Improve Product and Software Development by Integrating ALM and PLM (Part 2 of 4)

Today the clear demarcation of the boundary between product development and software development is blurring fast as software increasingly becomes a major component of products. Companies urgently need to integrate the management of their product and software development efforts. In Part 1, I likened the process to a climb up a mountain. We looked at the current landscape characterized by a chasm between ALM and PLM, and we quickly realized that there are business benefits to be reaped at the summit.


Business benefits of ALM-PLM integration


Ovum analyst points graphicLet’s take a look at the main reasons for the integration, as outlined by OVUM Principal Analyst Michael Azoff:

The Motivation:


  • Visibility across all assets

    • Improve search and locate information



  • Accurately link firmware with hardware:

    • Avoid errors, avoid damage costs, avoid reputation risk



  • Traceability of assets for engineers in all lifecycle phases:

    • Reduce time wasted.

    • Enable effective collaboration across globally distributed units.



  • Support maintenance, repair, & operations (MRO):

    • Quickly locate parts and manage defect fixes.

    • Reduce inoperative time of broken products.




So what are the top-level things to understand about the ALM-PLM Integration? Again, according to OVUM Principal Analyst, Michael Azoff:

The Recommendations:


  • Graphic: Ovum: ALM-PLM recommendationsManage software linked to the hardware that embeds it.

  • Touch points:

    • Requirements management.

    • Testing & QA management.

    • Change management and version control.

    • Release management.



  • Integration occurs at two fundamental levels:

    • Linking is challenging across a supply chain so data exchange is necessary.

    • Live linking is cheaper and easier to manage but need a good process around it.




Now that we have a general idea of why ALM-PLM integration is critical for the road ahead, it’s time to dive in a bit deeper and explore the actual levels of integration. I’ll take you through that in the next article in this series.
Remember: at the end of the series you’ll be able to download the full series content as a handy PDF eBook.



Polarion ALM-PLM Convergence Webinar


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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/polarion/improve-product-and-software-development-by-integrating-alm-and-plm-part-2-of-4/