Insights into the Future from Engineering Sofware Users

A quick peek into some research on … the priorities, plans, views, and economic outlooks of companies that use engineering software. The survey-based study, published last night by Cyon Research, paints a very interesting picture of how manufacturers plan to invest and leverage engineering software (and related hardware) in the near future. I have had the opportunity to review and comment on the report during its development, and one thing that continuously struck me is not just how useful the published insights on the future of engineering software are, but the richness and depth of the information that the Cyon team couldn’t fit into the report.

What I Learned: We are not Going to Design an Airplane on Facebook!

What I learned this week … came from a participant at my session on Social Computing in PLM at COFES last month. A quote from the session has been haunting me since that time, and I haven’t been able to place my finger on why it has resonated in my head. I think because it is both meaningful to me and meaningless at the same time. The quote was “We are not going to build an airplane on Facebook!” The statement drew a lot of chuckles, and I have to believe it’s a true statement of fact. But I think why it haunts me is that people are willing to discount the value of a hugely important trend (the use of social computing technologies in business) because the examples they have don’t quite fit the way the currently work.

Why Social Networking in PLM is More than Just Collaboration

What I learned this week … came as the result of a conversation I had recently with some of the people I know who are passionate about the use of social computing to improve product development. The examples that we kept discussing were good, but to me I kept hearing about better collaboration. Important, but from my use of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. I kept feeling like there was more to it that I wasn’t able to articulate. In one of those “aha” moments (aided by one of my favorite innovation tools, the white board) I finally got it. I would like to share that with you if I can.