How do you want to see your PLM start page?

I want to raise the following question. How do you want your PLM application to start? I was reading the following article in Mashable and thought it might be an interesting topic to discuss. I’m sure your impression about the product in your everyday life can be different depends on how this application welcome you, and what you can see in the beginning. If you think, many of the applications you really like have clean, simple and attractive welcome behavior. And I’m sure you don’t want to see apps that take time to warm up and brings you lots of unusable information.

So, getting back to PLM, I decided to put some ideas of how potential PLM start behavior can look like.

1. Open. This one is typical for most of the desktop apps. If you are working with CAD system or similar desktop application, this is your way to go. Open what do you need, Go… If you CAD app is connected to sort of the data management tools, you probably have some enhanced version of Open, but same ideas.

2. Status. You probably manage lots of tasks, activities, people, processes. So, dashboard-like a welcome page can help you get oriented in what is going on.

3. To do list. Another variant to concentrate, but mostly on what do you have in your work list for today, this week, this month, this year… If you think in terms of GTD, this is a place for your next action…

So, I’m sure there are more behaviors and ideas. I’m sure, new environment will become more webbish Facebook-like. You are welcome to share your experience and thoughts, as usual.

Best, Oleg

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  • Oleg hi, thanks for your thoughts. In general if I look to my activities the “To Do List” in email is my startpoint, although not every activity is a PLM activity – i make the prioritization per day often related to a status.

    As we all want to remain individuals with a kind of autonomy (especially engineers), we do not like systems that prioritize for us 🙂

    Social collaboration / PLM is too loose ?

    Just another thought …

  • As a CAD User I always want to start with my CAD System. From this it is important to se the ToDo list.

    For the rest it is depending on the role you have in the organisation (System)

    Regards,

    Menk

  • Shekhar B

    I want my PLM to be an intelligent dashboard and provide me with features like the Google chrome provides. The most used/latest used widgets/portlets right in front of me when I log-in and the related things I would like to use on a side-bar.

  • Jos, I personally like “todo” lists. It connects me to GTD approach. Also, some “flexibility” for engineers is very important. Thanks for commenting! Oleg

  • Menk, thanks for sharing your thoughts. The first idea of PDM integrated with CAD was about the fact you just mentioned. You want to have all inside CAD. However, mails continue to nbe an important place to get tasks… Have you had chance to see Vuuch approach for this? Does it make sense to you? Best, Oleg

  • Shekhar, Intelligent dashboard… It sounds like a dream and lots of providers are trying to do so. I had chance to see quite few trials based on SharePoint functionality. However, Google Chrome is a browser, in my view. What type of features do you have in your mind? Best, Oleg

  • Chandrajit

    I think PLM start page would have conventional information like “to-do”, “Project”, “various-status”,etc,which is available now days.
    My point is that this start page should be user configurable/flexible like e.g. User can set the location for the information & have quick wizard based integration with various day-to-day software for e.g. e-mail client, etc.
    I think, will some sort of “gadgets” like miniature objects which will show the dynamic contents as well as able to perform required/selected actions.

  • Bhushan

    Hi Oleg,
    Good Discussion Let me put my thoughts >> giving same Home page to every user is not feasible.
    As PLM software’s work on Role base [every User is assigned some roles]; Depending upon Roles the Priorities will change lets take few examples of it.
    1. Design Engineer>> His priorities will be ‘what to do?’ for him To Do list is most imp.
    2. Design/Product/Project Manager>> his interest will be in the status of the project so he needs a summery page of project/product he manages.
    personally I always like a single page summery of many things[issues/To Do/Status], In DS ENOVIA we call it as Power View.
    I think its better to let the user to configure his home page.
    Just my views.
    Thanks & Regards,
    Bhushan Teli

  • Chandrajit, I think “gadgets” is a nice approach. You will be close to iGoogle (or any other portal-like solutions)… From my experience, available solutions today have a quite complicated ramp-up and configuration need. What is your experience with these solutions? Best, Oleg

  • Bhushan, Thanks for your view! I think, it will be the best if a home page will know how to configure itself without user by default. However, it is not a simple task. Basic assumption of Roles is a good approach. However, a complication of multiple roles can create a mess in the end. In many companies people have overlapped roles these days more and more… Don’t you think so? Best, Oleg

  • Oleg it is interesting how much interest the simple idea of this post generated. You are onto a key problem for people.

    What I see is email is used to deliver all types of information – tasks, issues, meeting updates and lunch dates. Therefore the current “dashboard” is your inbox. You can verify this by watching the behavior of people when they get an email – they automatically triage it because it “MIGHT” be important to what they are doing. That said it is hard to understand why we read them when we are driving, as none of them are going to be about what we are doing then… In the next release of Vuuch, which I showed you at http://massinnovationnights.com/ we are connecting this idea of “Dashboard” with concept of a Facebook page for your deliverable. For example if you Vuuch enable a part you are designing then the part gets its own Facebook page, same is true for a PowerPoint as I showed you in the demo. The page works just like a Facebook page in that it acts as a clearing house for information about the entity, in this case a part instead of a person and NO it isn’t really on Facebook. The page talks to the part file and the part file talks to the page. Therefore if you are working on a design and you discover a problem you can define this right from within the CAD session and it is now added to the “Issue List”. As well if the project manager has “Tasks” to be completed for the part then they can go to the page and define the task. Tasks and issues defined anywhere for this part show up where ever the part is represented. For example the procurement person who is responsible for one of the Tasks could see this in Outlook and the CAD person working on the design could see this within the CAD file. As well the VP of engineering might monitor these in his Google page via an RSS feed by subscribing to the parts he is concerned about. People must be left to decide the best place to consolidate or display their dashboard. IT platforms cannot dictate this to them.

    Take a look at this YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzMKUfOIAF8 of how to do this and take a look at the page I created in the demo for a SolidWorks part http://www.vuuch.me/collaboration/fileRepNW4/discussions/617.

  • I like to think that most PLM users quite never create data, they only read data. So the first action they will need to do is searching. Putting a search method as home page should help them.

    Thats’s why it would be helpful as well to provide a dedicated search form for such user. For example you can see:

    http://plmforest.free.fr/?p=10

  • Chris, The complication of PLM implementations today raised this question in my mind. Most of PLM systems I’ve seen put too much focus to bring a huge amount of data to the user from the beginning. However, may be this is a wrong thing to do. As we discussed during Mass Inno Nights, interface like Facebook is an interesting idea. In my view, portals today are trying to do the same and SharePoint is one of them. You can see (especially in SP 2010), the identity with Facebook and other social nets is very obvious. RSS is another successful and promising mechanism (remember this – http://plmtwine.com/2009/01/23/how-to-improve-plm-collaboration-and-information-delivery-with-rss/). I will take a look on videos, thanks for links! Best, Oleg

  • Francois, I think the idea is good. Have you seen DS V6 interface where you search for data? This is very similar… Best, Oleg

  • Олег

    Привет Олег,
    Не знаю как в PLM системах, но во всех инф.системах, которые я делал обязательно на первом месте стоят
    важные объявления, новости(это последние вновьпоявившиеся и изменённые документы с последнего времени посещения клиентом), документы и задания, которые требуют его непосредственного участия, новостные RSS ленты по его тематике и конечно же погода на ближайшие 3 дня. Всё это в виде виджетов т.к. они ложатся поверх основного рабочего окна-стола, а вот он то должен содержать последнее состояние(открытые документы, папки и пр.), которое было до покидания системы.
    Да и ещё под рукой (в непосредственной близости без всяких переходов и перелазов) обязателен сквозной скоростной поиск по всем разделам и документам(с подсказкой а ля suggest).
    Причём заметил, что люди чаще пользуются быстрым и простым поиском (с одной строкой ввода искомой фразы), чем заумными формами с кучей чекбоксов, радиобатонов, комбобоксов и пр. прелестей. Видимо сказывается влияние поисковиков Интернета.

    С наилучшими пожеланиями, Олег

  • Олег, Thanks for your comments! It make a lot of sense. news, my documents and access to the product data – this is what we need. The tricky part is to organize it together… Best, Oleg

  • Oleg you are right less is more. As Ment points out if I am a CAD user then I want it in CAD. This is exactly what Vuuch does. Not only do we put it in CAD but we only show you the to do list for the file you have open. When it come to PDM I would say the UI should be invisable, the user should not even be involved.

  • Chris, Thank you for this comment! You emphasized it very well- we are Apps-oriented. This is not specifically for PLM. This is for everything. CAD, Excel, World, Analytical apps etc. This is the dominant model today. However, how do you see it in the future? Best, Oleg