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PLM Technology Guide

PLM Maturity Assessment Tool

PLM Requirements Specification

PLM Use Cases

PLM Best Practice Process Maps

PLM RFP Template

PLM Benefits and ROI Calculator

PLM Implementation Cost Estimator

PLM Evaluation Project Plan

PLM Implementation Project Plan


PLM Use Cases

What is a Use Case?

A “use case” is a specific task or action a PLM system needs to be able to perform. It serves as a tool for identifying, clarifying, and organizing system requirements. A use case:

  1. Describes an Interaction: It outlines how users (or “actors”) interact with a system to achieve a specific goal. This interaction is a sequence of steps, often depicted in a flowchart or written as a narrative.

  2. Focuses on User Goals: It emphasizes what the user (or other system) wants to achieve, not how the system processes the request internally.

  3. Includes Scenarios: It typically comprises the main (or “happy path”) scenario where everything goes as expected, as well as alternate and exception scenarios that describe what happens when something goes wrong or differently from the main flow.

  4. Helps in System Design: Use cases are instrumental in understanding the functional requirements of a system, helping designers and developers to see the system from the user’s perspective.

  5. Facilitates Communication: They serve as a common language for stakeholders, including clients, managers, designers, and developers, to ensure everyone has a clear understanding of the system’s objectives and capabilities.

  6. Can Be Visualized: Use cases are often represented visually in use case diagrams, a component of Unified Modeling Language (UML), which shows the actors involved and the interactions with the system.

In essence, a use case is a practical tool to help ensure that a system or application is designed with the user’s needs and experiences in mind and ultimately is able to perform the tasks and actions the different users or actors need to perform in the PLM system as part of their daily jobs.

Defining Use Cases

Defining a comprehensive set of practical use cases is an important prerequisite for the definition of clear and concise functional requirements that can be used for the evaluation, the design and the testing of a PLM system.

Ideally high-level use cases should be defined prior to starting a system evaluation. Use cases provide a valuable guidance for vendors what they need to demonstrate and allow you to compare how the different systems can address each use case. 

During the implementation it is critical that detailed use cases and functional requirements for all capability areas that are being deployed are defined prior to starting the system design and configuration. 

Use Case Templates

Our pre-defined PLM Use Cases are a key element in enabling you to quickly and efficiently define a PLM solution that is tailored exactly to your company’s needs. These PLM Use Cases can be utilized for various purposes during a PLM project:

  • During the system evaluation as a guidance for software vendors what functionality they need to demonstrate and to make software demonstration comparable
  • As a basis to define detailed, practical and relevant functional requirements for the evaluation as well as the design and testing of the PLM solution.

Our template currently includes over 60 standard Use Cases in 8 PLM capability areas with clear and concise functional requirements for each use case. 

  • Document Management
  • Part/Material Management
  • EBOM Management
  • Workflow Management
  • Change Management
  • Visualization & Markup
  • CAx Integration
  • ERP Integration
Excerpt from PLM Use Case Template

The included use cases typically cover over 90% of the PLM needs of most companies in the respective capability areas. The remaining 10% can be defined based your specific and unique business needs and easily added to the template.

The Use Case Template can be purchased securely via Credit Card and PayPal. To pay by Debit or Credit Card, please click on the “Add debit or credit card” link on the next page.

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