Getting Started with Product Line Engineering

Product line engineering (PLE) is delivering higher return on investment than any other systems or software engineering discipline in use today. Organizations using PLE are enjoying discontinuous jumps in competitiveness, provided through whole-integer factors of improvement in product time to market, engineering staff productivity, portfolio scalability, product quality, and more.

The foundation of BigLever's onePLE approach is our proven Getting Started process, which centers on a pair of intense hands-on working events — the Technical Getting Started Workshop and the Business Getting Started Workshop.

BigLever's experience in bringing PLE success to product engineering organizations is unmatched in the industry. Our customers include the largest companies in automotive, aerospace, defense, aviation, e-commerce, and other industry sectors. This experience has enabled us to create a robust, repeatable path to success called

The name onePLE comes from the idea that we provide a single deliverable to your organization: A successful product line engineering capability. BigLever provides the
organizational change expertise, services, training and mentoring, and technology necessary to achieve that success — all in a single package.

>> To learn more about onePLE, please see our Services overview page.

Getting Started: Your First Step to PLE

The foundation of BigLever's onePLE approach is our proven Getting Started process, which centers on a pair of intense hands-on working events, each typically three days in duration:

Technical Getting Started Workshop entails the interactive creation of a pilot project that illustrates product line concepts in your application domain and organizational context. This provides input to executives and organizational managers as to the feasibility of the technological approach, and enables your technical leadership to weigh in on the advantages and issues associated with the PLE factory approach in your organization's own context.

The primary outcome will be one or more production lines that satisfy your product line needs, with feature models that correspond to your products and shared assets configured to support them. Another important outcome is the knowledge and hands-on experience you will gain with advanced product line strategies and techniques, as well as specific knowledge applicable to your situation and context.

Business Getting Started Workshop is the business-oriented analog to the Technical Getting Started Workshop. It gathers your organization's business leaders and product and project managers to produce the first iterations of the:

  • Living business case. Overall, the business case describes and quantifies the business drivers and associated value underlying the decision to adopt PLE. The business case also includes required investments, expected returns, and a declaration of the groups who will be involved across the organization and the products or product families that will come under the PLE umbrella.
  • PLE Concept of Operations. The PLE Concept of Operations is the "operating manual" for your PLE factory on a day-to-day basis. Activities include "steady state" activities for a product line that is up and running.
  • Spiral adoption plan. The Adoption Plan produced by the Business Getting Started Workshop defines the activities of the first several spirals in our Spiral Model for PLE Adoption, the groups who will carry them out, the leaders responsible for their execution, and a time frame for their completion.

These two workshops constitute your organization's first step for establishing full PLE capability. This Getting Started process is part of BigLever's complete, holistic onePLE approach for enabling you to stand up, fund, staff, and operate your PLE factory for producing your product line.

>> For more information about how to Get Started with PLE, please contact John Carrillo,