A PLM project has 4 major components: Analysis, Design, Construction and Implementation. Of course, there are many activities within each of these components.
Over the years, my experience has shown me that a thorough analysis is generally more than half of the project. It makes it so much easier to come up with a quality design that is easy to construct and implement.
Key Analysis Components
Company Politics – It is important to understand your company politics in order to select the most doable path to success.
Goals & Objectives – What is it that you are trying to achieve? How does your company define success? It is important to find a way to measure success objectively. You can only do the next phase when the first phase is successfully completed. Even if it isn’t required, it is a good idea to do a return on investment analysis. It will show you where the greatest savings are.
Technology Environment – Your Company’s technology choices will have an impact on your PLM implementation.
Scope [department] – Break your PLM implementation into phases. A quick success [less than 6 months] will help you move forward to the next phase. So, where will you start? Which department?
Data/Information to be managed – What information will you be managing initially? Does this information need to be migrated to the new implementation right away? Can it be moved as you touch it?
User Community – From the entire user community, select a representative group to interview. Ask them to be the initial testers of the solution.
Managing Change – You will be asking people to learn and use new software. Often, this isn’t an easy task. Some tips: Change the labels on the user interface so that it is in a familiar language; Have the screens show only the information that is relevant to them doing their job; Minimize any process changes at the start – make those changes later.
Procedures/Process – All documents [CAD or other] go through a process even if it is only author, edit, approve and release. The same person could be performing all of these steps. I can’t imagine a company that doesn’t need a change process. Those changes can be engineering changes, changes to processes or changes to almost anything. Implement these procedures [processes] to allow you to get the right information to the right person at the right time.
Project Plan – Build a doable project plan based on all of the information that you have gathered.
The analysis is a difficult and complex activity so getting some help from someone that has done this would be in your best interest. Contact me if you would like some help.