Reading over the weekend ZDNet post, “Why IT cannot seem to deliver measurable productivity”, I started to think about how many times I heard about PLM technologies in the context of productivity and other aspects of PLM impact on organizational performance. Even, if I think, there is a significant improvement in the way companies perceived PLM, I think, there are too many situations where PLM is not associated with company performance and existence of these tools and technologies in the organization considered as something “we cannot avoid”…
I started to think, why PLM product and technologies are too often standing in the shadow of negative expenses as well as not considered as tools and technologies that boost company forward. Below my three point conclusion about that as well as thought how we change it.
1. Undervalue of reporting capabilities. Historically, CAD/PDM/PLM technologies were focused on design and engineering work, managing of data, revisions and processes. However, many times, I found even simple reporting and more advanced business and information intelligence undervalued and not-delivered. This functionality considered as too complex to be delivered out of the box and products relies on technological frameworks, customization and services based implementation. As a result, today’s status is that we actually cannot measure what we are doing. Intensive reporting capabilities in PLM may result to expose information about how PLM performed on the organizational level and trigger ability to measure the payoff for PLM.
2. Concentration on Engineering. Engineering, very often, considered as a very separate from the rest of organization. The same happens with tools used for engineering. By focusing on engineering PLM getting a sticker of “internal” tools with no impact on what organization need. You don’t want to care what engineers used as soon as an engineering department makes delivery. On the other side, if PLM can bridge organizational problems and connect it to engineering using PLM tools, additional value can be exposed .
3. Lock-in data. In my view, there is a little obsession on data from CAD/PDM/PLM tools. Originally started from CAD tools and formats it proliferated on many other disciplines in Product Lifecycle Management. Looking on today’s business needs, ability to expose IP becomes of the most important. It can improve communication with customers, boost innovation in the organization and improve many other things.
So, what is my today’s conclusion? Ability to measure and data openness is two key directions we need to focus on to improve organizational understanding and value of PLM technologies and tools. How do you see it in your organization? How do you measure your PLM tools payoff?