I had chance to write about Project Management in the past. However, I decided to get back to this topic again. Few days I had chance to read CIMData press release “CIMdata Releases a Review of IFS’ Project-Based PLM Support Capabilities” and I found it extremely interesting even in broader scope.
This is what Mr. Bilello wrote – “Our research and experience,” said Mr. Bilello “clearly indicates that the success of a project is built on the development of accurate cost estimates, in much the same way as in project-driven manufacturing companies, which in turn are based on a well-defined project scope and work schedule that are well managed and monitored, and are sensitive to changes and limitations of resources and other work items.” Mr. Bilello emphasized the importance of treating cost estimating, project scheduling, and project cost control as an integrated process rather than a disjointed set of activities. “A key challenge when trying to develop this integrated process is the management of information and the association of that information to the tasks that create and use it.”
I’m very agreeing with Mr. Bilello- to develop an integrated process that able to have access and association with right information is the key capability and need from project-oriented enterprises, whatever type they are – discrete manufacturing or construction. So, getting back to my earlier conclusion the following 3 steps can be, in my view, very important for forward thinking PLM implementations and PLM vendors/providers.
1. PLM Content and other related product information. This is an important enabler from the side of PLM. Content need to be available. To be able to re-use right design, engineering, manufacturing and supply chain content that controlled and managed from the life cycle standpoint by PLM systems.
2. Project Tools able to integrate and interplay with PLM content. Both PLM, but very important Project Management tools need to develop a capability to work with an extended set of information related to tasks and their optimization. Project Management tools need to become “project optimization engine” for every kind of content related to execution of a project.
3. Overall monitoring tools. I don’t see it necessarily part of PLM or Project Manager or even both. My point here is that people need to have one stream of information monitoring these days. Your decision, what is important, but I think vendors need to deliver one set of tools for users.
So, what is my conclusion? Project management is one of the key drivers to move execution in an organization of every type. However, they are not efficient when they cannot have right information in their hands to help people to use it efficiently. PLM can use project management tools and capabilities to deliver information to people doing execution as well as decision makers in an organization. To make this link will be very important. However, I don’t believe PLM vendors have sufficient specialization in order to develop a full scope project management tool. Therefore, to find right balance and re-use project management infrastructure, will be key priority for PLM vendor in the near future.