SparxSystems CE: Managing customer-specific PLM system deployment

(PresseBox) ( Wien, )
LMTec from Potsdam is a specialist for the implementation of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems, especially for customers in the manufacturing sector. The company relies on Enterprise Architect from Sparx Systems to capture company-specific processes.

The LMTec Group is committed to supporting its customers with a strategic and agile approach to PLM solutions. PLM systems are very comprehensive, however, and company-specific processes must always be integrated during implementation to ensure that they can be successfully executed. Alexander Barduhn is Managing Partner at LMTec: "When companies buy a PLM system, it is essential that customer-specific conditions such as the data and release model or parts lists are integrated before the system is put into operation. To support this process, we use Enterprise Architect to capture the customer's requirements in order to clearly see in the model what customization work is required." Barduhn describes Enterprise Architect, with its feature-rich set of on-board functionalities, as a clear standard for such tasks.

Hans Bartmann, Managing Director of SparxSystems Central Europe: "We are pleased that the PLM specialists at LMTec have found Enterprise Architect to be a useful tool for capturing the very specific requirements of their customers in the best possible way. Due to its openness and the many interfaces to other systems, Enterprise Architect offers the best prerequisites for use in a wide range of industries".

Agility and PLM systems

For LMTec, an agile approach to adapting PLM systems to company-specific requirements has proven its worth. Drawing from experience, Barduhn explains: "Especially when adapting the PLM system, we very soon come across the interface between IT and business processes. Very often, economic expectations and demands are not in synch with corresponding solutions. This is where a precise methodology for the capturing and modeling of requirements in Enterprise Architect helps, by allowing us to quickly recognize what can be implemented and how."

Sparx Systems’ UML modeling platform supports Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN), a graphical specification language for process management and business process modeling. It can be used to model and document a variety of business-relevant processes and workflows. BPMN models resemble a flowchart, but the language is adapted to the needs of business people and also understandable for developers. This facilitates communication during development and thus increases productivity. The first step is the documentation and analysis of existing business processes, and based on this, requirements can then be collected for the further development of these processes. At the same time, the agile development method helps to carry out the adaptation one step at a time, and to test it in an operating environment.

Modeling practical experience

Throughout their daily routine, PLM specialists often notice a failure to reuse existing knowledge and company-specific experience. "This valuable knowledge can be incorporated into companies’ reference processes so that the resulting template can be used again and again, and only adapted to new circumstances. Our solution packages for processes and domains are industry-specific and based on project experience," says Barduhn.

Once the requirements resulting from the desired business processes have been defined in the model, the actual software development is controlled via the Jira system, to which Enterprise Architect also has an interface. The agile workflows can be defined and implemented here on the basis of the imported elements. Thus, the connection between the defined requirements in the model and the software created according to these specifications remains constant during software development and maintenance. "Since Enterprise Architect is always being upgraded, we have to consider again and again how we can optimally design the interaction of the various tools. Here we are supported by the productive exchange of ideas with the specialists at SparxSystems Central Europe, who have a wealth of experience and know the latest version of the modeling platform in detail, " concludes Barduhn.

About LMTec

Our mission is to help our valued customers innovate and bring better products and services to market faster through world-class innovation, PLM practices, processes and technologies.

Digital technology is changing large and small businesses alike. Disruptive innovations are changing the way companies work, market and develop products and services. As a result, innovative and industry-leading companies continue to differentiate themselves from their competitors by adopting a strategic approach to lifecycle management solutions.
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