Back to this week’s trips, we were talking a lot about implementation and training and I made a note in my pad to discuss education strategy. The traditional implementation of CAM (Computer Added Manufacture), CAD (Computer Added Design) and even today’s PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) solutions tend to be offered in a two to three weeks training course, followed by training with a manual or from the person sitting next to you..!
Managing change for a new PLM system is complex, largely because of the new processes, most often unique to that company alone. Training is further hindered by the flexibility that PLM brings, with it being almost impossible to obtain up to the minute, hard-copy training manuals.
With PLM, we must over-inform users, not because people are stupid but because people have many things to manage. Not just their own jobs, but the increased complexity and speed of today’s business. We need to ensure that people are given sufficient support over a longer period of time to learn the new PLM solution, which is essentially there to enable them to be more effective at their jobs.
Given today’s technology, we can help resolve some of the problems of education of our internal teams and manage the even greater complexity of educating our extended team of partners by computerising the PLM training courses. Before I started my current business, I use to work for a company that had its own in-house university, providing hundreds of on-line learning courses designed to help each employee. This enabled the employees to take courses at times that made sense to them rather than having to block out a week or even two weeks and then having to try and balance their normal work day. This played a massive part in minimising stress levels!
The educational mix
This week, I discussed with a client having a PLM expert on-site in the early stages of implementation to support and coach users. It’s also the role of senior management to define long term training programmes to support the on-going changes/solution upgrades and also staff turnover, how will future new employees be trained?
On-site and online PLM learning each have their pros and cons, so the PLM education strategy should address and balance them both in the mix to accommodate employees.
Mark Harrop is a leading Apparel PLM expert with more than 34 years experience in the industry. Mark co-founded the Product Development Partnership Ltd, the team of experts behind WhichPLM.
Email Mark at: firstname.lastname@example.org