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Problems on a way to management of life cycle of products in the organisations performing design works
Quantity of the design companies which are carrying out projects “turnkey” which introduce at itself technology of management of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), constantly increases, however their way contains set “reefs”.

Under PLM the integrated information model of all stages of life cycle of a product is understood: from designing and manufacturing before installation, maintenance service and dismantle. Presence of such model (in case of its successful realisation) will allow to provide access to the information on a product to all interested services of the organisation performing design works, and also suppliers and customers. At the heart of PLM model PDM (Product Data Management), developed and used, as a rule, engineering services lies. In drawing interaction with model of the basic consumers of the information is shown.

The basic problems which are necessary for solving at introduction PLM:
1. Information classification.
2. Classification of users.
3. Maintenance of representation of the information in the necessary kind for corresponding groups of users.
4. Distribution of access rights to the information.
5. Definition of the status of electronic documents.
6. A regulation of process of modification of electronic documents.
7. The organisation of input of the information in PLM system.
8. The organisation of conducting directories.
9. Maintenance of administration of system.
10. Maintenance of integration with already existing CAD/CAM/CAE and ERP systems.
11. Definition of priorities and an introduction order.
12. Maintenance of participation of a firm management in the course of introduction.

Each company has a strategy of realisation PLM, experience of those who has already passed this road can be useful to it. Companies SofTech and John Stark Associates offer the list of ten most often meeting errors which it is necessary to avoid that who wishes to succeed in field PLM. We result in brief the basic recommendations.

1. The project begins, but not all on it are informed. It is very important, that all employees of the company have been informed about PLM and understood the purposes of introduction of this technology prior to the beginning of the project. So first of all it is necessary to spend е presentation before the company top management. Probably, as a result you will get support on the top. But for this purpose it is necessary to convince top-managers that technology PLM is very important for business, without it it is impossible to manage and it quite really to introduce gradually, but it is obligatory with their assistance. Then it is necessary to secure with approval from outside other employees, having proved to them that PLM meets their requirements and it is useful to them personally. Thus explanations should be simple and clear, that also people could tell about a novelty to the colleagues and colleagues.

2. Introduction PLM goes, and a management and employees are not convinced of its expediency. Many projects have failed, because those who advanced them, had no top management support. After all such project is inevitably connected with serious organizational changes, and they cannot be realised without the consent above. Therefore your PLM-project should have a supporter in the rank of the vice-president or the councillor of board of the company for whom project advancement is one of duties. Having received such adherent, it is possible to think of how to win round other employees. With it it is not necessary to pull. It is very dangerous to start introduction, without having secured with the consent of the future users. For example, already at the earliest stage it is necessary to develop compensation system to win their approval and to encourage participation in the project.

3. PLM it is realised within the limits of separate division. Introduction PLM cannot be business only departments on IT or CAD. All organisation performing design works should participate In this work. The design command consisting of representatives of different divisions is necessary, and to include there follows even those who does not agree with expediency of expansion PLM. Probably, it will allow to draw them on your party.

4. Absence of the accurate purposes. The concept of management of life cycle is difficult. Therefore the companies differently approach to realisation PLM and put the various purposes. Moreover, even in one organisation performing design works, expectations of employees can strongly differ. We will tell, designers hope to receive from PLM one results, and the financial director others. In this connection very important accurately to formulate the purposes of the project and ways of an estimation of their achievement. Here some examples.
- The purpose: increase in a turn also have arrived the organisation performing design works, at the expense of production efficiency increase. An estimation: the success is measured by turn increase on X% and reduction of the cost price of production on Y%.
- The purpose: creation of information system of scale of the design organisation for tracing of the information on production. An estimation: expansion of system for certain number of employees and the set quantity of products.
- The purpose: increase of competitiveness at the expense of realisation of innovations. An estimation: it is possible to measure success by number of innovative decisions, degree of use of material resources and quantity of repeated application of a know-how.

5. Absence of a plan of action in case of failures or failure of terms. At realisation PLM, as well as in any other scale project, inevitably there are failures and deviations from the planned plan. You should understand that without obstacles not to manage and for their overcoming you should deal with the most different people, including leaders, supporters, defenders, intermediaries, opponents and indifferent observers. It is possible to Become successful only having bypassed barriers and having gained trust of all these people. Do not panic at occurrence of failures or deviations, perceive them as inevitability and develop reciprocal actions, for example, on training of employees or drawing up of more realistic plans-schedules.

6. Isolation from a reality. Many initiatives on realisation PLM fail in the absence of real representation about business of the organisation performing design works, and about problems PLM. If the design command has no accurate representation how business processes are carried out that is their motive power what of them work and what are not present, what purposes of the design organisation etc., no high technology, an infrastructure or system of position will rescue. Understanding features of work of the organisation performing design works, you will avoid many errors. Besides, it is necessary to remember that PLM this design decision, instead of the simple appendix of type of editor MS Word which needs to be established on the computer and can to start be used. Real experience prompts that introduction PLM can demand many resources and be stretched for some years.

7. Underestimation of the risks connected with output. Management of the information on a product throughout its life cycle allows the company to supervise everything that occurs at each stage of manufacture and operation. Remember that if the company will lose the control over production, it will face very big problems. We will result the most serious risks which PLM allows to avoid:
- The product functions not how it was expected;
- It is not possible to receive certification on production;
- The reputation of the design organisation worsens;
- Because of problems with production customers are lost;
- Competitors eat off an income part;
- The profit decreases in connection with return of production and legal problems.

8. The Waiting attitude concerning PLM. It is possible, you understand advantages PLM, but do not start introduction in expectation of the best times or for other reasons (a lack of resources, misunderstanding from outside managements, expansion of other systems etc.). However investments in PLM are very important for increase of an overall performance of the organisation performing design works, without them it is impossible to manage and they cannot be postponed on then.

In other words, they are necessary, if you are going to keep competitiveness, to get profit and to let out successful production. If the prospect of introduction PLM frightens you, recollect that there are different ways of realisation of the project (by means of advisers, by results of pilot programs, by an estimation of a recoupment of investments and so forth) which allow to operate stage by stage, receiving benefits at each stage and stretching investments into time.

9. Confidence of impossibility of a failure. Unfortunately, the failure is possible. Sometimes there is an illusion that time the project of introduction PLM has begun, it will necessarily successfully come to the end. However in practice these hopes justify no means always. We will list the most widespread reasons of failures. Their understanding will allow to bypass the reefs lying on a way to success:
- the wrong beginning of the project;
- errors with distribution of duties and responsibility;
- confidence that introduction of information system will automatically allow to receive desirable result;
- absence of the accurate plan;
- problems with progress tracing in project realisation;
- wrong calculation of return of investments;
- absence of support from outside the top management;
- resistance of an average link;
- perception PLM as certain magic wand which will solve all problems.

10. Insufficient attention to an estimation and advertising of the successes. As already it was marked above, one of project problems consists in a formulation of the accurate purposes of introduction PLM and methods of an estimation of their achievement. However it is not less important to estimate successes (own and other participants of a command of introduction) on a way to realisation of these purposes and to bring of the message on these victories to the notice the heads and other employees. PLM not only provides advantages of the company, but also promotes career growth of those who helped to become successful. It is not necessary to miss such chance.

Let's consider the Russian experience.

To learn, how much these foreign recommendations are applicable to our realities, we have addressed for comments to domestic experts in the field of PLM.

On the one hand, at us at introduction PLM (and any other corporate administrative systems) arise all those problems which are described above, but with another are also the national features. Really, it is necessary to hold presentation for enterprise top management to find out, what most important problems exist at the enterprise, and to show the decision, to get support of all project at heads, to win approval of other participants of the project, and it is better than the enterprise as a whole, Vladimir Chegodaev, the leading expert on CAD from company ICL Kazan production association of computer systems considers. The introduction command, certainly, should be generated from experts of all divisions mentioned by given corporate system.

Alexander Zimin, the chief of department CAD of company NS Labs, considers that many positions mentioned above as desirable, under our conditions become simply necessary: At us introduction PLM is at a loss in the absence of rules of application of the digital signature. It causes additional problems. Very much complicates work rigid following GOST standards on registration of paper documents. Though these GOST standards are not recently obligatory, many enterprises frequently simply do not dare to recede from them. In this connection the special role is got by support of the project by the top management. As a rule, the majority of obstacles with use of electronic documents is decided, but to force executors bypass them the head of a highest level, to be exact, the general director can only. Here happens insufficiently even will of one of assistants or vice-presidents as will resist to new rules and at this level.

Andrey Romanov, the chief of bureau CAD of the Ulyanovsk automobile factory has faced a digital signature problem, but in its opinion also, she dares by distribution of access rights of users and release of regulating documents of standards of the enterprise and instructions. Besides, he pays attention that by technical project preparation it is necessary to work carefully all stages and cycles of passage of a product, stages of the coordination, transfer, the statement, carrying out of changes. The process of passage of the information, the is easier and more effectively organised is easier and faster the PLM-system takes root.

There are also other national features complicating the project of realisation PLM. For example, Ivan Kotov, the head of department of systems of industrial planning of the company of the Andes Project, has allocated the such:
- Impreparation of the data and a pitiable condition of is standard-help base. This purely technical problem can increase terms of introduction of system considerably. Preparation of the data can demand a lot of time, and it should be considered at the initial stages of expansion of system, putting as a separate problem;
- Unavailability to use the decision in full. Frequently such systems are understood as purely technological and applied as storehouses of the data about a product. Therefore in them happen design and industrial divisions, and, for example, department of marketing which also participates in management of product life cycle are initially interested only, at all does not know about existence of such system at the enterprise.

During the project and after its end it is necessary to involve as much as possible PLM-system in company work, Ivan Kotov has underlined. Only so it will bring those results which from it are expected.

There are also the shared problems which have been not connected with national features. For today there is no one software product which would allow to support the information on a product throughout all its life cycle, Vladimir Chegodaev has told. The design data on a product is formed in CAD-systems, technological in CAM-programs and packages of technological preparation of manufacture, the information on changes of this data in notices on changes, data after the cost price of a product and process of its manufacture, guarantee and afterwarranty service, and also on recycling in ERP-decisions. Therefore it is necessary to pick up software so that formats of the data in all listed systems as much as possible corresponded each other. Otherwise it is necessary to create program sluices which will hand over the information from one package in another.

The considerable problem is connected and with development of the PLM-decision on termination of the project.

It is necessary not only to operate correctly changes during realisation PLM, but also to expect that will be after the termination of this process, Ivan Kotov has told. Very important leaving from the project to leave system to live, instead of to exist. After all it is introduced by minority of employees, but upon termination of the project it should benefit all key divisions. How it to achieve? It is possible a power method, to be exact, the order that from now on all company is obliged to use new system. And it is possible to interest employees that people have understood that without it it not to manage any more. The estimation of efficiency of introduction and correct motivation of the personnel Here is useful.

This opinion divides Andrey Romanov: At introduction PLM at the Russian enterprise it is necessary to apply a whip and spice-cake method. Who does not wish to work in a new fashion good-bye who wants can obtain reward. Such style of work seems rigid, but it is effective. Motivation one of the major factors influencing success of any project.

Because of such quantity of difficulties, Vladimir Chegodaev considers, with the project on introduction PLM the enterprise only by own strength will not consult, it is necessary to involve foreign advisers.

But Andrey Romanov has added that very many depends on qualification of experts participating in the project and from professionalism of the head. There was such case, he recollects. One of the former chiefs, not accepting participation in the project, has told: All is toys, at you it will turn out nothing. You cannot organise passage and the coordination of electronic documents, mathematical models of products. But we have successfully introduced company Computervision system EDM. As a result all chain, beginning from working out of a product and finishing equipment manufacturing, it is completely automated. Now any detail having difficult spatial geometry, does not pass life cycle without EDM.

Thus, Alexander Zimin has summed up to discussion, ten positions stated above are not absolute trues, and is faster the recommendations directed on simplification of transition on PLM: to us examples of successful introduction PLM at the domestic enterprises at which were present not all from the listed preconditions, are known more precisely, in one of examples known to us there were no at once all. So a major factor of successful introduction is the confidence of necessity PLM at your enterprise, and the method of achievement of an object in view necessarily will be.

1. Goretkina E. How to bypass a trap on the way to PLM?//PCWeek. – 2006 []
2. Gorodetsky V.V. Problems of transition to introduction of PLM-decisions at the machine-building enterprise. – 2004 []

The author: Челябэнергопроект
Date: 03/23/2010

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