We need a cross-platform interface for impact analysis!

We need a cross-platform interface for impact analysis!

Co-author: Martin Haket

In case you have missed it, at the IpX ConX19 conference in San Diego Martin Haket and me stirred things up with our question to the panel of PLM/CLM vendors when we can expect a proper standard to support Impact Analysis across business systems. Oleg Shilovitsky already posted several articles about this: 

In reply Jos Voskuil wrote:

Where these articles mostly focus on the standardization in the PLM domain, the question Martin and I put forward was more on the standardization across domains first focussing on PLM and ERP to enable organizations to do a high quality impact analysis on change proposals. Which was the focus of our keynote Ignorance is Bliss!

There are examples that standardization is very successful like in the telecom industry or schema.org an initiative from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex as Oleg explained in What would happen if PLM vendors would agree on data standards?.

Some people indicated to us that you have PDX or ISO 10303 aka STEP or ISO 14306:2017 aka JT, but that does not cover our needs. At least not to our knowledge. We want to be able to collaborate on impact analysis across business systems across the supply chain. Because the impact analysis from a configuration management perspective is different than the impact analysis in each of the expert domains like CAD,PLM, SW, or ERP. For CM you only need to understand the impact in such a way that you can assess cost and benefits to make a business decision to implement or not and you need enough information to make an implementation plan in case you decide to go for it. 

That means I do not need to know that a certain attribute value changes from A to B or which line of text in a document needs to change to support Impact analysis in the change process for CM. However for executing the work, for implementing the change, I do need to know this. That impact is contained in the specific expert domains. Only that a certain part needs to be replaced and that this means that the BoM, 3D model, process plan and instructions need to change is good enough to make a cost estimate and make a plan. 

A good candidate to be used as interface between the expert domains and CM domain is, in our opinion, the CM2 impact matrix. This captures the information on a aggregate level like a part, or document or dataset.  This aggregate level can be used by other expert domains to identify impact within their scope or by the CM domain to support cost estimation and implementation planning.

This interface is currently not existent in the offerings of the various vendors. If an impact matrix is available, it is to support the impact analysis within the tool of a vendor not to support impact analysis within a business. That is why Martin and I challenge the vendors in the various expert domains to come with a standard to allow businesses to perform a high quality cross-functional impact analysis that improves the quality of decision making.  

Picture of the Impact Matrix: Copyrights by IpX - Institute for Process Excellence from the CM2 courses

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