This material was first presented at the 30th Integrated Process Excellence Symposium in Orlando (FL, USA) under the title “Should Variant Management be a Core Business Process?”.

Many organisations struggle to meet a demand for broader product portfolio while reducing operating expenses. Multiple techniques were developed to reduce those expenses during product specification, verification and delivery. One of those techniques is Configuration Management (CM). CM implementations, however, rarely reduce the cost of poor Variant Management (VM) within product configuration. Yet, VM is crucial to achieve the scale economies required to sustain a broad product portfolio. To achieve that goal, VM should become a dedicated core business process under the CM umbrella. In this presentation, I propose operating standards and tool requirements to design, engineer and deliver for variants.

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