Taken from a Stephen Porter article on Discovery…
The companies that spend the time up front better understanding their environments and the opportunities they have to impact them experience much better results than those that jump into deployment without extensive discovery.
One of the first questions that need to be answered is why are you doing this? It seems obvious but you would be surprised how many companies get very far down the road with a PLM deployment without being able to answer this question. Another critical question is how are we going to measure our success? There are several other questions like these that can be addressed in discovery but the key is to establish mutually understood outcomes that will provide guidance for how the project is supposed to proceed and what constitutes successful completion.
Some Sound Advice
Questions that are keys to a successful implementation:
- What problems are you attempting to solve?
- How will you know if you are successful? [Using an objective measure of success]
Discovery [analysis] begins by uncovering the problems that you would like to solve. What issues are driving your search for a PLM solution? I would add – how much are these problems costing you and your company?
Well defined metrics for success makes it easy to show management that your project has been successful. Success will get you funded to extend this implementation or for your next project.
Added Benefits of Analysis
Working with a cross functional team to perform the project analysis will not only uncover important details [issues], it will help you get buy in from the user community.
Culture change is always an issue with big projects like this. Getting the user community involved early and often can reduce this issue. Further, the ongoing communications with your user community will help you set and manage expectations.
A big part of project analysis is to put together the requirements for your solution. A PLM project can be complex, but a detailed requirements document can make it easier. A successful PLM implementation will provide a real return on investment.
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