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Planisware's 2018 User Summit
North America - San Francisco

May 16-17 at the Hotel Nikko Union Square

Register today



Our largest annual customer meet-up in North America 

Join leading product development, R&D, and engineering organizations from around the world, for two days of case studies, 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. 



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. Join workshops and round tables to learn tactics and best practices that you can incorporate into your own business processes.
  • Exchange best practices with your peers. Meet fellow PPM professionals and Planisware users through interactive breakout sessions and networking opportunities.
  • Discover more about Planisware solutions. Find out the latest product enhancements and participate in product workshops that show you how to maximize your experience with the tool.

Justify your attendance




Tuesday, May 15 (Pre-summit)

  • Best Practice Working Groups (TBD)
  • Planisware Training for PEX and L1 Configuration, held concurrently from 9am-5pm (registration is now open!)
  • Evening Welcome Reception at Hotel Nikko, 6-8pm (all are welcome)


Wednesday, May 16 (8am-5pm at Hotel Nikko)

  • Plenary sessions including Planisware updates from Pierre Demonsant (CEO), customer introductions and customer case studies
  • Breakouts: demos, workshops (topics posted below!) & interactive group discussions
  • Networking opportunities
  • Customer appreciation dinner at One Market, 6:30-10pm


Thursday, May 17 (8am-5pm at Hotel Nikko)

  • Continuation of User Summit with plenary sessions, breakouts and networking opportunities
  • Lori Lovens keynote: vote now for the presentation topic!




Richard Amori

Technology Integration Specialist
Ford Motor Company

Jennifer Biggs

Operations Manager, Global Commercialization
Beam Suntory

Andrew Cheng

Business Capability Analyst, R&D Strategy and Planning

Michael Connolley

Director, Project Coordination and Resource Management
Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.

Melquiades de Jesus

Program manager Idea-to-Market

Pierre Demonsant

Chief Executive Officer

Nick Duncan

Global Commercialization Systems Lead
Beam Suntory

Hannah Everard

Program & Portfolio Manager

Todd Hitt

Senior Program Manager

Dr. Kenneth B. Kahn, Ph.D

Professor of Marketing and Senior Associate Dean
School of Business at Virginia Commonwealth University

Lori Lovens

Innovation Savvy

Mark Miller

Director of Client Services

Sami Najjar

Leader, Innovation Portfolio Management
Aramco Services Company

Paul O'Connor

The Adept Group

Aimee Rodrigues

Head R&D Resource Capabilities
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health

Daniel Rosan

Director of R&D Resource and Performance Management

Eric Schuetzler

Senior Director, Global Commercialization & Contract Manufacturing
Beam Suntory

Raffi Shnorhokian

Manager, Project Management Department
CAE Inc.

Mark Trevor

Head of Resource Management Foundation



Do you work with, or have you spoken with a fellow Planisware customer who has given you a lot of ideas on how to improve a business process, how to build better requirements, or how to streamline a training or change management approach? Don't keep this valuable resource to yourself -- give them some kudos and we'll highlight their expertise at the summit! 

Nominate a Subject Matter Expert




On the Agenda









Planisware Vision

Pierre Demonsant, Chief Executive Officer, Planisware

Pierre Demonsant, CEO and co-founder of Planisware, discusses Planisware's achievements in 2017, the direction of the company, and his vision for the future.


Planisware V6.3 Unveiling

Mark Miller, Director of Client Services, Planisware

In this session, we'll demonstrate exciting features from this upcoming release including easy-to-use features for report building, an updated user experience, how new cloud-based Extended Enterprise platform helps you exchange planning info with your suppliers, how you can use Activetab to scale Excel to the enterprise, and more!


Lori Lovens Keynote Talk - vote for the topic!

Lori Lovens, Founder, Innovation Savvy

Innovation expert Lori Lovens of Innovation Savvy will be delivering a keynote presentation at our upcoming user summit. To ensure that the presentation delivers maximum benefit to our attendees, we'd love your input on which of the below topics you'd be most interested in hearing. Please select one of the below options -- your vote makes a difference!

Vote now!


Meet Your Peers: A Rapid Round of Company Introductions

The goal of this session is to help you learn who's here from company to company and how they're using Planisware to help you make the most of networking breaks.



AMGEN: Resource Forecasting at Amgen

Chris Denove, Amy Huynh and Disha Patel


ARAMCO SERVICES COMPANY: PPM for a Research organization

Sami Najjar, Leader, Innovation Portfolio Management, Aramco Research Center - Houston



Todd Hitt, Senior Program Manager


BEAM SUNTORY: Death, Taxes, Timeline Compression and Poor Prioritization: Life's Guarantees

Jennifer Biggs, Operations Manager, Global Commercialization
Nick Duncan, Global Commercialization Systems Lead
Eric Schuetzler, Senior Director, Global Commercialization & Contract Manufacturing

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 with over 80 parent brands, Beam Suntory is facing increased competition and a slowing category growth trajectory in the North American market. This resulted in explosive project pipeline growth in 2017. It quickly became clear that an internal framework was not in place to discuss the end to end organizational impact of the ever growing and changing project pipeline.

This presentation provides an overview of how Beam Suntory’s Global Commercialization team leveraged simplified resource planning and Planisware capabilities to measure organizational resource impact and project timeline compression. The team created a vocabulary framework within Beam Suntory and leveraged this data to ultimately change the discussion at the highest levels of the organization. They will show how utilizing Planisware data to highlight critical pipeline issues can enable long-term improved pipeline prioritization, a healthy project mix, and a sustainable way to resource the highest-value projects.


BIOGEN: The Perfect Is The Enemy Of The Good: What Risks To Take – and Not Take – In An Accelerated PPM Implementation

Daniel Rosan, Director of R&D Resource and Performance Management

In 2016 Biogen initiated a comprehensive redesign of our project, resource, and portfolio management capabilities. This included an upgrade of service delivery, streamlined governance, re-alignment of research units, business process redesign, and technology upgrade. In 2017, Biogen selected Planisware as our PPM technology provider and CGI as implementation lead. Selection was based on ability to meet the requirements of the re-designed business process. Incumbency was not considered.

The combined Biogen R&D, Biogen IT, CGI, and Planisware team then implemented a SaaS Planisware v6.2 implementation using an accelerated, staged approach, with first go-live approximately one quarter after project launch and full implementation within two quarters. Implementation of additional reporting continues. The project relied on change strategies including an Executive Steering Committee & User Advisory Board. Technically, this project required integration with Master Data Management, HR systems, financial systems, and data hub architecture enabling comprehensive multi-system reporting via Tableau.

The result was an industry-leading implementation as measured by time- to- value, user acceptance, integration performance, and adherence to planned timelines & budgets. Biogen will share critical success factors in the implementation, areas where we struggled, and what we see as our next steps. We will provide our guidance for organizations undertaking PPM software implementations as to what to replicate and what to do differently.


CAE INC.: Project Management in the World of Simulators

Raffi Shnorhokian, Manager, Project Management Department

CAE is a global leader in training for the civil aviation, defense and security, and healthcare markets. Backed by a 70-year record of industry firsts, CAE continues to help define global training standards with our innovative virtual-to-live training solutions to make flying safer, maintain defense force readiness and enhance patient safety.

This presentation provides an overview of the different products offered by CAE and explains the project management principals and how Planisware supports the processes used in the company. It also highlights the daily challenges faced by the project manager in this fast-paced, high-tech global environment.


FORD MOTOR COMPANY: Structured Innovation is not an Oxymoron

Richard Amori, Technology Integration Specialist

Ford’s technology and innovation process draws on the experience and creative ideas from many different sources within the company – from teams that at their core have different cultures and somewhat opposed value systems. Is it possible to develop a common process that can inspire and support individuals from all these disparate corporate cultures, and unite them in purpose, while still achieving the company’s specific, data-driven goals?

This presentation provides an insight into how Ford is doing just that – merging the best of their Research, Engineering, and Business management cultures into a single shared process, successfully managed via their customized Planisware application they call the ‘Technology Integrator.’



Addressing the Challenge of New Product Forecasting

Dr. Kenneth B. Kahn, Ph.D

To address the ongoing challenge of new product forecasting, this breakout session reports findings of a recent (2018) survey of new product forecasting practices conducted by the SAS Institute Inc. and Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business. Included are overall findings, comparisons of final consumer versus business-to-business companies, product versus service companies, and satisfied versus non-satisfied companies. While the accuracy of new product forecasts is found to be commonly low across companies, “analytics” and “technology” distinguish more successful companies. Themes, benchmarks, and recommendations for better new product forecasting are provided.


Agile Stage-Gate Case Studies and Best Practices

Colin Palombo, IFT


Aligning Resource Effort with Strategy

Hannah Everard, Ipreo


Better Projects Boost Portfolios

Paul O'Connor, Founder, The Adept Group

Learn How Good Product Line Strategies make for Better Projects and Portfolio

Do you wish to help your company improve its product development portfolio? Thank goodness for Planisware. Without good PPM software, the job would be impossible. For major improvement, however, PPM also needs to oversee and help the front end of product development. And it needs to tie into smart product line strategies and their roadmaps.

Getting good projects into a portfolio has the greatest impact on its value. Yet it’s perhaps the least discussed topic in the field. To do it demands stellar product and idea generation. Plus companies must drive these ideas into new product line strategies, or use existing strategies to drive new ideas.

Portfolio management changes when it ties to smart strategy formation and idea generation. It disrupts the notion of screening. Portfolio risk “balancing” becomes meaningless. And, optimization becomes more than shifting money and people’s time on development projects.

Companies seeking greater gains should link portfolio management with product line strategies. This means management teams should govern key “objects” beyond just development projects. Plus, it calls for PPM to drive oversight of a business growth portfolio, of which product development is a part. This shift is major. It moves PPM to stress product line strategy and its execution, not just resource management of individual projects.


From “Target Identification” to “New Chemical Entity” in Planisware

Andrew Cheng, Business Capability Analyst, R&D Strategy and Planning, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Melquiades de Jesus, Director, Business Capabilities, R&D Strategy & Planning, Bristol-Myers Squibb

As of December 2016, all of the drug discovery programs at Bristol-Myers Squibb were being tracked in a home-grown database. The legacy system consisted of a collection of free text boxes and out-of-date fields that did not keep up with evolving business practices. Without logical checks and a well-defined structure, it was very difficult to control data integrity, asset traceability, and reliable portfolio reporting.

The Planisware capability team was then tasked with developing an enterprise solution that facilitated the planning and tracking of the drug discovery work from “Target Identification” to “New Chemical Entity.” The solution needed to support cycle-time analysis, benchmarking, and discovery portfolio reporting.

This presentation will cover how the Planisware solution provided the structure necessary to meet business needs. We will highlight design elements and strategies that allowed us to go from design to roll-out in 5 months. This laid the foundation for integration with drug development schedules, which provides a portfolio level perspective of asset lifecycles from target identification to filing


How Do You Graphically Report Your Timelines?

Michael Connolley, Director, Project Coordination and Resource Management, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.


Gaining Ownership of your PPM System

Brian Beattie and Laurie DiFilippo, Pfizer


Orchestra PPM: Take a Look at our New Complementary PPM Solution

Gilles Lavalou and Grégory Sabathe, Planisware

As IT organizations mature on the journey to optimal agile practices, they need to align their new practices to their strategic vision. Indeed, there is often a huge gap between portfolio-level decisions and team-level execution and delivery. The million dollar question is how do you bridge this gap? We will see during this workshop how Orchestra PPM connects the dots combining the best of both world: traditional and agile methodologies.


Principles of a Successful Upgrade: Learnings from GSK's Upgrade Experience

Mark Trevor, Head of Resource Management Foundation, GSK

Systems are critical to the smooth running of an R&D enterprise. Effective maintenance and keeping software current is an ongoing requirement. Upgrades must therefore be slick, to minimize disruption to users, whilst evolving functionality and capability that will further progress the business.

In this interactive session, Mark will provide an overview of GSK’s recent upgrade project, talking through the essential elements that made the process a success, as well as reviewing the areas that could have been further improved. Discussion will then be opened to the audience to invite questions and share experience in this space. The focus will be business-centric (not the technical specifics). Key themes will include:

  • Leadership & Motivation
  • Teamwork & Partnership across the business
  • Strategy
  • Communication
  • Delivery


Purrfecting Resource Management in Animal Health

Aimee Rodrigues, Head R&D Resource Capabilities, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health

“What are my people doing?” “Where are they located?” “Do they have enough resources?” “Was their past planning accurate?” Whether you are part of a well-oiled machine or in the forming stage of a new organization, these questions are relevant to both those doing the work as well as those driving the work.

As a new R&D organization is created and a ‘best of both’ approach is being defined, what have we learned from previous experiences that can be applied to our future?

This highly interactive workshop will facilitate conversation beginning with a brief review of how resource management was handled at legacy Merial. A group discussion will then tackle: Who updates the resource plans? What level of detail is expected? When are internal resources updated? How do you decide what is in and out of scope for resource planning (i.e. people/cost/equipment)? Closing the loop – do you include TimeCard or not? What is the best approach for the future?




Registration will open later this April. An email will be sent out with more information on how and when to register.

This year there will be 3 rounds of workshops, each 75 minutes long.


Planisware V6.3 Showcase

Join us for a live look at what’s in store in this upcoming release to be launched at the Summit! This session will cover:

  • easy-to-use features for configuration and report building;
  • an updated user experience;
  • how our new cloud-based Extended Enterprise platform works to help you exchange planning information with your suppliers;
  • how you can use Activetab technology to scale Excel to the enterprise;
  • and cases for using Predictive Analytics.

Discussion will include how to move to V6.3.

Audience: All

Report on This! Building your own Insights in Planisware

Roadmaps, dashboards, and reports are a few of the popular tools you can use to express your company’s insights. Join this session to learn how our Planisware Explorer and Roadmap modules empower you to easily address a variety of reporting needs and get inspired from sample reports from our Best Practices database.

Audience: Portfolio Managers, Super Users, Business Admins, IT

Level 1 Configuration: Own your Planisware Environment

It’s never been so easy for your business admins, system admins, and IT team to adjust your Planisware configuration to meet your evolving organizational needs. Level 1 (L1) configuration enables you to enhance the user experience, transform the user interface, apply data and security control mechanisms, create automated behaviors, and more.

This session provides a walk-through of how you can use Planisware’s Level 1 configuration to address a series of typical business system requests.

Audience: Super Users, Business Admins, IT

Scaling Excel to the Enterprise with Planisware Activetab

Everyone knows how to use Excel. But Excel files are hard to collaborate on and build security around, difficult to share, notoriously prone to user errors (when cell-by-cell calculations are involved), and it’s painstakingly time-consuming to consolidate data across multiple files.

Planisware’s Activetab technology marries Excel’s strengths as a simple-to-use personal productivity tool with Planisware’s benefits as a single-source-of-truth, enterprise portfolio management solution. Join this session to see how Activetab can improve productivity and simplify data consolidation processes around strategic planning, investment planning, project selection, project definition, sales forecasting, and risk management. This session will include live demonstrations of use cases as well as what to consider when implementing it.

Audience: Business and IT

Making Your Organization’s Dreams Come True: Managing Your Portfolio Strategically

Is your project portfolio aligned with your corporate strategy?

Planisware provides the tools to help you analyze different investment scenarios with an eye on value, balance, and strategic alignment, so you can choose the right mix of projects that fit within your budget.

Join this live look at how to carry out strategic planning processes in Planisware. Topics will include strategy and budget definition, roadmapping, business case development, investment scenario testing, portfolio simulations, portfolio optimization, and more.

Audience: Business, particularly Portfolio Managers


Pharma Use Case Showcase: R&D and Beyond

If you’re a pharma organization using Planisware, are you making the most of what Planisware has to offer?

Join this session to take a look at different use cases for pharma organizations. This session will cover example scenarios of how pharma organizations are using Planisware to support the management of clinical studies, regulatory affairs, CMC, commercialization, alliance management, product variation, and more.

Audience: Pharma


Can you Kanban? – Managing Projects and Programs with Agility

Whether you’re an Agile newcomer or an Agile scrummaster, join this session to learn when you might want to leverage Agile capabilities in Planisware to manage a project iteratively while improving team collaboration.

Get an intro and live look at the simple yet effective Agile-inspired processes, tools, and reports within Planisware’s PM best practices suite to help expedite and simplify project execution. Integration with Jira will also be covered.

Audience: Business, particularly Project Managers


What Does My Project Cost?

Planisware’s project management module is more than just a scheduling tool. Its fully integrated scheduling engine ensures that resources and costs align with project timelines and supports best practices for composing project budgets.

This session includes a simple demonstration of how to manage costs in Planisware and highlights a few real-life use cases - from tracking specific types of costs, to leveraging Planisware as a primary budget management tool, to establishing Planisware budgeting within the organization’s finance ecosystem.

This session is ideal for project managers who are managing schedule timelines in Planisware but are not yet tracking costs / budgets.

Audience: Business, particularly Project Managers


Interfaces and Integrations with Planisware

Enterprises of today rely on a diverse set of applications and tools to run their businesses, which entails a need for robustly integrated systems. This session focuses on new Planisware interfaces as well as integration tools.

Topics will include a new document management interface that includes integrations with cloud-based productivity tools such as Microsoft Office 365 and G-Suite, as well as a new agile project management interface with JIRA. Additionally, interfaces such as OData (Open data protocol) and IMPEX (import-export module) will be discussed and use case examples will be presented.

Audience: Super Users, Business Admin, IT


Effective, Efficient Portfolio Analysis and Governance

Which tools and techniques in Planisware are available to help you understand, analyze, and communicate the state of your Portfolio?

In this session we’ll show sample dashboards and demonstrate methods to communicate both tactical and strategic imperatives. A walk-through will illustrate how process tools like the workbox, and meeting management are fully integrated with communication and reporting tools such as bookmarks and the presentations module, to provide a seamless portfolio analysis, governance, and communication experience.

Audience: All


The Planisware Live SaaS Solution

Using an on-premise installation of Planisware but curious about Planisware Live, our cloud-hosted solution?

Planisware Live is more than just an outsourced IT infrastructure – it comes with programs and policies to support your PPM initiative from server to end user. Join this session to learn about the benefits and ROI of using Planisware Live, and how and how this compares to our on-premise offering.

Audience: All



What's Your Function Junction?

Stations focusing on functional interest, customer type and other specific topics will be set up during some of the breaks (TBD). Meet others with similar backgrounds or doing similar work.

Have a specific topic in mind you'd like to discuss?

Suggest a topic!


Customer Appreciation Dinner at One Market

Wednesday, May 16 at 6:30pm

Join fellow attendees, speakers, thought leaders, partners and Planisware experts for dinner on San Francisco's Embarcadero. Walking distance from Hotel Nikko and overlooking the Bay and Bay Bridge, One Market is a fine-dining restaurant with a farm-to-table menu.

Address: 1 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

Phone: (415) 777-5577

One Market's website


Event App – coming soon!

  • View attendee list and connect with others before, during and after the summit.
    • Attendees: If you do not want to share your name, company and title on the event app, please email You will still have access to the app, but your name and info will not be listed.
  • View agenda and hotel map.
  • Register for breakouts, once the app is live (Interactive Group Breakout Sessions and Planisware Solution Theater Workshops).
  • Read and take notes on featured presentations and breakout session material.
  • Available on phones, tablets and web.

*Registrants will be notified via email when the event app is live.


Go for a morning run with fellow attendees, led by a Planisware consultant!

If you are interested in going for a morning run one day before the program begins, please fill out THIS FORM.

You will be contacted closer to the summit about if/when the run will happen.






Has your company created an internal change management video to explain the value of your PPM initiative and Planisware to your Planisware users? If so, please email 

Email Theresa




  • Alcon

  • Allergan

  • Amgen, Inc.

  • Astellas

  • AstraZeneca

  • Battelle

  • Beam Suntory

  • Biogen

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb

  • Boehringer Ingelheim

  • CAE

  • Chiesi

  • Daiichi Sankyo

  • Elanco

  • Eli Lilly & Company

  • EMD Serono

  • Ferring

  • Ford Motor Company

  • Genentech

  • Grunenthal

  • GSK Pharma

  • GSK Vaccines

  • Halozyme Therapeutics

  • Huawei

  • Ipreo

  • Jazz Pharmaceuticals

  • JNJ - Pharma

  • JNJ - Medical Device

  • MedImmune

  • Michelin

  • MSA Safety

  • Montana DOT

  • Novartis

  • Novozymes

  • Pfizer

  • Roche Diagnostics

  • Sanofi

  • Saudi Aramco

  • Schneider Electric

  • Sunovion

  • Syngenta

  • Tenneco

  • United Launch Alliance

  • Whirlpool

  • Zebra Technologies


Platinum Sponsor

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is one of the world’s largest providers of business advisory services. PwC’s dedicated R&D Advisory Team is made up of over 100 global practitioners with a powerful combination of industry and management consulting experience that hold advanced scientific, business, medical, and engineering degrees. For over 17 years, PwC has partnered with over 20 clients, enabling industry leading solutions for R&D portfolio, planning, and resource management utilizing PwC’s proprietary IOBP methodology (Integrated Operations and Business Planning).





Tuesday, May 15th (Pre-conference workshops and welcome reception)
Wednesday, May 16th (Day 1)
Thursday, May 17th (Day 2)


Hotel Nikko
222 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-394-1111

Reserve your room today at Hotel Nikko! *Planisware has secured a limited number of rooms at a discounted rate of $289/night plus taxes/fees for the nights of May 15-17. This rate is available until April 23rd or until rooms are booked.


Registration is free for Planisware customers -- just make sure to register above! If you are not a customer, please contact Sarah at




What it's like to attend (A look at 2017)

What attendees have said


I like how sessions were facilitated and the time for networking. My first Planisware Summit was GREAT. I'll be back.

Global Leader in PPM, Amgen, on the most valuable thing about the event

Terrific event. The networking, idea generation, and seeing across industries was great.

Director, Resource and Performance Management, Biogen

The customer/company presentations gave some good insight on how others model their processes and tools.

IT PMO Leader, United Launch Alliance

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

Customers can access 2017 documentation via MyPortal