Parenting and PLM Software development


PLM (product Lifecycle Management) is a methodology used in Manufacturing in which the central concept is Lifecycle. Life is a cycle that starts from birth and continues with growth and finally death. For human beings, pregnancy is 9 months and birth a few hours (hopefully…). On the other hand, life expectancy at birth is about 100 times longer: latest estimates in developed countries are around 80 years! Carrying and delivering a child is a beautiful and painful moment of life but it is a moment: this is just the beginning of the story, just as the first software delivery is just the start.

Delivering software

Our customers wish to have beautiful and healthy pieces of software that adjust exactly to their Form, Fit and Function but more importantly, they need them to grow and mature with them. Our customers live and breathe PLM everyday as a central concept of their manufacturing business. We have learned from this concept and applied it to software development by creating a unique DevOps platform that allow us to be not only the prolific parents of hundreds of apps but also the caring parents that will accompany them all along their life journey.

What is the benefit?

Our customers make tractors, jewelry, spaceships, furniture… this is their job, not to produce and maintain software. The Wincom DevOps platform and the apps methodology allow them to have their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) significantly lower, predictable and managed.
An important secondary effect is very interestingly pointed by John Papageorge in his post “What’s the real total Cost of Ownership of on-premise PLM software?”: the economic concept of “opportunity cost”. If you invest your money in in-house customized software solutions, you will not only get a poor ROI but you will also mobilize your resources on a task that is not your core business. The money you invested in support software, if invested in innovation in your core business, may have helped to make your company even more competitive in its industry and therefore increase your revenue: yet, somehow, you missed the opportunity.

Manufacturing Lessons

A highly valuable lesson we learned from our manufacturing customers is that the birth is the first step of a long life(cycle) journey: this allowed us to be the parents of almost 300 software babies and more importantly support them as they grow up.

This post is the first of a series on how to apply manufacturing concepts to software developments.

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