PLM success depends on a bottom up approach with top down sponsorship!

I would like today to come back to one of my favorites: PLM adoption. As we go to another PLM initiative, the path to follow, the method to apply are coming back in the light.
One “well known” paradigm for enterprise systems is that top level management need to be involved and push the initiative. Is it true? Yes and no in my view. PLM is a special topic in that sense, it does not target directly financials but efficiency. And efficiency is coming from the ground, meaning the end users need to have the tool at hands to support their work: store files, get files, assign basic task, list my tasks. Easily. And that’s one major cause of failure of PLM, implementing a PLM application sometimes create new tasks for users, instead of facilitating their current ones. It means that users strongly need to participate to the PLM design, and tell where are their pain points.
Does it means that the top management do not need to be there? Of course not, money will be invested at least in the change process, so a value as to be defined. The company will benefit from efficiency enhancements. But additional value can come from process control for example. And usually users are not interested in process control. That’s where the PLM initiative has to carefully balance the benefits, between individual efficiency and corporate processes control.
Does it define a methodology? At least it’s a start!

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Filed under PLM strategy, User adoption · Tagged with


6 Responses to “PLM success depends on a bottom up approach with top down sponsorship!”
  1. François says:


    You are right, easy adoption of PLM is a challenge for any enterprise.

  2. Thanks for sharing this great message !

    Well I have been facing in the past this situation where the bottom and few early adopters were greatly supporting our solution (PLM applied to system engineering) but we were lacking of sponsorships on the top management because they were far away from the operational needs.

    Hope that every industry facing competitiveness issues might hear your message for an efficient PLM approach.


  3. François says:

    Thanks for your comment, Matthieu! That’s the point, the challenge is to bring sponsors to examine benefits of PLM, and it is not an easy task, but it has to be done. 2 ways to bring them to the topic: what will happen if we do it, what will happen if we not do it?
    Conversely, the danger is that they badly understand the topic, and steer into another direction for which the operational people are not ready to go.
    The right balance has to be found, or the right master plan!

  4. You have noted very interesting points! ps nice internet site. “‘Tis a sharp medicine, but it will cure all that ails you. — last words before his beheadding” by Sir Walter Raleigh.

  5. You can definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe. At all times go after your heart.

  6. Some truly good information, Sword lily I noticed this.

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