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Application of Project Management Processes to the Global Product Development System

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Introduction:
Of late the subject of global product development has generated a lot of interest. Competitive pressures (pricing targets driving aggressive cost targets), availability of exceptional talent overseas, availability of communication media for seamless information flow, availability of intellectual property protection, and growing external markets, are some of the factors which are influencing the drive towards global product development (GPD). At the same time, there has been a lot of concern raised on where to do GPD, and more importantly, how to do GPD.

The strategy of developing global products and platforms is a challenge to common project management practices. It is essential that project scope is controlled, assumptions are managed and the project execution is directed in order to meet financial (ATROS - after tax return on sales) and technical targets such as vehicle attributes and product requirements. Global teams bring many advantages to the company, nevertheless more complex project management techniques must be applied to the project.

This report explores the evolving role of project manager in the development of innovative products for fast-paced, competitive markets. Project management methods are often taught in abstract isolation from any industry or market, as if unrelated to the business context; one generic approach is presented as if it is relevant to many industries and products. Every engineering manager is familiar with phase-based structuring of projects and the ubiquitous Gantt and PERT charts which have become synonymous with project management. However, these tools and the assumptions that underlie them came from projects that had little in common with the challenges of product development for a competitive marketplace. Project management methods were developed for large aerospace, defense, and civil engineering projects that usually had a single sponsor, huge budgets, long development schedules, and massive resources. Emphasis was on breaking down large projects into predefined work packages that could be subcontracted, coordinating these tasks across geographically dispersed participants, predicting and controlling expense burn rate, managing technical risks, and monitoring of progress by top management or the sponsor. How relevant are these to fast-paced development of products for which market life may be less than a year?

Projects to develop products for competitive markets are driven by a different set of imperatives. Small differences in development time, strategy, and customer knowledge mean survival of one competitor over another. In particular, speeding time to-market has become a focus of the 1990ís, just as quality was an emerging priority in the 1980ís in the United States. Products have ever-shorter market lifetimes, and more product varieties are needed to satisfy increasingly sophisticated customers. Competition has intensified as trade barriers have fallen, forcing manufacturers to rethink every aspect of their operations. Technological change has increased, and new products that combine technologies in new ways compound the complexities and market uncertainties. Manufacturers must select concepts and commit to development based on relatively little information, relying on collaborative teams to deal with the increasing complexity.

Number of Pages of Project Report: 51
Package Includes: Project Report
Project Format: Document (.doc)

Table of Contents of Project Report:
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER 2: PROBLEM DEFINITION AND SCOPE OF THE STUDY
CHAPTER 3: OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
CHAPTER 4: NEED OF THE STUDY
CHAPTER 5: THEORTICAL BACKGROUND
CHAPTER 6: LITERATURE REVIEW
CHAPTER 7: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
RESEARCH DESIGN
DATA SOURCE
DATA COLLECTION
DATA ANALYSIS METHOD
CHAPTER 8: ANALYSIS
CHAPTER 9: CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 10: RECOMMENDATIONS
CHAPTER 11: LIMITATIONS
CHAPTER 12: FUTURE DIRECTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
REFERENCES


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