One of the biggest organizational challenges is to get an agreement about business and organizational processes in the context of Enterprise Software. Since PLM is the heart of all organizational processes related to product development, PLM implementation becomes heavily involved in the discussion about how specific organizational and development processes should be implemented. In many cases, it can impact PLM implementation or even damage original plans and ROI expectations.
I’d like to propose an idea about how to merge some excellent capabilities of social software like Wiki and the capabilities of collaborative business process management available in PLM, or even in business process management. This “Mashups” will allow to have Wiki-style front-end user behavior, allowing relevant people in the organization to capture, document and craft business processes in a collaborative way. This Wiki-style frontend will be combined with collaborative business process definition done by a PLM system.
It will also beneficial to take one more step, and make the collaborative process definition available as a ‘service on a cloud.’ In this case, the organization will be able to minimize efforts in its implementation, so we will have a “Wiki-style PLM on a cloud”. Today, there are multiple vendors providing workflow and business process management capabilities as a service, and I think this number will grow. Wiki engines are also available so we have all the basic technologies in place. The only requirement left is to create a product development envelope, allowing integration of these tools with design and product data management tools. The only requirement left is to allow the integration of these PLM on a cloud service together with design and product data management tools, creating a product development process environment.