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PLM vs PDM Definition - Standard



Many people consider the relationship between PLM and PDM based on some kind of extrapolation of how the two acronyms evolved, such as: "PDM covers the management of CAD or engineering data, but PLM covers the entire enterprise".  Such thinking leads to two mistakes - the idea that PLM is "scaled up PDM", and the idea that PDM applies to less of the product lifecycle than PLM.

As early as November 2004 it became clear at the PLMIG PLM Benchmarking Workshop in Munich that PDM is simply the IT platform of PLM.  However far PLM extends, across continents and along the Customer and Supply chains, then PDM with all its technical issues is there to the same extent.

The relationship between PLM and PDM was discussed in the 2PLM e-zine of August 31 2009, under the title 'PDM: The Forgotten Discipline', in order to highlight the fact that PDM has become overshadowed by PLM as a focus of activity.  It is important to restore the balance between them, because only then can PDM be addressed properly as a subject.



The power of being able to discriminate accurately between PLM and PDM is hard to overestimate.  It enables the cloudy issues of "PLM-ERP" to be separated cleanly into the business (PLM-ERP) and technical (PDM-ERP), making the way forward much clearer in each case.  It also enables separate PLM and PDM standards to be created in areas such as project management and metrics.

PLM and PDM are separate but inter-dependent, and it is impossible to talk about one without talking of the other.  The PLM vs PDM Definition takes account of this, and applies whichever PLM definition you use.



 PLM vs PDM Definition

Whatever the definition of PLM that is used:-

"PDM is the IT Platform for PLM"

... or (expressed from the opposite viewpoint):-

"PLM is the business context in which PDM is implemented"

A corollary of this is:-

"The terms 'PLM System' and 'PDM System' mean the same thing,
and are interchangeable."

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