5 Steps to Better PLM User Adoption, Featuring Gartner Insight


How do you ensure the big PLM software rollout is actually used by your team members?

1.  Identify Departments

Identify all of the core areas involved in the New Product Development and Introduction (NPDI), which includes:

  • Change Management
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • IT
  • Labeling
  • Legal
  • Manufacturing
  • Project Management
  • Quality Control/Assurance
  • R&D
  • Regulatory
  • Safety
  • Sales
  • Supply Chain
  • Training
  • Vendor Collaboration

2.  Identify Business Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

Gartner recommends, “Identifying line-of-business leaders to co-sponsor information governance and MDM initiatives.”[1]

  • SMEs have both the experience and understanding of your current business processes for their selected areas.
  • SMEs will not always be the highest-ranking team member within the department, but should be the team member with the most practical use of the current systems and visibility to the limitations of current defined processes. 
  • SMEs should not only have visibility to the existing methodology and technology, but also have an open mindset for new structure and design.
  • SMEs should be prepared to champion the new solution not only within their own group, but throughout the organization.

3.  Define Goals

Gartner recommends, “Identifying which critical, differentiated or required business processes and desired business outcomes or innovations hinge on the effective governance of which kinds of information.”[1]

Each SME should define their primary goals for each group as well as global objectives.  (Ex: R&D may want to centralize and secure all formulations with a database for the overall objective of a faster time-to-market).

4.  Evaluate Processes

Evaluate the ability of current processes to achieve the defined goals. 

SMEs will need to work within their own teams as well as a collective group to analyze how the current processes work, and what else the process impacts.  For example, if your goal is to integrate data and have greater visibility, you will need to evaluate the current integration and how to harmonize the data.

5.  Determine External Resources Needed

Determine what areas will require external resources. Note:  Each SME should provide some form of training within their group, but a global approach will be needed to ensure a higher ROI.

The most common external resources needs are:

  • IT Support
o   Configuration
o   Hardware Specification and Acquisition
o   Large-Scale Deployment
o   Business Partnership Representatives
o   Integration
  • Training
o   Educational Design and Documentation
o   Training Execution
o   Documentation (both software and processes)

Learn More:

PLM Vision  Decoding PLM Acronyms  Data Harmonization   

[1] Source:  Gartner, Information Governance and MDM Programs Key Initiative Overview, by Andrew White, April 2014

Tags: Product Lifecycle Management