Introduction to Project Management Systems
Week 9 Case Study Report
Recommendations for BMW
1.1 We ...view middle of the document...
We feel that the 3-series project is a safer environment in which to develop capabilities as the consequences of failure would not be as severe as in the 7-series project. This has two advantages. Firstly, there will be less risk to BMW financially. Secondly, as there is less risk attached to the 3-series project, it will provide an environment that is more conducive to the development of new capabilities.
We also believe that a long term incremental approach to changing the design development process is more suited to the development of the desired capabilities. Japanese car manufacturers have shown that these capabilities can take decades to develop, and Western companies that have tried to implement Japanese methods as ‘quick fix’ solutions have invariably failed. A chief advantage of the 3-series project is that they have already starting to pursue the incremental approach to process improvement in the first year of their project and can continue doing so.
A final reason not to completely change the current system of design development is that the current system has proven itself to be very effective at developing world class commercially successful cars. We believe that through improving the current process BMW will be able to keep the desirable design capabilities that currently exist in BMW, while developing new capabilities, such as front-loading, that will enable development projects to be finished more quickly in future.
3.1 Weekly inter-group meetings to promote inter-group collaboration. There are two issues with inter-group collaboration. Firstly, when conducting different activities simultaneously, a change made by one group has the potential to seriously disrupt the activities of another group. If such changes are discussed in meetings, there is less potential for disruption as the changes will be less of a surprise when they are entered in the CAD programme. Secondly, if different groups are reluctant to release imperfect data, such meetings could provide a forum in which the imperfect data of other groups can be discussed. Such meetings would gradually help to build a more cooperative environment in which the imperfect data essential for CAD development is freely exchanged in the better interests of the project.
3.2 Data sharing through storing of group databases on company intranet. This will better facilitate inter-group communication between weekly meetings. Such communication will allow stakeholders to develop a more holistic vision of the project. Blogs could also be added to the databases to better facilitate discussion on a daily basis.
3.3 Physical forum for different groups to meet and discuss problems. Given that BMW has the advantage of having all of its staff working together on one site, we recommend taking advantage of this by establishing a space where designers from different groups can meet to discuss problems. This would be an informal space and would progressively promote...