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Clarity PPM

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Multiple project tools, manual tasks and a never-ending demand for status reports are but a few of the many pains and aches of a project manager. Talking to Clarity PPM product manager, Brian Nathanson (PMP), we'll try to remedy some of these issues.


Brian learned project management principles during several years at KPMG then actively applied those concepts for several more years as a PMI-certified Project Manager in software development at a boutique consulting firm in Reston, VA.


He has a Master’s in Technology Management through a program co-sponsored by the Wharton School, where he focused on advanced portfolio modeling and simulation techniques with special consideration for how such techniques can assist in the management of high-risk technology projects.


Brian has worked with dozens of customers to apply financial portfolio principles and technology to the management of business portfolios. He has also conducted training in project management fundamentals at various conferences and spoken on a variety of topics at PMI chapter meetings.


We started our discussion by asking Brian to complete the sentence: Clarity PPM improves the capability of project managers by…?


"Providing a common set of tools and as a result, a common set of practices that project managers can use so that regardless of where they are they know they can do the same thing," said Brian. "It also allows them to have a common language in the organization whether they are project managers who come with experience, new project managers, or maybe a subject matter expert who got thrown in to being a PM."


"This consistent approach and language is critical, it creates a common framework that ensures PMs can focus on the challenges of their projects, not how they do the basics of the work."


We explored this further with Brian by asking him what the key benefits were for PMs using Clarity PPM.


"The main thing that is in it for them is the saving of time and what I would call busy work," said Brian. "Previously they'd spend an enormous amount of time preparing a status report used in a three-minute update. Now, they share with a few clicks. They also get more resource visibility – understanding that a team can’t finish a task because they are being called off to do other things for example."


We don’t know any project manager who won’t take less administrative overhead and better insight into their projects, as Brian sums up “a PM can focus more on things that are more strategically important about the particular project they are working on right now.”


This ability to focus on what is more strategically important also speaks to why this better environment for project managers matters to organizations, and that was our final question for Brian.


He explains the organizational benefit. "Businesses are very much focused on the ability to change more quickly – being agile. A large part of what you gain by making project managers more efficient in delivering the administrative aspect of their job is that they can spend more time on the critical parts of their job, which is making those decisions that are unique to the project they’re working on. This makes people more responsive and the organization is better able to respond – to be more agile."


That’s perhaps the ultimate gain here. Organizations want to become better able to respond to their environment, to pivot more quickly and even to become proactive, recognizing when opportunities are being created. Giving project managers the right tools not only make it easier for them to execute their work, it also benefits the entire organization – improving that responsiveness and enabling proactivity.


We understand that, which is why Clarity PPM should be your catalyst for business agility.


Want to know more? Flip through our eBook: Your Project Managers Are the Engine that Drives Success

How well are businesses operating in 2018? Are we delivering on time, on budget? Are we optimizing resources, reducing obstacles? In a recent survey, PMI found that the State of the Modern PMO isn't that modern. Join us to hear the survey's key findings, real-life customer observations from Altice USA and Pitney Bowes, and recommendations on how to evolve your project portfolio management. RSVP here.


Some key findings:

  • Having a strategic PMO made organizations 58.9% more likely to regularly achieve all of their business goals.
  • Organizations that regularly achieve all their business goals were 60.8% more likely to have benefits very visible to executives than the survey average.
  • Things aren’t improving. We asked the same question on achieving business goals in a similar survey around 18 months before this one and an identical 26.9% reported that projects regularly achieved business goals.


Register here for the webcast "State of the Modern PMO" on November 29 at 10 a.m. PT.


Seven Scary PPM Curses

Posted by Alf-Abuhajleh Employee Oct 31, 2018

Happy Halloween. If you want to stay safe for the holidays, make sure you put your PPM house in order. Here are seven eternal project portfolio management pains that suddenly can afflict any organization:


  1. Running around looking for project timelines, resources, and budget data.
  2. Problems, such as staff reallocation, conflicting priorities, budget overrun, take too long to resolve.
  3. Can't track resource capacity, leaving staff either overcommitted or underutilized.
  4. Without knowing the skill sets, it is hard to effectively hire, train and forecast head counts.
  5. Mistakes are made when the project team takes actions without financial consultation.
  6. Can't compare planned, forecast and actual time spent on projects.
  7. Too time-consuming to update and share different types of financial reports manually.


Learn how to survive the evil curses of managing projects, people and budgets.

It was about 15 years ago when I first heard the term GEMO, the acronym for “good enough; move on.” I was working for a PMO at the time, and GEMO became our mantra.


The head of our PMO—I’ll call her Jane —was a strong and confident leader in a tough healthcare environment in Canada. Since we had very aggressive goals, Jane needed her team, a self-professed bunch of perfectionists, to focus on our most important tasks. She knew that, left to our own druthers, we could get lost in analysis paralysis. 


Jane also understood the PMO’s stakeholders: physicians—also perfectionists—for whom patient care was Job 1.

Our work was about business processes—not so much about patient care. For that reason, Jane knew that while our work had to be good enough to achieve our goals, it did not need to be perfect.


I’ve never forgotten that lesson and, over the years, I’ve applied it at many of my customers.


How does this all apply to Core CA PPM deployments? That’s where GEMO comes in very handy: If you understand that good enough gets you far enough, you know that CA PPM will give you proof of value in four to six weeks. 


What’s the trick? Really, there is no trick—you focus on the CA PPM core benefits you’re trying to achieve and break them into smaller, incremental—and thus achievable—goals. That’s working in an agile fashion—incrementally building on the implementation and configuration you initially deploy.


Does this mean you need to have a highly complex initial deployment? No! Let’s say you start your CA PPM deployment with a basic configuration: You load resources, some canned security groups, a very simple OBS, and basic use cases to get you up and running quickly. Working closely with CA Services, you’ll identify your basic needs and get the minimum basic configuration up and running, all in two to four weeks. Proof of value then follows quickly.   


With CA’s classic UX, this process required a fair amount of coaching and hands-on training for end users. But with CA PPM’s new UX, end-user training is much simpler. The intuitive new task board and simplified design allow end users to learn CA PPM, leverage its power and start being productive almost from day one. Typically, the biggest challenge is cleansing your source data from your old systems. 


With CA PPM’s new UX, organizations reach the “good enough” point with the initial deployment. While it won’t accomplish 100% of your goals out of the gate, it will let you take a big first step in the right direction. Your organization gets the value of a strong PPM system, users engage and work in the tool, and you learn how you can tweak your processes to better incorporate CA PPM in managing your organization’s work.


After you reach the “good enough” point and realize initial value, you can “move on” to the next incremental steps that will achieve your long-term CA PPM goals at almost any cadence you choose. As you work with CA Services on the initial deployment, the consultant will help you understand the possibilities for succeeding increments.


That’s the beauty of GEMO: Your initial implementation doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be good enough. You focus on a quick and lean configuration for your initial deployment, and follow up with a clear path for your next increment. Then you rinse and repeat.


Talk to one of our sales folks to learn more about our Core PPM deployment offering.  It’s your best option for a quick time to value PPM solution.

CA PPM Core Implementation for 50-100 users

CA PPM Insights Blog: Steve Robinson on how easy data loading leads to faster use for more value.


CA PPM Core Data Load

Posted by robst08 Employee Oct 10, 2018

As a non-technical consultant with CA’s PPM practice, I typically defer to technical colleagues who know how to use XML Open Gateway (XOG) to upload customer data to CA PPM.

The customer provides the data in an Excel spreadsheet, and the data must be converted to XML data before being uploaded. Usually, my job is to show the customer how to populate the spreadsheet and provide guidelines on required values.

Pre-Work and Process Can Delay Outcomes

One reason customers implement CA PPM is to get visibility of all their projects and resource utilisation. However, some customers don’t have one of the necessary starting points: a list of all the projects they are running.

The time required to populate the spreadsheet varies enormously from customer to customer. It also depends on several factors, including the amount of data and its accessibility and completeness.


In my experience, it can be a challenge for customers to get the spreadsheet right on the first try, even with a lot of guidance. For that reason, when we get the spreadsheet from the customer, we expect a certain amount of data cleansing. Once we have the necessary data, we hand the spreadsheet over to a technical resource who uses various techniques to prepare the data for upload to CA PPM, depending on his or her XOG method—and yes, there are several ways to XOG data into CA PPM. Each technical resource I’ve worked with—internally and externally—has a preferred way of doing it.

CA PPM Core New Data Loader Changes All That

With the new data loader for CA PPM Core, I no longer have to rely on technical resources to upload customer data into CA PPM.

True, I still need to show the customer how to use the spreadsheet and provide guidelines on required values, and I still perform data cleansing on the completed spreadsheet. However, the code required to upload data to CA PPM is now embedded in the spreadsheet and is executed when I press buttons on each worksheet.

One possible downside with the new spreadsheet, which is macro-enabled: Some customers don’t allow macro-enabled spreadsheets. (I know at least one government department that would require several weeks for their technical teams to analyse spreadsheet code to ensure it had no security vulnerabilities.)


One potential solution: The customer could provide the data in a normal spreadsheet, and a non-technical consultant like me can transfer it into PPM’s data loader spreadsheet. Because the data loader spreadsheet connects to the customer’s CA PPM system, this may still cause concern to some customers; my colleagues and I work closely with those customers to determine the best way forward based on their needs and potential risks.

Because CA PPM Core focuses on rapid implementation of base functionality, the data initially required is limited to the minimum number of fields for roles, resources and projects along with financial location, department OBSs and a base security model.


Even though the data load is semi-automated, the non-technical consultant still needs to upload data to CA PPM in the right sequence and adhere to CA PPM business rules.


After the upload, CA PPM Core relies on project and resource managers to fill in the blanks, including creating the required work breakdown structure and populating project teams.


I must say I’m stoked about not having to rely on technical resources for this process. I’m also stoked about seeing the look on my customers’ faces when they view their data in CA PPM for the first time after this simplified process.


In the end, the real benefit goes to customers. CA PPM Core lets them get up and running quickly, capture required data to turn up the service and realise benefits much faster. And the fact that customers need to work with only one consultant is bound to add to customer satisfaction.



About the author: Steve Robinson has over 20 years’ experience in designing and implementing portfolio management projects and training customers to leverage solutions, especially CA PPM, to meet business requirements and achieve business goals. As a thought leader in the PPM space, Steve leverages his real work experience to share his unique perspective and insights with CA PPM customers so that they gain maximum value from their CA PPM investment.

Secret to a Successful Digital Transformation

October 16 at 1 p.m. ET

As digital transformation continues to disrupt businesses, and in particular IT, CIOs are finding themselves having to adapt every element of their portfolios. Whether it’s the internal products and services that support the core business customer facing solutions that drive organizational value, or the transformation initiatives that support the ability to adapt and adjust effectively and efficiently, nothing is as it used to be.


Join former Gartner analyst and renowned portfolio management guru Donna Fitzgerald as she discusses the implications of digital transformation on Its work for all of these project types.


RSVP here.

One of many great new features added in CA PPM 15.3 is that you can lock user accounts after 90 days without a successful login. In response to customer requests, CA has created an out-of-the-box capability with which you can lock the account with a single command, and it does not require language programming skill for scripting. This feature is very useful for user license usage housekeeping.

To populate the portlet in an on-premise environment, run the “admin lockuser” command from the command line. This locks any active user accounts that have not had a successful system login during the last 90 days.


 Is this feature also available for SaaS environments?

You can access this feature without the admin command in FedRAMP configurations of CA PPM SaaS. This feature is not available in standard CA PPM SaaS environments.

However, SaaS customers may benefit from the portlet and its query for users locked by the admin account. They may also consider copying the portlet and query and modifying them to look at all locked users, regardless of who locked the user.


 How does it work?

 Add the Locked Users (90 Days Inactivity) portlet in a page or tab. It will show the list of locked users in your system that were locked by the admin account.


Screenshot from lab machine


  • For on-premise environments, run the “admin lockuser” command from the command line.
    • It may take a few seconds or minutes to complete, depending on the number of users to be locked.
    • Wait until “locking idle users successful” appears on your screen.



  • Go back to your Locked Users (90 Days Inactivity) All active users who did not log in during the last 90 days will be locked.

Screenshot from lab machine


Can we roll back locking?

There is no rollback command to undo changes. Locked users must be updated in the CA PPM user interface (Administration -> Organization and Access -> Resources, filtered on a status of Locked) or via web services/script.


 Can we change 90 days to “N” days?

No. 90 days is a hard-coded value and it cannot be changed.


For readers interested in more detail, check out DocOps. I 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 information about CA PPM release 15.3 upgrades/implementations and 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 @janetulrich.

One of many great new features in CA PPM 15.3 is that Data Warehouse now includes trending data. With this feature, we can now capture historical data, offer many reporting capabilities, capture changes over time and leverage new auditing dimensions.

What data is captured?

  • Resource data: Resource manager, booking manager, and primary role.
  • Investment data: Dates, status, and manager information.
  • Resource facts: Costs, hours, and timesheet data.
  • Investment facts: Costs, hours, totals, and variances.
  • Investment summary facts: Costs, percentages, variances, NPV, ROI, and other metrics.
  • OBS data: OBS level, type, and mapping.


What and where are the trending tables?

Data is captured in the Data Warehouse trending tables. You can easily recognize them because trending tables start with dwh_trd_. More details are in DocOps: Data Warehouse Trending Jobs for Trend Reporting


How does trending work?

This feature has a dependency with the Load Data Warehouse job (but not with the Load Data Warehouse Access Rights job). You always need to keep in mind the order of the jobs:

  • First run the Load Data Warehouse job to snapshot current data from PPM transactional tables into the Data Warehouse.
  • Once completed, run the Create Data Warehouse Trend

If you run the Load Data Warehouse job again:

  • The ETL process will overwrite existing data into Data Warehouse tables, but not into trending tables. Trending tables will be updated only if you run a Create Data Warehouse Trend
  • If you need to capture a new trend on the latest updated data in Data Warehouse, run a Create Data Warehouse Trend job again. This will aggregate data in trending tables instead of overwriting, so you can keep historical data.

Your reporting needs will dictate the way you use historical data. Therefore:

  • Create new trend reports based on trending historical data and KPIs.
  • Create new auditing reports, especially OBS reports for resources and investments.
  • Create custom domains, ad hoc views and reports.
  • Create, update, and delete trends as required.

 The software does not provide out-of-the-box domains or reports using trend data.


What is a representative use case?

As you may know, it’s not possible to audit OBS changes. However, CA PPM 15.3 enables us to use trending to capture OBS historical data about investments and resources.

Let’s say a company wants to audit and track all changes in its resource OBS pool.

  • Project manager Paul Martin is assigned to /All Groups/Internal/Operations.

  • You run a Load Data Warehouse Once that is completed, run a Create Data Warehouse Trend job.
  • When Paul Martin is reallocated to a different department, his OBS is updated to /All Groups/Agile Teams/Shopping Team.

  • Run a Load Data Warehouse job again and then another Create Data Warehouse Trend
  • Explore the content of the table using a simple query such as:

Note: Adjust the query as needed based on your environment’s specific details.


Note: The ETL process was run on 27/09 and 28/09 for a demo. Other dwh_trd_ tables can be joined in the query to use trend details such name, id, created date, period, etc.

This new out-of-the-box feature provides auditing and historical data—that means we no longer need to rely on custom scripts, tables, triggers or other customizations. With these new trending jobs, housekeeping will be a piece of cake, so unleash your imagination and explore the unlimited types of trending reports.


For readers interested in more detail, check out DocOps. I 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 information about CA PPM release 15.3 upgrades/implementations and 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 @janetulrich.

Hello PPM Practitioners, I am very excited to share the latest interactive CA Services Webcast in the new PPM Insights series Live panel discussion featuring experts from across the globe, sharing practical insights for leading PPM challenges. Richard Dunmow, Managing Consultant, joins Senior Architects Robert Peacock, Mike Richman, and James Kruger, who share from their extensive experience with organizations of all sizes and maturity levels; from a variety of industries to the public sector. Topics include adoption, agile (or not), what to do (or not do – ever!), planning, PPM evolution, and more.


Link to: [REPLAY] Top Challenges and Real-world Solutions – September 13, 2018


My highlights include:


  • This has been the case for many years: "More and More with Less and Less," and that has given way to the "Accelerated Pace" model. We are seeing increased need for PPM to enable people to collaborate more, be flexible and show the basic data like: what people are working on, where that fits within organizational priorities, and how to work in an agile way / scenarios.
  • Note: check out the CA PPM 15.5 release blogs, which focus on team based planning, agility and connecting the portfolio level ecosystem to the delivery of work. And, throughout the life of our implementations, "Taking the Work Out of Work" is paramount.


  • Every organization is doing top-down planning in some way. Whether they are connecting the top level strategy to the low level approach is the question. 
  • Reaction within groups tend to be a bottom-up response, verses taking the time to strategically build a roadmap. These concepts are not difficult, but connecting the dots towards "what-iffing" can be. If we are to much in the fire fighting mode, we will miss opportunities for efficiency and effectiveness with our investment delivery. Organizations must take a step up to leverage fast and simple ways to match their objectives to the details underneath.


  • In addition to the CA Services Modern PMO approach, which focuses on processes (Management Operating Systems and Contextualized PPM Ecosystem Rhythms), and change management (Organizational Readiness Approach for PPM, not just and PPM), true executive sponsorship is key.
  • To achieve data as to fortify the who/what/where/when/why measurement of adoption, organizations must define unique organizational KPIs, then track them. This can start very simply, often with existing and historical information. From there, maturity towards insight and foresight may occur. Another way to state this is: "Good Metrics are a Measurement of Movement Towards Business Goals."


  • Many organizations align programs and projects to goals at the beginning of their fiscal periods, but do not always track the breakdown of investment as they are worked. It is imperative to take the next step of re-evaluating on a consistent basis the priority and cost. Alignment can quickly slip and organizations should use the insights from PPM as bumpers to help guide towards the correct path throughout the year - confirm continuous work on the right projects at the right times.
  • Benefit realization has moved from a 5 year cycle to a 1 and 2 year. We have all seen this, and benefit tracking can be difficult to achieve, but there are simple options like: service desk tickets, and time to market trends that can start us down our journey. There is existing data that organizations can start to analyse. Ultimately though, unless we can identify and quantify benefits in a system, we cannot justify ROI.


Make sure to also check out other PPM Insights series:



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 honor of the latest CA PPM release, I would like to promote a valuable resource to new and experienced PPM Practitioners – and when you think about it, with the rate of change, we are all new to maturing processes and system functionality when enabling business value. Please note: this blog series is NOT a CA sales tool, and has strictly been a community share, but sometimes I do reference CA branded information. In this post, I will highlight some insights from the CA PPM Product site, which I think will benefit the group. You are welcome to click in for more detail, also, check out this blog series for the latest and greatest insights from the services feet-on-the-street perspective.


Strategic Roadmaps for Continuous Planning - eliminate annual planning and build top-down plans in minutes–adding work, resources and budgets with drag-and-drop ease. This enables teams to communicate business outcomes across the organization, allowing stakeholders to agree on a common set of objectives.



Working with Teams Across Portfolios - define teams, change them on the fly and move them between investments. Automatically update project financials with the actual time spent on each task. Managers can see teams' start and finish dates, booking status, estimated time of completion, total allocations and total actuals.



Task Boards for a Shared Understanding - create a visual task list on the task boards. This allows your own process flow, assign staff to tasks and prioritize work. Keep all team members in synch and share plans with other groups and executives.



Project Blueprints for Faster Planning - get projects up and running in minutes. Configure the standard project template to fit any team’s needs. Add project details, insert page sections, pick modules–such as tasks, financials and documents; and select from a growing library of KPI gauges. 



Familiar Financials for Deeper Analysis - the ability to easily access, view and modify project data is key to ensuring budgets are well spent. Financial planning pages have been redesigned to mimic Microsoft Excel® spreadsheets in both look and feel. Connect this Project Portfolio Management software to your favorite BI software, including Power BI and Tableau.



The Right Team for the Job with Modern Resource Management - information about worker allocations should be at your fingertips. Here you can provide one consolidated view of each employee’s project queue and their schedule. Managers explore staffing options with telescoping and pinning features that replace outdated filtering and matching tools.



If you haven’t already, read the latest CA PPM 15.5 release blog here; and for more, check out the PPM Insights blog seriesI 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.

For the past few CA PPM General Availability (GA’s) announcements, this blog series has been highlighting the latest capabilities and their value to you - our Practitioner community! Coming from the perspective of feet-on-the-street services and architecture, this post will focus on impacts to your business processes; and highlight how new powerful enhancements are designed to improve your ability to deliver on outcomes crucial to your organization. A high-level recap of recent and new usability focused capabilities is below, but make sure to follow up with CA Services for customized demos and insights specific to your unique environment.


Click here to read the Solutions Brief:



Hot Topics I see in the field:

  • Team-Based Planning is finally here! This request has become a vital market need that I hear more and more with my customers and maturing PMOs. In simple terms, you can now define, allocate, assign and submit timesheets for teams, including via the mobile app. This even includes populating cost plans with team data. CA PPM can now treat teams as a single resource, which may hugely impact the effort to manage; as well as data quality for insightful reporting. This is the kind of win / win that resonates within our ecosystem and I look very forward to implementing it with customers.
  • Roadmapping with the balance of top-down and bottom-up techniques enables us to have a more complete view of resource information. With my customers I often explain Portfolio, Capacity Planning, and What-If Scenarios like a bouncing ball. Yes, we need the granularity of investment schedules and costs, but before we can "bounce up" with that detail, we need to drop the ball from a "high level" perspective. I find this is a paradigm shift from a traditional Project Management construct (bottom-up), but must be understood and manifested at a Portfolio Management concept (top-down).
  • Configurable Investment Types enables organizations to label, organize, and track their work from the perspective of their lexicon. When I discuss PPM and / or Agile topics, nearly every time terminology gets in the way; and as these concepts may be reasonably understandable, the implementation and adoption of them tends to differ with and within every organization. Diffusing this unnecessary friction can be a key tool when implementing change and delivering the true business value.
  • CA PPM + CA Agile Central Investment Integration has been balancing agility and governance to enterprise portfolios for some time now, but is still cutting edge for most organizations. This Portfolio, Waterfall, Agile, and in-between solution requires corralling unique processes within groups, and also maturing the organization. Large change is not easy for organizations, but when data and systems are aligned to leading practices and flexible enough to adapt, Practitioners have the utility to be the PPM hero they strive to be.


Other Important Links:


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’m a firm believer in workflows working for you (rather than the other way around), so I definitely enjoyed presenting on the recent webcast about CA PPM’s out-of-the-box workflow capabilities.


While everyone can benefit from using CA PPM’s workflow capabilities, some users don’t quite know where to begin—they’re a bit intimidated by the admin side of the tool.


But never fear. You can quickly build a workflow—even if you’ve never done it before—because it really is easy. And I’m here to guide you through the process. In this post, I’ll help you “mind-map” creating a workflow with the basics, recapping some key points and steps to keep in mind. Once you get that foundation down and you realize how simple it can be, everything will seem less terrifying! 


Let’s Get Started

Start by verifying that you have added the Global Security Right “Process Access” to your profile. 
(How To: Administration à Resources à Search for yourself or the user that needs the security right and open their resource profile à Resource’s Access Rights Tab – Global à Search for “Process Access.” If the user doesn’t have the security right, use the Add button to grant the right.)


Once we have verified the correct security rights have been added, we can create a process. Navigate to Administration à Processes (under the Data Administration header) in CA PPM and click the “New” button. You will be asked to give your process a name and an ID. Once you click “Save and Continue,” you will see all the process tabs across the top of the page. This diagram provides each tab’s definition and relevance.


(The red and blue text signifies the basic elements for building our process knowledge foundation.

The gray text signifies elements that are a little more advanced.)


As you create your process, you will proceed in the order of the tabs from left to right. For example, we would first give our process a name and ID on the Properties tab. Next, we would link our process to an object on the Objects tab and then define our start conditions…and so forth.


To help you understand the building blocks of processes and how they connect to the tabs above, I’ve created the diagram below. We start out with a process flow from Start Step to Finish Step with an emphasis on building a foundation and an understanding of Steps, Step Actions, Splits and Joins.


By using the process building blocks illustrated above, you’ll be well on your way to understanding workflows and creating your own.


Hungry for More?

For a step-by-step demonstration of creating a workflow and a more in-depth explanation of the inner workings of CA PPM processes, check out my recent PPM Insights webcast and presentation. You can follow along with the live demo to set up your workflow. Plus, we had some great questions from participants during the Q&A; the answers can give you more practical insights.


Let’s continue this conversation—what questions or comments do you have about CA PPM workflows?

Hello PPM Practitioners, I am very excited to share the latest interactive CA Services Webcast in the new PPM Insights seriesCA PPM Out of the Box Workflow Capabilities, presented by Emma Price Terzian, @Em3aC8 . Time consuming and sometimes difficult tasks can be automated by leveraging simple workflows anyone can understand and create – even me 


Link to: [REPLAY] CA PPM Out of the Box Workflow Capabilities – August 9, 2018 - “How can I create a workflow today?”

“It’s easy once you know how to do it!” is one secret for working smarter. Learn the ins-and-outs of OOTB capabilities for Admin processes, their inner workings, and how to get started right away. If you ever wanted to know the how-to’s for anything from how to create workflow to set a flag when a picklist value is selected or send an action item to your Project Manager when the Project Status changes, this session is for you. Hosted by CA Services.


Make sure to also check out other webinars in this series:



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.

Keeping track of all the players in a projectand how they move around like chess piecesis precisely why the Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS) is a widely used tool in CA PPM.


The OBS captures a projects organization, typically starting at the top of the hierarchy with the project sponsor and key stakeholders. When presenting the OBS, consider the organization or group requesting the project and their sponsorship and authority levels. The OBSs hierarchical structure allows aggregation or rollup of project information to higher levels.


Unlike chess, there are no fixed rules in an organization: change happens all the time,  and organizational change can be difficult and time-consuming to track. Knowing this, we have to ask ourselves:

  • Do we have the proper resources to make these changes?
  • Who is responsible for making the changes?
  • How much time does it take?


But managing your OBS doesnt have to be a losing game. The OBS Adapter PWP makes the OBS even more accurateand up to dateand usefulby automating the process of loading OBS data from external systems into CA PPM. Not only thatit also automates synchronization of OBS structures in multiple systems, and synchronization can be on a scheduled or ad hoc basis.


The adapter uses OBS attributes and values extracted or loaded from a customers information management systems. Extracted files are obtained through database or web services queries, or directly, as flat files.


And theres more! Defined, user-configurable scripts automate the process of normalizing data and populating the resulting values into staging tables. Staging tables map the source attributes to the target fields in CA PPM. Attributes and fields commonly used include:

  • OBS Code
  • Parent OBS Code
  • OBS Name


In addition, three portlets are configured to monitor and diagnose errors during operation:

  • Activity Tracker
  • Processed Transactions
  • Error Logs


You can learn more here, and a list of technical prerequisites for this PWP is available at CA Support online (log in required). This is a central repository that will help you identify compatibility of CA Technologies products with operating systems, other third-party software products, and certification standards and regulations.


Here are a couple of questions Im frequently asked:

Is it compatible with and supported in SaaS environments?

Yes, it is. In fact, all PWP global delivery components are SaaS compatible and supported.


Can I download it from

No, but you can get it quickly by contacting your CA sales representative or account manager for a quote.

Find out about other PWPs for CA PPM here. Readers interested in more detail can check out DocOps.


Reach out to CA Services for information about CA PPM release upgrades/implementations and individualized business outcome references and analysis.


What challenges have you faced with organizational breakdown structures? Feel free to post in the comments section of this blog, or contact me directly via email.


Hello PPM Practitioners, I am very excited to present my second Webcast in the new PPM Insights series -  and it’s all about you defining the PPM ecosystem investment and value realization!


[REPLAY] Improving Poor Data to Achieve Rich Outcomes – June 14, 2018


Insights on how a management operating system and process rhythms enable value from the PPM ecosystem. What do PPM practitioners really need to master to achieve rich outcomes? Hint: It’s not a tool. Live Q&A.


            Sneak Peek:



[REPLAY] Enabling Adoption When Implementing Organizational Readiness – May 10, 2018


Insights on adoption-centric organizational readiness, process and system configuration design. Practical approaches you can take now to build a model that adapts, scales, and matures so you get more from your people, technology, and project investments.


Sneak Peek:



Check out these additional supplemental PPM Insights Blogs:


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.