Planisware USA recently hosted its first fully virtual community event, the Planisware POWER Series, showcasing customers across a variety of industries who drive innovation with the Planisware solution.
Planisware's Nicolette Pierantoni chatted with Gabriela Pena, Project Manager at Whirlpool, about her experience during the event and how she is applying what she learned to drive additional value from her Planisware solution.
Note: this conversation has been edited for clarity.
Nicolette: Welcome, Gabriela!
Gabriela: Hello, thank you for having me.
Nicolette: So, Gabriela, this is your 2nd time at a Planisware customer event – we must be doing something right . . .
Gabriela: Yes, I presented at the Planisware User Summit in Pennsylvania last year on how to deliver project-portfolio management within a large company – we talked about the hurdles we overcame with our global deployment, including moving to Agile, merging projects, and managing scope to optimize value. As a presenter I was not able to attend all the workshops and presentations, so this year I was looking forward to having the chance to sit in and hear presentations from other customers and your colleagues at Planisware, as well as attend some of the networking sessions..
Nicolette: The User Summit is usually where we provide Planisware updates to our customer community – were you worried you might not get to hear the latest from Pierre this year?
Gabriela: <> We were excited to hear about the new functionalities in V7. At Whirlpool our Planisware solution is key to our project and resource management, so we are always interested in seeing how we can develop our use and possibly add additional capabilities in the future.
Nicolette: Can you tell us more about the capabilities you are most interested in?
Gabriela: At Whirlpool, most of our reporting processes are handled with an external solution, and there's certainly room for improvement. The new BI Box for V6.3 could help us with that -- we would like to see if there's a use case for that module when it comes to our reporting process, and if it will help make reporting easier for us. We also work closely with OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) on various projects, but their involvement is only during certain points of a given project. It is crucial that they have the data they need from us to complete their tasks on a given project. It is why we are interested in Planisware Extended Enterprise. This module could allow us to collaborate more effectively and allow our OEMs better visibility into the data they need.
Nicolette: That sounds promising – you've got your work cut out for you! It sounds like a lot of new skills for you and your team.
Gabriela: Yes, so I'm looking forward to joining the new advanced training courses! As a Project Manager, I am heavily involved with the Planisware solution when it comes to overseeing project progress. This training program will give me the opportunity to build upon my current knowledge of the software and obtain additional skills.
Nicolette: Whirlpool is currently using Planisware for resource management, but as I understand it, you're interested in polishing the process that's in place. Can you talk more about that?
Gabriela: Yes, so we currently leverage Planisware's resource management capabilities to help us with project scoping, leveraging data from timecard inputs. However, we are asking ourselves, is this the best approach? Our end users are looking for ways to keep more control over resource requests and allocations, and to have a reference point for what was originally scoped. In the workshop on Resource Forecasting Best Practices, I learned about different approaches to help us ensure we are confident in resource allocation for our project pipeline. Aimee and Jerry broke down the benefits and considerations for each approach.
Nicolette: What approach were you thinking of applying?
Gabriela: The Supply and Demand approach - it will allow us to be more in control since it is a more rigorous process. The information and guidance Aimee and Jerry gave in their presentation was that you need to consider the project needs - each method has different benefits. Supply and demand requires that there is a pre-established process. Our objective is to bring our power users and project sponsors into the decision-making process.
Nicolette: You're also a member of the New Product Development Best Practices Working Group. Can you tell us what you talked about during the POWER session of the BPWG?
Gabriela: Yes, we had a great conversation with other group members from companies like Danfoss, Zebra, and Spin Master around some of the upcoming V6.3 upgrades and integrations and how we can apply them for our own roadmaps and project dependencies.
Nicolette: We have talked a lot about building on your current foundation at Whirlpool – did the working group provide any insight into how you can improve your processes, or take advantage of new capabilities?
Gabriela: I was really interested in learning more about what else we can consider when it comes to managing our templates. We were struggling how to complete our template updates without disturbing the end user. The working groups were very helpful. They shared the different ways they managed their updates and we did apply some of their best practices.
Nicolette: Thank you Gabriela, it was great to speak to you!