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Case Study: Coventry University

Coventry University is an educational charity organization, based in UK. 


About the Customer


coventry university-2

Industry: Education

Size: 27,000 Students

Country: UK


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We use PPM Express to teach and train our students to plan and manage projects when they go to real life. We look for software that is available online and user friendly. We started using PPM Express when a lock down happened, and we needed to reverse from in-class teaching to remote teaching. So, we were using MS Teams for students to work in groups on the allocated projects. PPM Express was helpful in terms of assigning tasks to themselves, making sure they are meeting deadlines, they have clear overview of resource allocation. We are using PPM Express embedded with MS Teams channels for each of our groups which we are using for educational purposes. Although we were using to train students on how to use a software, we were doing that while we were applying the software to the actual projects they are working on.


How a customer searched for a solution

Group 1801

How did you try to solve this issue? How did you come up with our solution?

We traditionally used MS Project. But when we went remote, we were looking for something that would be easier for our students to use on their own. And the integration of PPM Express with MS teams made it happen.

Other products they looked at: We also looked at Oracle Primavera. But then we searched for tools that will be easy and user friendly. 


Why PPM Express?


Why did you decide to consider PPM Express as an option?

And it was also the fact of the functionality that we wanted our students to utilize and also graphical UI which is quite straightforward when you have a training. The other key aspect is was although there are a lot of software tools out there, sometimes it’s difficult to learn a particular software and unlearn it to re-learn a real software package when you go to real world. So, we wanted to have something similar to the majority of tools out there. And it’s why we have chosen PPM Express: seamlessly integrates with MS teams, easy graphical UI, and its ability for people to learn its easily and transfer the knowledge across other PM software tools




Is MS teams the only integration you connect with?

We connected it with other tools, but PPM Express gave us an all-inclusive package when it covered everything we wanted to in one place. 

You use software on Portfolio, Project and Task levels?

Yes. And also PPMx gives us an overview of all the projects that are going on the same time, we can easily pick up a project with a problem and provide students with support they need, and also be able to guide them on what they actually need to do. So, that opportunity for us to be able to see all projects was awesome, very useful at Portfolio level. If you think about the class as a portfolio, and different projects as class groups, and then we have own tasks within the projects as well, this overview was
very very helpful.


Product optimization


What are the issues that you have when using PPM Express?

Setting up the actual projects and portfolios, assigning people, creating tasks. In terms of: you have to go to PPM Express, create a project for each class group, assign students to each group in there, keeping in mind that they are already assigned in groups in MS Teams.

Setting up the actual projects and portfolios, assigning people, creating tasks. In terms of: you have to go to PPM Express, create a project for each class group, assign students to each group in there, keeping in mind that they are already assigned in groups in MS Teams. 

 Notification examples that we want to cover:

  • Student gets a notification: Your task will be due in 24 hours; Your task is overdue; Your project is at risk since some of your task dependencies are slow.
  • Project and Portfolio: Project A is now running behind because you were not able to meet this task, etc.
  • We use both MS Teams and email. Both of channels are beneficial for us. Since most of the students have MS Teams on their phones, pushing a weekly notification to their channel would be beneficial to see what’s going on. Instead, we (professors) need to remind them on a weekly basis that they should update their reports.

When we had a lock down we expected to have a member of PPM Express team to provide training to our students. We had to deliver this training by ourselves to our students. We were promised to receive a training but didn’t receive it. We appreciate videos and articles but looking at the video is not the same as somebody showing you what to do.-

Also, each group has 4 to 6 students. And only one of them can actually have access to edit and do everything that has to be done in PPM Express. All students want to have the same license to edit in PPM Express and also learn from doing something in PPMx. When we asked for extra license – we were given, which is very good. We think that there should be a better pricing for educations and institutions. A license fee is expensive on our side. A university needs to buy a lot of software and it was a challenge for us to obtain PPM Express for all our students. We have 150 students in one module, we deliver 3 semesters every year, and we deliver the same modules for each semester. That is a huge task for us to request university for such budget.

We think that when student knows how to use this software and then he goes to the industry to manage a project, he can recommend PPM Express to other companies.



What’s the hardest part about using this product?

Setting it up. The owner’s side of putting people to the projects, creating projects. Especially for us, when we have about 20 student groups and are trying assign students to the group. That’s a lot of work! If there would be some option to upload a CSV file that would be great. The students are changing with each semester and if we could upload group names and assign students to PPM Express via CSV file – that would help us a lot.

Having a Help Desk. When somebody is having problem with software – to have a clickable guidance.

In app versions of MS teams is not the same as a version in the browser. So, I always have to go to the browser version to sort problems and then I go back to MS teams. 

Speaking about CSV file, one of the frustrations os the students was that: they had to issue a report for the module and they wanted to export certain parts of PPM Express screen and they were not able to export Gannt chart or a resource chart. They had to do a screen shot of all charts, which we didn’t expect from a professional software. 

I also want to add: our students enjoy using a software. They use it on MS Teams and find it easy to use. Our next cohort of students are asking us if we can use PPM Express for their studies as well. 

We implemented and using PPM Express as our Portfolio Management Platform. The reports and Dashboards provide valuable consolidated information at different levels, and the beauty of this is that it’s just connecting information we already have and getting all the possible value from it.
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Paola Bobbio
Senior Project Manager
“PPM Express seamlessly integrates with MS Teams and enables our students with easy way to collaborate and learn the Project Management course.”
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Dr. Karim Ahmed
Coventry University
With PPM Express, our company saves up to 60% of the time on reporting, project and resource planning.
Martijn Schasfoort
Maxima M.C.
With PPM Express our customers have a clear view of what is my next key date and my next milestone, and with active automated alerts on key dates approaching we make them more aware continuously looking at what’s next.
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Marc de Graaf
Head of PMO

A Need for Business Intelligence & Visibility

Invatron has chosen PPM Express as a solution that provides an effective approach to challenges, they previously had with Microsoft Planner. The idea of going through a painful process of switching to a new, more complicated, PPM system is no more on the table since PPM Express fills the gaps related to executive reporting, portfolio visibility, and budgeting.




Invatron team is getting maximum value and insights out of project data, which streamlines the decision-making process and boosts the overall efficiency of the project delivery.


Group 1863


Project Managers and executives spend up to 30% less time on project administration and routine reporting, which makes it possible to focus on the products, clients, and new business opportunities.


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Invatron’s executive team uses PPM Express as a budget and cost management tool to plan project budgets and make sure all projects are delivered within their budgets and there are no overruns.

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