Angry Birds Developer is Looking for PLM Job

March 16, 2013

Last week I posted about changing faces of product development following PI Congress in Berlin. One of the conclusions I’ve made is that we are starting to see a changing world of enterprise as a result of new generation of employees coming to the world of manufacturing. It is a very interesting shift and, I’m sure, we are going to see many changes in the future. What becomes more and more clear that manufacturing world is changing and it will demand a new type of software. This type of software is coming from web eco-system, mobile and gaming industry. And it will be demanded by enterprise.

Thoughts about gaming and different devices took me back to one of my old posts – PLM and the future of Gamification. One of the key element of future gamification is actually people. Looking back, 3-4 years ago, it was hard to find people that would be considering enterprise or business software as a cool place. It is a time to get an update and see if more people and new companies are getting involved in the business of for enterprise software. The following blog post caught my attention yesterday. Navigate to Altimeter’s Take: The Technologies That Matter from SXSW 2013 by Jeremiah Owyang about South by SouthWest Conference (SXSW 2013). For many years, this conference was a home place for hardware, consumer technologies, games and other cool stuff. It looks like this year it was a bit different. Hardware and enterprise were in focus. Here is my favorite and probably most important passage if you are developing enterprise software (and PLM) these days.

Software innovation continued, but mobile enterprise was a star. Software was not forgotten altogether, and from the festival that’s brought us many a fun app and game, this year the interest was in work. It seems the developers and mobile-centric brands are finally on-board the billion-dollar-bandwagon that is enterprise mobile development. Crowds lined up around the block to hear about mobile apps for major brands and to help people do their jobs. The era of Angry Birds millionaires while not quite over, is waning and the future is better tools for work that act like the toys we all enjoy on our mobiles.

So, this is how my provoking blog title is coming from. People are looking for better tools with the quality of games and other consumer applications to get their job done. PLM vendors need to think about how to change the balance of development forces and mix people with design and enterprise experience with young talents ).

What is my conclusion? The transformation is coming. SoMa is probably still full of consumer startups. However, the interest to enterprise software is growing. I won’t be surprised some ex-Angry Birds Developers soon will be applying for job positions in PLM and other business software companies. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

How to Dogfooding PLM in your Family Inc.

February 10, 2013

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

PLM, Fun and Innovation

February 4, 2013

Fun and coolness are trending topics these days. Are you doing boring business or having fun? Fun is much better and, speaking seriously, much more productive. That’s why the most efficient ways to educate kids are usually involving some elements of fun and games. Enterprise IT and business software are probably one of the most conservative places. Go to many companies IT departments or speak to business consulting and you can find yourself in a social environment back 15-20 years back with not much fun. Consumerization and BYOD trends created some holes in old fashion business software culture, but the overall balance is still very much conservative.

So, what about PLM fun? Frankly, not much PLM fun these days. Nevertheless, I can see some positive changes. Thanks for social media, social networks and blogs, PLM companies and PLM consulting people are now talking in an open way about what PLM is about why a way they propose to approach PLM is different. Sometimes, it is very funny like in the following video clip of Gangnam compass explaining Dassault 3DExperience style.

However, pure PLM is still very boring place according to one of my blogging buddies Jos Voskuil. Navigate to his recent posts – How come PLM is boring? I found his post quite entertaining. Find few minutes and have a read Jos’ post. It reminded me old IBM days when every manager knew that nobody will fired after signing a contract with IBM. In other words, regardless of how you perform if you sign with IBM, your life is saved. You can see a similar line here. According to Jos, changing the way to work is the problem and not PLM software as it is now. So, if you find the way to connect you business problems with PLM technology you are on the right path. The change is what important according to Jos. Here is the passage:

It is not the friendly user-interface of PLM system XYZ or the advanced technical capabilities of PLM system ABC,  that will make a PLM implementation easier. Nothing is solved on the cloud  or by using a mobile device. If there is no change when implementing PLM, why implement  and build a system to lock yourself in even more?

Speaking about innovation, cloud remains one of the topics that drive most controversy in PLM. The buzzword itself, history of the topic and vendors strategies are creating a combination of complicated terms. Almost all PLM vendors today are reported about “cloud-ready” or “cloud-enabling” technologies. In that context I wanted to bring funny video from 2009 showing Oracle’s CEO Larry Ellison speaking about cloud technologies. You can watch more here.

I specially liked the following phrase- “Our industry is so bizarre. We just change a term and think we change the technology”. It is so true… The amount of buzzwords is the marketing materials of PLM companies produces on one side and the amount of “business practices” introduced by PLM consulting on the other side is skyrocketing. Enterprise software is undergoing the most radical shakeup since the turn of the century. These days, I’d recommend college “101” courses and “for dummies” series of books for many enterprise software and consulting people.

In few weeks, I’m going to attend Product Innovation Congress in Berlin. The same event was called PLM innovation before in 2012 and 2011. Looking on the list of attendees and companies presented it sounds like a solid business event.  Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Prof. Martin Eigner, practically all PLM vendors and many other attendees. I’m looking forward to learn about innovation and find some fun there.

Best, Oleg


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