How to Dogfooding PLM in your Family Inc.

Dogfooding or "eating your dog food" is a fascinating topic. It came to us from computer software company. This slang word means use what you do in your own company. I know many people that passionate about PLM and trying to use it in many situation that going much beyond traditional concepts of design, engineering and manufacturing. These days you can consider "anything" as a product with a lifecycle. PLM vendors are expanding their horizons to fashion, finance industry and many other products.

However, here is an unusual option. Your Family Inc. :). Wait… don’t beat me hard and don’t tell me I got too much internet reading over the past two days of Nemo 2013 grounded my flight in Munich. I’ve been reading WSJ article – Run your family like a business. If you have few minutes of time you can take a look and read. I found it fascinating and interesting at the same time. Coming from manufacturing and software, I first stopped at this passage:

They turned to a cutting-edge program called agile development that has rapidly spread from manufacturers in Japan to startups in Silicon Valley. It’s a system of group dynamics in which workers are organized into small teams, hold daily progress sessions and weekly reviews. As David explained, "Having weekly family meetings increased communication, improved productivity, lowered stress and made everyone much happier to be part of the family team." When my wife and I adopted the agile blueprint in our own home, weekly family meetings with our then-5-year-old twin daughters quickly became the centerpiece around which we organized our family. The meetings transformed our relationships with our kids—and each other. And they took up less than 20 minutes a week.

Funny enough, the 3 point conclusion about dealing with children can become a centerpiece of any PLM software implementation. Here are these points:

1- Show them the money
2- Take off the training wheels
3- Put them at work

What is my conclusion? Initially, I found bizarre to think about business processes and team management when it comes to your family. However, thinking through it, I can see lots of rational behind this. Now, I need to think about how to get a buy-in from Family Inc. CEO (:)) and decide about agile PLM implementation of "one process in a time" using cloud PLM software. Just my thought… and I hope you got some fun with my unusual Sunday post.

Best, Oleg

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