PLM, Organization and Information Silos: Good, Bad and Ugly

PLM, Organization and Information Silos: Good, Bad and Ugly

Earlier this month, I posted What is the biggest PLM challenge? Since then I had multiple conversations on twitter, blog and LinkedIn groups. Discussing a potential level of changes in the organization, I came to the topic of “information silos”. I found this topic interesting. Information silos – is it good or bad? Is it a problem at all? What PLM vision need to be applied to handle it? I wanted to quote one of my readers:

…It is about maintaining a trade-off between what is local and what is global in a company. The problem in my view is one of terminology. If we say “silos” we immediately think “bad”. This in turn promotes actions to minimize silos, which is harmful if driven too far. We need to conceptualize the organization in a different way. My take is “work practice” or similar constructs. An organization would be seen as a constellation of workpractices, each contributing to the overall goal of the organization. This would provide a perspective where trade-off, silos, business processes, etc., could be discussed from a more productive point of view.

I followed up the same topic on the round table during Autodesk Forum in Moscow. During the discussion, we found some interesting facts. Few participants mentioned that one of the challenges during PLM implementation is that PLM improve the transparency of  processes and corresponded information in an organization. You can say – this is a really good thing. However, I’ve heard people faced organizational resistance. Information and process control is a power in every organization. So, people responsible for it don’t want to lose it. At the same time PLM streamlines processes it reduces the power of “gate keepers”. This is the ugly truth.

What is my conclusion? PLM is not only about technology. It can (actually does) change the way organization works top-down and bottom up. To manage this change is an important part of every implementation. However, PLM technologies nee to allow to make this change more transparent and less painful. Just my thoughts… I’d be interested to hear more about your experience. Speak your mind.

Best, Oleg


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