Focus on Data or Process?

Emma Rudeck  asked in a PLM Group posting…

When it comes to starting a PLM implementation in your organisation, should you be looking to start by organising your data? Or do you need to begin your implementation by integrating your processes with PLM.

My thoughts…

I don’t see a way to separate the two.  I will give you an example.

I want access to a document is stored in a PLM system.  Is it available to me?  Has it been ‘released’ for all to see?  Is it being created and not ready for all to see?  Someone must determine whether it is available to me.  This is all about process.

At a minimum, all documents go through a process.  Even if the process is just create, edit, publish and all of these steps are performed by the same person – it is still a process.   Access is dependent on where it is in its process.  If it is still being edited, it is not available.  When it is published, the company needs to determine who can have access.

I am currently working through this with a customer.  We have selected a few processes that we will define in detail and the others will follow a simple create, edit, publish process.  All of their documents [data] will move through a process.

The engineering change process for a manufacturing company is their most expensive process.  It is usually the most well known process and they have likely been using it for years.  Engineering is concerned about bills of materials and bills of materials are always somewhere within a process.  There is no question that their focus is on process.

Your thoughts…

Which would be your focus – Data or Process?

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