Who Does What: Defining Roles in Multi-Partner Transformations

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Manufacturers working on major technology-based change initiatives often struggle to sort out exactly who should do what when multiple vendors and partners are involved. Internal business and IT organizations need to be involved but outside firms can add tremendous value as well. Getting all the players aligned around a common strategy and work plan, however, is no simple task. Absent detailed agreement, though, companies run the risk of constant battles over roles and responsibilities that can put the entire program at risk.

This video provides a brief review of a major PLM program at a leading company in the aerospace and defense industry. By examining the challenges, breakdowns, and ultimate solution to the alignment problem, the video should provide some valuable lessons learned that can applied to ensure smooth execution of major enterprise software implementations.

Several years ago, the company set out to improve and standardize product development and manufacturing processes worldwide. The company had grown through acquisitions and had a diverse collection of business units along with a large ecosystem of second and third tier suppliers. As the executive team and board of directors reviewed the business, they realized that the independence of each business unit’s engineering and manufacturing operations was greatly limiting their ability to optimize production by shifting resources across the company. To make things worse, there were more than 20 different PLM applications, which further inhibited corporate flexibility and adaptability to change. These limitations were posing a strategic threat to the business.
The new initiative was designed to harmonize key product development and manufacturing processes around one PLM application, PTC Windchill. The goals were to improve business flexibility, increase operational efficiency, and reduce the risk and cost of managing multiple PLM applications.
But figuring out exactly who should do what with the new initiative quickly got in the way of actually getting the work underway. There were three main groups involved: the company’s own subject matter experts, an outside consulting firm that had developed and sold the program to the company, and PTC Global Services, the professional services arm of the software vendor.
During the sales process, the consulting firm and PTC had presented what seemed like an appropriate and reasonable division of labor based on different strengths and skills. But once the detailed planning phase began, determining ownership and boundaries for specific roles and responsibilities for process improvement and software implementation bogged down in differing perspectives and long debates about who would lead the various work streams.

CONTINUED... watch the video. And To learn more about the key success factors for PLM and other enterprise solutions, visit the Insights section of our website at ptc.com/consulting/insights.

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