Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The engineering workplace 2020 at BMW

I found the presentation from BMW’s CIO Erich Probst at the ProSTEP-iViP Symposium 2011 quite interesting. In his keynote, he presented the following slide (I took the freedom to translate it to English) on the engineering workplace 2020:

Engineering Workplace 2020 (Source: Erich Probst, CIO BMW)

His thoughts are mapping very well to my earlier posting on The future workplace in engineering. Regarding the attractiveness for digital natives, he adds the aspect of gaming to the use of social computing. He also addresses the potentially stressful flexibility of working in an “always on” mode.

Semantic Consolidation – Bits of Wisdom
The future workplace must support the engineer in dealing with multiple channels, e.g. by the use of Web 2.0 patterns such as aggregation, syndication and mashups. I don’t want the same bit of wisdom on Twitter, recommended by 5 friends, through an email notification and finally discussed at the good old coffee machine. This requires more than portal-like integration on the GUI level. It would require integration on a semantic level in order to identify that bit of wisdom. It’s then up to the user to determine the best channel to access this information. And it’s up to the systems to ensure that this information is not delivered redundantly to the same user.

Dr. Matthias Zagel from Consentor presented on a related topic at the same symposium with his speech about Networked Product Development. Their approach is to identify parameters that are relevant for coordination in a team. All discussions and decisions are organized around these parameters. They become a new PLM structure – next to product structures, functional & requirements structures, WBS etc. – to organize collaboration, decision making and knowledge management. On the one hand, I realize that it is already challenging to master the classical PLM structures. But on the other hand, I feel that Consentor’s approach of self-organizing collaborative processes supported by social computing is an innovative approach that points into the right direction. What do you think?

P.S.: the presentations are available at www.prostep.org for registered members of the ProSTEP-iViP association.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Open words – ProSTEP-iViP Symposium in the BMW Welt, Munich

Munich is the PLM capitol this week: the ProSTEP-iViP Symposium as the annual meeting of the PLM community took place on April 5-6, 2011 in the BMW Welt. Working for the PLM unit at Cirquent in Munich, I couldn’t miss this home match. We made a tag cloud poster to display our topics at the booth and were fortunate enough to have many interesting conversations with the 420 participants.
Cirquent PLM tag cloud

The vibes were all good – automotive and aerospace are doing much better than last year. A lot of PLM projects are to be launched now that were on hold in 2009 / 2010. The bottleneck seem to be the human resources for the project teams – the business experts at the companies are as busy as the consultants at the service providers.

BMW AIDA – PDM backbone for E/E
BMW not only sponsored the nice location, they also contributed some presentations to the conference. I was especially impressed with the AIDA presentation: the BMW project manager presented the vision for an integrated electrical / electronical development process. In the second part of the presentation, Dassault Systèmes made a live demo of CATIA Systems and Enovia V6 to show what is possible today. We from Cirquent are commited to the success of AIDA as an innovative and challenging project with about 30 consultants.

PLM Openness Initiative
The announcement of the ProSTEP-iViP association to launch a PLM Openness initiative in 2011 made my day. This is supposed to develop a codex for open standards and interfaces that can be supported by PLM vendors via a voluntary commitment. Not all vendors like to be open, especially when they consider proprietary technology as a competitive advantage. In my view, this initiative meets a critical customer demand, the control over product data as the main asset of a company. Please also refer to the discussion in End-to-end OOTB vs. open, standards-based PLM and in Open Standards and Data Sharing . I will follow this and support the initiative.
Looking forward to the next symposium at Airbus in Hamburg...
(Translated from my original German posting on Cirquent Blog)