Opportunity Change Management in PLM

28/12/2012 14:02

"Why should we use the change management feature available in PLM? Up to now we could produce our products without using change management. Isn't that too complex for users just starting to execute their work with a PLM system? Is there really an urgent need?"

Having that question in my mind and thinking about cultural change, I came across the following passage from John Kotter:

Organizations and individuals that are complacent do not look for new opportunities or hazards. They are almost always internally focused. The complacent work at a constant speed, even when circumstances call for fast action. They rarely initiate or lead. Mostly they do what has worked for them in the past.

This is my comment:

Utilizing the change management feature of the new PLM system in our new practice is a great opportunity to enjoy our work, to keep our customers satisfied, and to generate profit.

Enjoy our work

Let's imagine to perform a task you go to a Change Request or a Change Notice and you find clear, concise and valid information required to perform your work related to that change. You no longer have to search for information or write e-mails to get information required to perform your work. Instead of loosing time with non-value adding searches and composition of e-mails you just start with your task. Isn't that paradise?

Keep our Customers Satisfied

If we want to keep our customers satisfied we should deliver products to them, which fulfil customer requirements in all aspects: product quality, manufacturing, logistics, etc. Everybody in the organization managing aspects of the product have to know them. That means, that we have to document the general and product specific customer specs the customer derived out of his requirements. Assurance of clear, concise and valid requirements must be top priority. We document them using the change management feature to get a set of revision controlled documents of general requirements (e.g. ISO/TS 16949:2009), customer specific requirements (e.g. GM Customer Specifics - ISO/TS 16949 March 2006), customer program specific requirements (e.g. Global Small Car SPECIFIC FLOOR TRIM REQUIREMENTS) and product specific requirements (e.g CAD model of 96873143: CARPET ASM-F/FLR PNL(LHD, w/o Heel Pad)). As soon as a requirement changes, the new revision of the document is implemented into the system using a Change Request, and the impact of the change is evaluated. If there is an impact, then the feasibility of a solution is checked and proposed to the customer. If the customer agrees with the new solution, then the solution is implemented using a Change Notice.

Generate profit

A company has to generate sustained profits. Clear, concise and valid information instead of guesses up front lead to fewer failures in the product development process. Having consistently documented changes in using the change management feature, people are able to dig deeper into their areas of expertise, develop their knowledge and experience beyond their areas of expertise and come to optimized solutions in terms of costs and customer requirements. A controlled documentation of the business decisions in executing a Change Request allows the identification of business risks at an early stage in order to monitor and minimize them. Traceability of performed changes along business acquisition, product development, production validation and serial production supports lessons learnt processes preventing us from repeating our mistakes and allow us to repeat our successes.

Is there an urgent need to use the change management feature? The answer is a clear yes. Otherwise we loose an opportunity.