In a previous post, I discussed high-level people attributes, competencies, skills and roles required when selecting and implementing PLM solutions; though not going through all technical skills and roles in an exhaustive manner (some are technology or industry dependent). Such considerations equally apply to other digital platform and digital transformation initiatives. Specific requirements will emerge based on business maturity, the problem statement, the context and scope covered, selected delivery, engagement and commercial models to implement the change, sourcing strategies in procuring or subscribing to PLM related services (software, maintenance services, etc.)
In this post, I discuss how talent requirements need be aligned to specific scope, delivery and sourcing strategies to enable PLM initiatives; and how SaaS offering might affect the PLM implementation roles.
PLM scope: business value vs complexity trade-offs
No doubt that value creation is the number one objective of any PLM initiative. I had previously referred to the Institute of Value Management which defines value as “the relationship between satisfying needs and expectations and the resources required to achieve them” and “getting what you require for what you will pay”. Value is created when a need has been satisfied through the use of an appropriate level of effort.
People are obviously the key ‘resource’ to drive change and operations. addressing resource requirements include assessing and aligning competencies, stills and roles required to deliver value. Finding the right talents include core attributes, hard and soft skill requirement, and alignment to project context and cultural fit with the organization.
Implementing PLM improvements or transformations include the definition and deployment of business and data management process, technical planning whose complexity often gets in the way of smooth transition and adoption. Problem solving, dealing with complexity, the ability to simplify and agree trade-offs are core competencies when delivering PLM initiatives—some of which were highlighted per the Solution Architect role.
Engagement and delivery models
The business interface(s) is / are essential to delivery success in contributing to expectation setting and stakeholder management. Typically, the first line with the business is handed by the Business Analyst and Product Owner; these are critical roles to identifying and communicating about storyboards and use cases with associated business requirements, but also delivery expectations—independently of the delivery model as such.
Talent requirements also link to both engagement and delivery models, considering:
- How is the team structured and located?
- What are the security clearance requirements (if any)?
- What are the specific roles and skills needed to manage and lead delivery teams (e.g. waterfall vs agile)?
- What is delivered as a service vs as an outcome-based project?
- What are the interdependencies and budget constraints?
- What are the operations vs project role requirements?
In-source vs out-source
Organizations must always balance growing existing vs hiring new talents as part of their learning development and succession strategies. PLM talents span across a range of functions and roles, with a number of cross-functional overlaps; pretty much every PLM initiative is different, soft skills such as adaptability and flexibility play a critical role. The way that change is handled will depend on the delivery model.
When choosing to outsource delivery activities, it is important to consider a number of questions:
- Is the internal team geared to deliver the solution alone?
- What help and ownership must they be attributed?
- What can be scaled and how?
- What are the internal core competencies that must be protected, nurtured and developed?
- What commercial model fits the organizational culture and result expectations, fixed price vs time and material, full vs partial ownership?
- What are the budget constraints and how to realize economies of scale or scope?
- What can be delivered offshore vs what must be done on site, considering contextual lessons learned?
- How to mitigate commercial and delivery risk in light to the above considerations? (managing commercial deliverables differs from managing ‘only’ resources)
Projects vs services
With the rise of cloud-based / SaaS PLM offering, certain roles might not be required in implementation projects, such as IT roles related to database and infrastructure administration, etc. Inevitably, these roles will be required by managed services providers and vendors to support their solution. New delivery roles might also emerge to manage services operations and customer engagement.
What are your thoughts?
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