June 12, 2016

Product Lifecycle Management needs CxO's attention

In industry, PLM is the process of managing the product and the product data during the entire lifecycle – from the concept, through design and manufacturing, to service and disposal. PLM integrates people, data, processes and business systems and provides a product information backbone for companies. In their effort to improve PLM capabilities, executives often invest large amounts of money in modern software with the promise of significant returns. However, not appreciating PLM as a strategic business approach, or having CxOs who are unwilling to understand PLM, can have devastating implications or even close down its PLM program despite previous investments of tens of millions.

The common mistake for failure is that the project was run as an IT project rather than as an initiative to improve the company’s business approach. Not only did this result in an inappropriate project management setup but, perhaps worse, the company had no clear idea of what the value of the PLM initiative was. This is a common problem. Most companies tend to put too little effort into building their PLM strategy and determining the business benefits before embarking on the implementation phase. Therefore, it may lead to the situation that the project team has to jumped into a solution, a large number of undesirable customizations has to be made and the implementation effort soon focuses on the wrong things – solving and discussing problems rather than focusing on achieving business benefits.

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