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PLM Definition - Standard




The standard PLM Definition below is not intended to overwrite any of the existing definitions, or to prove their authors wrong.  It is merely a simple, neutral definition that is easy to explain and that, when applied literally, covers the whole scope of PLM.

There have been many different versions of a PLM Definition (notably from John Stark, CIMdata, and all of the vendors) and the result is still confusing.  Part of the problem is the sheer number of definitions, which all seem inconsistent with each other - and part of the problem is that most of the definitions seem to fall short of expressing the full scope and complexity of PLM.  Using the definition below will rectify this situation.




In general, for PLMIG work, we find a PLM Definition is unnecessary.  All experienced PLM practitioners have a mental picture of PLM that is close enough and consistent enough for them to work together immediately, even though they might have difficulty writing it down.

However, everyone needs to define PLM at some point, in order to explain to the board and to other parts of the organisation what they are doing.  The PLM Definition below is accurate and comprehensive.  If you find problems in applying it, then make sure you have taken account of all of the other elements of the standard PLM Concept Set.




 PLM Definition

"PLM is the product viewpoint of the whole business.  It is everything that improves
the development and management of products from an enterprise and lifecycle

The product viewpoint is only one of the ways of viewing a business.
Other views include:-

  • Accounts/Shareholder:
  • Process:
  • Organisational:
  • People:

  • Customer:
  • "What is the return on the financial investment?"
  • "This is what we do to work effectively"
  • "We work in Design, and they work in Purchasing"
  • "Our business is our people, they are our most   important asset"
  • "Everything we do is to serve the Customer"
Each viewpoint tells you different things about the business, and gives you different perspectives for business improvement.  The Product Viewpoint is:-

"Without products, we have nothing to sell, and therefore have no business."

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