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.
All large, globally distributed innovation organizations will struggle to collaborate effectively without the aid of information technology enablers. The market for software systems that support innovation is dynamic and confusing, with hundreds of solution providers all claiming to have the secret answer to improving innovation performance.
Once the innovation engine is firing on all cylinders and we have the ability to efficiently turn an idea into profits, we can open up the aperture of the front-end of the process. That means going in search of new technologies and big ideas to fuel the growth engine. This does not just happen. A disciplined capability that identifies, evaluates and incubates promising concepts requires people that have vision.
While it is true that certain technological breakthroughs come with a high degree of schedule uncertainty, the vast majority of our innovation initiatives deal in the realm of known science. When I hear engineers say “we don’t know how long it’s going to take… could be a month, could be a year”…it sounds like a cop-out.