Friday, June 29, 2012

The Tortoise and the Hare: A PLM Story

Everyone is familiar with the story of the tortoise and the hare. This fable recounts a race between two unlikely combatants: the very slow tortoise, and the fast and agile hare. On the surface, it seems that there is no reason to even have this race, since the hare will surely win. However, the story goes on to show that despite the speed and freedom of the hare, he is unable to beat the tortoise's focused, plodding approach to the race. I think we can learn something about PLM from this informative fable.

The first thing we learn is that there are two seemly conflicting elements in any PLM implementation: innovation, and control. We all want to be innovative and invent the next really cool product. To support innovation, we must provide a very flexible environment that allows our people to experiment, try things, fail, and try again. However, we also must make sure we carefully control our information so that we can find what we are looking for, support fully traceable processes, and provide the right information at the right time to the right people.

A recent book, "Great by Choice", highlighted the importance of very strict product data management to support the quest for innovation. They looked at many companies in many industries, and found that those who focused merely on innovation were market leaders only 9% of the time. Those who focused on managing their information in a strong, structured way, and who were not necessarily innovative were more likely to be the market leaders. Clearly, innovation just for the sake of innovation is not the right answer.

Today we see many companies that have no formal rules for how they handle information (or, if they do have the rules, there is no oversight to make sure people are following these rules). The very first, and in my mind, most important step of any PLM implementation is to provide a very strong and rigorous structure for your information and processes. The information must be managed in a PDM-type of system, and the processes followed by your users without fail. Product data management isn't sexy, but it is essential. Once the information is managed, and everyone follows the rules, you can deploy very innovative, searchable, collaborative environments, and you will see fantastic results.

What do you think? Are you putting the cart before the horse, or the hare before the tortoise in your business? Let me know!

See ya soon,


Saturday, June 9, 2012

In Case You Missed it - Week 23 in PLM

It's that time again to look at the happenings this past week in PLM. The event season is in full swing, and there was much information shared at these PLM conferences. There were also some interesting new product announcements. So, grab a cup of joe, put your feet up, and feast your eyes on this weeks' PLM news:

Items from PLM Events and Conferences:

Weekly PLM Reading List:

New Product Announcements:



Monday, June 4, 2012

Work Life Balance: Fact or Myth?

I was recently reading a blog titled: Why Work-Life Balance is Dangerous. The premise of this article was that people have crappy jobs, and that's why they need work-life balance; that if only their jobs were better, then there wouldn't be any reason to have this artificial balance requirement. While I do agree that putting some kind of program in place to help people balance their lives is not the answer, I also feel that people need to spend more time on the one area of their life that matters most: the family.

I have had all kinds of jobs during my 28-odd years of working. Some of them I have really loved, and some of them I have tolerated. Through it all, I have tried to spend quality time with my family, and have tried to always put them first. I have not always done this very well, but I have always tried, and failed, and tried again. No matter how my job was going, I always knew there were people waiting for me at home that would support me, love me, and even commiserate with me.

I know many people who spend a lot of time at their jobs, and truly love what they do. Many of these people spend so much time working because they have a poor, or non-existent family life. They are the ones busting your chops about not spending enough time working, while they are just filling an emotional hole in their lives with work. Anyone who has invested enough time in their family to make it pay off would always rather be home than at work.

With a strong family behind you, I think you can put up with almost anything! That is true for kids as well. When children know their family loves them, supports them, and is there for them, they will do far better at school, and social challenges and problems will be far less critical.

As I have watched the family deteriorate during my lifetime, I see more and more problems at school that directly relate to what is going on at home. I think you can view most problems in our society and see that they have their genesis in the home; many homes today do not provide a supportive environment for children.

Well, I will get down off of my soap-box now. All I can say in conclusion is: keep your family strong! You will never get as much joy out of a job as you can get from your own family; even if you have the best job in the world...unless it's mine!

What do you think?



Saturday, June 2, 2012

In Case You Missed it - Week 22

It's that time again to look at the happenings this past week in PLM. Planet PTC is being held during the week of June 4-7 in Orlando Florida, and there were many PTC related tweets during the week. There was also a lot of buzz about SAP and their renewed push into mobile and cloud computing support. This will have an impact on the way they support SAP PLM in the future, I think. So, sit back, relax, and bask in the goodness of this week in PLM:

Items in Preparation for Planet PTC:

SAP, Mobility and Cloud:

Weekly PLM Reading List:

Other Important PLM Stuff: