How project management can improve automotive productdevelopment processes

The traditional automotive product development project, otherwise known as a car program, has been a lengthy, conflicted, and complex process. Manufacturers, including the automotive industry, are just beginning to use the principles and techniques of Modern Project Management (MPM) to improve timing, reduce engineering changes, resolve conflicts early in the planning process, and help develop better world-class quality products. Using the automotive industry to illustrate the effectiveness of the implementation of the principles of MPM in manufacturing, this article outlines the steps to planning a Product Development Process (PDP). These steps include: defining the program goals, appointing a planning team, developing a scope statement, and creating a model to show progress throughout the entire car program. MPM is shown to be an effective tool to the planning process in the automotive arena.
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