Step 2: Help Everyone Collaborate on Product Development
- Product updates: systems like Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) have been used to keep engineering groups in sync, but those same capabilities should extend to customers, so they can participate in the development process. After all, the product is being made for them in the first place. You should allow customers to be able to do product redlines, create revisions, update files, etc.
- Tasks and timelines: Project Portfolio Management (PPM) systems have been used to a greater degree with customers than PLM to keep everyone on the same page with respect to timelines and tasks. However, the separation of PPM from PLM has typically caused lower productivity, potential errors and communication issues. For successful custom development, you need to make sure that project tasks, timelines, product updates, and deliverables are all tied together.
- Collaboration, approvals and notifications: of course, it’s critical to ensure customers and every other stakeholder gets prompt notifications when things change or when they need to approve changes. Threaded discussions are also a great way to discuss things with customers in a much more rapid and informal fashion as well.
Stay tuned for a future post on steps 3 and 4, or download the full whitepaper “4 Steps to Creating Great Products for Each of Your Customers.” And of course, for more info, visit propelPLM.com.