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The report aims at changing the way Ford used to handle its vehicle at different stages. The change was required because the company had suffered a lot in the past because of the issues experienced due to negligence in the manufacturing unit. There was a need for analyzing the change request to deal with the issues and problems. After analyzing it, the company could initiate the change and manage it for improving its performance in the world market. It would help to retain its customers and achieve its missing and vision statement.
Change request analysis
Need for the change
Reviewing the change request
Manage the change
Change request in project management process
Change in Project Life cycle
Integrated change control
Ford is a multinational automobile company known for producing famous cars for its worldwide customers. It was the first company to automate production with an assembly line. Its mission is to become the world's most trusted company. It is trying to reach its mission with a vision to make the lives of the people better by making mobility accessible and affordable. The company is headquartered in Michigan and was founded by Henry Ford in 1903. Since its inception, the company has put the world on the wheels. It not only produces vehicles but also innovate other products like refrigerators, airplanes, postal machines, radio and weather satellites. Ford sold 5.9 million vehicles in the year 2018 but its sale declined by 3.2 per cent in 2019.
Despite being known for worlds premium and luxury cars it faces a lot of issues regarding the safety from time to time. Recently it has called its 2 million vehicles back because of the issue in spring tab and gas cylinder. The problem experienced was as it was concerned with the overall safety of the people. The door was flying off in the mid of the journey and the brake system was not performing well. The chances of accidents were severe, the safety of the children and that of the people were in danger. It was making its customer feel scared of running the vehicles on the road. The reputation of the hundred-year-old company got reduced and people started focusing on the other brands. There was a requirement of the change in the project management system. This report emphasizes change request analysis, project life cycle, integrated change control and so on.
There is a need for change in the project. The quality of the car that the company’s offering to its customers is not up to the mark. There are issues in the manufacturing and designing part of the cars. Cars manufactured by the company must not have any safety issues. The performance of the Ford cars on the road has decreased. It is due to performance issues the customer is not willing to trust the company for purchasing. Though it is an internal driver of change it needs immediate attention of the company (Martinsuo & Hoverfält, 2018). It was identified that the company needs to change its fundamental approach of manufacturing and designing. The reinventing company overnight is not possible. It requires proper planning to change its ownership model, the way vehicle is propelled, combustion model and the way the company is going to finance its vehicle and so on. Another factor that is driving for change is technology. Ford was lacking behind in adopting the technical changes. Ford needs to become a high tech centre so that it can attract young millennials to innovate new things through automation and electrification. It is time for the company to showcase new technologies and retain all the lost customers back to Ford Motors.
Change management process –PMBOK
Here is the change management process along with the project management body of knowledge.
Ford Motors require to identify the issues of the car at the early stage during the manufacturing and designing part. If the company determines the car flaws at the beginning stage it would not have to bear the cost of repairing it again by changing the spring tab off the latch, airbags or gas cylinder (Hayes, 2018). The safety of the people is first and this is one of the major factors that is accounting Ford to change.
Customer these days are looking for a car company which can provide them reliability because after calling of the vehicles by Ford the customers are not ready to have trusted over the company. It is thus important for the organization to retain the trust of its customers. This has lead to the change request in the company.
After analyzing the change request is sent to its stakeholders for reviewing purpose. The change Ford is looking forward is to change to optimize the products that it has prepared before launching them in the market. The optimization technique will help in checking the quality of the substances used for assembling car (Butt & Jamal, 2017). Frequent. For instance, the company will check whether the airbag that has been installed in the car for the safety of the driver and passenger is not causing an injury to the people. It will analyses whether the airbag has been installed properly and does not explode and shoot towards the vehicle occupants. Besides this, the company would check doors are not flying in the air when the vehicle is in motion, brakes of the car are working in a proper state and so on.
The company quality check department and engineering department are propelling the vehicles in the market without checking its functions properly. There is thus need to strengthen the department so that the employees take it as their responsibility to completely check the vehicle from all the aspects before launching it in the market. In case it finds a flaw, the concerned department must rectify it as soon as possible so that the company can launch the product on the desired date which they have thought for (Razi, 2019). The Ford department must ensure that there is no delay in the project from its side.
The next step that the Ford needs to implement is to manage the change that it is bringing by propelling its vehicles. The idea here is to help the organization adapt to the change and start performing based on the changes introduced. Initially, it would be a difficult task for the company employees but once they will become habitual they would not find it hard. If required Ford must come up with teaching practices for its employees so that they do not make the same errors that are experienced by the company. Teaching at Ford motors would be achieved through a multifaceted initiative (Kuzhda, 2016). According to this initiative, the small groups that were created from the classes can also involve themselves in strategy discussion and can give 360-degree feedback to one another. It will help them to improve their skill sets and thereby improve productivity for the company. This teaching initiative can bring benefits to the organization. The teaching can be conducted by rolling out the employees working hours. The training of the equipment must be done
To earn profit and influence the customers the company has to improve its strategies. It needs to work on the areas which are always avoided. It needs to check on its services and test the product thoroughly (Swanson, 2017). There are various problems that I have accumulated which states that there is a need in the projected management process. Here are the issues and problems of the company.
1. Oil leakage issue
Oil is one of the essential parts of the vehicle or any machine that helps to make it run. It makes me said to tell that many of the Ford vehicles are prone to oil leakage. Aerostar is the popular Ford vehicle which faces this issue that is it leaks like a sieve (Bennett, Baker, Williams & Pitman, 2020). Usually, it does not take much time to repair it. This kind of problem occurs when the gasket or seal wore out or does not fit into the car correctly.
2. Transmission roll pins
Another risk identified in the vehicle is due to transmission roll pins. It is due to this reason many vehicles were called back for repair. Transmission roll pins is a very important element for efficient operations of the car but it was on the flagship pickup truck part. This issue was found particularly in F-150 vehicle.
3. Bodywork issues
Although it is not only Ford motors problem, many automobile manufacturers face the issues in the bodywork but it is not a good thing on the company’s part. Ford motors suffer from this issue because of the change in the various models. It is one of the visible damage that a customer can easily spot. Damage or rust on the body decreases the elegance of the car. It thus needs to be paid attention to.
4. Safety for kids
It is a serious concern because safety matters a lot. But in Ford motors had to recall its 10,000 vehicles just because of a malfunctioning of the child lock system. It resulted in potential loss of the customer as they wanted their child to be safe which was not the case in Ford. Ford, in order to retain the customers, came out with the concept of rear airbags for children so that in case of the accident the airbag can explode and protect the child from getting injured (Hussain & Zeadally, 2018). It targets the minds of the customer stating that Ford takes care of their child thinks for their security. It increased the sale after the advertisement. This indicates that a small mistake could have turned all its customers but with changes, it brought them back.
Another issue of the company is that it is not hi-tech and because of this reason it failed in connecting the system. The infotainment system does not work properly. The trends in the consumer have changed now people get ticked with a car whose infotainment system is good (Hannan, Hoque, Mohamed & Ayob, 2017). A small technical error made it miserable for the users to connect the car with their phone. Even voice recognition is also an issue.
6. Power steering
Ford Falcon suffered from the problem of power steering. It has been identified that some owners while driving the car could not turn the car to the other side as it got stuck. Every owner trusts the company for getting a good product but Ford failed to maintain that. It repaired the power steering which is the most important part of the vehicle but lost the satisfaction of the owner for the company.
7. Horrific exhaust sound
The exhaust of the Ford vehicle was found to produce enormous sound. Generally, these type of sound occurs when there is a whole in the exhaust system. Ford Telstar suffered from the breaking of the exhaust system and it suffered from the heavy noise of the gages that are emitted out in the environment from the vehicle.
8. Issues with the air conditioner
People recorded that the rear AC in the Ford edge was not working properly. It created painful for the drivers running the vehicle at high temperature. Air ventilation failed in Ford cars making it difficult to travel with it.
9. Jerks in the Car
People identified that some of the Ford vehicles were jumping up and down. It created fear in the minds of owners. In 2017, Ford 150 model suffered from the issue of jerks.
10. Handling Issue
This issue is similar to that of the power steering issue. Ford owners found it difficult to handle the car. The vehicle was found to be biassed in one way. People when driving at high speed were not able to deal with the car and it was a very frightening situation for the customer. None of the customers could ever want to deal with such a situation (Kotb, Aly & Muhammad, 2019). Thus the company tried to correct its handling issue so that none of the people had to suffer from the same problem as was done by others
To overcome these mild issues which seem to be big, the company can set out a testing team that test the car functionality from every aspect properly. It would help the company to change its policies so that it would start performing well and the company do not have to experience any such kind of issues after the vehicle gets launched in the market.
Changes are part of life and to flourish in the world market the companies has to adopt change management process from time to time. The competition in the market is high, there are other companies as well that are trying to sell their cars and innovative products in the market. To compete with them the organization must try to decrease its technical errors and improve the performance of the products. Some products continuously grow while the other either rise or fall (Cameron & Green, 2019). A similar trend is observed in Ford Motors as well. Many company products became a star product of the company some of them even became the cash cow for the company but despite these, the company had to suffer because of the technical error in manufacturing. This is the reason even Ford has to accept the change and initiate its organization. Until and unless it would not implement changes it would not be able to retain its customers. The process of the change begins from the project life cycle. To complete any project, it has to go through five phases and these phases are discussed below.
1. Initiation phase
It is the very first step of any project. It is at this phase the changes are initiated in the departments of Ford. The manufacturing department of Ford must focus on its quality as its one of the customer winning strategy is its quality and price. Ford motors want to become one of the most trusted company and it can be done only by willing to introduce changes in the organization (Kerzner, 2017). It needs to evaluate its manufacturing control units. Neglecting things can generate the same risk in the future as the company experienced by recalling two million of its vehicles both from factories and owners. To overcome such risks, the organization must first review the risk and handle its impact even if the error is found at the final stage of the project.
2. Planning phase
The next phase of the product development life cycle is the planning phase. At this phase, Ford needs to plan out things of how it is going to manage and introduce the change in the organization. Employees of the organization may start resisting the change or do not find the change effective for the company. But to succeed in the market the company should hire some talented employees who can identify the issues that the project is going to experience and try to avoid them at the very stage when they were detected. At this stage, the company must invest in finding out remedies to the problems identified.
3. Implementation phase
It is the third phase of the project development cycle also known as the execution phase. All the things that are planned for changes in the project are executed in this phase. It is here the employees of the organization would ensure that the product would be delivered on time and under the decided budget (Vuorinen & Martinsuo, 2019). The training of the employees would reflect whether they are working on the activities according to the changes introduced or not. Ford with its product will be able to meet the requirements of its customers through this phase.
4. Closing phase
It is the last part of the project life cycle. The project under this section reaches its completion stage. Ford motors will be finally able to deliver its cars and its products once it gets approved by the quality check team. The quality team that has been installed will check every detail whether it is latches, cylinder, airbags, transmission role pins, bodywork issues, safety for kids, power steering, connectivity issues, engine faults, doggy AC and ventilation, horrific exhaust sounds, spark plug problems, fuel mileage concerns, flying doors, awkward visual system, vehicle jerks, handling issue and oil leaks. All these problems can be easily handled at the manufacturing stage itself rather than the completion of the entire project (Baker, Akka & Glass, 2018). Whether the problem is small or big all will be handled before the project is introduced in the market for selling purpose.
The most difficult phase of any project is coordination and integration. If the project lacks in both of these concepts it results in losses for the organization. No doubt Ford is a multinational brand serving in 125 countries across the globe knows what people are expecting despite all the knowledge about the market, changing trends it failed to analyze why it was, again and again, facing the issues for which it needed to recall its vehicles. Does the company was not following its KPIs or what was the major problem (Hornstein, 2015)? It was identified that the company's policy of creating a new car in just 100 days was the reason why everyone was lacking in coordination.
Even if the company change its policy and start its focus on developing a car which is free from flaws but lacked integration will suffer from the same catastrophic crises. Ford needs to align all its resources properly according to the change in the environment. It can have better control on the project once it can integrate and coordinate with the different departments that all work on the same project like manufacturing, electrical engineering, testing, marketing& advertising and so on. Integration at Ford will help the employees get an overall picture of the management activities undertaken, how the resources are utilized and how the risk is assessed etc. Integration of the people, process and knowledge will improve the overall performance of the company’s projects.
It can be concluded from the above findings that the company needs to have a change management process to improve its manufacturing and designing departments which are responsible for the technical errors found in Ford Motors. The changes are introduced in the way the car is propelled so that if there is a defect in the engine or any other place it gets identified at the propelling stage and would not move ahead until and unless it gets rectified. The organization to improve its vehicle performance can also start teaching its employees of the risks that the company might have to face.
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