Product-Oriented Approach Leads to Project Management Efficiencies

Product-Oriented Approach Leads to Project Management Efficiences

Situation at Hand

A commercial avionics division of a large aircraft engines manufacturer required assistance with a commercial airliner development project. The project consisted of the high-quality production for an upgraded, single unit altimeter that needed to be produced within budget and delivered on time to customers.

Problem to Solve

While the company did a great job tracking expenditures and maintaining the budget, they lacked in project management. The project lead was using an organization-based Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) to manage budgets and tasks, which was not a feasible long-term solution. Moreover, they did not have a comprehensive project management plan in place to coordinate the execution of tasks within pre-set scheduling and milestones.

Approach and Solution

First, the project lead was educated on the advantages of using a product-based WBS. By using a product-based WBS, the objectives could be accomplished more efficiently than the previous organization-based WBS. The product-based WBS provided the project lead with a more realistic overview of the project’s cost and schedule performance by using a Cost Performance Index (CPI) and Schedule Performance Index (SPI).

Secondly, a systematic project management plan was put in place to understand the progress of the project. This included a holistic Earned Value Management (EVM) system. The new EVM artifacts included the following:
-Integrated Master Plan (IMP)
-Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)
-Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS)
-Integrated Master Schedule (IMS)
-Control Account Manager (CAM)

This helped the project lead efficiently track the cost and schedule of the project.


25%-75% increase in free time…project lead able to focus on other critical areas that needed attention

100% of the essential project data (CPI/SPI)…provided by modification of the EVMS process to have a clear understanding of the project’s progress

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