The world has seen a whirlwind of transformations, yet the essence of change management remains as crucial as ever. Heraclitus, the wise Greek philosopher, once proclaimed, “Change is the only constant in life.”.
Within Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Change Management stands out as a significant and time-consuming endeavor for all parties involved. This translates into a process leading to considerable costs. The return on investment (ROI) for a streamlined change management process is substantial, given the high volume of changes affecting numerous teams and individuals.
One of the inherent challenges of change lies in its ripple effect. A modification to one engineering component is likely to cascade and impact second and third-order elements. With PLM, the true complexity arises from how change affects not only engineering but also the myriad interconnected facets, organizations, and components that constitute the whole.
Effectively navigating change management necessitates the use of a robust supporting system. In the contemporary landscape of product development, the belief that change can be effectively managed without such a system is, to some extent, naive. While it’s technically possible, the intricacies of modern product development, encompassing management, customers, suppliers, partners, manufacturing, operations, support, and services, involve too many moving parts and relationships to handle successfully without a solid foundational solution.
Hence, in every change management project, there emerges a myriad of stakeholder requirements and wish lists. Taking a holistic approach to these demands, especially during the initial implementation of a support system, is imperative. Success requires individuals who possess both a comprehensive view of the overarching objectives and role-specific expertise.
Change management is also synonymous with data management. It is crucial for change objects to encapsulate data, ensuring clarity in change definitions while supporting searchability, categorization, and prioritization. Equally significant is the data enabling key performance indicator (KPI) tracking and report generation.
However, the challenge arises in determining what data should be captured from other systems and what needs to be transferred to systems like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). These questions are pivotal, as change management cannot exist in isolation. Every change management project presents unique challenges, whether starting from a paper-based process or an in-house developed solution. Transitioning to a system-based solution drastically alters the user experience.
In such cases, engagement from all stakeholders becomes essential to secure user acceptance for a successful solution.
This leads to fundamental questions:
- How are you currently utilizing PLM?
- Moreover, does structured and effective Change Management form an integral part of your daily operations?
- Or is your PLM system merely a repository for CAD files?
Regardless of your answers, it’s very important to know the time your engineers allocate to change-related activities, which often account for a significant portion, ranging from 30% to 50%. Understanding this impact on the broader ecosystem beyond engineering is pivotal.
Are you, like most other organizations we’ve engaged with, astonished by the substantial time and resources required to address the ever-constant force of change? If this marks your first step into considering your PLM strategy, please don’t hesitate to contact me or our team here – Get in Touch!
If you are curious how other companies have streamlined their change management process you can read about Haldex journey here – How PLM software improved the efficiency and product quality of Haldex.
Thank you for reading – All the best!
Karl Wennerholm, PLM and Change Management Expert – PDSVISION