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Product and Program Management Goes Mobile

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Issue in Focus: Product and Program Management Goes Mobile – Compressing Project Cycle Time and Time to Market with Mobile PLM describes how mobile workers can decide, approve, and contribute to their projects and programs in real-time using PLM in a mobile scenario. PLM applications provide significant value to product and program managers, including control of NPD processes and projects, better access to information, and improved decision making. But there are significant barriers that keep mobile employees from contributing to projects with PLM when they travel. Learn how mobile PLM applications can help.

Please enjoy the Executive Summary below, or click the report title above to download a PDF that overviews the report (free of charge, no registration required). For the full report, visit the Siemens PLM website (free of charge, registration required).

Table of Contents

  • Introducing the Issue
  • The Value of Mobility to Product and Program Management
  • Compressing Project Cycle Time with Mobile PLM
  • A Mobile Product and Program Management Scenario
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • About the Author

Introducing the Issue

Manufacturers use Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions to effectively control product, project, and programs across their enterprises and supply chains. These applications provide significant value to product and program managers, including control of NPD processes and projects, better access to information, and improved decision making. PLM helps companies manage the complexity of today’s projects and programs, including coordinating cross-functional teams that may be dispersed across different sites, time zones, and even company boundaries. This results in better planning and execution of projects, faster time to market, and reduced project risk.

Unfortunately, there are significant barriers that keep mobile employees from contributing to projects with PLM when they travel. The challenges include inability to easily access information and being disconnected from processes. These barriers result in lag times in project execution and decision making that slow down project and program delivery. They may also contribute to people moving forward based on assumptions that will result in project rework or quality problems.

The issue is that traditional devices that run PLM are simply not designed for mobility. Employees on the road or away from their desk may use smartphones to keep in touch via e-mail, but these devices lack the size and screen to be useful for most PLM applications. Laptops are helpful, but require users to be settled with a flat surface and their hands free. They are really designed for portability as opposed to mobility. Beyond devices, feature-rich project and program management software built for a desktop is not designed with mobile users in mind. Simply making desktop or web applications available on a mobile web browser can prove to be frustrating and cumbersome, resulting in people waiting for a more convenient time to contribute or handling issues outside of the system.

Product and program managers can’t afford delays. They need mobile workers to decide, approve, and contribute to their projects and programs in real-time. Manufacturers can leverage the rise of tablets like the iPad to allow project leaders and team members alike to make decisions and keep their projects moving forward, regardless of their physical location and access to a PC.

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