Planview has long been a leader in the Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) space, so we (myself and my colleagues from IT Central Station) were excited to be invited to attend their annual Planview Horizons customer conference to hear some customer feedback on the ground at the gorgeous JW Marriot in downtown Austin.
My team and I spoke with dozens of experienced project managers who shared their vision on what defines a great PPM solution, based on their experiences with the Planview suite of PPM tools. We published their reviews as a resource for our community of tech professionals to benefit from their insight and stories.
Here are some of the recurring themes gleaned from our conversations.
The Ability to Increase Visibility into Projects
How many projects are going on at the same time? This can be a deceptively simply question, as a Program Operations Manager discovered. He uses Planview PPM Pro at a tech services company. He said, “Visibility into our portfolio is critical. We had no idea there were 151 projects going on. Having that visibility has allowed us to say, ‘Wow, how can we possibly be doing 151 projects with 200 people in the company and with what kind of quality?’” Now, using PPM Pro, as he put it, “Slowly, we are building a more critical eye. Currently, we are designing an intake process using PPM Pro to evaluate new projects requests and comparing new projects against what we’ve already got in the portfolio to make better decisions and priority calls. That’s something we never had before.”
“Being able to explain where we are and the status of our projects has definitely improved,” explained Anthony W., a Senior Project Manager who uses PPM Pro at the legal firm Husch Blackwell. Rebecca M., a Director Enterprise Applications who uses PPM Pro at Nassau Health Care Corporation, concurred, noting, “For resource managers, it’s given them the ability to see when they have staff that is over-committed. Rather than react, we can work to mitigate that before the overcommitment actually happens, as in cases where somebody has a deliverable that’s in conflict with something else.”
Tyler S., a Manager of IT at Regions Financial Corporation, which has over 10,000 employees, shared that Planview Portfolios “brings visibility into capacity, how that affects our projects, and having the whole portfolio be able to see everything at the same time, then talk about it.” A Sr IT Consultant who uses Portfolios at a university with over 10,000 employees similarly shared, “It brings visibility to work being performed as well as resource capacity.” Kashif K., an IT Project Director who uses Portfolios at UT MD Anderson, a healthcare company, remarked, “Our reporting is much better. There is much more visibility on projects, schedules, tasks, and in our milestones. Now, we have a consistent way of reporting out to the committees and getting all of our schedules and milestones.”
A Unified Platform
IT Central Station members praised Planview for its ability to put all of their project and portfolio work into a single place, a unified platform. According to a Manager, PM Tools who uses Portfolios at a logistics company with over 10,000 employees, “The biggest impact is the maturity around getting projects in a single place so we can do portfolio level planning and use the tool for more than just timekeeping.” For Anthony W., “It has improved our organization because the one thing that we never had before was a single picture of all our IT projects going on. Each group within IT, like operations and knowledge management systems, all had their own list of projects. Now, for the first time, we can deliver to our organization a consolidated list of what we’re working on. The portfolio management has been outstanding for us.”
“The company chose Portfolios because of the potential of the platform,” said a Platforms Administrator who uses Portfolios at a manufacturing company. “It links to Planview Planview IdeaPlace, PPM Pro, and a lot of other things that will support the scalability and growth of the organization on one single platform. This make it easier to manage licenses, administrate contracts, and everything else. It’s one vendor with many solutions.”
Helps with Costs and Consolidation
PPM is ultimately about cost management. This was what mattered to Maya F., an Enterprise Portfolio Analyst who uses Portfolios at Wellmark, an insurance company with over 1,000 employees. She commented, “The biggest impact for using Planview currently would be to understand the true costs of projects. We are trying to get to a point where not only do we take into account technical costs, but what the business cost is. Trying to integrate our business right now into Planview is helping us identify the true cost of the investments that we make so we can try and understand their value.”
For a Sr Systems Analyst at an insurance company, PPM Pro was useful for cost consolidation. He said, “This solution is valuable because it saves us a lot of time from having to consolidate. Before PPM Pro, we didn’t have a good way to consolidate our actual costs from an IT department. This has made it possible to capture all of those, plus mix in outside costs just by putting them in manually and then have that be able to be displayed in a dashboard.”
Versatility and flexibility are desirable features in a PPM tool, according to an Associate Director, PPM Governance & Operations who uses Portfolios at a pharma/biotech company with over 10,000 employees. He praised Portfolios in this context, saying, “The solution is flexible. Planview is always introducing new releases and functionality, which ends up being beneficial to the company. We are able to do some customizations on our own along with our IT department, and that’s very helpful.” Adrian C., an Analyst who uses Portfolios at Blue Shield of California, made a similar comment, adding, “I like is how customizable it can get and how detailed some of the data you can get out of it can be. A lot of the basic reports come through it. I am a resource manager, so I slice it to see things like time sheet completion, compliance, etc. It’s really useful to dig into some of the reasons why people aren’t compliant.”
To learn more about what real users have to say about PPM tools, visit ITCentralStation.com.