Hyper-Social Organization for PLM Dummies

by Oleg on November 8, 2010 · 350 comments

Today, I had an interesting experience in my life. I had a chance to attend Dassault System Enovia Collaborative Innovation Forum. Be-careful, before you expose yourself to the following links. You will be influenced by a hyper-socially explosion… Ready? Navigate your browser to the following link. This is a conference website, which was actually built by blogger’s community during the event today. I decided to give a first time impression about my “lesson learned” and thoughts about what can be a role of PLM in Hyper-Social Organization?

Hyper-Social Background

How you can get yourself to the Hyper-Social story? My recommendation is to take a look on the following slide-share. It will give you an impression.

Here is my simple explanation on the hyper-social organization. You are probably familiar with the various forms of old social organization and culture. Sport Clubs, Fans of Rock-groups, Movie-stars fans, University Alumni. With the introduction of social media online and social networks like Facebook, lots of the old days social organizations were migrated into new social forms – social networks, social media, online communities. As soon as it happens it exposed and replicated into new businesses. What worked for football clubs started to work for companies’ brands and actively used by new marketing. I think, you’ve got my point – what is good for Lady Gaga, tomorrow can be used to sell Consumer Product Goods, Cars, Electronic and other products.

Hyper-Social Organization and Product Development Organization

The first question you need to ask me after reading the previous part – so what? Marketing found a new way to sell products- why should we care? This is a first challenging point. As a company, you cannot be neutral on the way company exists in the online social universe. Depends on your social role in the organization and online social status you are getting involved into lots of online activities. You become a part of affiliated groups or how hyper-social calls themselves – tribes. Sounds crazy? Thinking about this type of tribes? However, this is another definition:

From Wikipedia:
Tribe (internet), an unofficial group of people who share a common interest, affiliated through the internet. The term tribe is used as a slang term for an unofficial community of people who share a common interest, and usually who are loosely affiliated with each other through social media or other internet mechanisms. The term is related to “tribe,” which traditionally refers to people closely associated in both geography and genealogy.

Now, it makes more sense to think about how it exposed to your product development. If you think about a group of people sharing interest in using your products, you can find a new way to communicate with these people. Think about this like speaking foreign languages. I speak “English”, but you speak “Tribes”. The most important point, in my view, in this “tribes story” is a connection. What is matters is connection and affiliation. By making a connection you become part of the community. So, now think about product development organization. If you are selling your product to tribes, you need to play this game. It means to be able to be exposed to the tribe and maintain communication with a tribe. What is the most important “aha moment”? If you want to do that, you need to change yourself. Your organization now mimicking tribe! You behave the same. Voila…

Hyper-social and PLM

So, now this is a time to ask how all this related to Product Lifecycle Management. On the surface, you can tell me that there is no connection. The need to design, engineer, manufacture, sell and support products don’t change. You are right and wrong at the same time. PLM as a technology and product development process organization is going to be impacted. You probably need to have tools that are orienting on how to become more exposed to communities, develop capabilities to share information within people in your communities (tribes).

What is my conclusion? It seems to me social networking is introducing a new type of organization, which behave differently. The impact is on both sides- manufacturing organization and customer. Will it impact product development processes? A good question… Will it impact communication? Absolutely. The new level of communication has a chance to change product development processes. This is my simple conclusion – a lot of new words, a lot of new tools. The positive is a connection between manufacturing and customers and a result better value proposition of your company products. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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