Necessity is the mother of invention, but, sometimes, it is also a source of great frustration. Your team needs data and processes to operate smoothly and effectively, but how do you determine the true scope or vision of the project? Just as a hospital emergency center has a patient triage system, you also need to create a triage for the first steps of your Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) vision.

1. Identify the most critical points

What are the biggest gaps in your team? The most common ones are at the core of the foundation of most product manufacturers.

  • Data management and visibility
  • Time-to-market
  • Compliance
  • Costs
  • Collaboration
  • Quality assurance

2. Define your owners

Once you have defined your most pressing needs, you must elect an “owner.” This does not mean choosing someone to be the culprit, but, rather, choosing someone who will determine the requirements to achieve a better goal.

For example, if Data Management is a critical area, “owners” will need to answer these questions:

  • Who can access the data and set security levels?
  • Which systems will need to be integrated and which areas should be mapped?
  • How do you manage version control and where can you view the historical log?
  • How do you define, manage and review changes?
  • How do you integrate and manage information from suppliers and distributors?

3. Be specific

Not only will you need to determine the critical points in detail, but you will also need to answer questions about how they will improve metrics and measure success in the future.

Again, with Data Management, they should not only have general goals, but also specific goals:

  • What are the current processes to insert the materials costs and attributes into each system?
  • Who is entering this data?
  • What is the real cost?
  • What is the error percentage for each duplicate record? (e.g. entering the same material information in the ERP)
  • How much time will be saved by integrating PLM with the old system?
  • What is the estimate of resource savings (quantity and cost)?

4. Review targets with partners

Once the “owners” have defined the vision, they need to align their goals and ensure that the company’s goals will be achieved.

For example, Data Management plays an important role in:

  • Compliance
  • Costs
  • Research and development objectives to meet product requirements
  • Consistency and quality in all company units

5. Create a formal plan

Once the “owners” define their goals and align them with the partners, create a formal plan.

This plan should not only include metrics (item 3), but also a timetable for implementing and monitoring progress and evaluating objectives.

These 5 steps will make your team operate smoothly and effectively. They will serve as a stimulus, making the team increasingly value the processes implemented and data gathered in the company, encouraging the continuous growth of all.

 

Gus Oliveira

Author

Gus Oliveira

Gus Oliveira has a degree in Business Administration as well as a degree in Economics from The University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth (USA). Oliveira has experience in the software industry for Business Excellence also in the financial and business development field, working in large companies both in the United States and in Brazil as a financial analyst, business strategy consultant and a senior project consultant.

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