Producers of complex, highly variable products can only be successful and profitable if their production systems are based on an intelligent product architecture. The “mindset” of thinking in terms of individual projects must give way to an “architectural mindset.” Otherwise, the dilemma of over-complexity will be inevitable. In this context, the central questions that must be asked are:
What should remain stable over time?
Which areas need to have innovative freedom?
Which areas need the flexibility to follow and respond quickly to market trends?
This issue of the Complexity Management Journal aims to give due attention to the significance of product architecture design. Our 25 years of project experience have convinced us that this topic is becoming tremendously more important in order to safeguard future viability. There is no doubt that one of the architecture decisions most frequently neglected by management teams is the decision of choosing the right IT architecture in which to represent the product architecture. Although from an IT standpoint it is technically possible to realize “one single source of truth,” we are not aware of a single company that has perfectly implemented this in practice. Despite the abundance of ideas out there, PLM/PDM is still in a stage with considerable potential. For this reason, we have devoted an article to this topic, which is also one of the Lean Innovation Principles!
We hope you will find this issue to be an interesting and informative read.