PLM Think Tank – August Top 5

PLM Think Tank – August Top 5

I’m coming late this month with my top 5 post. It was mostly caused by me attending two conferences as an invited speaker. Technia PLM Innovation Forum in Stockholm and COFES Russia / isicad 2010 in Moscow. Both forums were very interesting also from the standpoint of content presented as well as communication and networking. My presentations and round-table discussions on both forums were about Social Media and the impact of the consumer internet and internet technologies on the future of engineering and manufacturing software. My conclusions and summaries will be published separately. You can watch my presentations on slideshare following these links: PLM and Social Media and The future of TLA in Engineering Software.

Now let’s move to the August top 5 posts on PLM Think Tank.

PLM Software and Business Process Scalability

There are systems that cannot scale up. PLM is a system that cannot scale down. I’m talking about this problem in this blog post. When I talk to people, I’m constantly asking the following question – what is the biggest problem you faced in all PLM implementations? Here is my today’s conclusion – PLM is a great concept and a very important organization strategy. However, it doesn’t scale up in the organization. In order to make it work out, you need to spend too many resources. When it comes to results you can see a very low value for money and resources you spent. Think about space shuttles. We need to spend a lot of rocket fuel to get a space shuttle in the space. The same with PLM… Something is wrong behind the scene. Is it technology? Implementation? People?

CAD Strategies: Unified Or Diversified?

The question of multiple system usage was critical in CAD-PLM since early days. The problem is still with us. I’m touching a research made by Jim Brown of TechClarity in this post. The advantages of a single tool and value proposition made by Jim in his research is clear for me. However, to implement unified CAD strategy can be complicated and long process. Not everybody can unify. As an alternative, CAD vendors can propose new potential solutions to solve old problems  – open/free tools, cloud products, various tool’s’ diversification that can make customers think more about the CAD strategies.

PLM Social Detours

Another great discussion about what will be the role of social systems in product development. Active participation of Chris Williams of Vuuch in the comment thread made this post specially interesting. PLM doesn’t proliferate well in organizations. The main reasons are complexity and cost of implementations. However, there is a need for better mainstream collaboration in the product development organization. Enterprise 2.0 trend presented a set of interesting options related to broad introduction of Web 2.0 technologies and experience of social websites (Facebook, Twitter and others). Will it serve as a “social detour” to take product development collaboration on the next level? This is a valid and important question, in my view.

PDM vs. PLM: A Process Perspective

In this post, I’m continuing to discuss various aspects of differences between PDM and PLM. I’m coming with my thoughts about product development process mapping. Thinking about a process perspective, I came to the conclusion of the second ugly truth –  it is better to explain your software product value in association to the real organizational and product development processes. ERP first discovered a “process-secret-sauce” and started to bind their modules and expand ERP to additional organizational processes.. CAD/PDM companies came second to the spot and decided to capture a broad definition of Product Lifecycle Processes. PDM was about one simple process – Engineering Data Release. Shifting from PDM to PLM, vendors attempted to bind solutions to product development processes in an organization. However, the diversification of these processes in organizations is very high. It resulted in a very high level of complexity and growing amount of customization and software tailoring.

PDM vs. PLM: An Integration Perspective

Final post from the triple discussion about PDM vs. PLM. It is all about integration between systems. Both PDM and PLM systems have very strong dependencies on their ability to be integrated within an organization. PDM integrations are orienting on data access, transfer and interoperability between a PDM and other systems in the enterprise. Data is the main focus of PDM integrations. It may include a different type of data integrations – manual, automatic, one or bi-directional data integrations. However, when it comes to Product Lifecycle Management, the scope of integration can be increased dramatically. It may include integration of processes, people and social context. The ability of PDM and PLM system to integrate what other systems and people in the organization are critical for successful implementations. This of the reasons why PDM and PLM implementations often fail in the organization.

Best, Oleg


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