How to strip PLM down to minimum needed functions?

How to strip PLM down to minimum needed functions?

plm-strip-down-microsoft-send

In a swift move, Microsoft decided to reinvent email. I guess, many of you had a chance to work with Outlook in your life. In different periods of my working career, I had love and hate relationships with Outlook. The complexity and slowness of Outlook was one of the things I hated the most. Here is the change. Microsoft just introduced minimum email client with focus on communication only. The following passage explains that:

Unlike Outlook, Send is not meant to be a full-featured email app: you can’t use it to view emails you’ve already received or search your inbox. The super simple app only shows threads that have been started from within the app. The idea, Microsoft says, is to strip out the unnecessary (and annoying) parts of email — subject lines and signatures, for example — to make those quick day-to-day brief messages you exchange with coworkers and colleagues faster and easier. “With Send, there are no signatures, subject lines or salutations required,” Microsoft’s Outlook team explains. “Our design principle for the app was to make conversations fast and fluid while keeping the people who are important to you at its core.”

A lot already being said about complexity of email collaboration. It is just messy. Lot of messages, threads, copies, some people forgot to include somebody else and it opens another thread. In one of my earlier blogs I discussed Engineers and Email workhorse. The point I wanted to make was about finding a new way to communicate more efficiently.

Microsoft Blog article gives you more information and few additional screenshots to explain how it works. The following passage clearly explains the value proposition

While tools like text messaging and IM are great for short messages, you often don’t have your co-worker’s cell phone number or an IM app on your work phone. And we’ve heard loud and clear from people at work, they want all their communications available in Outlook—even if they send them from other apps. This is where Send comes in! Send gives you the simple, quick text message-like experience while allowing you to reach all co-workers and have all of your communications in Outlook for reference later.

It made me think again about complexity of PLM applications. Even in modern applications, the desired function you need is “15 clicks away” from you. For example, when it comes to communication about changes, it could be annoying and, as a result, people will shift conversation to email or messenger. This is how valuable engineering and product information is usually lost in organization. Just imagine communication with support team about specific issues in the product experienced by customer. Support technician has no patience to deal with annoying PLM clicks. Instead of that, he pushed text message or email. There is a good chance, original information from customer can be lost and engineering will work to fix slightly different problem. Did it happen to you? Just be honest…

What is my conclusion? For many years, PLM systems assumed completeness is the first priority systems must achieve to get bought by customer. It was true in sales round including spreadsheets comparing functions provided by multiple system. To win a deal was about to provide more functions. I think it is fundamentally wrong approach these days. Less is more. Strip down functions to minimal set of functions – it will boost PLM adoption across organizations. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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  • Peter Yodis

    It’s looking a little more like Slack!

  • Great concept! I totally agree! As stated below Slack is another good example of a simple consolidator of information!

  • beyondplm

    Peter, you are right! It looks like Slack and my hunch Microsoft was inspired by success and functionality of Slack!

  • beyondplm

    David, thanks! Slack was clearly an inspiration for Microsoft as well as a competitive force.