Planisware User Summit 2017
(Philadelphia, PA)

May 17th and 18th at the Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square

Customer registration
(It's free!)


Planisware's largest annual customer meet-up in North America 

Planisware's North American User Summit brings together more than 200 PPM professionals from 70+ organizations, including leading product development and R&D organizations from around the world, for two days of case studies, best practice round table discussions, software-focused workshops, and a sneak peek at what's coming up in all things Planisware.  
Take advantage of this unique and exclusive opportunity to network, and learn from Planisware consultants, industry experts, and peers. Session topics cover how to elevate PPM business processes and ways to leverage the Planisware solution in order to better prioritize projects, programs, products, optimize resource usage, and improve project deliveries. Customer registration is free - save your seat today!


The Summit at a Glance


Pre-Conference Events (Elective)

May 16 (Tuesday)


9am - 5pm

Introduction to PEX Training ($) (Learn more and register.)



9am - 5pm

Advanced PEX Training ($) (Learn more and register.)



9am - 5pm

Level 1 Configuration ($) (Learn more and register.)



9am - 5pm

Best Practices Working Group (Pharma) - This session is for members only. For inquiries, please contact





Planisware User Summit Philadelphia 2017

May 16 (Tuesday)


6pm - 7pm

Welcome Reception


May 17 (Wednesday)


8am - 5pm

Planisware CEO presentation and Planisware demo, networking sessions, case study presentations, interactive group breakouts.




Customer Appreciation Dinner


May 18 (Thursday)


8am - 5pm

Planisware workshops (see descriptions below), case study presentations, interactive group breakouts.





A Fast-Paced PPM Implementation for a Fast-Paced Commercialization Environment (AdvancePierre Foods)

For AdvancePierre Foods (APF), a leading national supplier of sandwich products and entrees, bringing new products to market at high speed – in a matter of weeks – is an imperative to meet customer demand. However, in 2016, after significant growth, it was becoming increasingly difficult for product development teams to coordinate work nimbly across a wide range of business channels, facilities and workstreams, while relying on a limited team of technical resources. This spurred AdvancePierre Foods to prioritize a companywide initiative to improve the commercialization process.

The objective was to reduce friction and speed things up by developing a new stage and gate process, now branded Product 2 Market (P2M), and then leverage the Planisware PPM solution to facilitate the process by enforcing key workflows and providing visibility into- and consistency across- the project portfolio. APF also upgraded their project prioritization and portfolio management, moving from a collection of Excel spreadsheets into Planisware, a dynamic business environment.

This presentation provides an overview of their 4-month best practice Planisware implementation, from strategy definition to new system and process go-live this past December. Debra Evans, Director of Project Management at APF will also discuss implementation highlights - including a unique workflow design linking a series of dependent deliverables and project activities - that’s now helping them to achieve program objectives in a fast-paced commercialization environment.

Presented by: Debra Evans (Director of Project Management)

Real-Time Visibility & Accountability in Project Management (Beam Suntory)

Between 2010 and today, Beam Suntory has grown immensely in people, brands and sales as a result of base brand growth, new product innovation, acquisitions and mergers. As now the World’s 3rd Largest Premium Spirits Company, it became clear that achieving growth and financial targets would not come the same way they did before. Right-sized business systems and processes would now be required to meet these new challenges. Increased scrutiny of strategic, financial, and resource positions across a global portfolio of brands, with regionally managed businesses, would be paramount to project and company success over the long-haul. Throughout a one year PMO timeline, the team redesigned the internal commercialization processes from front-to-back and built the Planisware implementation to bring them to life around the globe.

This presentation provides an overview of how their October 2016 Planisware go-live has driven transparency and accountability throughout 15+ active cross-functional departments and ultimately reframed the dialogue around data ownership & integrity, speed to market options and even the credibility of the Project Management team. The Beam Suntory team will present highlights of their journey and functionality being leveraged in Planisware to gain these early wins – ultimately setting them on a course for data-based continuous improvement initiatives in the months & years to come.

Presented by: Eric Schuetzler (Senior Director, Global Commercialization), Jennifer Biggs (Global Commercialization Senior Project Manager, Systems and Analytics), Nick Duncan (Global Commercialization Systems Lead)

From Ideation to Execution (Bristol-Myers Squibb)

In mid-April of 2016 the World Wide Health Economics and Outcomes Research (WWHEOR) group within Bristol-Myers Squibb was poised to plan for the 2017 clinical trials budget. Historically, this group had used a shared Excel file to collect and triage the study ideas. With this process they had struggled with version control, data integrity and lacked traceability of the selected study ideas.

The Planisware capability team presented an option to leverage the Ideation module as a tool to support the collection and evaluation of the 2017 study ideas, and once triaged to have them seamlessly integrated in to the planning module for execution. The goal was to have the selected ideas inserted into the Planisware project schedules with 100% data accuracy by the end of May 2016.

This presentation will cover how the Planisware solution streamlined the budget preparation process while saving time, improving data integrity, and providing traceability from idea creation to assigned protocol number.

Presented by: Alexander Rucci (Business Capability Analyst, R&D Strategy and Planning), Melquiades (Mel) de Jesus (Director, Business Capabilities, R&D Strategy & Planning)

Adopting Resource Planning on a Named Basis (Mine Safety Appliances)

Up until 2015, Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) planned their resources at a generic level. Within the R&D department, 405 resources were put into generic buckets of mechanical, electrical, software engineers & technicians. Skill sets, schedule limitations, and occasionally design centers were ignored as resource scheduling took place. After the project selection was complete, project managers would go through the sub-optimal and maddening task of applying names to those generic resources to build out a workable schedule.

Last year, MSA launched a PPM initiative to simplify the resource management process and enable teams to make more realistic named resource assignments earlier, with the help of Planisware software. In this presentation, Michael Oyler, Global Pricing and Portfolio Manager at MSA, will cover:

  • Before and After – How did we make the transition from Excel-based planning to Planisware?
  • Resource Management – How does it work for a mid-sized company?
  • Capacity Planning – How does Planisware’s output affect our HR department?
  • Portfolio Planning – What impact has this process change had on portfolio management?
  • Lessons learned, tips on user adoption, communicating value, key ingredient for success.

Presented by: Michael Oyler (Global Pricing and Portfolio Manager)




Planisware Center for Excellence workshops combine theory with practical applications to help evolve your PPM processes. Attendees may select a session to participate in. 


Factors that Impact Effective Stage-Gate Automation

There’s considerable practical evidence that PPM software automation of new product development (NPD) yields important efficiencies. To name just a few, these include enabling cross-functional teaming, transparency of knowledge sharing, and accelerating Gate decision-making. Organizations who have, or intend to automate their Stage-Gate process should consider taking a fresh look at process and cultural factors that impact PLM automation effectiveness to drive business outcomes. This interactive workshop will explore three key success factors:

  • Stage-Gate process effectiveness metrics
  • Gate deliverables compliance with best-practices
  • Cross-functional team empowerment and accountability

Presented by: Ken Huskins, Principal, Stage-Gate International, USA Inc.

Improving the Return on New Product Development

Getting a great return on NPD investments has been a topic of intense interest for many years. This workshop reviews four seminal contributions to our understanding of what makes NPD more productive:

  • The first major R&D productivity study was conducted by Dr. Robert M. Ranftl of Hughes Aircraft. It spanned 5 years, involved 59 government and commercial organizations and interviewed over 2000 R&D managers and senior technical personnel, identifying factors that enhance R&D productivity as well as factors that are counter-productive.
  • The IRI Sub-Committee on R&D productivity conducted an extensive study involving R&D managers from over 60 IRI member companies. They identified four key components of R&D/NPD return and prioritized 13 top activities for improving that return.
  • During the late 1980s and 1990s the consulting firm PRTM developed their PACE (Product and Cycle-Time Excellence) process which has helped a large number of NPD organizations greatly improve their return on NPD.
  • In the 1990s and 2000s SDG developed Strategic Portfolio Management and Optimization, which also enabled large gains in the return on NPD.

In this session, the basic framework and key suggestions and best practices that contribute to improving the NPD return will be summarized for each contributor.

Presented by: Dr. Michael Menke, Value Creation Associates

Staying Nimble - Adapting SME Innovation Practices into Big Companies

Has the pressure of life ever had you wishing you could be a kid again? Or that you could at least apply some of that “child-like simplicity” to your adult life? What about at work? Do you ever wish your big company could act more like the small company it once was – but with the all the advantages that come with being a big company? You can.

At the core, issues like risk management, prioritization of resources, teamwork and achieving strategic goals plague all companies that are looking to grow through new products and services. Big companies often build complex process and infrastructure to deal with these things – systems that take huge amounts of time and energy to manage, sometimes with limited success. Small, growing companies – as they mature - face these same issues, but deal with them differently. There are lessons to be learned from their success.

Until about five years ago, Mike Wiebe spent many years doing innovation consulting for large name brand corporations. More recently, Mike has turned his attention to helping smaller companies (typically less than $100M in revenue) to be successful in their growth aspirations. What he has learned about how winners achieve this (and what the missteps can be) is directly applicable to how large companies can rejuvenate their thinking. Spend some time hearing Mike’s experiences, and then brainstorm with your peers on how to apply this thinking back in your own company.

Presented by: Mike Wiebe, P. Eng. NPDP

Bigger, Better Bubbles: Why Product Line Strategies and Roadmaps are so important to Portfolio Management

Everyone wants to improve their development portfolio. Thank goodness for Planisware. Without good PPM software, the job would be impossible. Yet to improve portfolios appreciably, companies must also get great projects into it – and this means PPM needs to extend to the front end. It needs to tie into smart product line strategies and their roadmaps. Things change when this happens. It disrupts the notion of screening; portfolio risk “balancing” becomes meaningless; optimization moves beyond development projects; and, it recognizes that even great resource allocation cannot overcome bad strategies.

Portfolio management is much larger and more significant than most managers recognize. Portfolio management and product line strategies need to tie together. This requires companies to depict and govern key “objects” other than development projects and it calls for PPM to drive business growth portfolio governance. This session discusses how to make the major shift into strategy formation and execution.

Presented by: Paul O’Connor, The Adept Group

Facilitating a Successful Portfolio Review

Portfolio reviews consume a tremendous amount of organizational time and energy and, despite the best efforts of several functions including Portfolio Management, Project Management, and Finance, the results can often be sub-optimal. Why? Several reasons include:

  • Failing to understand the needs and expectations of your decision-making Steering Committee.
  • Flawed stakeholder management by incorrectly distinguishing between those who need to be kept informed, monitored, kept satisfied, and managed closely.
  • Focusing too much on portfolio analysis and not enough on enabling portfolio decision-making.
  • Insufficient portfolio recommendations based on scenario analysis to the Steering Committee.
  • Presentations that talk around problems rather than solve problems.

It takes a keen eye to read body language, facial expression, and vocal intonation to prepare oneself for a successful portfolio review. This session will present tips on how to avoid such pitfalls and prepare for a successful review.

Presented by: Dr. Richard Bayney, Project & Portfolio Value Creation




During the summit, there will be two rounds of Planisware Workshops. Options are described below.


Planisware V6.2 Showcase: What's in the Latest Planisware Release

This session will provide a step-by-step review of the new capabilities and enhancements that come with Planisware V6.2. Topics will include the new Activetab module (an interface with Excel models), updated end-user interface (including the hyper-documentation feature), improved Agile project management features, enhanced collaboration features (including the Workbox), new Planisware Explorer dynamic query options, and many new Level 1 configuration options.

Join this workshop for a feature-focused walk through of what's new in Planisware V6.2.

Audience: Business, IT, Support

Presented by: Pierre Hulin

Optimizing Product Portfolio Investments according to Business Strategy

Too often we see product portfolios that are misaligned with corporate strategy. Lack of transparency in the decision-making process and inaccurate data allow projects to be selected based on the popularity of project managers and their PowerPoint skills. It takes too much time to collect relevant information and organizations don't adjust their portfolios quickly enough to respond to market changes.

Join this workshop to learn how you can use Planisware to streamline your portfolio management processes and get the most out of your R&D investments. You'll see how a project manager can quickly prepare a new project candidate using qualitative and quantitative assessments. Then you'll see how to use value-driven portfolio selection techniques to find the portfolio that maximizes value while making sure you stay aligned with your strategy and within your resource constraints.

Audience: Business

Presented by: Gilles Almeras

Communicating program strategy and managing execution through Roadmaps, P&Ls and other tools

Managing complex product plans can be challenging for program managers. Companies can apply the roadmapping process to bring together cross-functional teams to discuss financial, scheduling, and strategic choices across various time horizons. Meanwhile, Planisware can help facilitate program management through project and program views that show factors such as costs, sales, market events, technology and regulation developments that could impact your plans.

In this session, Jerry will follow 3 example programs to demonstrate how Roadmapping, Timeline, and P&L capabilities can improve communication and execution. He’ll facilitate discussion regarding attendees' needs and existing practices.

Audience: Business

Presented by: Jerry Vermeulen

Collaboration and Communication: Using the Planisware Workbox to Close the Loop

Does project collaboration feel like herding cats?

Join this workshop to learn about Workflows, the new Workbox, and other Planisware 6.2 features that will help get your team back on the same page.

Audience: Business

Presented by: Doug Mandart

Incorporating Agile Concepts Across Your Streamlined Projects

Planisware V6.2 offers an enhanced approach to Agile, fully integrated within the project management module. With the latest updates, you can utilize key Agile concepts across your entire project portfolio.

Join this workshop to see how to use Planisware alongside Agile practices to tighten the feedback loop, increase a project's visibility, and improve your team's adaptability. This workshop will include a demonstration of Agile tools in Planisware including the Kanban board, burndown chart, and release planning dashboard.

Audience: Business, IT

Presented by: AJ Thomas

A Simple Approach to Assigning Named Resources

Named Resource Management, which has long been an integral and core component with Planisware's PPM solution, was revamped since Planisware V6.1. There's now a simpler option for allocating individual resources to your projects -- without a demand & supply workflow. Relying on predefined role-level resource estimations, this method enables users to substitute generic resources with named ones directly within the Projects module.

In this workshop, Greg will demonstrate this resource substitution method, discuss the business considerations, and showcase an implementation success story. Whether your name is "Resource Manager" or "John Smith," join this workshop to get the knowledge you need to consider this new approach!

Audience: Business

Presented by: Greg Chrzastek

From Estimation to Analysis: A Roadmap to Excellence in Resource Management for Pharma Organizations

In this workshop, you'll explore the ongoing journey to excellence in resource management. Leveraging Planisware's experience working with leading pharmaceutical organizations for 20+ years, Mark will outline proven methods to accurately and consistently estimate future resource needs, assess and address potential bottlenecks, and quickly see where resources have been allocated. This session will include discussion on frameworks for continual improvement, and you'll see the different capabilities demonstrated in Planisware V6.2.

Whether you're taking your first steps or you're looking for ways to refine current processes, join this workshop to learn resource management methodologies proven through decades of success.

Audience: Business, Pharma

Presented by: Mark Miller

Planisware and Excel: How to Get the Best of Both Worlds using Activetab

Excel is a great tool of choice to assess and report key performance indicators such as the project NPV, IRR, and sales forecast. You might even use Excel for project scorecards. As a best-in-class PPM tool, Planisware was designed to consolidate project figures and to generate reports at the Portfolio level. However, the transition from Excel to an enterprise PPM tool like Planisware can be a challenge for many organizations. That was before Planisware's Activetab module.

In this workshop, Jeremy and William will present 3 use cases to demonstrate how the interface between Excel and Planisware works using Activetab's powerful capabilities and focusing on how to improve user adoption, flexibility and implementation time. Join this workshop to learn how to get the best out of Excel, within Planisware.

Audience: Business, IT, Support

Presented by: Jeremy Marinello, William Ramos

Driving Customer Success with Planisware Live (SaaS)

Planisware’s SaaS offering, Planisware Live, is more than simply outsourcing your IT infrastructure; it comes with a series of programs and policies to ensure you receive the value and benefits from your PPM solution that you expected from the start.

Please join Baptiste and Keith as they explain how Planisware Live supports you from "server" to "user" with application monitoring, regular upgrades, customer success programs, and client roadmaps to maximize the ROI of your PPM investment.

Audience: Business, IT, Support

Presented by: Baptiste Henriquez, Keith Duncan

Quick Wins in Level 1 Configuration

How do you kill your L2 birds with an L1 stone?

While Planisware V6 introduced significant changes in Planisware's solution architecture and administration capabilities, Planisware V6.2 provides system administrators even more control with additional options for Level 1 (L1) configuration.

In this workshop, Ashley will walk you through a series of typical business problems and demonstrate how to address them through L1 configuration. This session will cover common L1 options (e.g. user attributes, locks, alerts, symbolic fields) and highlight new or updated options now available in Planisware V6.2 (e.g. hyper-documentation, user traces).

Audience: Business, IT, Support

Presented by: Ashley Baldwin



Why attend?

  • Learn from PPM case studies. Hear how different organizations have been able to transform their PMO and portfolio, product, program, project and resource management challenges into successes.
  • Engage with industry thought leaders. Attend workshops and discussions to learn tactics and best practices that you can incorporate into your own business processes.
  • Exchange best practices with your peers. Meet other PPM professionals and Planisware users through interactive breakout sessions and networking opportunities.
  • Discover more about Planisware's solutions. Find out the latest product enhancements and participate in product workshops that show you how to maximize your experience with the tool.


Who's coming?

  • Actavis

  • Actelion

  • AdvancePierre Foods

  • Allergan

  • Amgen

  • Applied Materials

  • Aptar

  • Astellas

  • AstraZeneca

  • Battelle

  • Beam Suntory

  • Biogen

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb

  • CAE

  • Daiichi Sankyo

  • Dr. Reddy's Laboratories

  • DuPont

  • Eli Lilly

  • Ferring

  • Ford Motor Company

  • Grunenthal

  • GSK Pharma

  • GSK Vaccines

  • Incyte

  • Jazz

  • JNJ - Pharma

  • JNJ - Medical Device

  • MedImmune

  • Merck

  • Milliken

  • MSA Safety

  • Pfizer

  • Philips

  • Roche/Genentech

  • Roche Diagnostics

  • Sanofi

  • Syngenta

  • UCB

  • United Launch Alliance

  • Zodiac Aerospace




past attendees have

  • "Once a year is not enough."
    - Business Intelligence Specialist, Milliken
  • "Good tips, tricks and learning mixed in with functionality and demos."
    - Manager, Design to Value Analytics of Beam Suntory, on workshops
  • "It was my first experience and it was good to see other users, and share [and] talk with Planisware staff. The organization of the event was excellent."
    - Group Leader of Management Tools and Dashboards, CAE
  • "Being able to hear and learn from other companies' experiences implementing Planisware, and the opportunity to connect with the business community of users."
    - Project Manager, Amgen, on the most valuable thing about the event
  • "It was interesting to see the big additions and modifications [to Planisware] coming down the pipeline."
    - Project Manager, CAE




Wednesday, May 17th
Thursday, May 18th


Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square
220 S. 17th Street, Philadelphia 19103
(215) 735-6000

Hotel accommodations:

Planisware has reserved a block of rooms at a rate of $199 per room, per night. You can register here, via the code 170514PLAN.

Rooms at this rate are limited and are only available until April 14th, so book ASAP to ensure you can take advantage of this low price. 



Still not sure what to expect?
Get a glimpse into the 2016 User Summit in San Francisco.

Check out the Trip Report