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Boeing’s Approach to Project Management

Boeing has adopted a well-planned and thorough approach to project management. All the stages are clearly defined, and tasks in each phase take place sequentially. Project definition is the first phase stage in which Bowing identifies the market’s holes left to be met by the existing planes, assesses the future airline requirements, considers the substitute airplane configurations, carries out the feasibility study of possible technologies, and performs initial cost estimations.

Cost definition is the second stage, where Boeing uses a parametric estimation technique to forecast expenditures from earlier design characteristics and also estimates a total of labor hours. Production and supplier management is the third stage. The suppliers are the primary sub-contractors or the participants of risk-sharing programs who work intimately with the engineers from the first phase to the last in order to meet the project’s deliverable. After the beginning of the part fabrication procedure, schedules are posted using the management visibility system, and also, meetings are held to make sure that the predetermined deadline targets are met. Eventually, at the final phase, a First Flight Committee is established, which directly reports to the General Manager and is held daily throughout the 45 days before the first flight of the plane.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Approach

The strengths of Boeing’s Project Management approach are numerous. Boeing follows a highly logical and organized program to accomplish each objective. It has a clear and comprehensible project scope that primarily focuses on meeting the airline requirements by speaking directly to the leading airlines earlier than the design stage. The development of an audit team helps at monitoring every key step and ensures that every chore is taken out properly. Boeing has picked experienced management personnel who possess deep knowledge of the company/industry so that the review process goes on without any glitches. Rapid communication and the high frequency of meetings help in well-timed solving of the issues faced, and teams are informed timely about any sort of trouble.
However, the process has some shortcomings too. The geographical differences cause unanticipated problems as some project participants are located in different countries while the assembly line is in a different country. As Airlines do not counter any delays in the delivery, therefore, management should have planned some flexibility in their deadlines during the final stage, so in case of any glitch, they could have time to fix it. The customer surveys were not carried out pre-hand, which led to the significant changes being required eventually.



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