PLM Project Management for the Masses

By Susan Zimmerlee

_es6l-apda0-samuel-zeller.jpgProject management solutions inside of PLM can be very powerful. You can coordinate complex projects spanning entire product platforms that involve resources across your organization. But PLM project management is not just for project managers sitting in the program office. It’s not just for the project “experts” – it’s for YOU!

You the design lead. You the engineering manager. You the marketing lead. PLM project management is meant for more than enterprise project management – it’s about helping leaders across your organization coordinate people to accomplish tasks in a given amount of time. It’s about giving you the tools you need in a system where the work is already being done.

Part of my job is to schedule and coordinate blog posts for a dozen or so product managers. I make sure we have coverage when and where we need it, adjust when we need to change etc. Seems pretty straightforward – right? The thing is, it’s not the ONLY job I have to do. plm-project-management-overload.jpgSometimes I get busy with another project and forget to check the calendar. Or sometimes I don’t get a draft when I expect it, and don’t follow up quickly enough… and so on. When those SOMETIMES things happen, I end up scrambling to get things done. I hate the scramble!

On a particularly busy day when I was rushing to get caught up on a couple posts, I thought “There has to be a better way”…

I called my IT team and said “I need to be able to create schedules in Teamcenter”. They were skeptical – nobody in marketing had requested this before. But they updated my user to have access. I have a technical past, so it’s not accurate to say I had no idea what I was doing. But I am certainly not a project manager by training, and this was the first time I ever thought to look at schedule manager from a “how can you help ME” perspective. This was not about helping a customer coordinate vast teams over a complex project timeline. It was about making my life easier. I created a schedule (Susan’s Blog Schedule) and defined 1 task with 4 sub tasks:

Apple blog

  • Reminder #1: Apple blog post in 6 weeks

  • Reminder #2: Apple blog post in 4 weeks

  • Draft Due: Draft for apple blog is due today

  • Post Blog: Post apple blog today

After creating some dependencies, I had my “template” for all blog posts. I copied and pasted for all the blogs I need to manage over the next 6 months or so and said “GO”!Now I get reminders when I need them and things are getting done on time!


My team now leverages schedules in Teamcenter to manage several of our activities. It eliminates the manual need to track down where everything is and when it needs to be done. We use Teamcenter for other things anyway, so adding the coordination through schedule manager was a natural transition.

Take a minute to think about some of the people and things you try to coordinate in your every day job. Could a simple schedule help make it better? We are continuously working on improvements to make it easier to manage schedules in Teamcenter. Give it a try!

Want to know more about project scheduling inside of Teamcenter?

Tips for Effective Project Scheduling: Getting Started

Program and project management solutions in Teamcenter

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at