Collaborative and cross-company project management within the automotive industry using the Balanced Scorecard

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Cross-company product development projects are often managed without clearly defined project goals and without an alignment of these goals to an organisations strategy and objectives. With a shift towards more decentralised and distributed development teams, and an increasing level of collaboration, project transparency is reduced and status measurement more difficult due to a lack of transparency. To overcome these difficulties, the quality of collaboration in the automotive manufacturing industry needs to be improved. The understanding of unifying goals and of the mutual purpose to produce new products is essential for efficient and effective collaboration. A methodological study in the automotive industry as part of this research lead to the conclusion that a strategic scorecard method based on the Balanced Scorecard concept by Kaplan and Norton is capable to improve cross-company project management and reduce existing difficulties in typical product development collaboration, such as communication or collaborative risk management. A common definition of project goals, leading and lagging indicators to measure the status, and defining corrective action are core elements of the Collaborative Project Scorecard concept. This thesis identifies the current problems and difficulties in automotive project management and explores solutions to improve its efficiency and effectiveness based on the Collaborative Project Scorecard. It is shown how the concept is derived from business strategies for an improved alignment of project goals with business objectives. A project impact analysis facilitates the development of project strategy maps to increase transparency of goal impact interdependencies. Furthermore, based on the results of workshops, surveys, and interviews the Collaborative Project Scorecard concept is applied to typical automotive product development projects and the identified advantages and limitations are evaluated by an application to a crosscompany project of an automotive supplier and a manufacturer. The development of the Collaborative Project Scorecard is followed by a software implementation of the results. The integration of a collaborative project management model that has a focus on time, task and communication management enables the project manager to create operational indicators that can be controlled on a strategic level by the Collaborative Project Scorecard. Additionally, it is shown how risk management and performance assessment are supported by the concept. Advantages, benefits, and limitations of the methodology are identified and further application scenarios suggested.
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