Migrating from MSP to OWB - has anyone done this lately?

Discussion created by another_martink on Jun 14, 2012
This is copied from the main board.

mark.morrow asks

Have you migrated the use of Microsoft Project to Open WorkBench, within Clarity? We're interested in the following:

samcoverdale replies


While we are a much small shop than you have, here is what I have found.

1) How much training did you provide?
- Limited training. What we did have to provide was nuances of customizing and creating new views. That was the most complex part but as it is also so straight forward it did not take much effort.
- Additional focus was on the calculate functionality (and sold to the PM's as one of the benefits that it's easier to calculate the project plan in OWB than in Project)
- We finally focused on educating all the various additional field available that project does not have that make it easier to manage your plan. Things like indicators if the ETC has been changed by the users, pending actuals vs posted actuals, etc.)

2) What kind of a productivity hit did your PMs experience? We're looking for something to judge how long productivity was impacted and how bad in terms of a percent of time.
My best PM's took about 1 month to transition fully to the new way of working (with the occassional hiccup in the middle. My jr PM's took a project or two before they got comfortable with it (and there was a lot of whine with their cheese)

3) How satisfied are your PMs with the change?
The PM's who switched over have greatly appreciated how OWB interacts with Clarity and is far more predictable compared to MS Project. Biggest challenge that still remains for them is that vendors send most of their plans over in MPP format which means they have to manage in two seperate tools at times. Additionally, some of our business partners appears to be MSP-centric, but we are slowing working on that with them. Overall though I have far fewer complaints and frustrations about OWB in relation to Clarity than I got with MSP

4) We have over 700 PMs. Approximately 300 of them use MS Project for Medium to Large-complex project schedules. The remaining 400 plus use MS Project for Small projects. Have your PMs who work on Medium to Large-complex projects found that Open WorkBench has the functionality they need to manage those schedules?
Many of our projects are a thousand to two thousand line plans at most. However, the one large program we have run within Clarity, the OWB tool was invaluable. It was by far the best way to pull out all the working in a "program" format and update each individual project or workstream while looking at the whole plan. MSP could not come close to handling that and was un-workable in that situation.

5) What other productivity gains or cost savings have you experienced by moving to Open WorkBench?
The other benefit we experienced was a drop of in support calls related to Clarity integration with a planning tool. Our PM's struggled with the MSP/Clarity combination and were constently fighting what MSP wanted to do. OWB has not suffered from that problem. Once we got people past the less-than-**** look of OWB, we had very few issues moving forward.

Hoped that helped,