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  - Size Does Not Matter
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Adopting PLM


For those at the early stages of discovering and adopting PLM, the whole subject can seem like a big empty space.  It can be very difficult to get a clear picture of what you have to do.


The on-line world is full of theories and blogs, and when you get within range of buying some software, there will be an array of differing proprietary tools and methods.

The new PLM Manager often has to find a way through this with no guidance, no syllabus, and no training in what to do.

Turning this into proposals and action plans that will get PLM up and running in your company is therefore a challenge.

The good news is that PLM does in fact have a structure, and there is a correct and effective way to guide your company through the process of PLM adoption.  The PLMIG has developed an adoption structure that will get you to a live implementation.

Size Does Not Matter

PLM as a subject is the same for every trading organisation, from the smallest to the most massive.  If you are an SME, you live within the business ecosystem - if you are a multinational, you largely control it - but PLM is still all about managing products across their lifecycles in the most effective way.


Your Business Does Matter

The embodiment of PLM - what it looks like in any given product-related business - is unique to the business concerned.  This is why it can be so difficult for new PLM adopters to discover what PLM shape or structure will work for them.

The challenge for any PLM Manager, in any size of company, is first to establish what should be done in PLM; and then to work out how to do it.  This is never a linear process, and the details are different for every organisation, but the tools that you need are set out below.

Elements of PLM Adoption

If you are not a genuine Small or Medium-Sized Enterprise (of less than 500 employees) then skip this section and move on.

However, if you are an SME, you need to read the PLM Handbook for SMEs before going any further.

There is a widespread misconception that SMEs need some form of stripped-down version of general PLM, which might be referred to as "PLM Lite".  This is not true. The business drivers and internal mechanisms of an SME are completely different to those of a larger business, and the SME must apply PLM in this context.

The Handbook enables an SME to understand itself before it attempts to understand PLM.

In the early days of adoption, the PLM Team must work to make colleagues aware of PLM, and to explain what activities and internal support will be needed to make it happen.  This often meets with resistance, lack of understanding, and vague timescales that keep moving into the distance.

It is much more effective to be able to say, with confidence: "Even though we are just starting out with PLM, we will have a system in place in two years from today."

The Path to PLM makes this possible, by providing a template plan for the adoption process that can be adapted to create the real project plan.

See more about the Path to PLM >>>

One of the most daunting tasks for the PLM Manager is to hold meetings with non-PLM colleagues to discuss the need for PLM, and its potential benefits.

This can be particularly difficult during the adoption stage, as it means presenting ideas that may still be vague or partially formed.  The feedback may lack structure, and conclusions may be difficult to reach.

The PLMIG PLM Self-Assessment Toolkit has been created specifically for this purpose.  It guides the user through preparing the starting information, running and recording the interview programme, and holding the Discussion Meeting.  The Word format can then be edited to capture and present the findings.

See more about the Self-Assessment Toolkit >>>

Other tools and reference documents include:-

  PLM Governance Standard -

Helps apply an integrated, enterprise-wide PLM management structure from Board to operational level.

  CEO Briefing Document -

Configurable, speed-readable document that explains the concept of PLM to senior directors and VPs.

  PLM Maturity Manual -

The most complete, neutral methodology for assessing the Maturity of a PLM implementation and for using the results for informed decision-making.

  Accountancy Overview -

Gives the PLM Manager enough accountancy knowledge to be able to work constructively with the Finance Department.

One of the primary aims of PLM adoption is to have a new PLM project justified and approved.  This used to be extremely difficult, because many of the effects of PLM were seen to be qualitative, but now the PLM Justification toolset can be used to generate a set of real, quantified metrics.

At the start of the project, a clear statement of financial benefits makes it much easier for the Board to sign off the approval.  When the project has been completed, the clear metrics give the PLM Team proof that the implementation is working.

See more about PLM Justification >>>

Interactive Approach

The PLM Interest Group provides all of the elements listed above within an interactive structure of guidance and feedback.

Companies at the earlier stages of PLM adoption can use the PLMIG framework to move optimally along the PLM development path and to follow PLM Best Practice as they do so.

Find Out More

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