Managing development projects more productively
According to a recently published study carried out by Fraunhofer IAO and Drees & Sommer Process Consulting GmbH, manufacturing companies could dramatically improve their development and design processes by considering them from a services point of view.
In their joint study, Fraunhofer IAO and Drees & Sommer examined how complex development projects are managed. The study’s findings showed that although manufacturing companies have largely optimized their production processes, there is still considerable room to improve productivity in upstream development and design processes. And this is true for almost all sectors and industries.
When it comes to the type of complex development projects common in mechanical engineering or plant construction, efficient and effective project execution is constantly being disrupted by problems arising from the need to coordinate the efforts of various different disciplines, from changes in customer requirements, or from inadequate product specifications. As a result, the employees involved in a project often feel they are working in a chaotic, uncontrollable environment, and they judge their own processes to be unproductive.
The need for new solutions and concepts that bolster project management is clear. One promising approach is to consider the entire development process consistently from a services perspective. Not only does this help managers better understand process problems, it also brings to light other ways to deal with them that have a much broader reach than traditional project management methods. Services experts from Fraunhofer IAO and Drees & Sommer chose just such an innovative, service-oriented approach in carrying out their investigations.
Fraunhofer IAO is hosting an event on September 24, 2013 dedicated to productive management of complex development projects and featuring innovative solutions for companies. If you are interested in taking part in this event, please get in touch with the contact person listed below.
The activities of the Fraunhofer IAO focus on investigation of current topics in the field of technology management. A holistic approach is applied to the study of commercial success, employees' interests and social consequences.
The Institute helps companies to identify the technologies of relevance to them, and draws up a technology strategy aligned to the competitive environment and the market. It plans the deployment of technology for the entire enterprise, in the business sectors and in individual projects.
Depending on the requirements of the company, the Institute develops or modifies technical systems. The Fraunhofer IAO plans and organizes future-oriented structures suitable to the needs of people involved in production, as well as in the administrative and technical departments of companies in industry and the service sector. Research focuses on the development of advanced information and communications systems.
In keeping with the holistic approach pursued, attention is also given to the individual and social values held by people in their working environment. This not only addresses the task of creating ergonomic solutions, but also the additional qualifications required by employees in coping with the decentralized organization of work and the implementation of new technologies.
Research projects are conducted in close collaboration with small and medium-sized companies and industrial corporations under direct contract. The Fraunhofer IAO participates in publicly funded research programs, such as the »Information Technology« and »Work and Technology« programs of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, in programs of the European Union, as well as in programs funded by the Land of Baden-Württemberg.
Fraunhofer IAO works in close cooperation with the Institute for Human Factors and Technology Management IAT of the University of Stuttgart. Both Institutes employ a permanent staff of about 500. More than 14 200 m2 of offices, laboratories and technical installations are available to carry out contracted research.
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