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Desktop Engineering Blog

We don’t do Project Management

Posted by Neil Watford on 13-May-2020 14:00:00

Or do we?

When speaking to customers about 3DEXPERIENCE, I often include a discussion about project management. Quite often customers - especially smaller ones with fewer staff – will say we are too small to justify project management:  “We don’t do Project Management”.2019 Dassault Systemes 3DEXPERIENCE brand compass

In my experience this is rarely the case, but perhaps it would be best to first define what I mean by Project Management.

If you think I am about to start talking about Prince 2 or Six Sigma, then I am sorry (not sorry) to disappoint you.

I am referring to something much more basic.

 

What is Project Management?

Let’s look at an example

A customer places a pricing enquiry with your company, this enquiry needs to be accepted by someone in the business and then fed through to the right person who has the skills to quote. Then a quote is generated and fed back - possibly after being ratified by a salesperson (who decides this)

Now let us assume that the customer places the order.

The order is accepted by someone in the business and this is then passed to the order processing team who perhaps perform some level of credit control (who decides this) before confirming the order and passing this over to the design team, the design team then have to organise their workload to ensure that work is prioritised correctly and delivery times are met – how is this done/tracked

Once the design is complete this will need to be passed to manufacturing – starting with material procurement – then must be scheduled into an appropriate slot in the manufacturing cycle. The product is then made and shipped to the customer, after a set payment date the customer must pay for product and someone must ensure the payment is received.

 

Can anyone spot project management here?

In most cases the majority of these tasks may be done by email or excel being updated manually – lots of information stored in different locations and possibly uncontrolled copies floating around each department.

In effect you are managing a mini project every time you receive a quote/order - it’s just invisible.

Let me paint a different picture for you – step in Project Management in 3DEXPERIENCE.

A pricing request comes in from a customer:

Image 1 – Showing templated schedule with one click task assignment

 A project is generated from an existing template (we could have a different template for existing customers vs new customers) within 3DEXPERIENCE.

Image 2 – Showing Documents stored centrally within the Project Space

This template contains all the common tasks associated with moving an enquiry from pricing through to delivery.

It also has documents populated and stored directly within the project space (these could be anything from requirements templates, process documents through to quality control templates).

The tasks that are already predefined from the templates are assigned to users with a single click.

 

 

 

 

Image 3 – Showing task being edited directly from a user’s task listOnce assigned, the users will receive a notification that a task has been assigned to them, they can view this task and update its progress directly within 3DEXPERIENCE, which will reflect into the project plan dynamically giving visibility to all.

We repeat this for all tasks.

In addition, each project will automatically update metrics that reflect the status of the project allowing managers to understand the status of this customers quote/order at a glance.

 

 

Image 4 – Showing Metrics that are Automatically created and updated

 

But what does this do for me I hear you asking? …,,

  • One system – One source of information
  • All information to do with a customer quote and order stored in one location – Easy to find information
  • Easily track where a customer quote/order is when they ask
  • Enforced process – everyone working to the same process, same plan and using the same document templates
  • Visibility of resource loading allowing for proper work balancing and scheduling (allowing accurate delivery times to be given to customers)
  • Pre-populated Metrics available for managers to use to get better understanding of business workload

Now just imagine that this project management was all done on the cloud, where all you need is an internet connection to gain access so you can access information and update customers from (almost) anywhere. In addition (if you wanted to) you could attach the actual CAD geometry generated by the Design department into the same ‘Project Space’ as all the supporting documents. This CAD data would be revision/version controlled automatically meaning no more accidentally saving over current revisions/versions, again all in the cloud.

This, and much more is available on cloud when you start your 3DEXPERIENCE journey.

  • Issue Management
  • Change management
  • 3D for all
  • 3D Design Reviews
  • Manufacturing Planning
  • And lots more ...

So, do you still believe you 'Don’t Do Project Management’ or have I convinced you that you probably do, but perhaps never realised? If you feel that you could benefit from some of the concepts shown in brief here or would just like a conversation – get in touch.

 

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Topics: 3DEXPERIENCE, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), TechTips, Project Management