PLM for Executives is a six-hour online course. It’s made up of 51 video sessions, ranging in length from 3 to 10 minutes. These address subjects of importance for executives participating in PLM Initiatives.


This online course is an adaptation of a one-day “PLM for Executives” workshop. The subjects addressed in the workshop resulted from a survey of executives and other participants in PLM Initiatives. The survey identified the subjects that executives should understand about PLM and PLM Initiatives. These subjects fell into four broad categories which are reflected in the four parts of the online course.

Structure and Content

Part 1 answers basic questions such as What is PLM?, Why PLM?, Where PLM? and When PLM?

Part 2 addresses activities in a PLM Initiative that will be in the responsibility of executives. For example, defining expected benefits, setting objectives, clarifying governance, developing a Charter, outlining the targeted “to-be” situation, developing the strategy to get there, planning, taking the right approach to project management, addressing Organisational Change Management, and tracking progress.

Part 3 looks at typical activities in a PLM Initiative. Activities such as, in no particular order: educating people about PLM; developing a PLM Vision; developing the Initiative Charter; providing training; developing the PLM Strategy; carrying out a Feasibility Study, getting alignment of views, Financial Justification, developing the PLM Implementation Strategy and Plan, holding a post-implementation review. This will help executives understand what should be happening in the Initiative, what is happening, what to expect, and how to understand progress.

Part 4 addresses the roles and responsibilities of executives in PLM Initiatives, and provides general and role-specific advice. Roles addressed include those of CEO,  Initiative Sponsor, Initiative Leader, Steering Committee member and other executives.


PLM for Executives is for executives from across the product lifecycle involved in PLM activities. Executives from functions/departments such as Portfolio Management, Product Management, Marketing, Sales, R&D/Engineering, Logistics, Production, Packaging, Installation, Maintenance, Service, Recycling, Finance, Legal, IP, Quality, Regulatory, Business Process Management, Document Control, Configuration Management, CIO and HR.

The Presenter

PLM for Executives is presented by Dr John Stark in association with the PLM Institute, Geneva, Switzerland. He shares his experience of working with more than 100 companies on PLM activities, highlights pitfalls and success factors, and is available online to discuss issues arising from the course. He’s the author of the leading PLM publications:


A Course Completion Certificate is awarded to those successfully completing the course. As this is a relatively short course, no written submissions are required.

Role of Executives in PLM

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is the business activity of managing a company’s products across their lifecycle. It’s the company’s management system for its products. In many companies, between 25% and 50% of business processes are in the scope of PLM. A similar percentage of the company’s people work in its scope. A PLM Initiative is a major, enterprise-wide, cross-functional activity. It’s likely to run for several years, lead to significant change, and require significant investment. These characteristics highlight the importance of executive involvement in a company’s PLM Initiative.

Definition of PLM

PLM is the business activity of managing, in the most effective way, a company’s products all the way across their lifecycles; from the very first idea for a product all the way through until it is retired and disposed of.

PLM is the management system for a company’s products. PLM manages the whole product range, from individual part through individual product to the entire portfolio of products.

At the highest level, the objective of PLM is to increase product revenues, reduce product-related costs, maximise the value of the product portfolio, and maximise the value of current and future products for both customers and shareholders.