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CA World 2017 has come to a close, and in this post, I have highlighted some of the hot topics. First off though - as a general comment, the event was designed spectacularly well, with so much content organized in consumable ways; from the keynotes to expo center and networking events! Because of this, PPM Practitioners were able to be inspired with forward looking concepts and the realities of what CA has been producing. Again this year, the PPM roadmap was very well received, as was the multiple training opportunities. This truly was a great event.


Even if you were unable to attend, below are some of the key takeaway's.  have referenced content from my Twitter feed  @PPMWarrior. Note, I could not include video in this post, but many of my Tweets bring the event to life with filmed interviews and observations. It is impossible to feature much of the expansive goings on, so I also encourage you to follow the Top Tweets from other engaged participants. Below are some of my favorites. This first set of quotes are from  Lauren Flaherty - EVP & Chief Marketing Officer at CA.




Kicking of CA World, Mike Gregoire's keynote highlighted the value of taking risks, adapting to change, and balancing creativity and execution. Jimmy Chin, an award-winning filmmaker, mountain climber, and skier joined Mike on stage to talk about the parallels of his work with ours: the importance of working outside comfort zones to eliminate barriers and achieve goals.


Ayman and Otto’s keynotes talked about how the pillars of the Modern Software Factory provide the blueprint for businesses to compete on code. Aetna, AMC and Fox News were are few of the companies that shared their stories of digital transformation. Otto took us into the future, making predictions for the revolutions in AI, and how laying those digital foundations now is critical to achieving business velocity in the future. 




The PPM roadmap is all about system simplicity and removing the obstacles between ideas and outcomes. Throughout the entire event and product lines, this interconnection resonated. 


The Modern Software Factory was also on full display, as CA tools showed the end-to-end capabilities to survive in quickly changing environments.


Janet Ulrich, who contributes to this blog series posted insights regarding the Modern Business Management:


Below are some further infographics around the concepts of  maturity. These were impactful and I think are a good reference to the event:



Throughout CA World, I wanted to go outside of my comfort zone, and learn/share information from the other areas. I interviewed experts from DevOps Service Virtualization, Security, Education among others. The ecosystem PPM is apart of was brought to life when discussing these other practices and the holistic solutions solidified in my mind. Check out the videos online - they are informative and fun. I really enjoyed this experience!


Another great artifact is linked here. Technology does sneak up on us and Otto Berkes writes about "IT must recast itself  to sense, adapt and respond to a rapidly changing world."


The CA Marketing team did a great job highlighting the two key days - see them here: Day 1, Day 2.

CA PPM upgrades and SaaS were discussed with enthusiasm. Customers are finding benefit with the latest releases and when leveraging the "cloud" are able to do so with great efficiency.


Another of my favorite presentations was about Agile and PPM working together - Portfolio Planning at the Speed of Business.


Agile is an opportunity and the concepts of "transformation" were well received throughout the conference.


The PPM Services group, along with CA World participants took part in a fun event: Pedal for a Purpose.  We rode 1500 miles and donated $100K to Donors Choose and Global Giving.


For more, check out the PPM Insights blog series. I encourage you to participate in the best-in-class CA Communities site, where we have access to 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.

I am currently attending the 2017 CA World and plan to the be eyes and ears for many PPM Practitioners who are directly participating or not. If you are here, let's connect - grab tea/coffee:). But even if not, forward any comments or questions which I may relay. Follow me on Twitter, where I will be highlighting hot topics and key content from @PPMWarrior. Note, I could not include video in this post, but many of my Tweets bring the event to life with filmed interviews and observations. It is impossible to feature much of the expansive goings on, so I also encourage you to follow the Top Tweets from other engaged participants. Below are some of my favorites from opening day.


We started out with a bang! See the Mike Gregoire keynote here:


The drumbeat of usability, innovation and pivoting were strong, and resonated with the audience:


Mike spoke about risk in a very impactful and applied way, which was further validated by the guest interview with Jimmy Chin; a Mountaineer, Skier and Filmmaker:


When the keynote was completed, the Expo Center opened. In my experience over the past 6 years, this was the largest, yet most intimate and well designed:


Not only was there space for all the excitement, there was constant content from the intimate "Tech Talk," large group "Theaters" and demo stations; all compelling and complementary:


Much of this information will be shared upon completion of the conference, but, for my last topic, I chose the popular roadmap! Demo's were very popular, along with the official statements from the CA Product team. Below are the infographics of the PPM session:



I have always been a proponent of Product Community groups and Product Owners who share their insights in a healthy ecosystem; which is ever present in the way this vision was presented:


For more, check out the PPM Insights blog series. I encourage you to participate in the best-in-class CA Communities site, where we have access to 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.

In this blog I will show how to link multiple lookups and even the OBS to limit another lookup, all without saving.

You can use this for a number of situations and really improves the user experience over static dependent lookups.



  • Limit values shown to user
  • Limit values which trigger processes


Time to read:5 minutes

Level: Advanced




I found this technique a few years back looking at the "Looking Mapping" object, Aurora has done the community a great favour by documenting it so I'll just expand on some more tips.

Today I will expand Aurora's work by showing some advanced techniques.


Step 1: Plan what you need your lookup(s) to do

In this example we are going to limit a sub lookup to a parent AND OBS. We can of course make this much much more complicated so don't let this limit your creativity.

You can also use it to display HTML or execute javascript based on prior conditions. 

Step 2a: create a OBS selector


EXAMPLE: this allows ether "all department" or the value.



prj_obs_units obs
INNER JOIN nbi_dim_obs nobs ON nobs.obs_unit_id =
obs.type_id = 5000001
1 AS id,
NULL AS parent_id,
'All Department' AS name,
'ALL' AS path,
1 AS hierarchy_level


Step 2b: Create your lookup mapping object

I suggest this format, note in my simple example OBS and parent value are single values.

My real world use case needed multi value lookups, i.e. 1 value in the map for many parents and many departments




  • Internal ID - the ID to be sent into the object, not shown in UI
  • ID - set up the ID to be autoID
  • Name - rename to "parent lookup ID" - this is where you will capture which parent lookup mapping we need
  • Parent lookup ID - the value(s) that this child value should show for
  • Child Value - the value to show for this parent. (ether a lookup or a hardcoded value)
  • OBS Value - a lookup returning valid OBS value(s), we show the name for humans but Intneral ID is stored
  • is active - should the value show  in the pick list


These steps are covered in depth by Aurora, so i'm just showing the highlights

Step3: Create your lookup

The trick is that we can add more params and seems to be unlimited, only constrained by your ability to program the map and SQL in the lookup

Again if you add multi value lookups you will have much more complexity to code, this example is a single value lookup.



Step 4: Create your attribute in the object

For each param you need to map the values in. OBS appears as a a odf_****** value



Now you've done this you will have the lookup values constrained by OBS and the parent value WITHOUT saving.




Hope you find this useful.


As always this code is untested and you use it at your own risk

ecently, one client reported one odd issue that some users with Lock status in CA PPM are auto flipped to Active status over night. A close investigation reveals the root reason because of the ODUM delink call limitation.


A user only has Active and Inactive status in Portal, but it has Active, Lock and Inactive status in CA PPM. When a user is Lock status in CA PPM, the user in Portal will be Active. Let us say that one user has Lock status in DEV, TEST and PROD CA PPMs while its status is Active in Portal. If you only want to delink the user from PROD in Portal, you have to make an ODUM delink call with below piece to maintain its existing associations with DEV and TEST:




Unfortunately, the above ODUM delink call will trigger a process in Portal, called “Portal User Synch” to auto synchronize the user status between Portal and CA PPMs on DEV and TEST. As a result, you will see that the user status on DEV and TEST is updated from LOCK to ACTIVE automatically.  


There is no solution for the issue now, and the best practice is not to run delink call on DEV and TEST in order to maintain the user status on PROD.

Paul Obirek

It’s about the work…

Posted by Paul Obirek Employee Nov 9, 2017

Going to CA World? Join my Modern Business Management session Thursday, 16 Nov 2:30pm in the Agile Management Agility Zone/Tech Talk area.

Modern business management is about understanding, tracking, and managing the entire ecosystem of work in your organization. It doesn’t matter if the work is based in Scrum, Kanban, Six Sigma, Prince 2, PMBOK, or any other approach to delivery. This is much easier to say than do. Things can go off the rails for any number of reasons. One of the lessons we’ve learned at CA is, arguably, the most obvious and one of the hardest to overcome. It’s the words we use to talk about work.

When work is viewed and talked about differently by different delivery methods across an organization confusion and misunderstanding easily creeps into discussions. The most obvious example we see, we see it almost daily now, is how traditional methods view and speak about work compared to agile modes of work. That’s not to say the same challenges don’t exist when talking about methods based on bodies of knowledge like Prince 2 and PMBOK. Those challenges also exist. But, because the language between traditional methods is very similar, they don’t often surface as quickly or as visibly. These differences in how words are used to describe work can result in:

  • Unique interpretations of data between and within BUs.
  • Data with similar labels but different interpretations being consolidated inappropriately.
  • Explosion of the number of reports in the business to accommodate unique interpretations.
  • Sub-optimized business decisions due to differing interpretations.

Based on experience, I would suggest the differences between agile and traditional ways of work makes it easier to identify disconnects in how people talk about work within an organization. It also makes it easier to start to solve sooner when compared to differences between two or more traditional methods. This is because the stark differences in how agile talks about work compared to more traditional ways shines a much brighter spotlight on those differences. When looking at the differences between two different traditional approaches to work, like Prince 2 and PMBOK, the spotlight on differences often happens very late in the game and is not nearly as bright. By the time these differences between traditional methods are addressed damage is already done and decisions are being made with sub-optimal information.

The differences in how words are used to describe delivery makes it a challenge to have a holistic look at an enterprise portfolio. Different approaches to delivery of work can and do use similar language to describe similar concepts and ideas. In two traditional delivery approaches a ‘risk’ for you may not be the same as a ‘risk’ for me. Contrasted with a traditional view of teams (resources) against an agile view of teams (people) and it’s easy to see how easy the contrast is between newer agile and more traditional ways of working.

The obvious question is: How do you overcome this important difference in how people use words? While not yet a full blown agilest myself, I find the answer in some of the key elements of the Agile Manifesto:

  • Individuals & Interactions
  • Working Software
  • Customer Collaboration
  • Responding to Change


By valuing individuals and interactions people become more receptive to both hearing and accepting changes in how they use words. For example, I have been making a conscious effort to stop referring to people as “resources”.  This is a direct result of my interactions with my colleagues in the Agile Central practice.  As a result, I no longer think of people as numbers in a resource capacity and demand planning tab in CA PPM. To me, a team is no longer an abstract concept but is a collaboration of people with names and faces.

I equate the “working software” component of the manifesto to represent any work. In other words, I expand that definition to the context of business agility.  The concept of working software is broadened to include all work related to achieving the business objectives. More specifically, any work needing to be done in a timely and quality fashion to achieve a specific business goal.  In an ideal world: all work happening in an organization. So, in trying to change the language in your organization the emphasis needs to be on finding common language to describe work.  Understanding and communicating effectively about how work is identified, defined, allocated, and tracked is only possible with a common business vocabulary for your organization.  But, in adjusting your thinking to this approach you do need to be careful.  As my friend and colleague Gene Mrozinski pointed out to me, a true agilist may not find this perspective very resonant.  Without being clear the context of the conversation is expanding beyond software to include business agility you may introduce unintended resistance to this kind of conversation.

Customer collaboration is critical to overcoming these differences in words. Customer can represent both internal and external parties.  When addressing this semantic challenge all parties must be willing to collaborate to a common end.  The kind of collaboration needed helps define a positive working relationships between groups and individuals to achieve common goals.  Without the willingness to collaborate to find a solution to this semantic problem the problem of ships crossing in the night will simply continue to perpetuate.

Lastly, responding to change is critical for success in any well-run organization. My favourite phrase learned from my colleagues in the Agile Central practice is “sense and respond.” To me, that statement says it all.  The ability to sense and respond to change is the nirvana of business agility.  In order for anyone to do this we need to be willing to accept information and then respond to that information in a positive way.  This means that, when addressing the challenge of bringing different methodologies to the table, all parties need to let go of dogma to find a common business language.  Letting go of dogma can be one of the most difficult things an individual does.  An important part of being able to let go of a worldview is being presented with new information challenging the existing status quo.  This means being open and able to sense when something legitimately counters a particular view you might hold dear.  Once you’ve identified a challenge you can then respond with an open mind and a positive outcome as a goal.

Keeping these key elements in mind, an organization needs to work towards defining a meta-model to act as a translation layer between the different ways an organization works. This meta-model makes sure all parts of the organizations are communicating in a common business language while still retaining the strengths and uniqueness of each approach to delivering on work.  There are no common meta-models in the market place one could consider to be “one-size-fits-all.”  Therefore, each organization needs to look closely at their own specific needs to define a meta-model supporting its own unique needs. This is no easy task.

In the end, it is a lot of hard work to:

  • Overcome methodological inertia
  • Adjust individual points of view
  • Embrace compromise around definitions

In CA Services, we’re concentrating on helping to avoid these kinds of challenges at our customers. We’ve put together our Modern Business Management team. As PPM’s VP of Product Management Kurt Steinle likes to say “We’re tying to help our customer eliminate the work about work.” Our team consists of people from Agile Central Services and PPM Services practices to collaborate with our customers to find new ways of addressing these types of challenges. Ultimately, a business needs to know what’s going on across the whole enterprise. That means having the ability to speak the same business language anywhere in the organization. Using the CA ecosystem of tools, we want to help our customers overcome this and other barriers preventing them from achieving maximum success in their organizations.