because of how they had it set up for our organization.

How was the initial setup?

Overall, setting up Smartsheet is pretty straightforward, but sometimes the project settings and the Office-style functionality limit people from getting the information as quickly as possible.

I don't know that that's a Smartsheet issue as much as it is a user issue. They have to understand that when somebody requests to open a project, they need to accept it, activate it, and move forward quickly. 

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

The cost varies based on the number of users and the commitment that we gave them. I think it was reasonable. I can't remember the exact cost, but it's less than Microsoft Project.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Smartsheet nine out of 10. Smartsheet has room for improvement, but they're moving in the right direction. If you're planning to implement Smartsheet, you need to take the time to prepare upfront. Depending on the organization's size, you need to gain experience and train some superusers. 

You need a few people to learn the ins and outs and get in-depth training in the specific features they will utilize. Learn as much as possible about the system and do a lot of hands-on training right out of the gate.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Marketing Strategist at Eldorado Trading Company
User
Great for work productivity, allows for easy status tracking, and make adding subitems simple
Pros and Cons
  • "Being able to see your own personal specific projects makes it that much more accessible a program and is great for work productivity."
  • "We'd really like to have the ability to have different types of boards within a board."

What is our primary use case?

We use Monday.com to manage all of our design and marketing departments. It helps us track all the projects in the pipeline, who is the lead of the project, and who is the designer. This makes it easy for our marketing strategists, who are in charge of the designers, to see which projects each of the designers are working on and be able to assign tasks easier. 

We do a lot of events organizing on Monday.com too. This is why we like to have specifically different boards for our tasks that aren't the same as our everyday boards. 

How has it helped my organization?

We love that we can track all past projects that we've done, and segment them based on who worked on the project. We work with a lot of clients that need a breakdown of everything that we've implemented each quarter for them. Being able to export a PDF based on the tags on each task has made it a breeze for us to stay organized and know exactly what we've done for each of our clients. We have 200+ clients, so sometimes it can be chaotic, however, Monday.com makes that aspect so much easier for us. 

What is most valuable?

Adding subitems to each task has made multi-dimensional projects easier to manage. We have a lot of projects for the events and tradeshows that we host, and sometimes we need to break down a simple project into multiple steps and assign each subitem to a different person. 

We also love that we can keep track of the status of the project and assign deadlines, as well as have tabs on where the project is in the process. 

Being able to see your own personal specific projects makes it that much more accessible a program and is great for work productivity.  

What needs improvement?

We'd really like to have the ability to have different types of boards within a board. Sometimes we don't need the same columns for every task and we'd like to customize each task board within the motherboard. We use to have tasks with different columns and information rather than it having to be the same for every task board within the main board. This would make it so much easier for us when it comes to special projects that have varying needs and not every column will fit into the same board. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for about one year now, however, my team has been using it for more than two years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great. 

How are customer service and support?

I personally have not had any experience with customer support, however, technical issues are usually fixed very quickly. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We used to use multiple different programs, including Teams, however, it didnt have as much functionality that we need. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward and super easy to navigate. 

What about the implementation team?

We handled the setup in-house. 

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

It's definitely worth the cost when you are using it for work or for a team of employees that you need to manage. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Microsoft Teams, Asana, etc. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

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

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