It’s not uncommon for C-level executives to have one vision for PLM and engineering to have another, with a gigantic gap in between.  The execs, who finance and approve PLM, are thinking about profits, innovation and getting new products to market. Engineering, who usually selects and implements PLM, is worried about managing the right version of the CAD files, which has little or nothing to do with innovation or generating profits.  Nobody takes the time to map the strategic goals to the processes and behaviors that must be automated and driven by the PLM system.  Hence the gap.  Next thing you know, 5 years have gone by and no one knows if anything has really been accomplished.

If you’re stuck: It’s never too late to do your homework.  Take a few weeks – it shouldn’t take more than that – to get everyone on the same page.  Identify and prioritize your business goals and requirements, and map out a plan to achieve them.  Don’t get wrapped up in CAD file management.  CAD file management accounts for roughly 5% of the PLM product, yet too often gets 100% of the PLM vote.  PLM has a much broader scope than CAD and there are many other roles and functions to consider.  After this exercise you'll have a much clearer picture of just how far off you are from your vision and capable of establishing an effective roadmap, even if it means changing direction.

Corporate PLM roadmap