The digital thread ensures that all groups working on a project are on the same page.
No more design changes that were never communicated downstream. Participants no longer need to rely on manual processes or human memory. All artifacts are associated within the software, and workflows are enforced by the system. When an engineering change occurs, it triggers a workflow that notifies the responsible groups downstream.
The digital thread is digital accountability. You can always find out where a change is in the lifecycle, who has completed their tasks, and who has not. This also supports auditing and reporting.
If we take our undocumented new panel as an example, had the project been using the digital thread through supported software, the engineering design would have been revised with the new panel. That change in design and associated parts would have impacted the EBOM. The EBOM change would have caused the associated SBOM to fall out of sync. When the SBOM was updated to account for the change, the content associated with the affected parts would have been flagged. In parallel to engineering changing the actual product, the content owners could have updated the documentation and got it out into the field with the new panel.