Thursday, May 9, 2013

PLM is a Team Sport

The other night, as I sat watching Lebron James and the Miami Heat play basketball, I was reminded of PLM. Not because of the excitement, fouls and bad language, but because basketball is a team game. The selection, implementation, and continuous improvement for PLM should also be a team game. Is this the case in your company?

First, we should recognize that the PLM team leader must occupy an important place in your company. The PLM team leader should be someone that is competent and recognized as capable and tenacious. He or she should be able to get the resources needed to make PLM happen in a significant way within the various organizations of your company.

Second, the members of the PLM team should also be subject matter experts and well-seasoned members of their own organizations. They may not spend full-time on the PLM team, but they must always be available to support PLM activities. They must always be looking at how PLM can be used and enhanced in their own organizations, and bring these ideas to the PLM team for future projects.

Third, the PLM team must continue to function even after significant roll-outs and implementation activities have finished. There is always a need for continuous improvement in the PLM space, and there must always be a leading team to make sure this happens. The roll of continuous improvement cannot be assigned to one person; all members of the team, and everyone in the company, is ultimately responsible for continuous improvement.

Best practices have shown that companies with a permanent PLM team have had far greater success with PLM than companies that do one PLM project, and then disband the team. PLM is a team game after all, and you must keep working to make is successful.

What do you think? How is your PLM team doing? Who are they? Where are they?




  1. Great comments, Jim.

    In the same way that the key PLM members must work together as a team, PLM needs to be part of the larger business system team that includes ERP, CRM, and other key systems. Together this team of business systems provides complete a foundation from which the company can do business and through business value is delivered to the bottom line.

    1. Allen,

      Yes, I agree. The more you can have PLM, CRM, ERP, and other disciplines play as a team, the better!


  2. Great post, today I am facing a customer where business representative are always changing from one workshop to another ...
    very difficult situation ...
    Impossible to define a clear roadmap ... to take decisions ...
    We are always explaining the same things to different people.

    In my precedent customer, there was a fixed team and it worked much better to achieve success on a PLM project.

  3. Jeremie,

    I agree! It is very difficult to complete a PLM project when the team members are always changing. Keep working to get those teams solidified, and there will be PLM success!



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