In the earlier blogs I have identified five ‘elements of creation’ in a product design venture. Three of them are rather traditional:
- the product is created. All evidence of that are accessible via the Bill of Material (the parts that the product consist of and all their properties, attributes and documentation)
- the requirements are created. All evidence of that is in the function-tree, describing what the system, the product, and the parts, are expected to do for a living.
- the manufacturing process is created. All evidence of that is in the bill of process (or process description) in which tasks, their duration, their sequence and the required parts and tooling are specified
Now, in the companies that I used to work for, these three acts of creation were performed in separate department. System engineering specifies the functional requirements, Development& Engineering does the product design and Production Engineering creates the manufacturing process.
(The production guys will probably shy away from the term ‘creation’. Real Manufacturing Men do not create, they control! )
In the last company that I worked for, I witnessed the advent and rapid growth of a project management offive (PMO). It devoted itself to helping project leaders in project management. I dare say that it helped in ‘creating projects’ (and they did not mind me wording it this way). Thinking up programs is not an easy thing to do. Programs consist of project and projects consist of tasks to perform. At the start of a program it is chaotic process to define projects, project leads, the tasks, the required competence (and thus the persons) that are to be selected to perform the tasks. Having started a program, it takes a well-organized change process to maintain and communicate the project organization’s description.
So I thought it appropriate the grand ‘defining projects’ the status of ‘an act of creation’. Furthermore, any PLM system will need to report the progress in projects, thus it needs the project data in it’s data model.
The fifth element ( the company’s organogram) came about after admiring the way the our HR&O department succeeded in finding the competences that are required in a project. When exotic skills were required, they had to become creative to find people that had such skills and t0 persuade them to join our company. Thus, creating the the company’s organogram is an act of creation and it is the source of competences (organised in competence groups) that are required in design- and management tasks.
It seems vital for any succesfull PLM system to contain the five tree-like structures that these five ‘elements of creation’ are arranged in:
- the function tree (from system to module level) with a function hierarchy
- the Bill of Material (from system to part level) with a part hierarchy
- the bill of processes (assembly/test/packing-processes) with a task sequence
- the project organisation (anything with tasks, their interdepencancy and their duration)
- the organigram showing an organisation of people with competences
These five data-trees contain five entities and their interrelations, plus their properties and attributes.
Next, each entity uses data from the other as attributes: who is the function owner in 1 stems from 5, the parts to be assembled in 3 stem from 2, the required competence for a part in 2 to be desinged stems from 4, etc.
Or are there data that are not properties or attributes of these five, and deserve their own domain?