Once you decide which PLM software you want to use, the hardest part of your job is over; right? Nothing could be farther from the truth. One of the biggest challenges for any PLM activity is to implement the software properly. Without a focus on this part of your PLM software activities, you will often experience many sad days filled with crying and lamentations.
Some of the most important areas to consider are:
1) Follow project management best practices – Some people think that with a PLM implementation, you can just wing-it. No, no, no! There must be strong oversight and coordination during the entire implementation program. It is certainly true that, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” Find someone to manage this program that really knows what they are doing.
2) Put together the right team – Many people will be required to make this PLM implementation a reality. Get commitments early to make sure you have the right skills at the right time so you can ensure the PLM software is implemented properly.
3) Make the correct plans – There is a host of plans you will need to create in order to assure PLM implementation success. For example: Process plans with use cases, cultural change management plan, integrations planning, testing and validation plan, data migration plan, pilot testing plan, training plan, rollout plan, and others. If you think you can do a PLM implementation without extensive planning, you will be very sad and disappointed; and you might cry.
4) A strong plan for transition to on-going PLM support – You will need to plan how you will go from supporting the roll-out of PLM to supporting the day to day activities across the enterprise. There needs to be plans for daily user issues, as well as enhancement requests and user meetings to make sure people are using the tools properly.
There certainly is a lot to do when you plan on implementing PLM software. Wow!
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