I am leaving independent consulting and Chicago. Many people have heard the basics - here are the details as I know them today. My business card will say something like
Jack Vinson, Ph.D.
Batch Product Manager
Aspen Technology is an engineering software company, based in the Boston area (they just moved offices from Harvard Square out to Burlington, MA). Chemical engineers that read my blog know AspenTech as probably the biggest software company that covers the needs of chemical engineers. Most know about their process simulation software, Aspen Plus. They have hundreds of applications and/or plug-ins that cover the process simulation market. They also cover several other markets with plant design, process control, planning & scheduling, manufacturing execution systems, and supply chain management. (Yes, I cribbed from the website.)
I will be product manager for their suite of batch process engineering software, headlined by BatchPlus - software I used heavily when I worked in process engineering at Searle / Pharmacia, and in which I had a guiding hand as a member of the consortium that originally created it at MIT. I'm sure the product has changed in the ~five years that I've been away from direct involvement, but I've changed as well. As product manager, as I understand it today, I'll work within the company to set strategy and direction for the product(s), and outside the company to pull in the needs of current and future customers to feedback into the strategy for the product.
While I am going to be focusing on a product for batch chemical processing, the primary market I'll be working with is in pharmaceuticals -- another reason for the connection to this job. AspenTech has just announced a redoubled effort in developing stronger connections into the pharmaceutical markets, and I'll be a piece of that.
I'd love to hear from you if you have anything interesting to say about this particular market, or you have any good suggestions about life in Boston (and where I could live with the family).
Q. Are you going to be doing knowledge management (or Theory of Constraints?
A. No. At least not directly. Of course, I can't get KM and TOC out of my psyche that easily. I suspect I will be looking for opportunities to practice what I've been preaching in the KM realm. And working inside companies is a wonderful way to put paid to the principles of Theory of Constraints.
Q. Are you still going to be writing about knowledge management?
A. Yes. Again, I don't think I can get away from it that easily. I'll also likely start throwing in more writing about product management and other aspects of my role -- without giving away anything secret.
A. That's all to be worked out. We've agreed that we will work together. Now we have to move house (and family) to Boston, and I suspect I'll start working before we make the full move. Based on the house market and the time of year, I am guessing we won't be moving until sometime in early 2008.