PLM – User Acceptance
When products don’t work the way we expect them to, we usually blame the product. However, as the old saying goes ‘a poor carpenter always blames his tools’, it’s generally not so much the product that’s the problem, but how it’s being used along with perceptions, expectations, and biases.
So, what we often find is companies that are not getting what they want out of their PLM systems will automatically look to product development to solve their issues. They will come up with long lists of new functions or concepts that they believe will solve their problems. However, the root cause of the problem is usually about how the process was implemented, user acceptance, user training, or issues of process change.
Those that get the maximum value from PLM are those who focus on supporting the key elements of the underlying process and ensure that their users fully accept and are well trained in the PLM systems functional capabilities.
At the end of the day, Simpler is Better! As Einstein once stated “everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Adding complexity increases cost, time and the risk of something going wrong. It can also alienate users.
To keep things simple and keep your users engaged requires that you continue to invest in your people, processes and PLM system as much after go-live as before to ensure that you get the maximum out of it. This investment should include services, support, training, software updates and additions from your chosen vendor and their partners.
Some tips to ensure you gain and maintain user acceptance are:
• Avoid creating processes that are more complex than is absolutely necessary.
• If something in the process is broken, identify the root cause of the problem before assuming new functionality is the only solution.
• Work with your PLM vendor and their partners on an ongoing basis to update processes and support and educate your users.
If you have comments on the above, drop me a note at Robert.McKee@lawson.com.
Industry Strategy Director
PS: When selecting, implementing and supporting your PLM system, remember to look at your PLM software vendor’s partner ecosystem as well as the vendors own capabilities.