3 Things You Need to Know about Managing Product Complexity with Process Optimization & Automation
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Summary: IBM Rational and Method Park offer a joint solution and deep expertise that helps customers manage product complexity, reduce process inefficiencies, and increase quality and time to market. Our value proposition lies in supporting a customer’s corporate strategy to integrate the multiple tools in their own production environment to deliver real benefits. Excellence in process definition, optimization, and automated enactment transforms engineering organizations and improves a company’s bottom line.
Today I’m speaking with Stef Bensi, Director of Strategic Alliances and Ecosystems for the Rational Systems software team. Stef will be co-presenting with Erich Meier, Chief Technology Officer for Method Park, in a webinar hosted by IEEE on Tuesday, May 13th at 11:00 AM ET (cli
Maureen: Stef, you believe that building effective engineering processes can support a company’s ability to respond to the complexity challenges of today. Why is that?
Stef: We’ve proven that managing processes is a critical success factor for responding well to increased product complexity. What if you learned that your largest competitor was about announce that they had grown in size by 50%, had been named one of the highest-quality suppliers in the chain, and had increased the reuse of their software modules by 70% - simply by improving their process definition, optimization and enactment. These are the kinds of results our clients are experiencing by using Method Park’s Stages product for process definition and Rational Team Concert for process enactment. It is part of an effort to transform their engineering organizations and enable them to respond in a timely and nimble manner to complexity drivers like mobile, analytics, cloud, and the internet of things.
Maureen: I hate to put you on the spot, but is this journey one of those “a road less traveled” stories?
Stef: It isn’t an easy journey, but here is the good news – you are not alone, and we can help. Many clients understand the need, but most struggle with where to begin, how deep and wide to go, and what tools to use. We’ve helped dozens and dozens of clients along this path. In fact, Method Park’s Stages product is often described as a navigation system for engineers – removing the burden of deep process understanding from the engineers, allowing them to focus on what they do best: design and develop product.
Our solutions help drive out inefficiencies that were inherent in the old way of doing things – relying on one person for institutional knowledge, word documents, large binders filled with stuff that no one used, and simply falling behind in process maturity. The combination of process management and automated enactment ensures quality and helps with compliance reporting. One customer reduced the time and manpower required to prove compliance by over 60%. For example, our clients in the auto industry use our solutions to incorporate regulatory templates such as ISO26262. When safety critical work items are added to Stages, Rational Team Concert automatically creates the required work items and pushes them out to the engineer. In this day and age where every headline sounds the alarm for another product failure or recall, quality control and compliance tracking is a very important business benefit. We will discuss additional real life use cases in the webinar.
Finally, I cannot say enough about the deep expertise Method Park brings to the table. They are global experts in engineering process definition and compliance. This is why we selected them as one of our valued ecosystem partners.
Maureen: You mentioned some of the drivers of change – mobility, analytics, software being the driver of innovation – does it make sense for a company to sit back and wait and see what shakes out of this rapidly changing environment?
Stef: Well, that is one strategy, perhaps a bit like the dinosaurs hoping the earth's temperature would stay constant. Here is the reality – and I’m sure that in our gut, we all recognize this – the world is getting faster and more connected by the minute. We’re never going back. Therefore, now is the time to tackle the complexity challenge head on. To do that properly and successfully, our clients need integrated tool chains that extend across the product lifecycle, that add real value and solve critical pain points. The backbone of that approach is excellence in process definition and enactment.
The integration between Method Park’s Stages and IBM’s Rational Team Concert is very good, but we don’t stop there; the real value proposition in our joint solution isn’t the integration. Our value proposition is that our combined tools and deep expertise help customers manage product complexity, reduce process inefficiencies, drive down time to market, and increase quality. That’s what we do as a team – the customer, IBM, and Method Park, all working together. The time to start is now - just ask any brontosaurus.
Maureen: I think you made that point perfectly clear! No one wants to be a brontosaurus! How can people join the webinar series?
Stef: Here is the link to register: http
Maureen: Stef, you’ve been very generous with your time, but could I ask if we might chat again after the webinar and share any cool insights or aha moments with our readers?
Stef: No problem! We can do that.
Maureen: Fabulous! Stef, thank you again for joining us today and providing us with that interesting sneak peak. We will keep an eye out for any low-flying pterodactyls!
About Stef Bensi
In his current role, Stef Bensi is responsible for strategic alliances and partnerships for Rational Systems. His mission is to build partner relationships that bring compelling value propositions to customers in line with the strategic imperatives of the business. Previously, Stef led the Rational sales organization for IBM’s Growth Markets; responsible for sales performance, strategy and client success. Stef joined IBM in 2009 as part of an acquisition from Outblaze Limited. Prior to joining IBM, Stef was the President of Outblaze, a SaaS messaging and social media company. With expertise in high growth companies and specializing in Cloud/SaaS businesses, Stef has held a number of business roles at Outblaze, EasyLink Services Corporation and Mail.com. Stef was part of the management team that took Mail.com public in 1999; and was instrumental in the integration of acquired companies. Stef began his career at two consecutive high growth companies in the banking and healthcare industries. Stef holds a joint degree in Economics and Accountancy, B.A. (Hons), from the University of Durham, England. You can reach Stef Bensi via email at Bensi@uk.ibm.com or connect with him on LinkedIn at hk.l
Maureen Monte works on the IBM Rational Ecosystem Team. You can reach Maureen at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with her on LinkedIn at www