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PLM User Communities

 

The PLM User Initiative enables PLM Managers to meet with and learn from each other, in a constructive environment that is completely vendor- and advisor-independent.

   

There are enormous benefits from this. When user practitioners get together without vendors present, they generate an enormous amount of new knowledge and ideas for improvement.

These benefits are multiplied when the meetings take place in a structured environment.

 

PLM Managers have a very complex role, and develop their own in-house expertise around how to fulfil it. They should be able to work together with counterparts from other companies, face-to-face, comparing approaches and methods, learning from each other and sharing improvements.

The PLMIG provides this structure in a choice of formats that have been developed from the live Pathfinder Meeting at the start of 2020, and has refined the approach to allow for the pandemic restrictions.

On this page you can read about Vendor Neutrality, the two types of Structure (Working and Advanced), and find out about the two potential Breakout Meetings.

 
   

Vendor Neutrality

 

'User Groups' once used to form because they used a particular brand of software, and would debate bugs and fixes and give views on the vendor's product plans.  That is not the concept here.

Here, everything is vendor-neutral.  "Users" are PLM practitioners who are implementing PLM within their organisations; and who want to have detailed, wide-ranging discussions with each other about what they are doing, and the issues they are encountering.

Quite simply, users talk much more openly with each other when vendors are not present. Some implicit constraints are no longer there, and the conversation moves freely in many new directions.

This generates a mass of new ideas, and it needs a structured format to capture them.  Without this, most of the ideas are lost on return to base.

The PLMIG provides two formats that are based on the findings of the Pathfinder Meeting.

 
   

Structure

 

There are 2 different types of approach that can be applied to run PLM User Communities effectively:-

 
Working Format
Members meet for one or two working days, several times a year, in a linked series.  The Agenda is structured, the results are compiled in writing, and participants apply the findings in their own implementations from one meeting to the next.
 
Advanced Format
An international community of Advanced users address the whole scope of PLM in a structured programme that sets goals and develops new methodologies.  The Agenda of each meeting is built around the programme, and covers two days at a time so that real progress is made.
 
   

Working Format

 

This format is for PLM Managers who want to work with the issues of "here and now".  By meeting for at least a full working day, the Agenda can go into detail on the issues that the group wants to cover, and the discussions have enough depth to produce results that can be taken forward.

This combines the benefits of free expression of ideas amongst PLM Managers with the capability to address specific problems and sticking points that are affecting your implementation.  It brings the power of many minds to bear, in a structured and productive way.  The single-day format only takes one day out of the office; and the two-day version allows relationships to be built over an evening meal.

The PLMIG provides the Agenda, records the results and provides the deliverables, so that all the findings are captured and can be used back at base.  Participants can apply the new material, with support, and the group carries this combined experience into the next meeting.

Over the course of a year this linked series of workshops and interim support builds into an improvement programme that benefits everyone who takes part.

 
   

Advanced Format

 

In the Advanced format, the series of meetings develops into an international community of Advanced users that addresses the whole scope of PLM, in a structured programme that sets goals and develops new methodologies.

For large corporations all aspects of PLM come into play, and users want to raise the reach and effectiveness of their PLM. The Advanced format enables users to work with more powerful material, and to use the Community to generate far-reaching new solutions.

The Agenda of each meeting is built around the programme, and covers two days at a time so that real progress is made.  The 2-day workshop format means there is time to do real work, and an effective structure so that results are produced.

Participants present overviews of their approach, or elements that they feel are particularly important, and the group can discuss them.  The PLMIG adds theory and structure that enables different approaches to be seen in context and compared. The second day includes group working sessions, and the PLMIG will produce deliverables that everyone can use back at base.

The Summary Documents from these events build into a textbook for how to approach large-scale PLM, and as the community continues it will have significant influence on the way that PLM is developing worldwide.

 
   

 

Forthcoming Meetings

 

The PLMIG is promoting User Communities by proposing two new events that take advantage of the easing of pandemic restrictions.

 

PLM Breakout Meeting


   

The first event will be a real, live, Working Format Meeting in the UK.

This will be a 2-day, old-style face-to-face event, with no Zoom or Webex element.  To take part, you have to be present.  This brings back the full personal interaction that used to happen, and that is such an important part of any user-oriented workshop.

The structured Agenda is an opportunity to refresh and update your PLM thinking, and the evening interaction is a chance for a long-overdue exchange of ideas.

 

 

International Community Meeting


   

The new material from the Breakout Meeting will be used to set the Agenda for a follow-on International Community Meeting.

This has a longer-term objective, which is to build a PLM User Community that will raise the level of PLM for its participants via constructive collaboration.

This follow-on Meeting will be webex-based, to allow the widest possible participation, and in recognition of the fact that free international travel may not yet be possible.

 

 

Take Part in the Meetings

 

There are no preconceptions of who can take part - the only constraint is that these are meetings of users, for users, with no vendor or advisor involvement.  This is not a matter of prejudice, but simply to allow users to relax and talk openly with each other.

This applies just as much to the Breakout Meeting as to the Community Meeting.  It is being held in the UK because by then there should be no internal travel restrictions - but participants from other countries are welcome to attend if they can manage the travel arrangements.

The first step is to find a diary window for these events to take place, and that process is under way.  To find out more, or to let us know your own preferences, contact .


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