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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