Jalopy Sports Car Development: Managing Concurrent Engineering Projects

Published 11 Jan 1996
Reference 4636
Topic Operations
Summary

The case describes a car development project falling behind schedule because of engineering changes in the design of the body stamping dies. The engineering changes can be traced to the parallel execution of several engineering activities. The project manager is faced with the question whether the amount of parallelity, or concurrency, was too high and too risky, or whether engineering changes can be avoided by other means.

Teaching objectives

The case describes the difficulty of working with preliminary information in a concurrent development process where engineering activities are overlapped. It is shown how overlap increases project uncertainty and causes rework delays in spite of having a co-located cross-functional team in place. The case demonstrates fundamental trade-offs of concurrent engineering in addition to organizational communication.

Keywords
  • Concurrent Engineering
  • New Product Development
  • Innovation Process
  • Automotive Industry
  • Engineering Changes
  • Communication