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  • Subject Name : Project management and people

The Autoparts Inc.

Autoparts Inc. is a major automobile industry giant based in America and deals with the manufacturing and supply of automobile parts and accessories all across the globe. Started during late 1930, today this organization employs more than 60,000 direct employees in its 30 manufacturing units spread at different geographical locations throughout the globe and producing nearly 150 million units of products each year. Whole functionality, productivity and the performance of this organization was relying on ICT to keep its systems and infrastructure supporting nearly 3500 active users by utilizing 22 servers to facilitate more than 60 applications to fulfill its monthly demand of nearly 4 projects on an average basis. 

In the year 2011, this organization had recruited PMP project managers in Latin American countries within its ICT structures defining customized PMBOK to incline it with the requirements of this organization. Furthermore, 16 project managers serving in Latin American countries were selected to conduct a maturity level assessment for evaluating the overall effectiveness of its procedures, strategies, approach, and standards currently being utilized within the organization. As indicated by Neves et al. (2009) the outcomes obtained from this assessment established a maturity level of 2 according to which standardized procedures were not implemented for manufacturing its auto parts and project management which in turn led to several project implementation failures in terms of missed deadlines as well as not fulfilling its desired objectives. Some of the major issues reflected from this assessment included:

  • Just about twenty-five percent of the projects met the time, performance and range criteria, but costs were nearly 30 percent higher on average, primarily due to the extra time required.

  • Nearly 40% of ICT projects are completed out of schedule and above the budget, primarily because of incorrect scope and recurrent planning.

  • Thirty-five percent of the projects have been canceled or implemented in parts only.  Project outcomes failed to meet the requirements of the customer.

These findings illustrated the need for improvements in terms of performance and productivity while completing ICT projects and consequently a diagnosis program (establishing Latin American PMO with a defined organizational structure to the core operational business areas: manufacturing, accounting, sales, and logistics). All these factors led to the establishment of a PMO with the organizational structures of Autopart Inc. which is aiming to improve its existing capacity, dissemination, practices, and standards subjected to project management. Some of the major initiatives for reducing/minimizing project failures and improving productivity included:

  • Formalized procedure and project charter were considered to draw the scope of any project. Furthermore, according to PMBOK (2013) the project development process was formalized, recognizing the connections between different aspects of design and IT stakeholders. Value stream mapping (VSM) tool was used for this purpose and it alone improved the project development time by 15%.

  • The performance result matrix and project knowledge base was created to identify major issues and challenges identified during the developmental phase and its possible solution to be considered for subsequent projects.

  • Stage and gates approach was adopted for review and validation of projects and its deliverables for assessing risks to formulate suitable contingency plans and thus improved quality as well as efficiency of the processes. 

All these counter-strategies and initiatives were found to be a catalyst for improving the performance of this organization and in late 2012, index of completed projects with its specifications reached up to 70%. Whereas, the involvement of project charter considerably reduced the project failure rate by 30% while improving the time period and budget expenses both by 30%. All these factors combined helped in improving the maturity level as well, which is 3 at this moment.


NEVES, S. M.; SILVA, C.S.; TURRIONI, J. B. Melhoria Contínua em Gestão de Projetos: Análise de Uma Incubadora de Base Tecnológica. ENEGEP. Salvador, 2009.

PMBOK Project Management Body of Knowledge. 5a ed. Project Management Institute - PMI, 2013

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