World Leading Automotive Manufacturer

Roll out of a major project management tool across European division.

The Client

Our client is one of the world's leading automotive manufacturers with revenues of $173.9 billion, producing 6.553 million automobiles and employing 245,000 employees across global operations (2007 Annual Report).

The Challenge

Our client developed a major web based project management tool, GPDS Integrator, which is an essential enabler of its Global Product Development System (GPDS). The tool is used to collect status and issues data from all functions and levels during product development and launch and produces reports for both individual vehicle lines and across the total group of companies.

The task was to roll out use of the application in the European division so that all teams and functions used the tool in order to report status and manage problem resolution.

The GPDS methodology encompasses the entire global business. All functions and brands are required to use the Integrator tool in order to ensure successful management of the GPDS methodology.

Whilst the methodology and the tool are global, the business practices and management tools deployed by the various regions typically differ. This brings its own unique challenges as the approach must be common across all regions; thus aligning globally is paramount to success:

Key challenges included:

  • Each function and vehicle line within the European division had its own management tools, data storage area and report formats resulting in widespread resistance to change
  • Lack of common strategy across the European regions and brands, resulting in inefficient cross brand collaboration
  • Previous versions of the tool were not well used
  • The tool needed improvement with respect to ease of use and report coverage
  • No in-depth training material
  • No significant local Help Desk facility

The Pcubed Solution

Pcubed's assignment was that of "Subject Matter Expert for GPDS Integrator". The SME was the single point of contact, both externally and internally, for all matters relating to Integrator. Core to this approach was rapidly gaining expertise in the understanding and use of the Integrator application and its relationship to the business processes. The significant factors for success were:

  1. International Change Management - working through the existing project and program management organization
  2. Help desk - setting up a European Help Desk that could rapidly respond to queries and problems
  3. Key international stakeholder liaison - in order to produce common training material and mutually agree on enhancements and corrections to the application
  4. Training - setting up a training program with both formal and "on demand" informal training
  5. Reporting - Linking the use of Integrator with the automatic generation of management reports
  6. Regular meetings - Visiting all major Integrator users at project level on a regular basis
  7. Skill transfer - Training staff to continue the work after Pcubed's assignment was completed

The end result was that effective and quality usage was raised to and maintained at 100% across all projects as measured by the company's global metrics.