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PLM as a Profession

 

In 2017 the PLMIG identified that the role of a 'PLM Manager', particularly in user companies lower down the manufacturing ecosystem, was dying out.

After a general industry debate, and three workshops in 2018, the process of establishing a profession to counteract this became a formal Initiative.  After a pause for the pandemic, it has now restarted in 2023.

   

The Professional PLM Initiative aims to establish a well-defined, internationally-recognised professional structure for the PLM industry.

 

The PLMIG is the driving force behind this programme, supporting the Steering Group and generating and managing the deliverables to bring about a clearly-defined Vision for the future.

 
   

 

Professional Vision

 

The Vision of the Initiative is to have raised PLM onto the same level as existing professions, by gathering and formalising the skills and experience that we have all learned.

 

"The discipline of PLM is recognised as a profession throughout the business world.  It is championed by a proactive Professional Body that acts on behalf of its members and of the industry as a whole; and supports and accredits a global education infrastructure that provides a career path from leaving school to the top of a company.

The structure of professional certification encompasses the spectrum of roles and grades, and incorporates modules from partner institutions in related disciplines.  This enables practitioners to move freely with their qualifications across geographies, between users and providers, and upwards into senior management, applying an approved body of knowledge and skills.

Organisations can plan accurately for their PLM resourcing, and efficiently train or hire the staff they need, either internally or by calling upon accredited external educators.  Staff skills and mobility infuse effective PLM across the enterprise, raising performance and enabling global manufacturing and support."

 

 
   

 

Role of the PLMIG

 

The PLM Interest Group was formed in 2004 because, at that time, there was no neutral 'PLM Institute' to represent the views of the PLM industry and to act as a Center of Excellence.

The intention was that the PLMIG would eventually become this independent body, and it started to run a wide range of initiatives which have, over the years. resolved some of the most intractable problems in PLM.

Its success in doing so has made it impossible to fulfil its original purpose.  Its knowledge is seen as neutral, but also proprietary.  Furthermore, the aim has changed, and the PLMIG has played a leading role this thought process.

The goal now is to establish an internationally-recognised Professional Body for PLM.  The PLM Interest Group is an agent of change, not an Institution, and has no interest in becoming that Body.

The PLMIG now has two roles.  At an industry level, the aim is to manage the Initiative to the point at which it reaches its critical mass and becomes self-supporting into the long-term future.  In parallel with this, the PLMIG provides support to individual practitioners via the PLM Associate programme.

 
   

 

PLMIG Support

 

The high-level progress towards a profession can be followed in detail on the Professional PLM Initiative web site.  This includes milestones such as the publication of the Industry White Paper, and events such as the Industry Forum meeting.

This process may take a couple of years before a PLM Profession can be formed, and official qualifications and certification can be established.  In the meantime there are thousands of PLM practitioners around the world who want to improve their careers.

The PLMIG will be creating all of the working documentation for the Steering Group, and already has an extensive body of tools and methodologies that have been created from its past work.  This has been restructured into a programme that individual practitioners can benefit from now.

 

PLM Associate Programme

 

The Professional PLM Associate Programme is a path that can be followed now, with benefits for the practitioner and for their organisation.

It provides a reference framework for the participant to establish their current scenario and future aims; supported by a 12-month supply of working material for the participant to improve his or her skill set.  This turns the everyday work of a PLM practitioner into a career journey that enhances their capabilities and moves towards future professionalism.

You can request further information about the Initiative or the Associate Programme via , or via this link.


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