Monday Sep 08, 2008

All about Deliverables when creating a Project from a Template

In this post, I'll talk about what happens to deliverables and attachments when creating a program from a template. Agile Product Portfolio Management (PPM) allows you to define a project tree along with supporting deliverables and attachments in a template format, so that projects can be rapidly created to mimic the template. Deliverables are defined as rows in the content tab that drive program execution via rules. Attachments are defined as rows in the content tab without any rules. From release 9.2.2 onwards, it is recommended that the attachment tab be disabled for the Programs base class, and the Content tab be used to store all attachments as well. The Content tab was designed in 9.2.2 as a combination of the old Relationships, References, Attachments & Links (and Approval Items on Gates) tabs.The Content tab should be the one place where all supporting information for the project is stored. The Content tab is especially suited for this purpose since it supports user-created Views, that allow flexible organization of such information. It has a preview pane to view relevant details of any selected row, so that users can perform common tasks from this screen itself. [Read More]

Sunday Sep 07, 2008

Align Project Selection with Company Objectives using KPIs

This question was brought up by a few customers on my recent trip to Asia. Customers want to know how to manage the phase-gate process in a more objective manner, so that the rationale behind keeping / killing or putting projects on hold is clearly documented. In the absence of objectivity, product development organizations tend to lose alignment between company strategy and project selection or prioritization. The more important loss however, could be "learning from failure", which is very important for innovation since innovation often involves unknown and unforeseen risks. Any prior experience from previous projects developing similar products is extremely important because it highlights what not to do and serves to mitigate risks to some extent. "This decision was taken upon review by senior management" just does not provide such important learnings. Learning from failure is important in order to achieve 'process maturity' (measured by such models as Capability Maturity Model or CMM). More on process maturity and excellence in later blog posts... Objectivity in project selection can be achieved by defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at each gate. What KPIs should be used for various gates in a product development process (PDP) is an entire topic in itself and deserves a separate blog. KPIs will vary by the product development phase as well as by industry. E.g. KPIs for upstream phases such as Concept and Feasibility phases should focus on alignment with strategy, potential market size, technological risks etc. KPIs for later phases such as Prototype and Launch phases should focus on manufacturability, distribution models etc. Many business consulting services are available to help companies define their KPIs based on their current strategic direction. [Read More]

Thursday Sep 04, 2008

Agile PLM at OpenWorld September 21-25

Once again there will be a large contingent of Agile people at OpenWorld in San Francisco. This year, we will not be having a separate "little Agility" type event away from the main Openworld event. All of the Agile PLM sessions will be held in Moscone West (MSN Live Map), mostly on the 2nd floor. Hopefully this will make it easier for customers to run between Agile sessions and other Oracle sessions. PLM has 30+ sessions at OpenWorld covering PLM in general, PLM in industries, and product specific sessions. Details of the sessions are in the Content Catalog . Agile is first again in the Stream / Track listing. Another option is a nice consolidated page at PLM Schedule. In addition to the sessions, Agile will again be in the Oracle DemoGrounds at Moscone West 1st floor. Demo systems with 9.2.2.4 will be running and staffed by Pre-Sales Consultants and Product Management. Finally, there will also be a meet the Product Managers session where you can meet all of the Agile PLM Product Managers in the Applications Lounge on Wednesday morning. [Read More]

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