This paper presents the first ever framework for implementing Product Lifecycle Management within high value Engineering to Order programmes. When implementing PLM, the organisation should first understand its strategic objectives and core processes and use this to decide on the PLM approach, which should influence the PLM system implementation. The research first highlights that the scale, complexity, uncertainty, long-lifecycle, maturity management and an inability to prototype ETO products results in significant challenges necessitating a tailored approach to PLM Implementation. Thematic analysis of 27 semi-structured interviews from PLM practitioners within ETO product development, was used to develop the framework to address these challenges. The interviewees were selected based on their relationship with PLM on ETO products either as an implementer or as a key stakeholder with an interest in its successful use within their organisation. The framework themes were described in relation to information, process, people and technology and were defined as being either objectives, challenges or enablers. 19 participants were selected from seven ETO organisations to validate the framework using statements that assessed the quality, structure, and versatility. 95% of the participants’ responses either agreed or strongly agreed with the statements. This research contributed to the updated BAE Systems Naval Ships PLM strategy for the design, build and in-service support for the First of Class new generation Royal Navy vessel for a recent shipbuilding programme.
- product lifecycle management implementation
- engineering to order
- information management