CM2: the cross-platform standard for impact analysis!

CM2 the cross-platform standard for impact analysis!

Almost a week ago Jos Voskuil published a post on LinkedIn and virtualdutchman.com (A cross-platform interface standard for impact analysis?) as a response an article of me and Martin Haket (We need a cross-platform interface for impact analysis!

Naturally I have to respond with another article as LinkedIn have a very limited way of giving feedback.

CM2 (Enterprise CM)

First some background on CM2. CM2 provides the operating standards and process/methods to manage configurations, ensure that you are and remain in control and that changes are processed as efficient as possible and in doing so reducing corrective actions and waste. CM2 is the only (enterprise) CM standard, that provides this, as other standards only describe the WHAT on a relatively high level. CM2 also provides the HOW and even goes to the level of role descriptions, listing required attributes for change forms etc.

The CM2 standard is accompanied with a very good training curriculum that has inspired me to switch focus from implementing PLM to become an architect in configuration management. You cannot expect that you can implement any standard without any form of training. E.g. if you want to introduce Prince2 or PMI’s PMBoK, reading a book will not suffice you need training and you need to experience it. Same with CM2 however CM2 has a much broader scope than Prince2 or PMBoK because it links to all functions of an organization. That is also the reason why CM2 is so powerful.

Let’s get back to the article of Jos.

Jos wrote: “in aerospace, defense, and automotive companies actively invest in CM. If you go to other industries and sizes of business, CM becomes more an intention than a practice.

Somehow the same challenge PLM has when it comes to full lifecycle support.”

If you call it CM or not, every company deals with CM. All regulated industries like aerospace, defense, automotive, medical/healthcare, are clear about the need for CM. Not all companies call it CM, some call it indeed PLM or even something else. There are even companies that implement a change process per CM2 e.g. Facebook and Microsoft implement CM2 based processes using PLM tools. They might not call it CM but still use the CM2 standard.

I do agree that there are a lot of companies that are less regulated, who do not see the value of CM similar to PLM. I would even say that every company that does not value PLM to full lifecycle support is because they do not value (enterprise) CM. Being in control of you configurations from cradle to grave.

 

The pyramid of Impact Analysis

Jos indicates about the pyramid of Impact Analysis: 

“The diagram puts CAD, SW, PLM, and ERP as verticals, where I would state PLM is responsible for the definition of the Product, which means governing CAD and SW and publishing towards ERP for execution. You might discuss if CM is part of PLM or that CM is a service on top of PLM.”

From my perspective PLM tools support CM in governing the product definition but it does not allow you to do an impact analysis in the expert domains as the verticals intend to represent. Take an engineer that needs to do an impact assessment of a change to understand if there is impact on the volume definition. You need to have your CAD tool to perform this analysis. During this analysis, the engineer might find a part that is impacted and reports this to the impact matrix. Maybe facilitated by PLM, but that is not the discussion in the article and the picture.

Where-related (dependencies)

I did very much liked the term ‘Where-related’ mentioned by Jos, as Where-used analysis is only giving a limited scope. An example is instances and their baselines, which are often times recorded in an ERP tool. These baselines are relevant for impact analysis to assess the implementation strategy on your installed base and the impact that will have on your product definition.

Also most PLM tools are not well suited for managing dependencies between software parameters and hardware or between software parameters and other software parameters. So a parameter with a certain value requires a specific piece of hardware. If the value changes, you need other hardware or some other parameters need to be changed to ensure a working configuration.

Finally CM2 (not classic CM) goes beyond product definition and instance baseline. It also takes into account the facility baseline and the organization baseline (processes, procedures, work instructions).

Using CM2 and the CM2 Community

I think we agree on the fact that impact analysis will not be done in one tool as there is a diverse landscape to support the various business processes. And that not all companies value CM/PLM the way it should. Also that just challenging vendors will not get us to what we need, but we do need vendors and work hand in hand. Challenging them was a first step as a lot of like minded CM professionals already see the need.

However I have to disagree with the following proposal: 

“Start an Impact Analysis community outside CM2 as there are many companies not following CM2; still they have their particular ways of working. Perhaps this community exists and lacks visibility – I am happy to learn.”

First of all, there is a CM2 community (Integrated Process Excellence (IPX) Congress), where in committees non CM2 trained people can join and are welcome to contribute. Secondly, not using the CM2 standard even though some companies do not adopt it (yet) is like ignoring a standard that is there, that provides what we need. 

An example of the committees we had in the past was the PLM certification committee to help PLM vendors to understand the CM2 requirements. This lead for example to the certification of Siemens Teamcenter achieving 4 of 5 stars a year ago. In the committee people collaborated that were CM2 trained but also a PLM veteran like Graig Brown from GM (at the time). See the post on LinkedIn from Siemens.

Choosing CM2 as the standard is not like vendor lock in (as Jos suggests) which is explained by Joseph Anderson (president of IpX): “The CM2-600 standard is an open standard. We work with all solution providers. The cross industry integrated process excellence global congress that Martijn has chaired leads industry best practice discussions and its foundation is CM2.” See comment here .

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