PLM often fails. Can we develop PLM Bible?

PLM often fails. Can we develop PLM Bible?

Do you know that the Bible ranks first among literary works by a number of languages they have been translated into (3,312, at least one book)? Check here. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans.

Professor John K. Riches, Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, says that “the biblical texts themselves are the result of a creative dialogue between ancient traditions and different communities through the ages”,[21] and “the biblical texts were produced over a period in which the living conditions of the writers – political, cultural, economic, and ecological – varied enormously”.

If you think about the process of biblical text development, you can see a long lifecycle process involving people, habits, procedures and many other aspects of human life.

Now let’s get back to PLM. People often coming to religion when something wrong happening in their life. Business is part of our life very often. Helena Gutiérrez of Share PLM said we need to have PLM bible.

PLM implementations often fail. Where is the problem? Why do so many companies struggle to extract value from their PLM programs? Is it because not all PDM systems are implemented flawlessly? Or is because PLM is too complex? Last week, after digesting the bad news, I asked my customer: “If you were given another chance, what would you do differently?” After a moment’s silence, he said: “I would start with a PLM Bible.”

In my experience, savvy PLM implementations have one thing in common: They ALL have consistent ways of doing things. They have a blueprint that shows users how they work with their products and data. It’s their PLM Bible.

The key phrase here is the phrase – how they work with their products and data. That’s the bible. The things are probably simple – how to operate with design structures, Bill of Materials, changes, baselines, etc.

Going back to the definition of The Bible – it is result shared between people. However… not in PLM. And Helena proved it in the following passage – You can’t be successful at PLM without your very own PLM Bible.

I was thinking for the moment, we have a chance to bring a PLM Bible everyone can agree about and follow the rules. Nope. Not in PLM. In PLM, everyone wants to have his/her own PLM Bible.

What is my conclusion? Semantic matters. The Holy Book was not simply called “Holy” by chance. It is because it contains some very fundamental things people shared. Can we do the same about PLM? I wish we could… Can we agree on some fundamental thing and share them? For example, how to define Part Number, organize data in a structure, create Bill of Materials structure, define ECO, etc. If the PLM industry can make it, we can call it PLM Bible. Otherwise, it feels like every company is developing its own Bible. My PLM, your PLM, his PLM, their PLM… Feels like PLM as a Religion (PaaR). Each one pulls his own rules. On demand. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud-based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups, and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.


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