When I wrote my post two weeks ago: A cross-platform interface standard for impact analysis? based on an article written by Martijn Dullaart and Martin Haket, I had the impression they were expressing the need for a standard for Impact Analysis. Apparently, I was wrong, like several other readers from my blog. We got more clarity from Martijn in his follow-up post:   CM2: the cross-platform standard for impact analysis!

Of course, I should have known the answer, as Martijn was the chairperson at the Integrated Process Excellence (IPX) Congress. IpX is best known as they state:

We are best known for our founding CM2 (CMII) certification program initiated in 1986. Today, CM2 remains the global industry standard for enterprise change and configuration management. We take pride in facilitating positive lasting transformation. 

Why should I have known the answer? Without wanting to offend anyone, it is similar to a situation where Jehovah’s Witnesses knock at your door, and they want to talk about the purpose of life. In that case, you immediately realize, it will be no discussion. (Or in Dutch: We from WC-eend recommend WC-eend)

The “mistakes” I made

Therefore, if you read Martijn’s follow-up post, you will realize we arrived in the nitty-gritty discussion between a well-documented, overarching concept of CM2 and the gray area that exists between PLM and general CM practices.

One of the examples:

If you call it CM or not, every company deals with CM. All regulated industries, like aerospace, defense, automotive, medical/healthcare, are clear about the need for CM. Not all companies call it CM, some call it indeed PLM or even something else. There are even companies that implement a change process per CM2 e.g., Facebook and Microsoft implement CM2 based processes using PLM tools. They might not call it CM but still use the CM2 standard.

Here I want to repeat my claim that I work and have worked with companies where people were CM2-trained. Either out of curiosity or business needs as something had to happen to manage the quality of product information. However, in most cases, only some concepts were implemented, mainly due to organizational resistance. Organizational resistance is quite known to PLM implementations. If companies would follow precisely the PLM methodology advocated by PLM vendors, there will be massive resistance from the end-users.

The cost for non-quality is in most organizations almost invisible as the silos in an organization, sales, R&D, engineering, manufacturing, and services are not connected. Hidden information leaves a place for blaming, unless you implement full CM2 based processes and additional PLM-practices for modularity, reuse, etc., etc.

The reality is that companies do not work according to the book. Digitalization creates a new challenge or opportunity. As digital, connected processes leave less opportunity to work outside the process, root causes and impacts become visible. In general, the visibility of decisions scares off people!

An open standard?

There are many ways to claim you are open. Some people claim PLM systems are not open as you have to buy APIs licenses to retrieve data from them. Others claim to be open-source; however, you need to pay a fee to use their software industrially. Understandable as there is a business model behind that, and this is the same for CM2.

Joseph Anderson, (president of IpX) explains:

“The CM2-600 standard is an open standard. We work with all solution providers. The cross industry integrated process excellence global congress that Martijn has chaired leads industry best practice discussions and its foundation is CM2.”

Which made me again curious about this CM2-600 open standard. Try to search for CM2 or the CM2-600 standard, and you end up with only high-level information, mostly referring to training to take.

Note: There is no reference to CM2-600 content directly available on (my) internet search. Only a link to the CM2-600 training. How to get people interested about the topic before joining training?

Joseph recommended me the following, in order to write about CM2:

Prior to releasing an opinion on a OCM method, standard, training, and or tool (people, process, systems) perhaps writers should do more to research… 

1) I invite you to take the CM2-C Training sessions at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond. 

2) Interface with the cross industry global congress from companies such as ASML, Bose, Sub-Zero, Airbus, Northrop Grumman, AGCO, Purdue, GE, … 

3) Research what was presented at the 32nd annual ConX event. https://ipxhq.com/about/events/past-events/2019 I look forward to continuing the discussion.

As you can see, quite an investment needed just to have just an opinion. You can understand the IpX business model immediately.

Note:  The podcasts you will find related to point 3) are helpful to know however no details (for the one that I listened to)

Compare this to the ISO15926 standard, which is very common in the Oil & Gas and other process industries. Here the exchange of information between engineering contractors (EPCs), Suppliers, and Owner/Operators is the main driving force for this standard.

If you search on the web, e.g. “ISO 15926 wiki”, you will find a lot of information. All the work is done by the members, often representing their company or following their ideals to support an open world. All the information is downloadable to understand the content. For example, have a look here: ISO-15926 explained.

What’s next?

In the past twenty years, we made progress through information sharing. Wikipedia is an example where information is liberated and has educated many people around the world, who did not have access to information that was locked in the past. Of course, academics do not like this popularization of knowledge and I am aware of the Dunning-Kruger effect. However, there is nothing wrong with academic language in an academic world.

As I responded to Joseph Anderson, the social world of blogging is not intended to be exact. You can find my presentations on SlideShare. If through blogging, an interest can be reached to implement PLM or CM2, we have made progress overall.

How to get people on-board is probably the crucial question for PLM and CM. PLM and CM are not sexy, as I wrote in 2010, after participating in a CMII conference in Amsterdam. Both PLM and CM are closed communities, telling themselves and some other believers, how important they are. Connecting to a broader audience is what I miss for CM2 (compare to ISO 15926), but also in PLM. Where are the few people discussing PLM methodology, instead of functions & features?

Conferences should be a place where experts discuss the details, including cultural change management.

Claims like:

  • Get C-level support
  • Educate yourself
  • Business leads and IT will follow
  • Think Big – Start Small

are all open-door-statements, often heard at every conference. You have to ask yourself: What is the unique value of your conference? The central theme to my opinion is how to change the traditional coordinated PLM approach towards a connected approach, becoming data-driven. A challenge for CM2 – a challenge for PLM. See Coordinated or Connected.  Will CM2 also adapt to a model-based approach?

Speaking about conferences!

On 13 and 14 November, I will participate again in the CIMdata Roadmap – PDT Europe conference where we will meet with people from Airbus, BAE Systems Maritime, Bouygues, Renault, discussing standards like PLCS (ISO 10303-239) and more. The valuable part of this conference for me is that most participants have a genuine interest in sharing information. There are in-depth technical presentations; there are new ideas and more. Everyone participating in this conference is aware of CM.

What you can learn from this conference is ,that we always start with the technology, the processes, and methodology; however, we all struggle with implementing it. There is no “golden bullet” but a continuous learning process – the target of our domain.


No more PLM – CM  ping-pong needed. I believe we made our points, and it does not bring value to the joined target: Getting people involved and understand CM and PLM. I believe in the democratization of knowledge so everyone can benefit and grow. It allows me to focus on the human side of the challenge.