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For those of you who are not familiar with the acronym GTD, it means Getting Things Done (there is also a book on this topic written by David Allen). In today’s fast paced and competitive workplace, individuals are constantly challenged to get things done more efficiently. There are so many things to keep track of, to follow up on, to remember, and to find. If members or groups of an organization can’t get things done efficiently, the business runs the risk of compromising profit margins or raising its prices where it may become less competitive. So getting things done efficiently is important. Fortunately, a large part of GTD execution is about using productivity tools and streamlining processes to be more efficient.
I am a big fan of GTD principles and I use many gadgets and software apps to facilitate my GTD efforts. To name a few, I use an Android based to do list (always with me), Windows macro tools to automate routine tasks, and a voice recorder to capture ideas while I am on the go. One of the biggest additions to my GTD arsenal has been EPDM. I use EPDM Templates at the point of project creation, I can capture critical information (e.g.: customer info, project summary, etc.) and that information is automatically populated throughout a folder structure and commonly created documents for my projects (e.g.: statement of work, sign off records, order forms, etc.). The data is even mapped from the EPDM Variables to the contents of the document. This automation improves my efficiency and consistency (and since my consistency is improved, there are fewer changes required downstream in the process of a project). I also use EPDM to get a top level view of all my active projects with my latest comments and status. Besides project management, I use EPDM to automate and manage my monthly and individual project expense reporting, complex help desk issues, and project specific note taking.
Manufacturers are no exception to the need of GTD. With the proliferation of electronic data, especially associative 3D CAD data, this can be a tremendous challenge to avoid chaos. Again, EPDM can automate the creation of project information, maintain links between documents, and significantly improve data re-use through indexed searching and better organization. Electronic workflows can add a level of control to documents by locking down files that are released and can ensure that the next person is aware it is their turn to work on a document through electronic notifications.
If you use/administrate EPDM or another system, how do you use it to get things done more efficiently? Do you go beyond just managing CAD documents? Are you automating tasks with Templates, Dispatch scripts, or the API? If you are not using a PDM system, do you think your company would benefit from this type of tool (and if so, what are you waiting for)? I’ld love to hear your thoughts.