Product Lifecycle Management

What Does Product Lifecycle Management Mean?

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a systematic approach to managing a product’s lifecycle from inception to disposal. PLM serves as a product backbone by integrating human skills, data and business processes, e.g., enterprise resource planning (ERP) and manufacturing execution systems (MES).

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PLM is linked with the manufacturing industry but is also applied to software development and services.

Techopedia Explains Product Lifecycle Management

PLM differs from product life cycle management (marketing) (PLCM), which approaches products in terms of costs and sales. PLM servers as a product’s engineering system framework, i.e., specifications and attributes are managed throughout a product’s lifecycle.

PLM is one of five information technology (IT) structural elements, which are the foundation for organizational data and communication systems, as follows:

  • Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM)
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • System Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.