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Getting to grips with product development

The increasing digitization of products and services, ever shorter innovation cycles, the growing social demand for sustainability, and increasingly strict international and market-specific regulations are making product development ever more complex. Traceability and configuration lifecycle management (CLM) are the key to planning and monitoring complex development projects; they shorten lead times, facilitate change management and accelerate troubleshooting during operation. They are a MUST when it comes to meeting strict traceability requirements in the context of developing safety-critical systems in vehicles or other products. Traceability and CLM are today made more difficult by the heterogeneous IT system landscapes in companies, which can also change dynamically, and by the insufficient consistency between process, project, task and data management.

Better transparency

Structure projects more easily and visualize progress better

Increased efficiency

Reduce administrative effort for traceability, CLM and maturity assurance

Better compliance

Embed traceability requirements in reusable templates and reports

Higher data quality

Improve consistency and quality of data for processes, projects and products

Higher data quality

Improve consistency and quality of data for processes, projects and products

More flexibility

Implement flexible IT architecture and exchange IT tools more easily

Fundamentals of traceability and CLM

The basis for Traceability and CLM is the lightweight integration of the domains involved in the development and their IT tools (data source) by building a consistent data model. The data objects contained in this data model serve as placeholders for the results that typically occur in a product development (e.g. based on the V-model). These results are also called Deliverables or Configuration Items (CIs). Using predefined link types (trace links) with valid start and end data objects, traceability requirements are realized across domains and IT tools. Data model and link types can be easily extended or configured.

Process templates map an enterprise process defined according to the stage-gate model. They consist of milestone and phase definitions. Milestone definitions contain a list of deliverables (CI list) and checklists (e.g. for maturity assurance). For each phase there are tasks with references to the deliverables to be delivered from CI lists.

Project templates are the link between project and process management. They can reference one or more process templates and contain additional milestones and tasks for a project. Process templates can be instantiated and edited independently or with a project reference.

The domain-spreading configuration management is realized with the help of so-called Baselines, which serve to „freeze“ certain development states. Basis for the formation of a baseline is a CI list with correspondingly linked data from the source systems. Such CI lists are usually already linked to milestones and more can be created additionally if required. A baseline then corresponds to a cross-section of versions of work results in a CI list (incl. trace links) and thus documents a state including temporal and, if required, technical validity. To support the verification process and the cooperation with suppliers / customers, baselines can be serialized and exported in different standardized formats (3D-PDF, STEP, etc.) and exchanged or archived.

Our approach:
OpenCLM

With OpenCLM, PROSTEP has created a lightweight and easy-to-configure web application for traceability and cross-discipline CLM. It makes it possible to link data and documents from different source systems instead of replicating them. Only the metadata and attributes required to define and manage the relationships between them throughout the lifecycle are transferred. The links between the data objects are mapped independently of the IT systems used and remain unchanged even when switching to a new system. OpenCLM’s core functions include support for process and project management, the planning of milestones and deliverables (tasks), the generation and management of trace links and configurations, and the coordination of cross-domain changes.

  • OpenCLM comes with a library of predefined data objects that serve as placeholders for the typical development results to build a consistent data model.
  • There are predefined link types with the permissible start and end data objects, which form the basis for meeting the various traceability requirements.
  • Common TDM, PDM/PLM, ERP and ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) systems as well as other enterprise applications (e.g. document and database management systems) can be connected via standardized connectors or OSLC.
  • OpenCLM offers the possibility to create and manage process templates. They are used to map business processes with milestones, checklists (e.g. for maturity assurance) and tasks and to link these to the results (also known as deliverables or configuration items, or CI for short).
  • The link between process and project management are the project templates, which reference one or more process templates and can contain additional milestones, results and tasks for a project.
  • OpenCLM coordinates the distributed and cross-domain change operations, which in turn can trigger or be linked to subordinate, domain-specific change operations.
  • Data objects from different sources and linked to each other are displayed with metadata such as status, change date, owner, etc. in a clearly laid out cockpit.
  • OpenCLM offers the possibility of generating time-valid views (baselines) of the data statuses and their relationships at the push of a button for specific milestones.
  • For collaboration or verification purposes, the baselines can be serialized and exported, exchanged and/or archived in standardized formats such as 3D PDF or STEP.
  • Reusable templates ensure rule-compliant project and process documentation according to DIN ISO 10006, ISO 9001 / IATF 16949, ISO 13485, (automotive) SPICE, ISO 26262, ISO 10007, ISO 15288 or EN 9100.
  • Pre-defined templates for specific views or reports allow to automatically merge and visualize information or to generate corresponding evidence for an upcoming audit.

Benefits / Use cases

Project management and status reporting

When it comes to IT, project management in many companies is isolated from task management in the individual domains. OpenCLM links project management with the deliverables from the domains so that project managers and team members can monitor the project status and maturity across domains. The effort required for reporting the status of milestones is significantly reduced, which makes it possible to respond to deviations from the project plan faster.

Traceability and configuration management

Complex, distributed development projects require a higher-level project context for internal and external collaboration so that the individual subprojects can be coordinated. OpenCLM creates this higher-level context by connecting decentralized data spaces into one overarching data space, ensuring traceability and configuration management even beyond company boundaries.

Cross-domain change coordination

Complex, distributed development projects require a higher-level project context for internal and external collaboration so that the individual subprojects can be coordinated. OpenCLM creates this higher-level context by connecting decentralized data spaces into one overarching data space, ensuring traceability and configuration management even beyond company boundaries.

Support for certification and audits

The traceability of the development steps and deliverables is mandatory for the certification of safety-critical systems. Regular audits are used to check whether requirements regarding traceability are being met. OpenCLM enables companies to pull this information together at the click of a button and present it to customers or authorities. This reduces the search effort required and saves project and quality managers an enormous amount of time.

Improved quality / defect management

The ability to quickly correct errors and improve products during operation is a prerequisite for new service-oriented business models. In order to analyze the causes of errors, the people responsible need access to development data, simulation models, and the like. OpenCLM makes it possible to link operating data with the digital twin, thus providing support for efficient defect management and the continuous improvement of products.

Flexible method and tool replacement

Companies must be able to take an agile approach to integrating new tools and methods in their system landscapes and replacing existing ones without a loss of cross-domain traceability. OpenCLM maps the relationships between the development objects via a system-neutral data model so that they remain unchanged even if individual IT systems are replaced. This ensures stable processes and reduces the administrative overhead required to ensure traceability.

OpenCLM – we ensure
transparency and traceability

EMEA, Asia-Pacific

PROSTEP AG
Dolivostrasse 11 
64293 Darmstadt, Germany

Tel.: +49 6151 9287-0
Fax: +49 6151 9287-326

infocenter@prostep.com
www.prostep.com

North America

PROSTEP, Inc.
300 Park Street, Suite 410
Birmingham, MI 48009, USA

Tel.: +1 248 247 1007  
Fax: +1 248 247 1011

Toll free
US Voice: 8 PROSTEP 01  
(877 678 3701)
US Fax: 8 PROSTEP 02  
(877 678 3702)

infocenter@prostep.com