PLM Prompt: Social PLM and Security

June 30, 2009

Note…  Reading very interesting study about higher vulnearability of social networkers.

We are all very excited about advantages of PLM social product development and social innovation. I think, social software brings a lot of potential.  But what will be security impact for these people and enterprises?

My short prompt. How do you see it?

PLM Prompt: Combine Virtual and Physical with G1 Map Overlay

June 30, 2009

Short prompt and amazing video. Our life becomes more and more mix of physical and virtual contents. I think Product Lifecycle Management initiatives need to re-use this capabilities.

Just my thoughts. What do you think?

PLM, Please Don’t Take Giant Steps…

June 30, 2009

This post caught my attention last week. “PLM, please take 3 giant steps forward!” by Jim Brown. I’m very well connected to Jim and yet I’d like to pose a controversial question – should PLM do it? I would like to explain my points and look forward to a fruitful discussion.

I will be discussing the three dimensions raised by Jim –

1/ Product;

2/ People;

3/ Lifecycle:

Products are expanding. Of course we are thrilled by our product capabilities, but what is the actual adoption rate? How much of our functionality is used by customers? How we can implement and answer exact customers needs? Since about 50% of revenues in our industry are generated by services, I assume that we still have a long way to go to deliver a good fit of functionality to customer needs. So, here’s my request:  please, let’s do what customers want slowly– and in the current turbulent time, we will try to deliver as much more precisely. I’d like to learn from Google, put more betas out of the door and see how our customers can adopt our functionality.

People. When I first saw all the social-related development by Product Lifecycle Management vendors, I thought –this is really great! We will allow users to be better connected. Which means to be aligned with what customers want. Actually for PLM vendors, we need to allow our products and processes to be better connected with people that use them, and we need to be able to get their feedback step by step, and implement it. This is related to the overall manufacturing ecosystem that needs to be driven by vendors and their partners.

Lifecycle. This is a good one and really connected to PLM in my view. Everything is about to change. We are managing the lifecycle of products created by our customers. But what about our lifecycle?. Our customers these days are trying to be more lean and agile. So, how we can we manage change successfully? Our implementations are still so complex and expensive that customers need time to adopt to new versions and changes of existing implementations. So, I want us to be more agile and be able to go with multiple small steps.

So, what is my conclusion? We definitely need PLM to leapfrog in the future and improve what we are doing in the current turbulent economical situation. But let’s start this huge leapfrog with small steps. This will be more flexible and lean and simple for our customers.

What is your view on this? I’m looking forward to our discussion.

Future PDM’s Trajectories

June 29, 2009

I think that with all the hype about Product Lifecycle Management, we completely forgot about Product Data Management (PDM). Despite the fact that we don’t like to speak about PDM too much, I think that some very interesting might happen with Product Data Management in the future

1. Be integrated and become a natural part of CAD and Design Systems.

As many more technologies are going to be developed around CAD, developers of PDM systems can put their efforts into a specific CAD system. In practical terms, this means that we will develop “satellites” to CAD systems. Is this good or bad?… In my opinion, the significant work needs to be done to bridge between CAD and PDM. As soon as it this is possible, it will be very beneficial.

2. Provide Product Data Services in the Enterprise

Consolidate efforts and capabilities of PDM systems and use them as an extended PDM platform in the enterprise. This is actually very possible, in my view. PDM systems provide an advanced set of features such as BOM, Workflow, Sourcing and more…

3. Expand beyond PDM into PLM areas

Are expanded PDM and PLM the same thing? My answer is no. By joining the “PLMish” world, the company will expand their products horizontally. So, from the functional standpoint, solutions beyond PDM can become very promising if they can manage additional domains of data.

So, whatever option you choose, PDM is the key enabling technology for enterprises to make data about products more available. I’d specifically mention option #1. For most of the CAD systems today, there is a specific satellite PDM system. So, the next actions are to make these PDM services widely available in the enterprises.

PLM Prompt: What Means to Create “Good Enough” PLM?

June 26, 2009

Short prompt. I want to continue  theme related to PLM adoption. There are many talks about PLM deployment, ROI, Values etc. But does it make sense to create “good enough PLM”?  What does it mean?  What should be included?

This is my priority list:

1/ Flexibility

2/ Usability

3/ Integration

What do you think?

PLM Prompt: Connect Physical and Virtual Worlds on iPhone

June 26, 2009

Short note. Impressive video about how you can merge photo with 3D models on iPhone using 3DVIA tools.  3DVIA is connecting virtual and physical worlds on iPhone.

This is promising. My opinion… what do you think?

Why I haven’t bought PLM yet.

June 26, 2009

Well, Product Lifecycle Management sounds like a very profound concept. I can see organizational benefits, values, etc… etc… But I’m not buying yet! You are probably familiar with such behavior – it all sounds good, but people are keeping their positions and not moving. So, I tried to analyze and talk with a few of our customers.

Here is my list of “why I’m not buying yet”?

1. Complexity. This is key. I mentioned it yesterday in a separate blog post called “Complexity Kills…”. It’s too complex to be true. I’m afraid that when I start following all the processes, recommendations, models, and user interfaces…. I see too much. So, in this situation, my reaction is – you guys are too smart and too complex for me.

2. Need to change the way I work. PLM comes with a state of mind “We know how to change it — believe me!” My user’s position here is that I want be able first to see how PLM handles my environment. So, from this standpoint, I want the company to be able to implement PLM, see how it works in not optimized way and then optimize everything.

3. Additional hassle to handle. Unfortunately, this is another system on the table. I need to learn it, handle it separately, ultimately work on this system separately. So, I don’t like this idea :) …

4. Want LEGO approach. This is want I want. I want my PLM LEGOLAND. I want to add blocks as easily as possible – to play with them, allow to users to play with them, and only after we’ll see how it flies in the organization – by moving it to the user’s daily work. And… one more thing: Users need to be part of this process. They need to provide inputs interactively– not only to see it.

So, what is my bottom line? I want to go with the Toyota approach – “test before design”.  So, afterwards, we will make the system simple — the main approach will be to see how the system can work in the organization AS IS, use it, and improve it with small steps. All this will help people want to buy PLM to improve their daily work within their organizations.

What do you think?

Complexity Kills or Three Ways to Improve PLM Adoption

June 25, 2009

In my view, one of the things that is killing PLM the most is the level of technical details. I think PLM is overselling complexity and, as a result, moves people out of this space. PLM is perceived as complex and, as a result, a dangerous place. So, I think, in order to improve the PLM adoption rate, we need to rethink why PLM looks like a dangerous technological toy rather than a practical tool for an organization?

So, here are my top three things we need to work on to get out of the PLM complexity game.

1. User Experience. One of the things that is absolutely not accepted in most of the PLM implementations I have seen is the way users interact with systems. Most of the systems expose too many details, overload users with additional information and functions. I’d recommend that all developers implement a way to track usage of your user interface features and analyze the features that are not in use. As soon as you have this indication – remove the features. Nobody will care about menus/buttons/dialogs. As a result, you will have more display real-estate for your core functionality.

2. Mobile Applications. I love my iPhone J… Maybe not iPhone, but my mobile BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, etc. I think we need to come with mobile applications for daily PLM life. It should come in a way that will embed Product Lifecycle Management into my mobile life. People will appreciate it, I’m sure. And this needs to be completely role-based. To allow designers to see a list of documents they need to complete, to allow managers to see and approve lists of ECOs for today. At the end of the day, I want to be able to show the latest cool 3D model on my mobile device to my colleague during lunch time. All these small things will help us influence people’s minds.

3. Plug and Play. Last, but absolutely not least. Today PLM implementation is a 3-step activity: Install, Implement, Use. I want to exclude the “Implement” phase.  I think we need to provide a system that needs to be installed. After installation, we will be able to start using our system. But do we need to develop our processes? Do we need to organize our data? The answer is that we do need to connect to legacy systems and other systems. Think about the old way of connecting devices to Windows. IRQs, reboots, configurations. These days are in the past. The same should happen to PLM. Otherwise PLM will die.

I’m sure that each of you has specific pains related to PLM complexity. I’d be interesting in hearing your voices, and am looking forward to our dialog.

PLM Prompt: Faceted Search for PLM

June 24, 2009

Short request for discussion. Faceted search is something widely accepted as user experience in many web based environements.

I think ability to discover information in this way will be very beneficial for PLM system. What is your opinion?

Some examples:

1. Good set of web examples of faceted search

faceted search wine example -

faceted search wine example -

2. Systems like SharePoint have MOSS Faceted Search web part.

Example of Faceted Search in MOSS

Example of Faceted Search in MOSS

Bing, Bong, BI… where is my PLM decision?

June 24, 2009

I watched many videos and demos related to Microsoft Bing during the last few weeks. Actually, I liked the idea of a “decision engine” behind a search. So, after experimenting with different types of searches, I finally came to the conclusion that the concept of Decision Management is very close to the discussions on Business Intelligence that we had before. If you haven’t had the chance to read them, here are a few of  the previous PLMtwine previous posts.

So, here is my idea – Business Intelligence for PLM. Enterprise PLM databases are absorbing a large amount of information about how products are designed, manufactured, built, used and disposed. PLM databases can be integrated with many other sources of information systems such as ERP, Supply Chain,  and Manufacturing Execution. Having all this information already in a Product Lifecycle Management system can be a good foundation for Business Intelligence systems. Today, BI can be implemented using various database technologies. If you are running on a SQL Server, you have a full stack of MS BI services. If you are on Oracle, you can use Oracle BI.  If you are on IBM, you can use IBM BI. There are also other, more specialized vendors.

So the question is – where is Bing? Here is my point. Bing is a decision user-oriented experience that lets you get this data. In the same way Bing presents you with travel price trends, Bing can let you get your PLM Business Intelligence data and provide it to your end users…

So, to review the main points:

  1. Enterprise PLM Database is integrating Product IP information
  2. You can get Business Intelligence by indexing PLM data and extracting specific KPI and data characteristics
  3. Access PLM BI data with Bing-like user experience

Wait a minute… Where is Bong? You need to get all product information under PLM roof. A lot of data is available, but PLM systems still provide very fragmented outlook on product information.

So, what is your opinion?


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