Change Management with EPDM – Part 2 (Change Notices)

Enterprise PDM ECO folder This is the second of a four part series on change management with SolidWorks Enterprise PDM. The first part was an introduction to this series. The focus here is change notices, which could be an engineering change notice (ECN), request (ECR), order (ECO), or similar. It does not matter what you call it. The EPDM configuration is typically the same.

Critical configuration components include a document representing the change notice, a File Card capturing Variables, a Template to kick off the change notice, and a Workflow managing the states and document routing (Notifications). I am not going to cover all details of each topic. Refer to the online help or your EPDM Administration Training Guide for that. This is merely going to give you direction.

Let’s start with the change notice document. I prefer to use a Microsoft Word document because variable mapping is easy and it formats well. Word also has great built-in form creation tools. If you don’t have an existing change notice document in electronic form to start with, create a new Word Document and just put some header info in it (e.g.: title and fields for the change notice number and description) and then move on to the heart of the EPDM configuration portion. Save the document in you libraries/template location of your vault. This is the source file for your EPDM Template.

Next, create a location in your vault where the working change notices will reside (e.g.: c:MyVaultChange ManagementECNs). Create a File Card in that folder mapped to the proper file extension. You will probably capture at least the document number and change description here. Most variables used on the card should be mapped to the document.

ECOs with Enterprise PDM

Now create a workflow used to track the stages of the document. The states could be as few as four: Initiated, In Review, Approved, and Rejected. Some companies may require more, but I prefer to keep it simple (The Word document could contain a lot of the approval checks instead of trying to to put all the logic in the Workflow). Use EPDM Workflow Notifications to inform team members it is their turn to look at the document and do something.

Use an Enterprise PDM Template to kick off the change management document. Have it grab the file from the libraries/template location and store the working file in the destination mentioned earlier. I almost always use Template Variables to capture the description and some other data, but I don’t always use a Template Card. Template Cards are good when you need sophisticated forms to guide and give users instructions. A serial number tied to a Template Variable should be used here to generate your change notice number. I also use the change notice number and description in the file name.

Finally, go back and finish your change notice document including mapping variables from the document properties to the contents of the document. This video I put together a while back will help with mapping variables for Word Documents.

That’s it without getting into all the details. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions. Next stop is managing Redline Markups with EPDM.


Click here to read on to Part 3 – Change Management with EPDM (Redline Markups)