How PLM can help me to share product secrets in organization?

social-product-toolsI’d like to follow few very interesting discussions that happened last week. Few blog posts you probably want to read before you will continue with today’s post: Should I keep secrets from my PLM system?,  Yes, Oleg, You Should Keep Secrets from Your PLM SystemPeople Centric PLM – A New PLM age is born.

So, why I decided to get back to this topic again this week? Back to my original Should I keep secrets from my PLM system? PLM introduced a concept of “single point of truth” and, even if this concept intent was good, I was afraid to see how this concept made many PLM implementations unsuccessful. In my view, it created perception of PLM to control all product’s data in organization. And this task is very complicated. Meantime, PLM can provide many additional benefits. So how to leverage them? These are my original thoughts – keep secrets from your PLM! Don’t allow “multi-year PLM project” to start in your organization. You should be lean and efficient in the way you will plan your PLM deployment.

However, I got very interesting post-answer PTC Robin Saitz. Here, what Robin is saying:

“There are authoring tools, such as CAD/CAM/CAE, which are focused on making the individual engineer or designer more productive. There are enterprise applications, such as PLM, that are focused on governance and control of product information. PLM is dedicated to shepherding a promising product idea through design development, sourcing, change and configuration management, manufacturing planning, production, service, and retirement. But there’s another set of activities that hasn’t been suitably addressed by either PLM or Desktop apps…

…new social product development capabilities (those leveraging social computing technology) can significantly improve this type of idea exchange. It’s a more flexible and natural way of interacting, and doesn’t carry the constraints inherent in a governance system. Not every idea exchanged, considered, commented on, discarded or every question asked and answered needs to be in the PLM system. But having the freedom to spawn and discuss ideas and spontaneously ask questions or help out your colleague can make the process of getting the best ideas into the PLM system easier. Then the PLM system is tasked with managing the processes needed to bring that great idea to market”.

And this is a completely different angle on what PLM is doing in organization. From my side, I see PLM as a force to integrated product development processes. The biggest PLM strength is ability to manage collaborative business processes in order not to become an only execution system. My initial though about PTC Product Point back to announcement last year was – it step to cover additional processes and re-use some SharePoint Platform Social Network capabilities? According to the PTC announcement:

Windchill ProductPoint will give SharePoint reach into the world of Product Development. Windows SharePoint Services, Microsoft’s technology infrastructure for collaboration, has been well adopted across manufacturing companies as a backbone for Office applications, primarily for document sharing and management. With Windchill ProductPoint, PTC will enable SharePoint to understand CAD (computer-aided-design) data, increasing the reach of the familiar SharePoint user experience, and enhancing its usage across broader product development teams. For OEMs and suppliers, a future release of Windchill ProductPoint is planned to support the sharing of information among other Windchill-based systems”.

So, big question I have now – will today’s PLM expand their capabilities to provide connecting forces and enable social product collaboration within organization? I’d say this is will be smart step. Should PLM limit to process governance and control of product information? I’d say we did it in the past, but new people centric PLM age is born, and we need to move forward!

And I’m looking forward to future discussions on plmtwine during this week. Best, Oleg


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