Your next PLM workflow manager will be…. bot

Your next PLM workflow manager will be…. bot


Workflow management is boring. And complicated. I know many people that literally hate workflows. Unfortunately, enterprise software is fully hooked on process management and workflows. It is everywhere and it makes user experience complicated. I honestly believe that workflows will be dead (sooner than later) and interactive user experience will come to replace it. You can read some of my thoughts about that here.

But, let me say couple of words to defend workflows. We really need them. Many things in product development are dependent on accurate process management. Just think about ECO approvals, quotations, release management, etc. So, what can replace or improve workflows? How to make digital assistant to do a boring workflow work for you? Maybe we need PLM office assistant?

Microsoft Clippy

You should remember Microsoft Office Clippy time ago. In my view, it was silly and people didn’t like it much. But the idea was actually not bad. It didn’t work well for Microsoft, but I hope you will enjoy the following video.



People didn’t give up on to get assistance to accomplish complex tasks and improve user experience. Voice recognition is getting better. It can do some real work on mobile devices today. I don’t use it much, but Siri, Ok Google or Cortana are helpful sometimes. At least I can ask “what is weather in Newton, Mass today” without touching my phone. I’m sure the following video will remind you first days of Siri experience.


Assistant bots?

So, what is coming next? My attention caught by the article – Your New Digital Coworker. Are you using Slack by chance? If yes, you probably familiar with Slackbot – “human like” texting assistant. The article speaks about how to take the idea of Slackbot to extreme – company Howdy is developing bots for Slack. An example – meeting scheduling assistant.

What if you had a coworker who could take the most boring, repetitive and mundane tasks off of your plate and perform them with tireless dedication, endless patience and perfect accuracy? Howdy to your team to automate one of the most repetitive and time consuming tasks a team faces: meetings. By doing things that humans can’t — like talking to many people at the same time — Howdy can super charge your team. It will by ease the process of information distribution, make your decision making process more transparent, and make your meetings shorter.


What is my conclusion? We are coming to the era when intelligent bots will replace humans. I’ll experiment with Howdy bot to see how to schedule my meetings for the next week. Who knows, maybe next ECO bot will make the next CCB meeting shorter for engineering and product development team? Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Image courtesy of vectorolie at



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