Monday, March 26, 2012

PLM Education is the Key to Innovation, and Golf

It's that time of year again! The time when we brush the cobwebs off of our golf clubs, and hit the links in search of a good round. "This is the year that I will shoot really low", you say. What happens after that is usually not pretty.

For example, the other day I was standing in the rough, contemplating how to hit a 5-iron under a tree onto a well-bunkered green 160 yards away. At that moment, I wished there was someone knowledgeable standing next to me who could help me with this challenging shot. Someone like Jack Nicklaus, or Phil Mickelson (who, by the way, is an expert with these types of shots since he gets them all the time). What I lacked at that moment was enough knowledge to successfully execute my vision of hitting a low fade under the tree that would clear the bunker and land on the green.

PLM implementations are a lot like golf, minus the tree, and the bunker, and the honking big divot. When you begin a PLM implementation there are many things you cannot know or anticipate. Sadly, all of your colleagues are in the same boat with you: they haven’t done a PLM implementation before either. This is when PLM knowledge can really come in handy. What you need is someone that can help you understand and navigate all the challenges you will encounter. You need an expert who has been there; many, many, times. Learning from trusted experts is always better than making many of your own mistakes, because it lowers risk, and increases your odds of success.

PLM education is a great way to provide the best chance of success. PLM education provides your key personnel with knowledge to make your PLM implementation more successful. A successful PLM implementation of any size will support increased innovation. It has been proven that an organizations ability to enable innovation provides a competitive advantage. Educated employees are your greatest assets because they drive innovation. Once your people are trained, they will be able to navigate the sand bunkers, rivers, lakes, and other twists and turns that will potentially get in your way (metaphorically speaking).

PLM education will teach your key people how to transform intellectual assets into innovative deliverable assets. They will also learn how to evaluate and choose the right PLM solutions, how to schedule and sequence various PLM implementation activities, how to gauge the value of the PLM solutions, how to put tools in place for on-going measurements, and many other things. Mostly, they will learn to make any PLM implementation a success, and this will drive your innovation down the middle of the fairway, so to speak.

So, the next time you’re behind a tree, think of PLM education. Then, get out your 5-iron, and give the ball a good whack!

Let me know what you think!


  1. I love the golf analogy. Yes I really do wish that I had an expert with me 160 out in the bunker. Great attention getting headline and good layout for the blog. Keep them coming