Which stages of the project life cycle are evident in the case study? Did Martens select the right two project managers in Patil and Wright? What are toughest challenges faced by the project manger’ during a high visability and high risk project? Would you like to have been involved with the Ford Escape Hybrid project?
Paper # 2: Ford Hybrid
The Ford Escape Hybrid program was the midterm step of the company’s steps of sustainability. The program was included in the company’s long-term plans for more than two decades. The program in the past decade accelerated rapidly due to increased pressure from recently enhanced EPA regulations for improved gas mileage and pollution standards. The release of similar Hybrid technologies from competitors Honda and Toyota put Ford’s plans into hyper-mode (Frenett 2008).
Project Life Cycle
The Ford Escape case study explained the managements ideas and methods selected to design and implement production of a the most revolutionary car ever produced by Ford. The stages of activity included conceptualization, planning and execution phases of production.
Conceptualization was achieved by bringing the right type of managers into the process. In addition Ford did something it had never done before, brought researchers and product engineers into the same building. Past projects had always placed emphasis on keeping the two vital areas separate. This was implemented to decrease the amount of time to production by minimizing re-work required due to lack of communication.
Planning was achieved by making sure each portion of the team was selected with personality and work habits matched as closely as possible. This would minimize friction created by personal differences and increase productivity. The concept in turn enabled the timeline goals to be met.
Execution was a key element of the process and was a direct result of the work of Martens and Wright. The two were directly responsible for keeping the wheels on the project, maintain positive moral all while simultaneously applying medium handed pressure to the other project member. Hybrid Project personnel Decisions
The task of managing a project of the magnitude Martens was assigned could either fail, succeed. The scope of the job contains extremely complex engineering feats combined with a rigid timeline. The only path for success was to find a project manager well versed in both aspects of the project. Instead Martens decided to split the responsibilities of the project with two managers with different experience and subject matter expert qualities. Patil was brought his PhD scientific experience to the table. While Wright brought the can do spark plug approach to the project. The two will be instrumental in the projects outcome (Salter 2004). Challenges
This type of project required an organized approach to working out side of the normal confines of Ford’s production models. The bench mark for success is not in comparison to other previous projects. Large scale engineering designs had been implemented in the past, but never a machine with dual means of propulsion. The company had already announced release of the Hybrid and the whole world was waiting to see the outcome (Tierney 2005). Member of the Team
Having the opportunity to be part of a team steeped in innovative engineering tradition would be an honor for anyone in the automotive production industry. The overall project requires more than just strong management, designers, and engineers. The entire project requires the use of marketing, facility maintenance, logistics, out sourcing liaisons and accountants. The reality is, I may not be knowledgeable in the expertise of design and production of automobiles. I would certainly like to be member of a project of this magnitude by providing the skill sets I do possess.
This paper discussed the different aspects of design and production encountered by the team tasked to build the Ford Escape. The next time you pick the keys up at Avis rental cars, and you’re seated behind the wheel of a later model of this vehicle. I recommend you take a moment and think of all the innovative thinking that went into making the vehicle your about to drive.
Frenett, G. (2008). Ford Motor Company Perspective on PHEV Technology http://www.che.ncsu.edu/ILEET/phevs/plug-in_2008/1A-Ford%20Motor%20Company%20Perspective%20on%20PHEV%20Technology.pdf Salter,C. (2004). Ford’s Escape Route
Tierney, C. (2005) Detroit News. Cars.com – Ford Slams Toyota on Hybrids Motor Company Perspective on PHEV on http://www.che.ncsu.edu/ILEET/phevs/plug-in_2008/1A-2_Ford%20Motor%20Company%20Perspective%20on%20PHEV%20Technology.pdf PHEV