Friday, November 2, 2007

Global approach?

Mahindra and Mahindra's Scorpio is now a legend. It is a completely 'India' car designed at a fraction of the cost of all international automakers. Mahindras used the knowledge of their vendors to have some form of distributed design to speed up and reduce the cost of new product development.

The link is a very detailed article on the evolution of Scorpio.

Boeing 787 dreamliner followed pretty much the same story. Boeing had a practice of giving completed designs to its vendors. For the 787 they let their vendors do a lot of their own designing themselves. The 787 project, if documented, could be a lesson of how not to manage a new product development.

This brings me to my central belief that nothing is 'good' or 'bad'. There is a lot more to these practices than meets the eye. Implementing modern techniques taking them at their face value is not a guarantee of success. The deeper implications need to be understood.

It is not that collaborative designs cannot succeed in aircraft industry. Also it is not that the concept will always be a hit in automobiles. There are a lot of 'other' factors involved.

I am not too sure of being able to document these other factors as of now. I would love contributions to help me answer this..