So you have PLM…

Now what?

I have asserted that PLM is your organizations unique way of
managing the definition of your products and managing change of these
definitions. Included in these definitions are the processes needed to produce
your products and get them to market. If you agree with my definition, you will
also agree with me that PLM is not something you buy, no more than you buy
quality or efficiency.

There are tools that can improve your PLM system, if the
tools chosen are suited to your process and they are implemented well. The same
tools can make things worse if they are not implemented correctly. The right
implementation will fail if the tool does not meet your needs. Sounds
dangerous. It seems it might be better if you just left things alone. You can
rationalize that things aren’t that bad.

 But.

Others are making changes. They are studying their
processes. They are looking for tools that can make them more efficient. The
world has become a global economy. It is no longer good enough to be good
enough. You need to be world class. Your competition is no longer the company
across town; it is all companies in your industry across the world.

 So.

I contend you and your organization need to become great at
change. That doesn’t’ mean you change everything. You need to pick your
battles. Select the low hanging fruit. Start at the edges and implement new
tools and processes that have a local effect. Changes that impact the
individual’s productivity, but when you make changes locally, think globally
and position these improvements for bigger, center changes as your organization
becomes better at assimilating change.

For example, when you implement 3D cad, think it through.
Make sure:

  • People are trained in the use of the tool
  • The tools are implemented as a system, so common
    configuration files, like drawing boarders and hardware libraries are shared.
  • Processes are established for making effective use of the
    output of these new tools.
  • Procedures for managing the data produced by 3D tools are
    in place. When you are ready to implement a central data management strategy,
    the work will be well organized and ready to use.

Organizations that are not improving are dieing. It is a
matter of life and death.

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