Management of a Large
Project in an Automobile
Rajesh Kumar Sharma
ID #: 2233482
Executive Programme in
Leadership & Management
Effective Management of a Large
Project in an Automobile Industry
By Rajesh Kumar Sharma
General Manager – FIAPL Pune
ID # : 2233482
A Project on
Effective Management of a Large
Project in an Automobile Industry
To begin with, I would like to express my immense gratitude towards
all the professionals who have come across in my journey of life. Last
23 years has been a wonderful travel where I got the opportunity to
meet some unsung people but masters in their area. These people
grew along with the growth of the organization & became wonderful
mentors and teachers for many including me.
My thanks also goes to professional teachers across the border in
Japan, Thailand, China, Italy & USA. I got ample exposure and
learnings from them along with performing my professional
responsibilities and this becomes the backbone of my project work.
My thanks goes to the management of FIAPL also, my present
employer who encouraged me to go for this course & supported me
in all possible way
I would also like to thank my family for their constant support in my
struggle towards work & education. When discussing with them,
every problem easily produces several solutions and every day brings
new opportunities of going forwards and upwards.
Last of all my thanks goes to IIM – C for giving me a platform to come
up with this project work.
Rajesh K Sharma
Through this paper I have tried to, determine, analyses and recommend
various new and existing project management techniques which are
used in automobile companies. Every company has its own project
management skill set, and its own organizational structure. No matter
how similar the product is, or how its structure is complicated. Every
organization follows its own project management rules. Type of Project
management teams may vary from company to company or maybe
even project to project.
Project management skills remain in high demand within automobile
organizations. Ironically, project management methods and practices
remain inconsistent even though numerous templates, methodologies
and repositories are available for use in improving consistency in project
In my past industrial experience cutting across organisation my major
observation related to Project is summed up in the following sentences.
1) Personality traits of successful project managers tend to constrain
standardization efforts within organizations yet contribute heavily
to success. Such characteristics include individual determination,
focus, and ability to influence, drive to deadline / key performance
2) The demands of top management plays a major part in
Subverting initial project objectives.
3) The involvement of external suppliers and system integrators in
particular, tends to skew project management within large-scale
Brief background of Project management
Characteristics of a Project
KPIs & KAIs of a project
Classification of Projects
Why Program / Project management
Program Management- Vision , Need & Objective
7 Steps of Project management.
• Step 1
• Step 2
• Step 3
• Step 4
• Step 5
• Step 6
• Step 7
5. Brief Background of Project
To start this section, one must first understand what a project is.
A project is defined by Project Management Institute (PMI) Standard
committee in “A guide to the project management body of knowledge”
as “A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or
service” (Institute, 2004).
A project is a one-time activity with the following attributes (Meredith
and Mantel, 2006).
1. A well-defined purpose
2. A life cycle starting slowly, reaching peak, and then declining
3. Interdependencies and system interactions within the
Organization, the industry, and environment in which it exists
4. Uniqueness about its objectives, operational characteristics and
5. Deliberate conflict built into it.
A project can also be considered that (Nicholas, 1990):
1) Involve a definable purpose and end result specified in terms of
cost, schedule, and performance requirements.
2) Cut across organizational lines and utilize skills and talents from
multiple disciplines and organizations.
3) Involve unfamiliarity, uncertainty, and risks. Given that a project
differs from what was previously done, it also involves
4) Encompass new technology, which, for the organization
undertaking that project, possess significant elements of
uncertainty and risk.
6. 5) Are temporary activities with personnel, material, and facilities
assembled to accomplish as goal within a scheduled time
frame. Once the goal is achieved, the project ceases to exist.
The project resources may be reconfigured to begin work on a
6) Is the process of achieving a goal, going through distinct
phases, called the “PROJECT LIFE CLYCLE”.
A project includes any series of activities and tasks. Those activities and
tasks should be:
• Definable in terms of a specific, finite objective
• Infrequent, unique, or unfamiliar to the existing organization
• Complex with respect to organizational interdependence in
detailed task accomplishment
• Critical to the company in terms of extent of commitment in
resources, market potential or some other aspect that has
significant impact on the company’s business position.
To embark upon a project is to opt for action, for controlled change over time.
“A project is not a dream … but a dream that comes true can be a project”.
The project method is the frame within which the dream can take shape and
7. Progress Group Initiating Planning Executing Monitoring and Controlling Closing
Monitor and Control Project Work
Perform Integrated Change Control
Plan Scope Management Validate Scope
Collect Requirements Control Scope
Plan Schedule Management
Estimate Activity Resources
Estimate Activity Durations
Plan Cost Management
Quality Plan Quality Management Perform Quality Assurance Control Quality
Acquire Project Team
Develop Project Team
Manage Project Team
Communications Plan Communications Management Manage Communications Control Communications
Plan Risk Management
Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis
Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis
Plan Risk Response
Procurement Plan Procurement Management Conduct Procurements Control Procurements Close Procurements
Stakeholder Identify Stakeholders Plan Stakeholder Management Manage Stakeholder Engagement Control Stakeholder Engagement
Plan HR Management
Develop Project Charter Develop Project Management Plan Direct / Manage Project Work Close Project
8. Project Characteristic
Projects have a purpose
Projects have clearly-defined aims and set out to produce clearly-
defined results. Their purpose is to solve a “problem”, and this
involves analyzing needs beforehand. Suggesting one or more
solutions, it aims at lasting social change.
Projects are realistic
Their aims must be achievable, and this means taking account
both of requirements and of the financial and human resources
Projects are limited in time and space:
They have a beginning and an end, and are implemented in a
specific place and context.
Projects are complex:
Projects call on various planning and implementation skills, and
involve various partners and players.
Projects are collective:
Projects are the product of collective endeavor. They are run by
teams, involve various partners and cater for the needs of others.
Projects are unique:
All projects stem from new ideas. They provide a specific response
to a need (problem) in a specific context. They are innovative.
Projects are an adventure:
Every project is different and ground-breaking; they always involve
some uncertainty and risk.
Projects can be assessed:
Projects are planned and broken down into measurable aims,
which must be open for evaluation.
Projects are made up of stages, projects have distinct, identifiable
9. The key elements of project management are classified as follows:
KPIs and KAIs of a Project
10. Project Classification
One of the first things in the strategic planning of a project is to identify
the complexity of it.
Doing so gives us a picture of the magnitude & the gravity of a project.
This helps in planning the resource required to manage efficiently &
identifies the focus of the Management for proper tracking &
Different organizations employ different yard stick to rate a project.
Below is an example which can be used to do a rating. Here Scale and
the Startup time of the project can be set at the discretion of the
Management of the organization.
11. Why Program / Project Management
Why is it applied?
To execute programs & projects within Scope, Timing &
To provide standardized global Program & Project
management for consistency of processes, tool, template
Minimize manufacturing change costs
To enable flawless execution of program launches
To focus project teams on their critical path
Ensures the enterprise is focused on managing the Iron
Triangle (Scope /Timing / Cost)
12. Program Management - Vision
What was the performance of the last launch you were involved with?
Was everything on-time, within budget and within scope?
Did your team define consider the critical path?
Was there urgency around these critical path tasks?
Think about the Lessons Learned that were generated. Is there a
disciplined approach to ensure these Lessons Learned are analyzed and
incorporated into the next launch?
Keeping this in mind Vision of a Program can be
13. Program Management - Need
Within the organization, what do we need to do better with
regards to Managing Programs & Projects?
Does everyone raise the flag when they are going to be late? Or
Are all reports standardized?
14. Program Management - Objective
Do you see Manufacturing Change Costs as unavoidable? What is the
correct amount of Manufacturing Change Costs that the team should
strive for? 5%? Or 8%?
How are schedules tracked to ensure equipment installations and
activities take place when they should?
Are there costs and delays due to the lack of Planning, Executing,
Monitoring and controlling the project?
15. Program Management 7 Steps
One of the easiest way to manage project of any magnitude is by step
The step approach simplifies the concept of project progress, giving
clear dimension & direction to the project team to follow & achieve.
Typically any project can be managed by 7 step approach. The first 5
steps are directly from the Program Management Body of Knowledge
(PMBOK). The last 2 focues on lessons learned and continuous
Before we discuss Step 1, I’d like to explain the interaction between the
Seven Steps of Program Management.
• With Program Management, the team starts with Step 1 which
16. • Before Step 1 is completed, the team must start with Step 2
• Again, before Step 2 is completed, and even before Step 1 is
completed the team will start Step 3, Executing.
• An interesting thing about Program Management is that Step
4, Monitoring and Controlling, begins almost at the Project
• Step 5 occurs toward the end of the project, as it is titled
• Step 6, Analysis of Losses, commences at the Project Start, as
losses may occur at any point in a program, and it is important
to capture and analyze them in a timely manner.
• Finally, Step 7 lags behind Step 6 a little, because data
collection and analysis need to occur before feedback to the
other pillars is necessary. Refer the below illustration
19. Getting Started – Program Management
Note the difference between Program CONCEPT Approval and Program
Approval – which comes later. Program Concept is an assignment to
work on an idea – may be “we need to build an all new vehicle in
Program Approval is – “I approve of your plan and release funds to
execute with this specific scope of work and these deliverables”
Program management is high level and can manage many projects
within the program. Projects are often much smaller.
20. Once the program gets approved the first important activity is the
selection of the leader – The program manager
• The Program Management Team is identified, based on
experience in the related field, potential Manufacturing
Location, familiarity & the extent of the program.
• A gap analysis of skills and knowledge is performed on the
Program Management Team at the beginning to identify the
training needs & impart specialized training if required.
• It is critical for the Program Manager to identify all
stakeholders and to determine, manage, and influence their
requirements to ensure a successful project
21. Once the program leader is selected.
• Then along with management team Scope, Timing and
Costs assumptions of the program is well defined.
• The strategic planning team provides a Manufacturing
Study prior to program approval that defines the
program Scope, Timing & Cost assumptions.
• This study is part of the business case which is
presented to Senior Management for consideration.
• If it is approved, the program commences.
• The Project Charter is created to support this B/case.
Once the team is formed, it starts with the activity of reviewing
lessons learned from previous programs.
For this they conduct various workshops to review all lessons
learned that may be applied based on Program Scope. This can
be Technical, Financial or Operational.
The objective is to integrate applicable lessons learned into the
preliminary Program Plan. They also Track the number of
applicable lessons learned / number of lessons learned applied
22. 7 Steps of Program Management
We will start with step 1
28. Step 3: Executing
During the Execution Phase maximum action takes place. As such this is
where the majority of resources are required. The main activities during
this step are
• Communication of the Detailed Master Plan
• Manage the financial glide path
• Initiate Procurement
• Execute to detailed Master Plan
• Manage risks to Timing, Cost, and Scope (Iron Triangle).
Execute the communication plan
Report status to Evaluator
Key early on as part of the execution step, is clear communication of the
detailed master plan that should be developed during the Step.
This is typically an event at the department / organization level with the
project team and all key stakeholders present to ensure alignment on
scope cost and timing.
It is better to have and record all the planning on a Program
There are many software available which can be an important tool
The Functionality of the PM portal plays a key role in the ongoing
alignment of cost, time scope, risk and issue tracking
29. In summary the Portal allows for real-time standardized Master plan
publication, tracking and reporting of the project covering
Early Visibility / tracking of issues
Kickoff Project Team meetings. Plan other important meetings involving
stakeholders, project team, management & the project evaluator. Walk
through the flow below.
Share point sites and databases are excellent tools for document
Accessing and reviewing information within is VERY helpful to reduce
the number of inquiries. It is ESSENTIAL that the information within be
clear and accurate.
Communication plans should also include the format and templates for
30. Earlier on I had mentioned in the project need one sentence - “Full
transparency of risks in a timely manner”
Not only do we need transparency but quick resolution to avoid delays
and / or incurring unnecessary costs is very important in the effective
management of a project
During the course of project meetings evolve a method for team
members to timely Escalate Issues / Risks, as needed during execution
phase. This can be done by:
Defining risk category (High , Med , Low)
Determining Decision Authority needed
Determining the timeframe for escalation.
The below table gives an image how to prioritize an issue & escalation
During this stage the process of Procurement also starts – the extended
project team comes into act to write specifications and bid packages /
requisitions are being processed / Purchase Orders placed and supplier
There are various steps involved in selection of a supplier to execute the
work. After receiving technical & commercial bids from various
suppliers a techno commercial alignment of all the suppliers is done.
Then based on a standardized rating template as fixed by the project
team the best supplier is selected. LCC (Life cycle cost is an important
31. parameter in the selection of the final supplier. All these are included in
the master time plan and monitored
During this Procurement Process suppliers are engaged to provide
timing inputs in standardized Microsoft Project format on a regular
basis – timing contains interdependencies between activities focusing
on critical path timing - frequency of updates from supplier adjusts
based on execution phase
Technology department project managers and timing specialists review
supplier submissions against base plan to ensure data integrity prior to
loading in PM Portal load
Portal timing view gives a visual depiction of activities
• Green checkmarks for milestones completed on time
• Yellow for milestones in process & within schedule of the
• Red for milestones which is delayed & urgent action to be
Projects should be segmented across functional groups within the
organization. Each function should develop “Project Plans” for its own
work independent of other functions and thus no end-to-end project
plans should exist. To help alleviate this problem a system of milestone
“hand-offs” should be developed to identify the cross function work
dependencies. This however, can necessitate the need for a
consolidated master milestone plan that requires additional effort to
support and maintain.
While most of the approaches taken by the team’s project managers are
implemented out of a need to “get the job done”, they are indicative of
an organization with no structured approach to executing projects. This
has led to inconsistencies and inefficiencies across the organization.
It is possible to address each of these findings on an individual basis and
develop individual project team solutions. However, such an approach,
without consideration of the enterprise as a whole, will lead to minimal
success with mediocre results.
The ability of an automobile company business to succeed is driven by
its effectiveness in implementing strategic change in a rapidly changing
environment. India has a very rapid dynamic environment.
41. Value Proposition
The competition has to be dealt with a lot of vision. Developing an
organizational project management framework for the systematic
management of projects, programs and portfolios in alignment with the
organizations strategic goals is a proven means of implementing
strategic change and implementing organizational project management
involves embedding skills, knowledge, process, tools and organizational
structures within an organization to support this framework to deliver
An organization’s effectiveness in delivering business strategy can
therefore be called its organizational project management capability.
Most organizations are at a low level of maturity. Building this maturity
iteratively is the key to more effectively delivering the organization’s
Project management technology is a major component in enabling
project management capability. It provides a means of automating the
analysis of project scope, cost and time, and the complexities of
managing this across multiple projects.
Any technology implementation needs to assess the business processes
that will be required to support it, the skills and knowledge that needs
to be in place within the user base, and what organizational changes are
All this needs to be in line with the organizations project management
maturity. Focusing on the technology leads to trying to leapfrog
maturity levels, and the associated cultural challenges that come with
42. Lack of project management adoption is typical because the
organization tried to implement toolset functionality that required a
higher level of maturity than the organization was actually at. An
organizational project management toolset should be deployed at an
appropriate level of maturity, and be capable of evolving over time in
line with your processes and people.
To achieve increasing levels of project management capability it
requires greater sophistication in terms of tool usage, and therefore
increasing maturity in terms of processes and people in place.
When it comes to implementing project management technology it is
important is to walk, skip then run.
So in this situation adapting a powerful tool like 7 steps of project
management will be of great benefit to organizations.
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