Questions like 'Where do we begin?', 'How do we start?', and 'Which technology should we evaluate first?'' are common from project teams tasked by executives with improving their business environment.
Years ago Mercury Marine management tasked us with a similar challenge, and we used several approaches and tools to objectively evaluate the business environment and gain executive alignment before forging ahead with technology.
By performing an internal assessment, Mercury Marine was positioned to make the most of its business transformation. The company understood the 'as-is' and mapped the 'to-be' independent of software.
The business also understood its strengths and weaknesses, the culture and its willingness to change, as well as its business system landscape, application and cross-functional touch points, and the sunset strategy for legacy tools.
Let our team help establish a foundation for success within your business too.
Product Data Process Evaluation
For many organizations, the first step toward a PLM implementation is understanding how their current product development processes and systems fare compared to industry standards.
Because we operate within a dynamic, global product development environment that supports a world-wide manufacturing footprint, we have made many of the tough, strategic decisions that helped set our PLM initiative on the right course. A part of our role is to pass along wisdom gained from experience to optimize client PLM initiatives and help push their end state 'vision' further and faster than without the correct guidance.
PLM Visioning & Roadmap
It is critical to devise a PLM strategy that establishes an end-state 'vision' prior to evaluating technology.
PLM strategy can address specific needs such as establishing rules surrounding how items are serialized or attributes are associated with them, and which systems or processes touch an item.
Other facets of PLM strategy consist of understanding high-level concepts like a unified bill of material that uses different 'views' for engineering, manufacturing, and service, as well as how to associate item-related datasets to the master item data, downstream data reuse, and business rules that enforce PLM data integrity.
From our experience, the key to a successful PLM deployment is for the organization to define a PLM 'vision' and document the critical steps necessary to get there.
We can help create a 'connectedness' roadmap after understanding your business drivers, future growth goals, and process needs.
A 'connectedness' roadmap provides all levels of the organization with a visual understanding of the necessary pieces and the sequence required to build the PLM system to deliver short-term wins while keeping the long-term vision in mind.
Business Process Facilitation
Using a 3-Tier Approach that first seeks to understand business needs at the executive level, then facilitates cross-functional process definition, followed by solution prototyping based on the business process definition provides the best foundation for any implementation.
After the PLM Vision has been formed, a PLM Implementation approach of project on-boarding is used to manage cross-functional expectations and establish end-to-end processes before unveiling technology.
Tier One workshops includes executive expectations in terms of shortcomings, areas for improvement, and expectations for the future state. Understanding the goals and expectations of upper-management early in the program establishes the project as a business initiative they can support.
Tier Two information gathered during Tier One as input, which involves bringing together cross-functional subject matter experts (SME) to establish an agreed upon future state with agreed upon measurement metrics. This provides an opportunity for the business to focus on processes and customer needs instead of technology 'features' and perceived 'benefits'.
Tier Three activities map the cross-functional processes defined during Tier Two against the chosen enabling technology. Data sources, reporting requirements, and system architecture needs are reviewed and a technical plan is developed to support the technology implementation. Established documentation templates and deployment methodologies are employed to efficiently realize results.
To support our PLM Visioning and Business Process Facilitation activities, we introduce DMAIC tools to efficiently map existing processes, streamline them for success, and objectively select sound solutions. More important, our LSS experience has been primarily focused toward improving new product development processes, not just leaning our production environment.
This approach is flexible, and scalable that can be applied on different sized projects and companies, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) initiatives, or Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) deployments.
Process Impact Communication
Business transformations often fail because of workforce revolt. Not necessarily due to the technical solution, but because key stakeholders or constituencies were not kept 'in the loop'.
Our team has learned from many global system deployments and can provide proven approaches to communicating system or process change to reduce the impact for the organization.
We can assist your team with change communication planning or creating presentations and facilitating group sessions to help ensure a successful PLM implementation.