In his CM: the Next Generation series, Joe Farah gives us a glimpse into the trends that CM experts will need to tackle and master based upon industry trends and future technology challenges.
In some cases, they're absorbed by larger companies which then impose the corporate 2G solution on them. Why? Why would they impose a lesser solution?
It's the same argument. If you have a 2G solution, you've put a lot of resources into it. You know how much it costs. You buy out a small firm with a different solution. There's no way you're going to absorb your 2G costs again - so you mandate conformance. In other cases, I've seen a move from 2G to open source solutions which were less capable but perhaps less costly. Again, when a 3G solution appears in a small firm that's bought out, the open source solution is imposed.
So my recommendation is not any different for larger firms: by all means implement full ALM solutions, but look beyond 2G solutions. Same wording, small team or large team - but small teams simply can't make up the difference with additional resources, so it's more critical for them to heed this advice.
Let's Get Specific
Why is a 3G or 4G solution so much easier for a small team? After all, in a small team you typically don't need many of the 3G features:
- Multiple site operation
- Fancy reporting
- High performance
- Extensive customization capability
- Electronic approvals
These might be nice to have as you grow your team, but I'm not going to move to a 3G solution to get that set of features when I'm a small team. There are other 3G features that are critical:
- Low acquisition and operating costs
- Easy to install (and evaluate)
- Very low administration
- End-to-end ALM
- Good out-of-the-box process
- Easy to load in product data
- Easy to use / low training level
- Mature CM functionality
- Low-effort automation capability
- Easy to customize
- Easy traceability navigation