Buyer's Guide
Project Portfolio Management
November 2022
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Prateek Agarwal - PeerSpot reviewer
Manager at NISG
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Notifications of approaching project deadlines help us plan and also avoid delays
Pros and Cons
  • "You can easily align strategic management and the portfolios within your organization. It helps you visualize all your strategic plans and the KPIs. It provides that information on a unified dashboard, in which you can track all your resources and the portfolios. It helps senior stakeholders and executives with clear reporting about project intake and demands, in real time."
  • "Training documentation improvement is required because there are some high-level words in that material, terms that a non-technical person is unable to understand."

What is our primary use case?

We use it to manage our resources and the portfolio within our organization. We needed an online tool that could help us manage these aspects.

How has it helped my organization?

One project that we are working on is developing an enterprise application for a client. It is a very big application that will have millions of users. We needed training in capacity management to handle that type of user load so there are many internal tasks, as well as external tasks, that we have to manage. We check in with the client on a day-to-day basis to finalize their requirements and we can see if there are any gaps when working with our product development team on the requirements.

For this particular project, we plan using agile- and Kanban-based systems and the Kanban dashboard is very useful within PPM Pro. Each task is given to our team members and we have a sprint meeting every morning and feed that information into the solution. It has enabled us to track all these sprints, including what we have discussed in our staff meetings and with our clients. It also helps us with time management, such as the four to five sprints we need to complete in a week. The solution helps us track these things, analyze progress, and deliver projects on time. Overall it is a very good experience.

Another benefit is that because we can see the roles and responsibilities involved in tasks, that helps encourage people to always follow their orders. That is one way that the solution helps to reduce project delays. In addition, because PPM Pro sends notifications if a project timeline is approaching or has been breached, it helps us plan accordingly and also avoid delays. Things come up in every company, such as a developer going on leave or a project manager not being available. Still, a client's expectations are very high, so these kinds of notifications are very useful. PPM Pro has helped us reduce project delays by 30 to 35 percent.

What is most valuable?

Scenario planning is the most important feature. You can easily align strategic management and the portfolios within your organization. It helps you visualize all your strategic plans and the KPIs. It provides that information on a unified dashboard, in which you can track all your resources and the portfolios. It helps senior stakeholders and executives with clear reporting about project intake and demands, in real time.

It also has some built-in, reusable templates and you can modify them according to your requirements. You can also create templates and workflows from scratch, so that you can plan things accordingly.

The team collaboration is nice compared to other tools. You just add your team members, provide them access and, according to the user's level, they are able to use the application. For example, when we create a new project, we create work streams, timelines, and the sub-tasks. Then we have to think about how many team members are required—the skills of the developers, testers, QA teams, consultants, and marketing. We add those team members to that project and provide them access to their tasks so that we can track their progress in the real time. That really helps us. We might have 35 to 40 team members in different locations using this product simultaneously.

In addition, the task management features are useful when you have timelines for project completion and for progress. It shows you any gaps or timelines that you have breached. Task management is very useful, and that would be true in any project management tool.

Another helpful feature, because we define timelines in the grant chart for each project, is the time tracking. It is very crucial for us to complete a project on time and meet the deadlines for our clients. The way PPM Pro tackles these is great. It provides a notification to us when a timeline or a sub-task within it is approaching the deadline.

Integration with PPM Pro is fine. It provides APIs and the integration mechanism for third-party tools and applications, like Microsoft Office and Microsoft Project. We have only integrated it with Microsoft Excel because we generally capture the requirements and the timelines offline. Because the solution doesn't work offline, in situations where the internet is not available, or we are on-the-go with a client, we capture the requirements in Excel. The integration means we get the data from Excel into PPM Pro.

What needs improvement?

Sometimes, higher internet bandwidth is required because it is a cloud-based solution. You need high-capacity internet to work in the solution, for things such as creating charts, entering data, and updating requirements. Some of our users, who work remotely from home, do not have good internet connectivity.

Also, training documentation improvement is required because there are some high-level words in that material, terms that a non-technical person is unable to understand.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Planview PPM Pro for about two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Overall, it is good software.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. Nothing is required, technically, for millions of employees to log in to the application. For end-users, the scaling process is fine. Planview provides optimized resources and infrastructure.

The pricing changes based on how it is scaled.

How are customer service and support?

Sometimes customer service is unable to provide a resolution on time. They are able to get back to us on queries within 72 hours. Sometimes they have to check with their level-two and level-three team members.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup and the implementation. Because it is cloud-based, it would typically take up to three months. If the pricing is agreed upon, the implementation itself shouldn't take much time. The implementation process is smooth. All they have to do is change your access from the trial to the full version. That's it. Nothing is required on-premises. All the updates, as well as patches to security and for vulnerabilities, are managed by them.

At first, it was quite difficult because whenever you are using a new tool or application the training and hand-holding take time. But the online training materials and the user training were fine for us. The user manuals the company provided are nice. After one or two months of hand-holding, we were able to use it on our own.

What was our ROI?

We see return on our investment because it gives us an opportunity to track all our project plans in a very efficient way and manage them accordingly. In particular, it gives us visibility into, and the ability to track, all our project plans and timelines. Whenever deadlines are approaching, and when it comes to different teams, team members, and sprints, we have found it very useful. We have definitely had a positive return on investment.

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

They could improve on the pricing. They are charging $25 to $30 per user per month. It varies according to the access a user has, such as admin, developer, contributor, or owner.

The pricing might be a challenge for small and midsize companies. For large organizations, with more than 1,000 employees working on it, it is a great product when compared with Microsoft Project or Jira.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When we evaluated similar tools on a trial basis, we found Planview PPM Pro met our requirements. Microsoft Project, Jira, and Primavera were on our list. There are so many other products as well, but these were the products we looked at.

PPM Pro is much more efficient compared to Microsoft Project. It gives us unified visibility into tasks and progress through a dashboard, for stakeholders and senior executives. Microsoft Project doesn't have those kinds of features. However, unlike PPM Pro, it works in offline mode. Still, if an organization is using PPM Pro, there is no need to pay the additional cost to purchase Microsoft Project.

The features were the first priority for us and cost was secondary. The features we required were all part of PPM Pro. It provides visibility, visualizations, and analytics for our data. We needed a unified, single platform. We were not interested in deploying multiple solutions because that is always a bottleneck.

What other advice do I have?

I highly recommend this solution to anybody considering purchasing cloud-based project management, planning, or portfolio software. It is a great option if you have sufficient budget.

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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IT Project Management Lead at a insurance company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Allows us to quickly build a dashboard for insights and helps in keeping everybody informed, but I would like to be able to do more and have database functionality with it
Pros and Cons
  • "The ability to build a quick dashboard and give management insight into the progress of the project itself is probably one of the most beneficial pieces."
  • "There are some pain points for me. Other people use it a little differently, but I would like to be able to do a little more with it. I would like database functionality with it wherein if I bring in several Excel spreadsheets of data and load them into Smartsheets, I should be able to make a correlation between an index field and run a report against those two. I can do it, but it's a little clunky. So, I need a little more experience to feel comfortable doing that."

What is our primary use case?

We work for an IT corporate here. Any project that is going to have resources expended gets a project manager assigned. We use Smartsheets to track everything from the schedule to the actions.

It's a cloud solution. We're buying software as a service.

What is most valuable?

The ability to build a quick dashboard and give management insight into the progress of the project itself is probably one of the most beneficial pieces.

One of the nice things about Smartsheets is that we can use it to notify people who have assigned actions. It integrates very easily with email, etc. We can just set it up for certain reminders. The report tools are very easy. I'm pretty impressed with it so far.

What needs improvement?

There are some pain points for me. Other people use it a little differently, but I would like to be able to do a little more with it. I would like database functionality with it wherein if I bring in several Excel spreadsheets of data and load them into Smartsheets, I should be able to make a correlation between an index field and run a report against those two. I can do it, but it's a little clunky. So, I need a little more experience to feel comfortable doing that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it since I came to this company. It has been about four months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We're buying it as software as a service. It is cloud-based, and we haven't had any outages or trouble trying to get into it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. Especially with the way we're buying it, we can just increase the licenses and keep rolling.

The project managers use it most, but then the leads are also able to update their own tasks within a sheet. Currently, more than 1,000 people have access to it, but there are less than 50 people who are fully licensed to make all the changes, create sheets, etc.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't there when they set it up, so I can't comment on it too much, but we bought the big server solution set that has all the templates and other things. We have the entire project with all the templates and basic sheets and even the dashboard that we need. It works very well when you do that.

In terms of maintenance, the updates are pushed by the vendor, but we have three people acting as administrators within our environment.

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

It is less expensive than Microsoft Project for enterprise or Oracle Primavera by an order of magnitude. If you buy a Microsoft Project license, it's probably $300 or so by itself, whereas Smartsheet is probably less than $50 per head.

What other advice do I have?

It is very good for keeping everybody informed. Its interface is a little different from what you're accustomed to if you're a Microsoft Project or Oracle Primavera user, but I wouldn't let that stop you. I would encourage you to take a look at it and see if it'll work for your implementation.

I'm still early. So, I would rate it a seven out of ten. I'd probably move it to eight once I'm more comfortable with it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Manager project schedule and ressources at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Easy to use, familiar Windows design, but needs better integration
Pros and Cons
  • "Microsoft Project Server is easy to use compared to other similar solutions, such as Primavera. It functions similar to Excel or others Microsoft solutions which makes it simple for most people to be able to use right away."
  • "This solution could improve by adding integration with Primavera schedules to allow the reading and management of them."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for the management of projects.

What is most valuable?

Microsoft Project Server is easy to use compared to other similar solutions, such as Primavera. It functions similar to Excel or others Microsoft solutions which makes it simple for most people to be able to use right away.

What needs improvement?

This solution could improve by adding integration with Primavera schedules to allow the reading and management of them.

In an upcoming release, the loading of larger schedules could be faster when using the wizard and better workload assigning is needed. For example, if work is assigned to someone and they only work at the beginning and the end but not in the middle, it splits the tasks equally over the period.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for approximately six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable for small projects but when used for larger projects it can become heavy and slow to load and operate.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have approximately 900 employees with a license using this solution.

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

We still use Primavera and it is better at managing large projects than Microsoft Project Server. Additionally, we have used Microsoft Project Desktop and Excel for project management. It was not ideal because we were using Excel for reporting and people were able to cheat on their reports. With this solution, it is more difficult to alter the information to cheat the system.

How was the initial setup?

The full installation with configurations took approximately two months.

What about the implementation team?

We did the implementation ourselves.

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

There is an annual license required for this solution.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others. However, it does not fit all use cases.

I rate Microsoft Project Server a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
Project Portfolio Management
November 2022
Get our free report covering EcoSys, Microsoft, SAP, and other competitors of Oracle Primavera Portfolio Management. Updated: November 2022.
654,218 professionals have used our research since 2012.