Wrangling Engineering Change Orders

Learn about streamlining your ECO process and “living” document management

Earlier this month, Desktop Engineering published an article by Brian Albright that provides a refreshing perspective on a familiar topic – engineering change.  Albright suggests that many of the strategies and techniques used to manage engineering change (EC) are quickly becoming obsolete due to increasing product complexity and market demands.  While this concept is not new, the article looks at the root causes of this issue and explores actionable solutions.

The urgency of the problem is highlighted by thoughts and comments from industry experts and day-to-day EC practitioners.  These perspectives represent a range of organizations, including Arena, M-Files, Omnify, Oracle, Synergis and others.  It quickly becomes clear that a new approach to information management – whether it be PDM, ECM, or PLM – is key to modernizing EC.  However, Albright is careful to avoid picking sides.  Despite this impartial analysis, PLM seems to break away from the pack.

Streamlining EC and “living” EC are key themes throughout the article.  Broadly speaking, streamlining EC leverages automation to guide change process as a way to eliminate human error and delay.  This can include automating escalation rules, using notification triggers, executing workflows, incorporating audit trails, capitalizing on impact matrix analysis, and dynamically identifying stakeholders.  If implemented correctly, streamlining can produce “living” EC.  In the case of a “living” ECO, the ECO will evolve as the documents and entities associated with it change.  It’s a powerful concept that can dramatically improve traceability and access to information.

Read the article here