The PLM State TBT: Is Your PLM Implementation Stuck in Extended Adolescence?

Welcome to this week's #TBT Blog, originally published in 2012. After seeing multiple requests for our expert PLM training services, I thought this blog was perfect to revisit. What level is your PLM stuck in?

ZWS PLM Maturity Level Extended Adolescence 2I listened to an interesting story on NPR the other day. Recent research has determined that today's generation is physically maturing much sooner than the previous generation did. However, they have also discovered that the only type of learning that builds frontal lobe brain judgment skills is experience learning. Which with all of the helicopter and protectionist-parenting going on nowadays, kids are not receiving as many experiences, both negative and positive, to learn from as they did in previous generations. This means that adolescents today possess physically mature bodies with adolescent brains. Despite the earlier onset of puberty, the gap between childhood and adulthood has significantly widened—so much so that a new term, "emerging adult," needed to be established. As always, what does this have to do with PLM...

...think PLM Maturity and the below chart.


Many PLM implementations are stuck in extended adolescence, or Level 3, according to this excellent chart that I lifted off of Kalypso's Website, a creation of Andreas Lindenthal. As you can see, data is generally decentralized prior to Level 4 of PLM maturity. It requires your employees to transfer product information into the PLM system, which is no easy task. People resist. The staff wants custom screens and forms and the engineers think they can quickly put it all in a spreadsheet. Getting people to put all of their product information in PLM is a bit like making a teenager clean his or her room every day. Sure, they know where everything is in the piles, but no one else does and no one else wants to go in there and look for it either!

Zero Wait-State is currently working with a client to input all of their product information into PLM. We are building a full product structure, so all electrical, mechanical and software product information is vaulted. This represents a full item master in PLM. Because this organization is a new division, Zero Wait-State is assisting with building the internal best practices discipline from the start. The PLM users are able to absorb the ZWS methodology because they were involved in the definition of the solution during the conference room pilots and the user acceptance testing process.

For those of you with an existing PLM system, don’t accept being stuck in extended adolescence. Check out our executive level presentation on this topic, “PLM as a Platform.” You can reach PLM adulthood sooner by getting your executive team to understand PLM, and they just may provide you with the resources to mature towards automated PLM.

PLM as a platform for SMB companies

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