Simplifying PLM

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.


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