The Digital Transformation Manifesto

by | Mar 2, 2024 | Digital Transformation, Insights, Model-Based Enterprise

Engineers do too much manual labor, which takes too much time, and produces too many errors. It’s time for a paradigm shift.


Engineering documents have largely been left behind in the wider quest for digital transformation, but as more companies are seeing concrete benefits from addressing this “last mile” of the digital thread, we felt it would be useful to describe the critical areas where we think you and your company should be focused.

We published a set of principles – called “The Digital Transform Manifesto” (aka the “Transform Manifesto)– that you can use on the path to transform your engineering documentation into more usable, efficient digital twins. For the short and sweet version, take a look at our digestible slide deck here.

For a deeper dive into each of the seven principles, we’re posting a series of articles explaining each one and offering examples and best practices that you can implement in your own organization. Please share with your friends and colleagues and leave us a comment!


Why We (and You) Need a Manifesto

Why a manifesto? In a word, status quo. Ok, that’s two words but one concept. The status quo is hard to change but we’re going to give you powerful reasons to shift to a better way of working.

Engineering documents and drawings are full of essential data like requirements, references, materials, manufacturing processes, and more – necessary for ensuring high-quality, compliant products. But most of these documents are in flat-text PDF format, which is a poor container for data that hasn’t changed in almost 30 years. The only way to access this data from PDF is deep analysis by subject matter experts, then manually copying, pasting, and data-entry into other applications. None of this static data is linked to the sources or to the digital thread, so change management and impact assessment are difficult and uncertain. This results in overwhelming manual labor, too many errors, too much rework, and unacceptable risk.

Follow these principles to turn your engineering documents and drawings into actionable intelligence with new capabilities that reduce time, cost, and risk throughout the product life cycle.

The Seven Principles of the Transform Manifesto

  1. Documents are out. Data is in. Content is out. Context is in. Read here.
  2. Engineering data should be connected to a single authoritative source of truth, with changes communicated to all. Read here.
  3. Engineering data should be interoperable across IP owners, users, and software applications. Read here.
  4. Engineering information should be delivered at the point of need, anywhere in the enterprise, through APIs. Coming soon.
  5. Engineering data should be machine-readable. Coming soon.
  6. AI can be used to derive insights and intelligence from unstructured text. But AI must be used responsibly to ensure high accuracy and transparent sources. Coming soon.
  7. Data contained in documents should be available as authoritative and reusable data objects. Coming soon.