Planning & PLM Management

Work Team


The Planning & PLM Management (GeCo) Observatory analyses and monitors how national firms are promoting improvements to their own innovation, development, planning and engineering processes. Particular attention is paid to analysing and understanding how the adoption of new technologies brings real benefits to a firm’s business and real changes to its practices and the organisation of its planning processes. The Observatory examines intra-sectorial analyses, looking at both high-technology sectors with complex planning requirements and industrial sectors characterised by high volumes and short development times. The Observatory studies practices in the management of planning processes in both large multinationals operating in Italy and the numerous small and medium-sized companies that make up the economic fabric of Italy.


In accordance with our principles of continuity in research topics and improving the Observatory’s visibility, the two main activities are:

  1. conducting research
  2. publicising the Observatory’s activities


Conducting research


The objective of the research is to identify archetypal planning practices that characterise Italian companies. Methodologically, our research will involve a widely distributed survey plus various activities for more in-depth analysis.


Broadcasting the Observatory’s activities


In order to increase the Observatory’s visibility, we plan to proceed as follows:

  • Organise a ‘seminar roadshow’, touring the Observatory’s member universities. The seminars will be open to the general public. Industry observers and business partners will be invited. So far, four seminars are planned: at Ancona, Bergamo, Lecce and Rome.
  • Organise the International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation (ICE) http://www.ice-conference.org. The conference will be open to a European audience, both academic and industrial. The Observatory’s complete results will be distributed at the conference. The conference will also include presentations by industry representatives and spaces are planned for exhibitor stands.


Organise the wrap-up conference for presenting the research results. This final conference will take place at the Politecnico di Milano and will be open to the general public. As in the previous edition, slots are planned for company speeches.


The work of the Observatory is based on annual research, conducted with the collaboration and assistance of industry partners and supporters. The results of the Observatory’s research are normally made public at a free wrap-up conference, which is open to the general public.


Proposed activities for the Observatory are based on two principles:

  • The principle of continuity in research topics: our research is of an exploratory nature and opened up several possible avenues for more in-depth research to follow up with a second phase of study. This second phase should in particular afford a measure of statistical significance to some of our main findings, increasing the number of respondents and reducing the weight of detailed analysis. Methodologically, this principle of continuity leads naturally to two modes of study: an extensive survey and a few targeted case studies.
  • The principle of improving the Observatory’s visibility: the research conducted in the Observatory’s first edition achieved a good level of visibility, as can be seen simply from the number of participants either at the wrap-up event, or at least reached through side events. It is, however, possible to do more, by trying to increase visibility in the media (at least within the sector) and by concentrating our efforts into events and seminars and attempting to reach the whole country (not just Lombardy), while not forgetting the international dimension.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Every year more than 300 companies join the Digital Innovation Observatories activities, getting in touch with the corporate, institutional and academic decision makers

Contact us



The 2014 Research conducted by the Planning & PLM Management Observatory has been made in collaboration with Dassault Systemes, Holonix, PLM Systems, PRO.FILE, PTC; Diversity, Elicit, LinkedDesign, Manutelligence, Università degli Studi di Bergamo, Università degli Studi Firenze, Università del Salento, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Università di Roma Tor Vergata.


For further information, collaboration and support requests for the other researches of the Planning & PLM Management Observatory, please contact Sergio Terzi (email: sergio.terzi@unibg.it).

Scientific Partners: