I have worked with several client regarding the principles of change management. What I found was, all in different forms follow CMII principles however the DYNAMICS in which change is implemented into the product and the management process differ. They all operate the specific objects to record change, and also the ‘back-office’ organizations, such as the Change Control Board and some operate also a dedicated Change Introduction Board.

What do I mean with this ‘dynamics’. The change dynamics is the business rational how change introduction ripples through into the product and specifically aspects surrounding product sustainment i.e. sustainment being the process to maintain a product and secure save operation from an engineering perspective. There is a name for it emerging: Sustainment Lifecycle Management.

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In this post I would like to introduce an all embracing view regarding the purpose of a Digital Mockup or DMU. When you research the topic there are different opinions what a DMU is. It depends where you come from. The AutoVue’s view is that the DMU is the lightweight product representation derived from a 3D CAD model. If you are a vendor of 3D CAD, then DMU is the source product representation created with the CAD application. Wikipedia I believe is pretty close: Digital MockUp or DMU is a concept that allows the description of a product, usually in 3D…. although what is meant with ‘concept’.

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Application Sharing is a capability to granting remote access to a computer and enables two or more users to simultaneously and in real time access a shared application to view e.g. a document while being session ‘host’ or ‘guest’. Generally, the shared application will be running on a host computer, and remote access to the shared content will be provided to other users by the meeting host. This type of application provide capabilities to conduct for example a visual Product Design Review while each of the participants are at different (remote) locations. The business benefits are massive. Not only is the conference attendance effort minimized but also the cost of travel. You can also intensify the frequency of these review without any additional effort and cost. Some applications may be integral with for example SharePoint. But also the stand alone applications are rich. Recently I tried the Adobe ‘ConnectNow’ and also InnerPass from Skype. Not only did ConnectNow provide functions to share the desktop; also webcam, (one-to-one) chat, shared meeting notes and files and lastly white board. Obviously meeting notes are candidates to be captured back into PLM when formal; for example as part of a PDR/CDR (i.e. design reviews) and the less formal you would store back into the project collaboration platform.

‘Instant’ Messaging (IM or IMing) is an application to shoot an instant text message for ‘Quick questions and clarifications’ and enable rapid information dissemination and decision-making between one or more persons ‘collaborating’. The text is conveyed via devices (also phone) connected over a network such as the Intra/Internet. It is an informal form of knowledge exchange although the actual conversation can be saved for different purposes. IM is also less intrusive, as ‘discussions’ between co-workers are briefer compared with for example phone. Still certain IM clients today also support traditional phone capabilities (VOIP) as well as support of file sharing and webcam. There is a large variety of IM clients and Wikipedia publishes a list of these. One of the key impediments to a large usage today is the compatibility of protocols. The escape is to use a developer with a strong market presence and rich functions. Skype for example started as an internet phone capability and includes now IM as well (see also Application Sharing).
So IM is an ideal tool to quickly consult an ‘online’ coworker regarding a technical challenge. Working with companies we see this technology used as the need for effective knowledge sharing, team working and collaborative environments amongst employees has become vital, especially those teams working in geographically dispersed. Statistics further learns that Tens of millions of the consumer IM accounts in use are being used for business purposes by employees of companies and other organizations. IM adoption usually is a bottom-up evolution as employees adopt these capabilities, sometime against company (compliance) rules.