I attended a CimData webinar on PLM last week. They provided a lot of good information. In my experience and they mentioned it more than once, the primary key to PLM success is managing change – cultural change management.
A typical PLM implementation will present the user community with several changes.
- It will change how they do their work. At a minimum, they will now have to interface with some new software.
- It may change the processes in which they are involved. Although it is a good idea to not get carried away changing processes for the initial rollout.
- It may change some terminology that they are used to.
- It will definitely involve some compliance [rules will need to be followed] on the part of the user.
- It will increase visibility into their work.
These changes can be difficult for some people. Here are some things you can do to minimize the impact of the change.
- Identify a champion. This person doesn’t have to be a VP, but must be well respected so that the user community will listen.
- Put together an implementation team that includes: a champion, a project manager, an executive sponsor [can be the champion], process owners, users, subject matter experts and someone from IT. Involve any persons that might want to kill this project [so they will have some ownership].
- Conduct regular meetings [weekly or more] to get all of the players involved and informed.
The role of the champion is to sell the story to management and to sell the story to the user community. Think of them as a pied piper. They should lead your company to a successful implementation. They should lead your company through their culture change issues.
The successful PLM implementations that I have seen have all had strong champions. Contact me if you need some help…