Personal SWOT for PLM professionals

Personal SWOT for PLM professionals


Engineering and manufacturing software industry is well known by very high barrier to entry. It is related to specific professional manufacturing knowledge as well as experience with software products – CAD, PDM, PLM, etc. It is not easy to make a decision about what tools to learn and what job to accept.

I’m getting requests from people asking for advise about their professional carrier  in PLM industry. The range of questions are from how get more knowledgeable about PLM and going down to more specific issues related to people, companies, opportunities, etc.

So, how to take a right decision about your path in PLM? Don’t do it spontaneous. I think some methodology can help to make a better decision. In software, we often use SWOT analysis to compare different software packages. You probably had a chance to read my blog post – Top PLM Vendors. Let’s face it – every vendor has its strength…  My key takeaway – there is no good or bad PLM system. A lot of things are depending on a specific customer, problems, tools, technologies. It is a combination of things that can make a difference in PLM projects. And it requires a specific set of professional skills to make it successful.

BA Guru Matt Adams is taking the idea of SWOT to a personal level. Read his article – Personal SWOT Analysis – Where to really focus your efforts – Business Analyst Guru. This is an unusual leverage of SWOT approach. You can make your own SWOT analysis of knowledge related to engineering disciplines, best practices, engineering software. It will help you with a future PLM carrier decisions.

Below I can give you some ideas about specific PLM skills and topics you can think about when developing your personal PLM SWOT

1- Strength. Think about CAD, PDM or PLM tools you are familiar with. If you did PLM implementations, remember what you did and how did you achieve results. Summarize them in some sort of “process briefing”. List of companies you’ve been working with as an employee, consulting. List people you met in the past connected to PLM implementations and projects.

2- Weakness. Think about projects you hated. What went wrong. What was the reason for failure. Try to remember feedback you’ve got from your customers and managers. Think about bad experience with CAD and PLM software. Imagine how it can fail you in the future.

3- Opportunities. Think about how to leverage what you own in order to get into specific business, position or project. If you familiar with a specific methodology or tool, think how this knowledge or IP can be used to create a value for organization or product you can work on.

4- Threats. We are leaving in dynamic world. Things are changing fast. New methodology, software, technologies, regulations, etc. You need to keep up and learn. Think about potentially bad projects and organizations you can get involved into.

What is my conclusion? Think about your carrier as a lifecycle of your knowledge, skills and experience. You personal PLM SWOT is a summary of information about what you can do and how you can realize your skills with a future projects and opportunities. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at



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