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The objective of this chapter is to give a basic introduction to business processes as they relate to a company’s PLM environment and PLM Initiative . This will help those in a company’s PLM Initiative to understand process-related topics and participate more fully in the PLM Initiative. This chapter also aims to give students a basic understanding of the business process component of a company’s PLM environment. The first part of the chapter is an introduction to business processes in the PLM environment. It describes the purpose, role and importance of processes across the product lifecycle. Definitions are given of frequently used terms in the business process environment. The different approaches to managing business activities in the twentieth century and the twenty first century are described. Examples are given of processes, and of the tools and documents that are used to manage them. The need for business process modelling is introduced. Different types of process flow diagram are described. Use cases and workflows are addressed. Required characteristics of processes, including KPIs , are outlined. The second part of the chapter addresses business processes in the PLM environment of a typical company. It describes typical process issues that are encountered in many companies. The interaction with other components of PLM, and with other company initiatives is addressed. The process challenges that occur in a typical PLM Initiative are described. A generic vision is given for the business process component of PLM. The third part of the chapter describes typical projects in the PLM Initiative that are related to business processes. The need for business process improvement is described. Critical Success Factors for process improvement are described. Examples of process-related projects are given. Business process mapping and modelling activities are addressed. Guidelines are provided for process mapping. Other examples of process-related projects address the Engineering Change Management , New Product Development and Portfolio Management processes. The fourth and final part of the chapter builds on experience of working with business processes with many companies. It shares lessons learned from experience in PLM Initiatives. An approach to business process improvement is outlined. The pitfalls of process modelling are described. Top management’s role in the management and improvement of business processes is addressed.
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- Business Processes in the PLM Environment
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