Three Things to Avoid When Upgrading Your PLM
Written By: Daniel Spiess

Editors Note: This post was co-written with Dr. Kristian Platt, Principal, Global Services, Central Europe, PTC. In his role Kristian is part of the focus group "value" and deals with leading customers through process transformation. Kristian has been working with various automotive customers since the beginning of his university career (thesis and internships). During his time as research assistant (PhD), he worked in the European SLC-program (SuperLightCar) with European car manufacturers. In the past Kristian has been working with automotive customers such as Adam Opel, BMW/Rolls-Royce Motorcars, Bosch, Daimler Benz, HARMAN, Porsche Research Center and Volkswagen (ECA). Within these engagements he focused on processes and methodology consulting for Electronic Control Units, chassis and power train development, platform strategies, lifecycle/cost analysis, supplier and design collaboration. Kristian was one of the first experts posted in Japan to support local project teams with his automotive expertise(Honda). Kristian earned his diploma in industrial engineering at Technische Universität Darmstadt. In 2009 he obtained his PhD in the area of Product Lifecycle Information (PLI).

For many customers, PLM upgrades can feel like arduous treks without map, compass or supplies. Complications can delay progress, such as existing customizations, unforeseen infrastructure difficulties and hardware/software conflicts.  

Preparation is critical to quickly and safely arriving at your destination. In this piece, we’ll outline three common pitfalls to avoid when upgrading your PLM. 

#1: Losing Sight of Your Destination

While at times upgrading might feel like a burdensome chore, the tremendous value must not be overlooked.  We’re not just referring to the value of the upgraded software.  The journey itself provides value.  While upgrading you’ll have the opportunity to assess and mitigate risks, de-customize and complete much needed performance improvements.  Make the most of the upgrade and strengthen your infrastructure for future success.  

#2: Overlooking Compatibility Gaps

You wouldn’t leave for a road trip without checking the gas gauge.  Don’t start an upgrade with an empty tank.  Without proper planning and an accurate map, you can go off course and misalign with business objectives, making it hard to realize the value of your investment.  Map out your upgrade and plan in advance.  Assess your current state.  If you are approaching a busy season or are understaffed, plan ahead and select alternatives.  You can get professional help and utilize experts like PTC Global Services to do the upgrade for you or schedule your upgrade for a later time.  Leverage all available information including enterprise deployment resources to prepare accordingly.  

#3: Underestimating the Scope

You are not taking a casual walk in the park. Upgrades require attention and a multi-step approach. Face your upgrade pragmatically and utilize all resources.  By jumping in without support, you can be caught off guard by unexpected costs or delays in timing.  Check in with groups like technical support – did you know they might stand by for such a deployment?  Or, ask your software representative for resources. 

Upgrading brings tremendous value to your organization.  With the right approach, you don’t need to fear the process.  

Unafraid and considering a PLM upgrade? Check out our Windchill 11 Upgrade Resource Center to see how Global Services guides customers through the process.  

Tags: Windchill Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Electronics and High Tech Digital Transformation
About the Author Daniel Spiess

Daniel Spiess, Global Services, Central Europe
Daniel Spiess holds currently a position as Principal Consultant, Global Services in CER. Daniel is one of the lead architects at the customer MAN. After several GSO projects within the automotive industry he supports currently “MAN truck & bus” since 2012 in his role as a process architect. Additionally he is the RVP PLM discipline lead. Daniel studied mechanical engineering at renowned technical university of Darmstadt, Germany. From 2004 till 2010 he worked as a research assistant at the Department of Computer Integrated Design researching within the field of CAx and PLM. In 2010 he received his doctoral degree and started his career at PTC as a GSO-Consultant in CER with a focus on premium consulting for product development.