Monday, December 3, 2012

2013: The Year of PLM!

As we slide towards the end of the year (and the end of the world, if you believe the Mayan Calendar), it makes sense to evaluate our PLM activities in 2012. Did you move forward with your PLM initiatives? Did you improve some aspect of your design and manufacturing lifecycles? Or, did you just run around fighting fires, trying to keep your head above water? Now is the time to analyze your efforts, and plan for a highly successful 2013.

I recently read a very interesting blog post: Our Brain Blocks PLM Acceptance, by Josh Voskuil. He raises some interesting points. As I think about PLM, I wonder how many executives really understand the strategic nature of a PLM investment. Most people understand that ERP and IT investments are strategic, but what about PLM?

Do the people in your company look at PLM as a strategic investment? If not, what will you do in 2013 to get them educated. Without the proper view of PLM, you will not get much traction with your initiatives. Often the people that adopt PLM do so grudgingly, and they never realize all of the benefits. I liked this quote from the article:

"Social scientists have shown that when people undergo major changes in circumstances, their lives typically are neither as bad nor as good as they expected - another case of how bad we are at estimating. People adjust surprisingly quickly, and their level of pleasure (hedonic state) ends up, broadly, where it was before."

This speaks to the need for aggressive cultural change management from the very beginning so that people start to think about PLM in the proper context. PLM users who understand the importance of their job to the overall life of the product will tend to do better when changes occur. A very objective method is required for selecting and implementing PLM solutions. Without an objective approach, there will be chaos, and success with PLM will be limited:

"So often a PLM decision has not been made in an objective manner and PLM selection paths are driven to come to a conclusion we already knew."

I could not agree more. My experience has been that when a proven methodology is used to select and implement PLM, success is almost always achieved. Without an objective, proven approach, it is likely that PLM will not lead to the kinds of changes you envision.

So, how are you planning to get PLM rolling in 2013?



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