Process Optimization in Automotive Development

Challenge

Internal engineering structures of a global automotive manufacturer, based in the US, are widely isolated from each other in the business units of mechanics, electronics and software. During their daily work, the individual departments use over 400 different tools and filing systems in total. From this predicament, the international automotive manufacturer derived the following problems:

  • Low efficiency of engineering units
  • Slow progress in projects
  • Difficulties in implementing new software platforms
  • Difficulties in implementing new product lines
  • Insufficient safety measures and control mechanisms

Project Duration/Volume (employee months)

About 3 years (2009-2011)

3 FTE (MP efforts)

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Solution

Method Park consultants supported the definition of the automotive manufacturer’s standard development processes for all product levels: 

  • Automotive programs
  • Reusable subsystems (e.g. powertrain, battery)
  • Electrical control elements and software

These development processes synchronize with each other, via milestones and common work results, but can also progress at different speeds and cycles. 

To define its processes, the automotive manufacturer applied the process management system Stages, with a customer-specific process Meta model. 

Additionally, the customer condensed its entire tool landscape into consistent standards-based architecture and integrated the tools into an IBM platform. Method Park integrated Stages into this tool chain with a new-developed plugin so the automotive manufacturer is able to instantiate automotive and subsystem processes directly in Stages, adjust them with tailoring specific to programs and projects and monitor process execution in different tools. 

Furthermore, the company now directly implements quick progressing software development processes in Stages and IBM Rational Team Concert (RTC). All engineers involved have instant access to process descriptions for each step they perform in IBM RTC.

Solution

Definition of standard development processes

Implementation and integration of the process management tool Stages in a new tool chain

More Information

Stages

Customer Benefits

The standardization of all development processes and the introduction of Stages as a company-wide process management system enabled the automotive manufacturer to significantly reduce the reaction time to process changes. The company is able to implement new tool chains faster and easier, also apply safety measures and controls compliant to ISO 26262. The automotive supplier particularly reduced its tool landscape and filing systems. Consequently, process acceptance among engineers and other employees involved in processes is extremely high.

Customer Benefits

Fast reaction time to process changes

High process acceptance 

Reduction of tool variety and filing systems by 70%

Easy implementation of safety measures and controls compliant to ISO 26262

Entire fulfillment of requirements by ISO 26262 and similar standards 

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