The application of necessary but not sufficient principles to the implementation of product lifecycle management software

Van der Walt, Lizenka (2007-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Industrial Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is defined as the business activity of managing a company's products across the product lifecycle. Product Data Management (PDM) systems are the primary system component of PLM. The focus of this research is on the implementation of PDM software within the context of PLM. Fifty percent of all PLM projects fail. Failure implies no bottom-line benefit is achieved with the implementation. The main reason for failure is not the technology but the implementation approach used. The research question addressed by this thesis is: How can it be ensured that bottom-line benefit is achieved with the implementation of PLM technology? The Necessary but not Sufficient (N&S) solution is based on Theory of Constraints principles and was developed to help achieve significant bottom-line benefit with the implementation of new technology. This is accomplished through focusing on the removal of limitations (something that prevents the company from better achievement of its goal of increasing profit) as well as addressing the necessary organisational changes (the N&S solution refers to the changing of customs, habits, policies, procedures, metrics and behaviour). This research applies the N&S solution to the PLM software environment in order to address the research question. The outcome of the project is an implementation methodology that will ensure bottom-line benefit will be achieved with the implementation of PLM software. This implementation methodology was applied to a practical case study from an analysis point of view and was validated with cause and effect logic.

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