I love Jos Voskuil's blog post that ties together the brain and PLM. In his post, Jos applies ideas about the brain's role in flawed decision making (extracted from an old article from McKinsey Quarterly) to the PLM industry. If you haven't read them yet, do it now… they're incredibly interesting.

Jos uses Roxburgh's eight flaws to highlight issues in PLM adoption. It rang true to me so much so that I immediately re-tweeted it and shared it with my coworkers and friends. I saw a lot of heads nodding. We've all seen the same issues in PLM adoption.

Because I identified so strongly with Jos's commentary, I am compelled to do a follow on post and share thoughts about MY favorite flaws (thanks for that header there Jos!).

Overconfidence: Confidence and optimism are great, but reality checks are even better. Companies must recognize that no PLM system will work the way they want it to right out of the box, resources are finite, and you're not going to get it all right the first time around so you'd better be able to make adjustments. In this video, Carestream Health offers a reality check on PLM implementation and how to stay on track.

Mental Accounting: A dollar is a dollar is a dollar, except when it's not. It often feels like a $1 of ERP is valued at the price of gold and a $1 of PLM is valued at the price of silver (gold is worth over 50x that of silver, for those who don't track the precious metals market). Why? ERP has a better PR guy. The value of ERP is easy to measure, whereas the true value of PLM is not widely understood. PLM is more than automating repeatable processes. The real value of PLM is in driving innovation and competitive advantage. Tougher to measure, but critically important.

The Status Quo Bias: Change is hard. Falling behind the competition is even harder, not to mention tough on your bottom line. To add value, PLM must be easy to deploy, easy to use and easy to change. If it takes you 6 – 12 – 18 months or longer to adopt new functionality you're going to lose momentum and miss opportunities. In this video, Boeing Insitu explains how getting change into the hands of the users rapidly and letting them validate in rapid cycles minimizes the impact and resistance to change.

The Sunk-Cost Effect: The sunk cost effect has reached epidemic proportions in PLM; something we at Aras refer to as "too big to fail" syndrome. Legacy providers are famous for over promising and under delivering – or maybe I should say under quoting. By the time a customer realizes how much money has already been lost to their "glamorous" solution, they think they're in too deep to quit. So, despite the fact that they've yet to see any results, they just keep throwing money at it hoping that eventually it will work. What's that saying about the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome…

The brain is truly amazing, but it's not without its flaws. Over the years, marketers have learned to exploit these flaws – such as the pencil-thin supermodel encouraging you to buy a calorie-laden cheeseburger that he or she would never actually eat. And the PLM industry is no different.

So what are PLM users to do? Stop the madness. Break out of the pack, question the status quo and demand solutions that really work, address your business problems, and deliver the results you were promised.