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Title: Development of a method for managing quality at the project definition stage
Author: Schoper, Y.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 3964
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 1997
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In times of intense global competition and increasing customer demands, car manufacturers are forced to launch new products at regular intervals to remain competitive. As the costs of developing a vehicle are immense, these products must be successful in the market, which means that they need to be of high product quality. To invest in the right development projects, it is necessary to evaluate as early as possible in the development process the quality, and with that the potential success of a new product in the market. lt is therefore the objective of this thesis to establish criteria which allow the assessment of the Product Quality in the Definition Stage. Hereby a method shall be developed which supports project leaders in managing and assessing the quality of future products at the very beginning of the design phase. This thesis starts with an analysis of the current situation of the global motor industry and an overview of the historical evolution of quality. A description of the Definition Stage in development projects and its uncertainty factors follows, as well as an analysis of its objectives, tasks and ideal process procedures. To dene the quality in the Definition Phase, the author analysed the project management literature concerning its influencing factors. lt showed that there are parameters that have an influence on the success of a product development project. In the next stage, the objective of the Definition Stage was defined, to reach Safety of Targets. By analysing this objective, the author detected a strong influence between the Product Quality and Project Quality in this early phase. To evaluate Safety of Targets, the author detected that these criteria are not measurable. Therefore the author developed substitute parameters in close contact with design teams. The author claimed that these factors allow the evaluation of Product and Project Quality in the Definition Stage. The factors are compared with the success factors in literature and the parameters of the European. Business Excellence Model. The results confirm the findings of this thesis. Based on these results, the author developed a two-step evaluation procedure. lt contains a Self-Assessment approach for project teams to evaluate the quality in the Definition Stage. This procedure is followed by a Project Audit, where an external audit team evaluates the quality status of a project. This procedure was developed by working closely with teams and is used in several projects, which apply the method also in the downstream development stages. Even if the general applicability of the success factors and the methods could not be demonstrated, the author recommends to expand the evaluation procedure also to other industries, where the project managers find themselves in same situation as in product development projects in the motor industry.
Supervisor: Rooney, E. M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available