Getting Ready for the Next PLM Challenge

Ready for the next PLM challenge? Getting ready for it often requires mental preparation and some storytelling skills: how were previous projects executed, what scope was covered and how were the solution deployed? How were associated risks mitigations and how were challenges overcome? What experience and expertise will be needed on the next PLM program? What could be re-used and how to improve from previous role or engagement? What lessons learned would be carried over to the new project? Which new business objectives would the project be focusing on, and which pain points are expected to be addressed? What would the expected timeline be to deliver business value? What relationships are to be built with new stakeholders? How quick is it expected to demonstrate credible leadership? Etc.

Getting ready for the next PLM challenge involves being clear about what one wants and needs from a role or project, being realistic about project and role expectations, being focused and resilient when searching for new opportunities, being up to date with personal branding and positioning in order to make a difference. 

In this post, I elaborate on what it takes to get ready for the next PLM challenge, and what to highlight in one’s CV to make it stand out while remaining factual about the candidate’s experience and past contributions.

Getting back onto the job market implies looking for new opportunities to rise on the employment ladder, finding a more or less challenging project to lead or take part of, taking into account job satisfaction, compensation and recognition. Looking for a new role can also imply finding a more supportive line manager or perhaps even a more friendly client. Everyone has different expectations based on circumstances, past experience and future expectations.

Based on market conditions, it is often easier to look for a new job before leaving the current one. Being open to new opportunities does not mean being disloyal or not committed to the current role or project. Among other reasons, it is good way to check for options without the pressure or stress to have to choose immediately; it contributes to:

  • Keep current with market and employment conditions.
  • Assess the competitive landscape (and learn about other client projects and challenges or study the competition, free of charge).
  • Test alternative roles and project opportunities, and possible fit or gap.
  • Assess personal branding and perception from the hiring party or client, towards possible personal improvement and further development.
  • Assess readiness for a career move, as it is often a matter of timing.

When it comes to PLM jobs, multiple perspectives often intersect with a mix of industry specific exposure, combined with business domain expertise together with process, data management, technical implementation, managerial, enterprise integration and product development related experience. Highlighting all perspectives at once can be slightly overwhelming or on the contrary quite vague and too high-level. When applying for a new role, there is a required balance between keeping it simple and being authentic about one’s actual role and contribution versus being informative about the wider context.

Unfortunately, too often the hiring process is not transparent, focusing more on elimination rather than selection candidates. It is recommended to maintain an up-to-date CV at all time and performing a full review once a year to simplify, align and adjust the overall content with the latest aspirations:

  • Focusing on business value: how past roles and project experiences helped solve a specific problem; in context of a specific personal contribution.
  • Focusing on new technologies: differentiating what tools and technologies are mastered versus holistic domain literacy (concepts and frameworks), and how the two dimensions intersect.
  • Focusing on learning, especially self-development and positioning: showcasing the ability to acquire or transfer knowledge, combine theoretical and practical on-the-job learning, conceptualize from practice and lessons learned, adapt to new situations, link to purpose and motivation, focus on people, strategy definition and execution.
  • Focusing on soft skills: from leadership to managerial, analytical thinking, teamwork and other people skills; how these were acquired and put to practice.
  • Focusing on both breadth and depth: how the two are combined, by possibly alternating global and local engagements, sales and delivery roles, large and small project focus, wide and narrow scope, short- and long-term objectives, etc.

PLM implementations always bring their share of challenges as they come with multiple operational and strategic expectations and constraints. Getting ready for the next PLM challenge means being open for new discussions and explore new perspectives across the multiple overlapping dimensions of PLM (the discipline, not just the IT system), business change and digitalization combined.

 What are your thoughts?

This is an original publication by:

Momentum PLM and written by Lionel Grealou

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Lionel Grealou

22nd February

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