Use Wiki for PLM Change Management – revised!

In one of the previous posts , I thought about how it would be possible to use a WIKI engine to implement CCB within an organization. To summarize, my idea was to allow CCB members to develop interactive content within a wiki engine. Wiki can be easy available in the organization as part of most enterprise packages today – from Microsoft to Oracle. Also, open WIKI engines are available.

Now, let’s get back to the original idea. One of the main points is how to organize the history of changes without disturbing users. Each additional “create version” operation will be considered as less usable. I was thinking about how to organize an immersive environment for users – creating and collaborating on the same content without having to burden them with version control. Version control is important to be able to maintain changes, traceability and formal change control. So, I was thinking about implementing it by using two functionalities –

(1) Export Wiki Page to PDF;

(2) Search inside of PDF content.

Export Wiki Page to PDF is almost a standard functionality supported by many wiki engines. It’s available in IBM, supported in TWIKI. In addition, there are “export to PDF” components that can be used together with various wiki software (i.e. Microsoft SharePoint). Some of the wiki software allows you to export a collection of pages to PDF, which is even more powerful. By using this functionality you can organize the creation of snap-shorts from a wiki page each time the changes are submitted. So, we can get a full history of all CCB meetings.

 Search inside of PDF document will be a cool feature to support. This functionality is also quite standard and can be supported, for example, by Microsoft SharePoint, IBM and other search software. So, you can easily find anything you discussed and worked on during your CCB meetings.

 I think this cool functionality is also simple to implement and quite powerful.


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  • Igal

    it’s an interesting topic, but you lost me towards the end.

    how by making pdf files you allow change management.
    what kind of changes do you want to manage?

    very interesting idea, I would love to learn more about how you think it can be used


  • Igal, thanks for your comment! I’m not looking on particular type of changes. This is more about collaboration in general. Wiki allows you to manage collaborative space all people can co-use together (like whiteboard). Think about wikipedia article. So you can keep one per ECO, for example. Since Wiki is pure web you can manage your content as you want – add content (i.e. 3D from 3DXML, JT etc). But you need to keep history snapshots and here PDF export comes. You can create snapshots using PDF…
    Does it make sense to you?
    Regards, Oleg.

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  • Eric, I had change to see change management for product development implementation in various ways. People are looking for flexibility combined with formal process. And this is always a big challenge. Thanks for your comments! Oleg.