Understanding PLM…

In my last blog, I discussed the components of a PLM project [Analysis, Design, Construction and Implementation].

The analysis component is critical.  The better job you do on your analysis, the better implementation you will see.

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Learn as much as you can about Product Lifecycle Management [PLM] solutions so that you can make better decisions.

Goals & Objectives – What is it that you are trying to achieve? What is your vision for a solution?  How will you know if you are successful?

Problem(s) you are attempting to solve – Companies take on a PLM project to solve a problem or problems.  The resulting implementation is expected to cut costs or increase revenues.  If it doesn’t, you won’t get the project funded.

Mitigating circumstances – Assuming that the solution appears to be financially feasible, what are limiting factors to your selection of a solution?  Limiting factors can be technology preferences like a Microsoft environment or Linux.  Do you implement your solution on site or in the cloud?  At some point, you will need to sell this idea to upper management.  What are their preferences?  What is the best way to get this project approved?

Available Solutions – There are likely many alternatives.  Some alternatives will only provide a part of the solution while other alternatives may be overkill.  Obviously, we all would prefer to make an informed decision.  Start with a good understanding of the issues above and learn about your alternatives.  What kind of budget do you believe you can get for this project?

Solution Presentations – For the most part, all of the potential vendors will show you a presentation/demonstration that will put their software in the best light.  You really need to understand how their software will meet your specific needs.  Have them show you software features that are ‘off script’.

Returns on investment – Companies have their own strategy in place for approving capital expenditures.  Speak to ‘finance’ to determine what it will take to get your project funded.  Build your case to present to management.  A return on investment analysis can be helpful.

Selecting and implementing a solution is a complex task with many details – I can help…

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