As a long time user of PPM technology, I have always been a big fan of CA PPM (Clarity). The feature set is robust and it offers unparalleled configurability to the end user. CA PPM is truly a platform that can be utilized to solve many more business issues and processes than just project and portfolio management. The ability for businesses to leverage the power of the platform and to drive the key performance indicators of their individual needs makes it a market leader. The architecture underneath CA PPM is a differentiator. The ability to easily upgrade to the newest version without losing configurations and user settings has also made it a very attractive product.
There are a couple of key segments of the market to consider as well. In my experience, only 10-15% of project managers on the market can write a fully resource loaded project schedule. It is a skill that most project managers have not had the time to invest in learning. The issue becomes the aggregation of data across an enterprise that is trying to leverage resource capacity and demand. If the project managers are not resource loading the schedules, then a large disconnect can occur. This has been an issue that many software vendors are trying to resolve. CA PPM separates allocation from assignment to ease the burden for the organizations that want to allow mature and immature project schedules to be normalized and aggregated. Again, a market leader. The issue that CA PPM has always faced with their product is that the focus was on features, functions, and the maturity of their product allowed them to fall behind in the user interface. This narrative has changed and CA PPM’s next release will absolutely change the market.
Some companies have utilized Workfront, Daptiv, or some of the newer solutions because of a modern interface. What these systems lack in configurability, features, or functions have been outweighed by the ease of use factor in the product. CA recognized this issue and tonight, unveiled their latest direction with the product. Instead of chasing features or functionality, or even getting a laundry list of improvements requested by the end user, they invested a tremendous amount of resources in behavioral science. They studied how humans interact with the product and why. They extrapolated the data into some key findings and focused on those in a completely fresh look at the design of the product. By focusing on personas, this enabled them to design the entire interaction with the product from a user life cycle perspective. The results are impressive.
Think of the best features of Facebook and Twitter combined with the stability, power, and adaptability of one of the most mature products on the market. This is an absolute game changer. The new interface is intuitive, modern, and design with total mobility in mind. The ability and extensibility of the product has been modernized for ease of use and has been optimized to also be used on mobile platforms. This is not an app; it is a solution that can be accessed anywhere business is done. Furthermore, it will take the use of a PPM tool (which has been viewed as a governance platform or a necessary evil) into a more social user experience that will drive the participation and content of the team. CA PPM will become the centerpiece of conversation and collaboration instead of being a collector or aggregator of data. It is truly revolutionary.
The other exciting piece of information that was shared today at CA World was the commitment of resources to move the product forward. CA has nearly 40 resources dedicated to the enhancement of the product and several others working in a shared services model. This means there are more people developing than some of the other products have in their entire company. Mike Gregoire also stated that CA will be investing $1B next year to research and development of CA products.
It is clear by talking to customers, seeing the preview, and hearing the research that CA has absolutely nailed the market. The behavioral science was a paramount decision that will continue to produce real solutions to real problems. Some of the other major players in this space should be worried about the impact this design and delivery will have in the PPM market. As I said in the title, the narrative has changed. It will no longer be about can the product do this or that, it will be a centerpiece product that will revolutionize how the market utilizes PPM software.
No Day But Today,