Everything you need to implement ThingWorx Navigate for PLM data

Create a Project Plan

Behind every successful project is a thorough project plan. The project manager leads the development of the timeline, licensing plan, cost considerations, and stakeholder communication plan.

01. Determine timeline

Create a project timeline that includes completion dates, phases, milestones, and dependencies. As you build out the timeline, ask your project team for input. For example, if you plan to use single sign-on for authentication, ask IT for an estimate on how much time they’ll need to configure it.

Generally, implementing an out-of-the-box (OOTB) app takes about 4 weeks from start to first use. The project may take longer depending on the availability and experience of your project team, among other factors.

If you’re developing a custom app, your timeline will be much longer and will depend on many factors including your app design, data integrations, potential infrastructure changes, testing, and overall availability of skills and staffing.

In your timeline, include change management tasks such as training and communications. Start the adoption team’s work early enough so training materials, documentation, and communications will be ready for go-live.

Your timeline should be created by your project manager and then approved by your project sponsor. Moving forward, the project manager monitors progress, budget, dependencies, and upcoming milestones. They’ll also communicate progress with project stakeholders throughout the project.


02. Evaluate licensing

You’ll need the right type and number of licenses in time to install the app and start configuration and development. Start evaluating licensing needs as soon as you know the use case and the expected number of daily users.

Have your site administrator review the licenses your organization has today. Request a Detailed License Report for each installation site. Then contact  your  PTC sales representative to find out  what licenses you need based on your use case for ThingWorx Navigate.

Most ThingWorx Navigate licenses, including those for OOTB apps, are for active daily users (as opposed to named or dedicated licenses). A group of users shares licenses over a 24-hour calendar day up to the limit of the number of purchased licenses.

An OOTB license comes with all available apps that can be implemented. The license packages are:

  • ThingWorx Navigate View (View Apps, Windchill View Access)
  • ThingWorx Navigate Contribute (Contribute App, Windchill Contribute Access, View Apps)

For custom apps, both developers and end users need licenses. The former App Development Kits have been replaced with two license packages:

  • ThingWorx Connected PLM View (read-only)
  • ThingWorx Connected PLM Author (inputting data, includes View)

Developers and users of custom apps also need licenses for:

  • Windchill, ThingWorx Navigate View, or ThingWorx Navigate Contribute
  • PLM Connected Base

Your sales representative can explain the licensing requirements, identify what you need, and provide costs. 

Put the licensing tasks in the project timeline:

  • Determine license needs
  • Purchase licenses
  • Install license files
  • Entitle users to licenses

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03. Identify costs

The cost of your project depends on the use case, scope, and internal resources. If your use case benefits multiple groups, determine who will share costs, for example development of a custom app.

Identify costs and document estimates as best you can. Consider the following:

  • Users: Determine the number and location of users as early as possible. This will help you determine costs and needs for infrastructure and licensing. Servers should be located near the users to reduce data-transfer time and avoid government restrictions on receiving or sending data with other countries. Ask the managers included in your use case for numbers and location of users. You do not need individual names of users until you assign people to user groups.
  • Internal time: Estimate the number of hours team members will spend on the project and communicate the needs to their managers for resource planning and budgeting. Include time for meetings, training, testing, and supporting the app. For a custom app, include time for early users to give design feedback and test the app.
  • External resources: Consider whether you’ll hire contractors or services to implement the software.
  • Infrastructure: Consider how you’ll deploy your app, whether on premise or the cloud, and the servers you’ll need. Your IT group will determine infrastructure needs. ThingWorx Navigate must be set up on a dedicated server if you’re deploying on premise.
  • Software: Consider possible licensing costs to acquire or update software. The ThingWorx Navigate Compatibility Matrix provides detailed information about supported platforms, including Windchill versions and patches.
  • PTC support package: Consider purchasing a support package if you do not have one so you can benefit from PTC’s technical support and resources.

Gather estimates of costs in order to get approval for the budget. You’ll add up detailed costs later.


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04. Get approval for project plan

Document the project plan including team members and roles, timeline, licensing plan, and identified costs. Ask your project sponsor for review and approval. You may need other approvals depending on your organization’s processes.


05. Plan communications to project team and stakeholders

As you move forward with your project, communicate progress with internal stakeholders often. They include the project team, project sponsor, executives, and managers in the group that will use the app. Document a simple communications plan so you make sure to get the right audiences the information they need and want. Without a plan, communication may not happen, which can affect executive buy-in and user adoption.

Include in your communication plan:

  • Your audiences, the stakeholders or groups you need to communicate with during the project
  • What information is most important to which audience so that you can avoid communication overload
  • What you need from stakeholders at various points along the timeline
  • Best communication channel for each audience whether it’s email, meetings, or something else
  • How project team members will communicate with one another, including channels and regular check-ins
  • How stakeholders can send feedback and needs

The project manager should create this plan with input from others. Be sure to let stakeholders know how they can reach you and the best ways to provide feedback. Later, as part of organizational change management, you’ll create a plan to communicate with the new users and the rest of your organization.


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