PLM, Stability and Managed Chaos

PLM, Stability and Managed Chaos

People are creating ‘chaos’ by the nature of our work. This is a reality in many situations. In my view, it is specifically true when it applies to engineering work. Therefore, when engineering and IT organizations are speaking about PDM/PLM deployment and implementation, the main goal is to establish a controlled environment to prevent chaos, to organize and share information. The goal is clear. However, I want to ask how PLM deployment really fulfills the goal. The main challenge I can see is that organizations are always moving forward. Changes are introduced all the time, processes tend to be customized, altered and re-configured.

I’ve been reading an 3 steps for introducing more chaos into systems (yes, that’s a good thing) ZNET article. Read the article and made your conclusion. I found the following passage interesting:

“Every organization I’ve ever been a part of has spent countless dollars and immeasurable energy striving for stability in which everything is predictable,” he says. “Unfortunately, these are the organizations that recover slowest when the inevitable, unpredictable catastrophe hits.” An apt comparison may be “a search-and-rescue team that sits idle for too long can become rusty under pressure without constant drilling and practice.”

The article made me think about “managed chaos” as a way to run product development processes and engineering organizations in unpredictable situations or with high frequency of changes. PLM system can be a solution to provide an organization with a way to recover and make adaption of product development processes on the fly. Don’t take me wrong. I’m not calling to introduce a chaos in a way company saves and control data, manage revisions and changes. At the same time, when organization hits a request to change suppliers, fix a product problem introduced by customers and react on environmental disaster, PLM will become a system company can rely on.

What is my conclusion? The level of uncertainty in operation of manufacturing companies is growing. There are too many dependencies and too many changes. I can come across multiple examples – environmental chaos, new regulations, supply shortage, economic and regional crises. All together, these things introduce lots of unpredictable changes in organization. To have a flexible system to support organization to overcome the challenge is extremely important. PLM system is a candidate to fulfill the role. Just my thoughts… What is your take?

Best, Oleg



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