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Hello fellow PPM Practitioners! This is the first in a series of posts about CA PPM’s current and future resource management capabilities, focusing on best practices I’ve seen as a customer and CA Services Architect. Each organization’s environment and requirements are unique, but whether you are starting, maturing, or just barely surviving your resource management efforts, these concepts can help you alleviate pain and move solutions toward desired value outcomes. As in my previous posts, I try to distill the conversation to it's simplest form.


1. Resource management entails many actors, so it requires consistency and transparency in communicating the process, as shown in this top-level view. A Project Manager or Resource Requester (RR) submits a request, a Resource Manager (RM) reviews and takes action, and lastly, all attend a priority staffing meeting to address escalations.



2. A major pain of resource management is the investment in effort to provide data that translates into insightful decision making. One way to ensure the right data is to define a strong cadence. Below is a weekly schedule in which Project Managers and Resource Requestors submit requests on Monday through Wednesday and Resource Managers log into their defined view on Thursday to make decisions. On Friday, the system is updated and an escalation meeting is held. A weekly schedule like this takes the work out of work because it requires an activity only once a week—no more managing resources on a daily or even hourly basis.



3. When communicating to all actors,providing use case terminology such as “Propose,” “Review,” and “Commit” aids in adoption. There are a number of sub-processes and decision points, but keeping the concepts at a higher level helps users gain a baseline understanding and provides a common language and holistic view of what we’re trying to accomplish.



4. Configure one-stop shops to drive all processes and streamline related activities to a single, low-click location in the tool. By tying the system to the process, PPM Practitioners can greatly increase intuitiveness and lessen effort. Several usability concepts are incorporated here, but what this is really doing, is adding “bumpers” to the user experience that efficiently guide them through the system. In the Resource Management Board below, a user can make nearly every required decision and action via inline editing, pop-ups and top-down views. Whenever possible, set home pages and pre-set filters in your environment, because they help us deliver the fastest way to do the job while enabling data quality. No more clicking around and searching!



5. Lastly and most importantly is to enforce policy. I have often seen a process and system implementation where the initial “bang” is successful, but then oversight quickly fades away and data quality diminishes. This starts a death spiral of “the data is no good, so I can’t use it” and “why should I update the data when it’s never used?” To stop this trajectory, we must enforce agreed-upon procedures and consistently search for ways to improve. In an earlier post "PPM Insights: Surviving-to-Thriving, Delivering Resource Management, Improving Poor Data to Achieve Rich Outcomes," I talk about data quality, and how reporting on data updates via a multi-user process results in the weakest link dictating the value. We Practitioners may not own the process or the data, but we need to enforce data quality with audits, health measurements and a lot of guidance/support. Basic health metrics that I start with are:

  • % open requests
  • % over/under allocation threshold
  • allocation vs. actuals


From this starting point, we can build towards optimizing resources and role demand to maximize priority items and forecast the skills that will give us the highest ROI . . . I cannot highlight governance enough, from any stage of maturity or solution success, as it is the only way to ensure ongoing value.


For readers interested in more detail, check out DocOps and my Blog SeriesI encourage you to participate in the best-in-class CA Communities site, where we have access to our peers, events and support. You can also reach out to CA Services for individualized business outcome references and analysis. Feel free to post in the comments section of this blog or contact me directly via email and @PPMWarrior.


Tableau Part 1 - Getting Started

Posted by am1 Champion Jan 13, 2017

There's been a lot of hype for using Tableau with CA PPM, but not much written about how to actually get started.

By the end of this tutorial you will have a simple project dashboard pulling data directly from CA PPM.


Before we go any further if you haven't already seen it, check out the recent community webcast from Altrice

CA PPM NY/NJ Quarterly Web Share -Tableau Integration with CA PPM 14.2 


What is Tableau?

Tableau is a Business Intelligence (BI) tool which is super easy to use for both admin and user. It enables you to build beautiful dashboards and reports, from a variety of data sources and share them effortlessly.

It's an alternative to jaspersoft and sadly this isn't included in your licence agreement for CA PPM so you need to purchase separately


Here's an example of what you can do

Example 1: Record Breaking Coasters | Tableau Public 

Example 2: Earth quake story


What do I need?

There are two main components

  • Tableau server - Where end users can view dashboards/reports,and edit existing
  • Tableau desktop - a poweruser tool to build datasources and dashboards, then uploaded to the server to view


Ok, so how do I get Clarity data into tableau?

We have a number of different strategies we can use to get data into the tool and how to shape it before.

In the example below i'll show step by step how to get data from an on-premise instance directly. If you are on-demand, since the database isn't accessible we'd have to approach a different way i.e. webservices from a query 


Example - a very simple on-premise project dashboard - time to build 5 minutes



  • Set up a read only user (i.e. tableau_user) in your database
  • Have tableau server set up with a site and the correct permissions
    • if you don't have the server then you can still build but not share it "online"
  • Install tableau desktop
    • trial can be used for this example


Click new and open a workbook

Select datasource tab at the bottom

Build the datasource - in this case a microsoft SQL server

  • We can now build the datasource by:
    • adding the tables and joining together
    • custom SQL
    • Use a view/dwh pre-complied with the data in the format you need
  • let's start with a simple example of adding inv_investments to the datasource
  • Drag it over.  Notice the connection is Live (we'll visit extraction strategy later)
  • add a filter so only project data returns
  • Now go to the workbook

  • Let's build a simple chart of number of projects by goal
    • drag goal into the rows
    • drag number of records measure into the grid
  • Should end up with something like this:
  • Click the Horizontal Bars in "Show me"
  • We'll end up with something like this
  • We'll add one more, so add a new workbook and have some fun (I built a simple gantt in a few mins)
  • Now place these onto a dashboard 
  • save the workbook and publish it to your server
  • You'll now see the dashboard in the server and can share it with stakeholders



The tool is incredibly powerful and there's so much more we can do than i've shown.

We can even integrate inside Clarity, automate user creation/groups.


  • How does your organisation use it?
  • What are you looking for that is missing in jaspersoft?


Hope you found this interesting and educational

It has been an eventful year for PPM Practitioners: for me, it started by transitioning from a CA PPM and Agile customer to a CA Services Architect. Having initially chosen and implemented CA PPM (then Clarity) at my former employer in 2008, I was proud that before leaving the company, I led the efforts to upgrade to the latest release, as well as enable some cutting edge and insightful project dashboards. As many of you have experienced, it is so rewarding to watch the maturity of processes and systems within an organization – truly seeing the outcomes delivered!


Now that I’m at CA, I can focus on CA PPM even more. In this post, I’ll look back on what I consider 2016 highlights and preview some of my future content. I usually don’t schedule topics too far ahead, as I prefer to focus on what I see in the field at any given moment, but after talking with so many clients at CA World, I’m brimming with hot topics.


First, the excitement around the latest CA PPM release and its new user experience has been strong, and I’ve already implemented three upgrades. A couple of months ago, when the new release was announced, I published two posts, focusing on why I believe customers will find value in the release. I’m now witnessing that value firsthand. For more intel, check out those posts:


PPM Insights: Surviving-to-Thriving, New CA PPM 15.1 Functionality Improves User Adoption and Builds Business Value (part 1)

PPM Insights: Surviving-to-Thriving, New CA PPM 15.1 Functionality Improves User Adoption and Builds Business Value (part 2)


I always keep in mind that in addition to processes and software, people acting as advocates—people like you and me—are the keys to value enablement for our organizations. Speaking of advocates, I would like to announce that I have a new CA Services blogging partner, Janet Ulrich! She will introduce herself in an upcoming blog.


As a customer and now as an Architect, I value artifacts such as whitepapers, Community discussions, posted presentations, etc. Knowing you will also find value in them, Janet and I will direct you to what we believe are the most useful tools available to the community. Here’s a quick preview: Some of you may not be aware of the additional functionality available in our Packaged Work Products (PWPs). You can find more details here.



In 2017, I will also start a multi-part column on Resource Management, a consistently compelling topic because when it’s done wrong, it causes "pain" throughout the solution, and when done right, it generates a lot of value. At CA World, we previewed some very advanced system updates that will make Resource Management even simpler, and I will discuss process, policy, cadence and health measurements that leverage existing and upcoming functionalities.


Access to the latest software releases is important for several reasons, including capability enhancements, advanced reporting and support, but equally indispensable to success is a community of experts working and building maturity together. When I was a CA customer, the goal of half of my PPM projects was to increase functionality—Portfolio and Financial Management, technical upgrades and KPI dashboards . . . The other half were all about simplification of usability, and adoption. In my experience on both sides of the fence, working together as a community of experts to align tools to streamlined use cases is the difference between surviving and thriving.


Finally, looking back on this year, I am a bit nostalgic, so below is a link to the presentation that I gave at CA World as a customer a few years ago. Some of the topics I have discussed in previous posts, but in my customer interactions, we continue to come back to many of the themes, and I have seen them resonate with my fellow Practitioners:



For readers interested in more detail, CA World content has been published here. I also encourage you to participate in the best-in-class CA Communities site, where you have access to your peers, events and support. You can also reach out to CA Services for individualized business outcome references and analysis. Feel free to post in the comments section of this blog or contact me directly via email and Twitter @PPMWarrior.