Tuesday, November 27, 2012

PLM Education: Gangnam Style!

Quiz question for you: What is the most viewed video on YouTube? The answer would be: the Gangnam Style Video from South Korean artist Psy, now viewed by over 833 million people. If you haven't seen it yet, get out of your cave and follow my link. Wouldn't it be nice if PLM in your company was as popular as this video? With the right PLM education, you can have a whole bunch of people in your company doing things "PLM-style".

There are probably only a couple of people in your whole company that accurately understand the potential of PLM, if you're lucky. These few people are often trying to push PLM onto those who have a very limited understanding of the great potential that exists for companies that intelligently implement PLM. Many people look at PLM as an expense with questionable returns. There are ample case studies showing the many benefits of PLM, but not everyone is aware of these. By educating more and more people in your business, the number of people that want PLM will increase like a snowball rolling down a pile of old punch cards.

PLM education must be pervasive throughout your company because the effects of PLM are only completely realized when a majority of your company uses these tools. The content creators must use CAD, CAE, document management, PDM, and other tools. Reviewers must be able to use visualization, DMU, and workflow tools. The rest of the consumers in your company must be able to use viewers, web portals, dashboards, mobile apps, and other tools that make their access to information seamless and fun.

All of this effort requires a large group of people that understand the value of PLM and how it can help their business. True understanding of PLM can only come as people are educated, solutions are deployed properly, and benefits start to accrue. It is only over time that the benefits will be realized because PLM is not about technology, it is a strategic business initiative that must be understood at the highest levels of your company.

So, start educating people about PLM in your company, and you will see many people begging for the technology that makes it possible. Then you will really see the benefits of doing things "PLM-style".

What do you think? Is your company properly educated about PLM?

Go to the CIMdata website to learn more about PLM education.



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

5 Reasons Your PLM Team Sucks!

Have you tried PLM before? Have you tried it and failed more than once? Is your current PLM implementation just limping along with one broken leg, an arm in a sling, and your tongue hanging out? If this is the case, it might be because your PLM team sucks!

Here are 5 reasons why this might be the case:

1) You don't have a PLM team: If you read this blog and said to yourself, "...what PLM team?", then you have a big problem. If you want to implement PLM successfully, you MUST have a PLM team. The PLM team is in charge of making sure your preparation for PLM, your PLM solutions selection, your PLM implementation planning, and implementation roll-out occur as required for your business. If you don't have a PLM team, this will never happen; and, since PLM never ends, the team should always be busy on the next project to support PLM.

2) Your PLM team has no leader: Every good team needs a good leader. The army has a general, a football team has a quarterback, and every country has a President, an emperor, a Queen, or someone to lead. If you have a poor PLM team leader, a part-time guy where PLM is not his main job, or no leader at all, you will struggle with PLM.

3) Your PLM team has no direction: If your PLM team does not know what to do, or if they are going in 5 directions at once, they will be ineffective. If the PLM team is not educated about PLM, and they each have their own view of what PLM can do for your business, it will be hard to make progress. The team must have a clear plan and a desire to eliminate scope creep, and other drifts, that can take your PLM initiative off course.

4) Your PLM team does not communicate well: One of the keys to making PLM successful is communication. If you don't have emails, web presence, tweets, blogs, user groups, newsletters, and other vehicles for communicating your PLM activities, no one will care about PLM. The cultural change that is required for PLM cannot happen without a lot of positive communication. Cultural change is often the main reason that PLM initiatives fail.

5) Your PLM team lacks executive support: Getting support from top executives for PLM is essential if you want to make PLM more than just a localized initiative. PLM, by its very nature, is an enterprise effort that requires the input and work of many people in your organization. If your team does not have a good executive sponsor on the team, it will be hard to get the kind of focus you need from the rest of your organization.

So, how well is your PLM team performing? Do they need some education? Almost all PLM teams, and extended teams could benefit from some PLM education.

What do you think?