Offshore R&D Project Management


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Off shoring and Outsourcing of design & research work has posed different type of challenges for operational and strategic management teams.

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  • Offshore R&D Project Management

    2. 2. About The Topic <ul><li>Offshoring of product design, development, engineering and research is fairly new global phenomenon. Workflow at R&D center entails complexities in terms of varying size of work packets, work content, clarity level, type of work, control level etc. </li></ul><ul><li>This is an effort to provide a practitioner's perspective about evolution of project management system & process at an offshore R&D and engineering center </li></ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phenomenon of offshoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Categorization of workflow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project performance of offshore center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project Management Practices at the offshore R&D center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Planning, Time, Communication, Cost, Quality, HR, Portfolio </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>System requirement, PMO and Future predictions </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Product of Flat World <ul><li>Driven by organizational ‘growth oriented’ forces </li></ul><ul><li>Market expansion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Selling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product customization & modification for local needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manufacturing localization for cost cutting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local engineering support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engineering support to other business units’ engineering teams </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Success of engineering & design teams – Created confidence about skills </li></ul><ul><li>External Drivers like core competency, cost competition </li></ul><ul><li>IT outsourcing </li></ul><ul><li>BP outsourcing </li></ul><ul><li>KP outsourcing </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering Services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outsourcing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offshoring </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Success & cost saving by IT, BPO & KPO – Created environment </li></ul><ul><li>Phenomenon of globalization of ‘Business’ is taken as ‘Flattening of World’ </li></ul><ul><li>Two forces, one from inside organization and another from external environment shaped offshoring of design, engineering and R&D </li></ul><ul><li>Currently 500 offshore Engineering and R&D centers working in India </li></ul><ul><li>No. growing @ 23% CAGR* </li></ul>
    4. 4. Working Model of Offshore R&D
    5. 5. Workflow – Projectizing it To Do Tasks Projects
    6. 6. Issue of Performance Parameters <ul><li>Traditional benchmarks for project performance parameter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time and schedule efficiency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost and financial efficiency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resource utilization efficiency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deliverables’ quality as per predefined ‘known’ acceptability parameters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Performance benchmark for ‘Innovation’ center’s sponsor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business value of output </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost saving by offshoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New initiatives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intellectual property creation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best utilization of all type of resources – proper administration </li></ul></ul>Corporate measures the project output of their offshore center, differently from the existing project performance parameters
    7. 7. TRIZ Framework for Project Categorization <ul><li>TRIZ provides tools and methods for use in problem formulation, system analysis, failure analysis, and patterns of system evolution (both 'as-is' and 'could be'). </li></ul>
    8. 8. Project Mgmt. Practices – Project Planning <ul><li>General Issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Away from market, customer & manufacturing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple locations / multiple systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scoping </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ownership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>End to end project for offshore center </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Specs. by sponsor, detailing and execution at offshore </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Work details from sponsor, ‘to do task’ at offshore </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interventions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Process for project initiation and authorization </li></ul><ul><li>One innovation, product development process </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative planning </li></ul><ul><li>Scoping </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Major role for sponsor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offshore center should try to fill ‘open space’ in scope, proactively </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clear-cut work breakdown </li></ul><ul><li>Clarity on ownership of WBS </li></ul><ul><li>Time line, milestones & deliverables definition mutually agreed </li></ul><ul><li>Approval on all aspects </li></ul>
    9. 9. Project Mgmt. Practices – Time Mgmt. <ul><li>Vis-à-vis onsite, offshore working adds extra hours </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requirement understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reviews, approvals and reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At least two layers of project management </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Time efficiency becomes very important </li></ul><ul><li>Resolution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Invest time in requirement understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Setting expectation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fully aligned team for each location/program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrated project plan for both offshore and sponsor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time and task tracking system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fill gap projects and competency building for effective resource utilization </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Under a project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop schedule for WBS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extra care for the scheduling of shared ‘domain experts’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resource leveling as per project priority </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Project Mgmt. Practices – Communication Mgmt. <ul><li>Considered important for project success </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge in offshore environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural aspects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distance and sense of it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People handling communication – hard core domain expert </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communicated things get lost in the haze of time </li></ul><ul><li>Provide required infrastructure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mail/tele/video – con, recording, session sharing tools </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Policy matter on communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Calendar for real-time communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On-site visits at regular intervals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communication Record </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Important with PDLC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unified system for communication archiving </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Project Mgmt. Practices – Cost Mgmt. <ul><li>Cost heads </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost of human resources’ hrs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All project expenses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common expenses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capital expenditure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Common </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Facilities (e.g. RP Machines) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Time management system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Average cost of hours from cost of human resource </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Project management system based expense tracker </li></ul><ul><li>Inputs from financial operation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Well defined financial process and tracker </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational policy for common expense loading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depreciation loading for common capex. directly related to hours of project e.g.= (hrs. on project ‘x’/ total hrs)*(total depreciation) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tracker for the usage of special facilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Load the cost to projects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cost saving – first reason of offshoring </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of project directly loaded to the cost of product, research program, new initiative </li></ul>
    12. 12. Project Mgmt. Practices – HR Mgmt. <ul><li>Inside a project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assigning resource as per WBS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project leader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project specific team structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Domain specific leader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proper resource leveling </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organizational Structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More than just a matrix structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Program (Vertical), Domain (Horizontal), COE’s (Bubble) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support departments (Finance, HR, Operation) – Coordination </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Performance Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Input from project portfolio system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appraise from all elements of org. structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training need </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recruitment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For thinking ability, application mind and then for knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>McGregor’s ‘Y’ people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Failure handling / high self esteem people </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Retention </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic aspect – can make or break the result </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Maslow’s hierarchy </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Project Mgmt. Practices – Quality Mgmt. <ul><li>Quality measurement for varying type of outputs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectively measurable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality of unseen, unknown </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality of research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality as a feature </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subjective quality statement about quality of product would work as a guideline something like ‘ Quality Mission Statement’ </li></ul><ul><li>Review deliverables at every stage – gate jointly by sponsor, domain experts and team members </li></ul><ul><li>Review comments & feedback from sponsor as ‘first priority’ input </li></ul><ul><li>Quality process for ‘measurable’ </li></ul><ul><li>Usage of suitable processes for subjective variables at appropriate stage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FMEA, Six Sigma, DFA, DFM </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quality in-built with work </li></ul>
    14. 14. Project Portfolio Management <ul><li>Central system, a repository of all projects </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate indicator about risk, deadlines, completions </li></ul><ul><li>Report to corporate about performance </li></ul><ul><li>Project based performance indicators </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business value creation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Direct and Indirect contribution </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contribution in top-line, bottom-line and business sustenance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All project expenses and costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Program performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teams, individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competency development </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. System Requirement <ul><li>Enterprise Project Management (EPM) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hosted and centralized system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Entail one resource repository </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication enabler </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enable quick changes in plan </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Project Data and Document Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All project data, documents, communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enabler of collaboration – PLM and EPM interconnection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transfer for meaningful project data to product management system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Applications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EPM should be capable to talk with organization systems ( Financial models, expenses, operational processes, HRIS etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Portfolio Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Built upon project management system for data integrity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dashboards with proper privilege definitions </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. PMO <ul><li>Process owner and manager </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Process standardization / templates /best practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support, guidance & training provider </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Owner of project management system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong IT support team for project management system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Time management, engagement level assurance </li></ul><ul><li>Requirement more prominent as the size of is now felt prominently </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate the job for portfolio management </li></ul><ul><li>Practical exposer of product development / innovation process first priority, knowledge of PM methodology second </li></ul>
    17. 17. Future – Let’s Predict <ul><li>Future of work in organizations will be projectized. </li></ul><ul><li>Projectized vs. Operationalized </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creations/Innovation - projectized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improvement/Renovation – projectized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product or service lifecycle shortening – projectized </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There will be CPMO (Chief Project Management Officer) in the organizations. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When so much of work as project, why not centralize its’ control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When COO, why not CPMO or both </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Friction  transition  coordination  assimilation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>End Customer as part of product development projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Last mile consumer/ user of the product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Like a stake holder - part of each milestone, review and input </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. <ul><li>Thanks </li></ul>