Over the past few weeks I have covered my top seven characteristics of successful enterprise PLM programs. These critical success factors are a result of my observations of multiple large-scale PLM programs at a number of global organizations earlier this summer.
Enterprise PLM programs can be platforms for transformational change. With a strong business sponsor, engaged governance, and an orientation toward value, you have all the ingredients you need to deliver step-change levels of improvement in innovation performance. The more strategic the program, the more value the program can deliver.
Successful PLM programs can articulate their value to the organization in strategic, operational, and financial terms. The program business case is used to guide priorities, make scope decisions, and keep the team focused on the business objectives of the program. Time to value should be short and the investment - return curve should be shallow.
Successful PLM programs are led by a business sponsor with IT support, not the other way around. The executive sponsor should be able to clearly articulate the strategic imperative using language that resonates with all of the affected business functions. Strong sponsorship is critical to overcoming inevitable obstacles and typically short corporate attention spans.
Enterprise PLM programs are complex undertakings that require strong program management disciplines to control. Sometimes my advice to go fast and be “agile-like” in development is interpreted as not requiring the overhead of program management. On the contrary, strong program management enables both speed and simplicity.