Project Management Institute

On the edge

Throughout the 1990s, the Ford Motor Company (Dearborn, MI, USA) dominated the United States' sport utility vehicle (SUV) market. But when the consumer demand shifted towards crossover utility vehicles (CUV), a shift that Ford failed to anticipate and respond to, the motor company's sales slumped significantly. In response, Ford launched--in 2003--a massive effort to develop its first CUV, a vehicle known as the Edge, a development project that involved thousands of workers and ultimately cost a half-billion US dollars, a project on which Ford is now betting its future survival. This article discusses Ford's effort to design and manufacture the Edge. In doing so, it overviews the factors leading to the decision to develop this vehicle and explains the project management process that the lead project manager used to successfully direct the Edge's development. It describes how Ford implemented the approach used to ensure that the project met its targets and the vehicle was manufactured for a cost that would gen
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