Google Wave PLM Use Cases

The Google Wave invites pushed to the community for the last 1-2 months are starting to bring some fruitful results. The number of pilots, prototype, demos and other activities related to Google Wave started to growth. I already posted on very interesting, in my view, business process building collaboration tool from SAP. In addition, you can see few more examples of Google Wave in “almost real life” here.

Looking on all these examples I wanted to figure out few possible PLM related scenarios that in my view can get real benefits from using Google Wave.

1. ECO Collaboration. It will be great to have an ability to mix formal process and not formal collaboration around planned or requested change. Most of the today systems implement a formal process that allows to run change approval. The level of flexibility can vary to depend on the system you have, but in my view, none of them can provide an ability to merge of a free mail collaboration and at the same time host formal control on ECO process definition and status. I think, potential of Google Wave robots can unlock and provide such capability to engineering and manufacturing teams.

2. Collaborative Documentation Release. To have high level quality of your product is very important these days. However, to organize efficient collaboration between engineering, manufacturing and documentation team is a not simple effort. They usually have different tools and communicate in a very weak manner. Google Wave can be a collaborative tool that bridge them and allow to have a documentation effort started very early in the process of product development. 3D and non-3D documentation can be embedded into Waves and provide up-to-date information to document writes. This information can be updated and documentation writes can collaborate with people they need in other organizations.

3. Design Discussion and Brainstorming.
Design activities can be hardly formalized. Many people in the organization can be involved into this activity almost on demand. At the same time, conferencing and other collaboration tools are not allowing to engineers do it in the asynchronous way. Google Wave can help. Mixing discussion threads and 3D information in Waves we’ll be able to support designers and engineers.

I think, Google Wave will have a huge potential in the future of collaboration. Email and other collaboration tools will be affected and will require to make their transformation to survive. It will be interesting in ride in my view. In my today’s examples, I was looking mostly on use cases when an email is heavily involved today. However, I’m sure, other examples will come as well.

Best, Oleg


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