What every company should consider to ensure a successful PLM implementation
After hundreds of successful PLM implementations, Dassault Systèmes Industry Services (DSIS) has developed the methodologies and best practices that ensure quick, high levels of return on its customers’ investments.
- Involve a true PLM expert early to assess your PLM maturity and gain efficiency on your processes, define an accurate vision, and focus your company’s business goals and initiatives for a targeted return. A DS PLM expert who has been involved in your project from the outset will understand your goals and priorities, allowing faster issue resolution with better results. Engaging someone only after you discover issues creates delays and delivers sub-optimal results.
- Assess IT infrastructure readiness. Is it robust enough? Is it scalable? For a large Version 6 implementation, planning for hardware performance, capacity and scalability is key to success. Form a dedicated infrastructure team early to analyze target topography, distributions, loads, number of users, etc.; assess hardware needs; and identify performance bottlenecks. Analyzing the legacy system landscape and planning in advance for data migrations is crucial.
- Document all legacy business requirements. An implementation assessment with PLM experts and architects will help you understand how solution capabilities align with existing business processes and requirements. Documenting use cases and scenarios defines what will be supported and what is out of scope, ensuring goals are understood and met while minimizing late-cycle changes that cause delays and cost overruns.
- Establish a detailed governance plan that defines responsibilities and interfaces. A well-orchestrated governance plan ensures implementation timelines remain realistic and goals are achieved. By defining the customer’s and vendor/vendors’ responsibilities in advance and how interfaces between those responsibilities will be managed, you’ll avoid conflicts that create delays.
- Evaluate the solution/business interface and process redesign. Customizing PLM to match existing processes complicates updates and integrations for years to come. Instead, focus on configuring the solution to fully tap its collaborative power. Remember: This is your best opportunity to redesign your processes to streamline work, remove waste and non-value added activities, and accelerate innovation.
- Plan for how to import/translate legacy data. Data migration is an extremely important part of any enterprise implementation. Understanding legacy systems and planning data migration is critical to implementation success.
- Build enough flex time into the schedule. Aggressive timelines are a fact of business today, but a too-aggressive schedule is a recipe for failure. Realistically identify project risks, then build adequate buffers into the schedule to accommodate unexpected issues and allow for adequate testing before go-live.
- Make extensive use of business cases and test steps; involve testers early and often. Plan enough hands-on system-test time to truly understand the scope and limitations. Define a test strategy that includes functional unit testing and integration and regression testing. Build a proper QA testing phase into the implementation timeline, and allow time to address any identified issues.
- Assess staff readiness early to plan support and training. Timing is everything. Train too early and users forget what they learn before they can use it. Train too late and adoption lags. Test knowledge levels to ensure proficiency, and retrain as needed. Don’t assume your users will automatically know how to use the new system; even small changes can lead to big frustrations when the user cannot use the new functionality.
- Provide for production service/support. Implementation doesn’t end at go-live. Post-launch service and support ensures implementation goals and expectations are fully met as the number of users and quantity of data increases.
Developing and executing a deliberate implementation ensures you achieve the full value of the solution specific to your industry and business. 3DS Industry Services, in close collaboration with our ecosystem of regional and global services partners, can help customers define and launch their projects on the right trajectory to hit their targets for value, schedule and cost.