Understand the skill sets and experience your project team needs to upgrade ThingWorx. Determine whether your organization internally employs the right talent. Hire outside resources to bridge any gaps if needed.
Having experience implementing ThingWorx is a significant advantage when it comes to upgrading. PTC, experienced partners, or systems integrators can often fill gaps in skill sets and experience.
Although their titles may differ, you typically need the following skills to participate in your upgrade.
IT administrator: your IT administrator maintains your organization's IT network, servers, and security systems. They'll also play a role in building and operating your IoT application.
Integrations: have a team member available to turn off and on the integrations to test and upgrade the platform. If necessary, this person would be on standby if there are any changes required to the integrations.
Application management: this could be one or more people that handle the ThingWorx entities, code repository, and organization and management of the database backups.
Business process: manages the business processes that govern development, manufacturing, and change management. There may be different people per business process.
Database administrator: setup, maintenance, and management of the Source Data database, including troubleshooting, maintenance, installation, and backup of the system.
Find out whether your organization employs people who have these skill sets. If so, ask the employees whether they can make themselves available to contribute to the project. Get their manager's approval, if needed. You can do most of the work remotely, but team members should be on-site to gather requirements and the go-live stage.
Typically, organizations hire contractors or consultants to bridge skills gaps and achieve their use cases. If internal employees are non-existent or unavailable, hire outside resources. Verify that the individuals you hire have the right skills and experience to meet your project goals.
If you purchased a Success Plan from PTC, you have access to IoT experts who support and guide you. Customer Success Management can help you plan, implement, and measure your IoT initiative. Your PTC Customer Success Manager ensures you have the right mix of resources on your team. They'll help make sure each contributor has extensive experience with the ThingWorx platform and is well suited for the role. If you don't have a Success Plan, contact your sales representative.
Stakeholder support is a crucial asset throughout your IoT initiative. Cultivate buy-in at various levels of your organization, from high-level business leaders to frontline workers. Your most important stakeholder is at the executive level. Identify a well-respected, well-connected executive champion who advocates for your initiative on an ongoing basis.
In addition to the people who champion IoT solutions, you'll also need end-users to test them in the real world. Identify a manageable group of workers who tests and provide feedback on early-stage applications. These workers should represent your ideal end-users. They'll help you identify urgent fixes and opportunities for improvement before you implement ThingWorx on a larger scale.
Possible stakeholders may include:
Determine how, when, and to whom you'll communicate throughout your IoT project. Your stakeholders have different needs, depending on their role.
As you plan how to communicate with your stakeholders, answer these questions:
Keep in mind that your stakeholders' involvement and communication needs may change over the project's course. Modify your approach as you go.
While it's essential to communicate, it's also imperative to listen. If stakeholder communication is only coming from one direction, you risk missing valuable feedback or opportunities to address concerns. Establish channels for soliciting and responding to feedback across your organization. Make sure stakeholders know how to get answers.
Determine training needs based on the roles on your team and your chosen use case(s). We have many options to help you start building applications with ThingWorx. For example, we have courses to learn to develop in ThingWorx, manage platform security, and a course for DevOps practices, among many others.
Most courses are available through PTC University Training Central (requires a PTC account). A PTC training advisor can help you choose which courses are the most important for your team.
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