Thursday, 30 May 2013

Autodesk Services Implementation Tracker PLM 360 App

This week I'm covering a new app in the PLM 360 App Store, the Autodesk Services Implementation Tracker PLM 360 App. I met with Ian Hadden from Autodesk Services to discuss the app and tell us all about it.

Mike: Hi Ian, thanks for taking the time to speak to me, can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and what you do for Autodesk?

Ian: I sure can Mike, I am a Solution Architect with Autodesk PLM Services. My role is to help Autodesk’s PLM customers get the most out of their PLM deployments. That means understanding what they are looking to do with PLM, helping them find the right configuration of the system to achieve their goals and assisting in the development of that configuration. 

Mike: Sounds like you’re a busy man! Can you tell me about Autodesk Services and what are the main services you offer our customers?

Ian: Autodesk PLM Services has a menu of offerings designed for a variety of customer needs from packaged workflow solutions all the way down to essential training. For the customer, the choice really on depends on how much of the work they are willing to take on themselves. For customers that aren’t sure where to start we can also perform an RPM (Roadmap and Priority Matrix), through this process we identify the various pain points that PLM can help address and help prioritize these based on implementation ease and business impact. It’s a great way for customers to thoughtfully establish a comprehensive PLM strategy to ensure long term success.

Mike: Cool ! thanks for putting together the Autodesk Services Implementation Tracker can you explain what this is, and how our customers will use it to help manage their PLM 360 implementations? 

Ian: I started building this app to help people organize their PLM deployment. During the deployment there are key pieces of information that need to be tracked and shared with everyone involved in the project. PLM 360 is a great place to share that information. It’s made up of five major functions:

AC Implementation Management
This Workspace is for top level project management and progress tracking. Here you build out your Project Phases and Sprints. The Project management Tab in this workspace lets you link the sprints to the Phases and build dependencies between the various sprints. From here you can create the various tasks that need to be performed to complete each Phase or Sprint.

AC Implementation Tasks
This is the workspace where the Tasks that were created from the AC Implementation Management workspace are located. These tasks are assigned to individuals who are responsible for the timely completion of the task. The progress on the task is tracked through workflow and with Milestones. The Tasks can also be linked to other project elements such as requests for Scripts or Change Requests. 

AC Configuration Change Request
As its name suggests this workspace is where requests to make changes to the current or planned configuration and be made. Once a request is submitted it is reviewed by the application Owner (see Below AC Applications) who decides if the request should progress. The Application owner also determines if this request needs to go to the Software vendor, in this case Autodesk as an enhancement or bug. For changes that can be made in house, workflow changes, adding additional fields etc. the Application owner assigns the Change request to someone to complete. The change requests can also be linked to an Implementation Task so it can be tracked in the overall project. 
AC Script Log
The AC Script Log came about as a way to keep track of all the different scripts that we needed to create or had created for a deployment. As the need for a script is identified it is captured in the AC Script log workspaces. Once the requirements for the script have been reviewed and the need confirmed the script goes forward to be developed. The Script Files tab is used to upload the different version of the script as it is developed so that they can be referred back to. It is almost like using PLM 360 to be the source control system for its own development. The Script history tab is used to capture any notes and or reasons why the script has been changed.

AC Applications

This workspace is used to allow the end users to also use the workspaces in this app to manage the deployment of other software. Just add you additional applications and their respective owner and you will be able to pick them in the applications pick list of the other workspaces. 

Mike: Excellent I think this will be a great asset to the PLM 360 App Store! Can you share some other ideas that you might have for future apps?

Ian: Certainly, in Autodesk PLM Services we are always looking for ways to make our deployments faster and less costly for customers. The app store gives us a great opportunity to build based on best practices we refine in the field. We’re currently working on some really exciting things that we hope will continue to bring valuable solutions to real world customer problems. 

Mike: Thanks Ian, I'll look forward to catching up soon and publishing your future apps to the PLM 360 App Store!

Thanks for reading.....Mike

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