Managing People -WAC
Analysis and Recommendations of Issues faced by Mod IV Product Development Team
Syed Atif Bukhari- 16040004
Honeywell produced climate controls and systems.
In 1981 after experiencing losses the company restructured to separate residential and Building Control Divisions (RCD & BCD). BCD shifted from traditional sequential development system to parallel development system. It housed marketing/sales, manufacturing and design in the same area, and made cross functional teams to accelerate product development. MOD IV was one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by the new development team. MOD IV wanted to replace the existing BCD motors that accounted for more than 30% of BCD profits. All 3 functions were involved in MOD IV development, but the project team was facing problems in design, development, meeting timelines as well as facing disagreement on features to be incorporated in it.
1. What are the forces compelling changes at HVAC controls?
The reasons for developing a team-work dynamic came from recognizing changes in competition, technology and customer needs, as well as a concern over profit margin. From a market of 2 to 3 competitors the HVAC market had now small competitors ranging up to 150. This huge increase in competitors necessitated a faster product development cycle as HVAC needed to retain its product edge and answer to market demands faster. With a cross-functional team HVAC BCD division wanted to reduce a typical product cycle from 38 months to 14 months. In 1981 the Honeywell showed first time loss, to make sure this never happened again a structural change was implemented to manage different divisions separately, BCD was formed and all departments working for a product (engineering, manufacturing and marketing) were housed in the same building. In orders to increase profit margins a new motor design was thought that would be more generic, and cater to different customer requirements as well as answer OEM needs for customization. All these above factors led to significant changes at Honeywell in general and HVAC in particular.
2. What are the major causes of conflict?
Functional level: Different departments had conflicting views about product development, features and timelines. The major conflict was between Engineering (which includes Design and Manufacturing) and marketing. From engineering perspective the major problem occurred when they moved from the norm of designing and testing a prototype first and then moving into production to combining the two. This meant that they had to resolve design issues on the production floor, this not only constrained their timeline but also affected their productivity and focus on other design issues like control modules. The marketing team from the start had not been very enthusiastic about the Mod IV as it was not driven by customer needs but by a company need to reduce costs. As marketing controlled the budget and timeline there were conflicts between engineering and marketing about timelines and project scope and deliverables. At the same time although the team was designed to incorporate better communication between different functions there were still lingering resentment/ ill feelings across departments which led to the breakup of open communication, for e.,g in the case of control modules marketing wanted to push them to be developed along with the main motor but for engineering this was not a major issue and they kept pushing it for later dates. Although engineering knew the design constraints and how to tackle them like splitting the module in two parts, they did not share this information with marketing, at the same time marketing knew that control modules could be delayed to a later date and could be rolled out after the launch of the actual motors. Again they were unwilling to share this information with engineering as they feared this may cause engineering to postpone...
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