Politics and PLM

For the sake of this blog, let’s say that PDM and PLM fit in the class of document management software.

When looking at document management solutions, the decision to purchase and what to purchase can be quick and easy with a single decision maker.  The decision complexity increases greatly with more people involved in the decision.  If the document management solution involves many departments, not only does the complexity go up – the time it takes to make the decision increases dramatically.

A decision on PDM is much easier than PLM because the decision usually involves only one department – engineering.  PLM crosses departmental boundaries making the decision much more complex.

Each department has their own view of the world.  They have their own needs and they may have some preconceived notions about the solutions.  Since PLM is an enterprise solution, it has inherited a connotation that PLM vendors must work to overcome.

When Xerox chose their name, they wanted a word that they could define.  One that would not have any pre-existing baggage.  They could create the connotation that would define the word.

PLM started out innocently enough in engineering.  If you think about the literal interpretation of product lifecycle management, the lifecycle of a product crosses many departments.  Now, add to that connotation that many PLM implementations were quite expensive and some of them failed.  This acquired connotation invites much more scrutiny to any PLM decision.

If your company is looking at document management [PLM] but intend to start in engineering, it may be in your best interest to refer to the software option as PDM to avoid other departments getting involved in the decision process.

Your thoughts…

What kind of politics did you have to deal with to purchase your document solution?

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