2. Structure

2.7 Processes and the reality

Product development at automotive suppliers today is characterized by a highly complex, enterprise-wide networking of many globally distributed development units.

The reality

In many businesses, historically developed descriptions of processes for product development are not keeping pace with the many adjustments to changing work styles and development technologies.

The consequence

The result is inadequately maintained processes which no longer fit. The developers often use their own “ad hoc” processes that have less efficiency, higher risks, and quality compared to standardized and optimized business processes.



How can you prevent this condition?

The following points can help prevent this condition:

  • Processes must be constantly maintained and enhanced.
  • The motivation for processes has less to do with the desired level, but with the benefit for the company.
  • Processes should make a tangible contribution to the business objectives, for example, in terms of cost, time and quality.
  • Processes should be practical and realistic. They should reflect the best and most experienced practices of the company.
  • Processes should not be over-engineered and too detailed but rather provide reasonable degrees of freedom for the employees.
  • Processes should mirror and be aligned with the organizational structures.
  • If one uses standard processes (required at Capability Level 3), tailoring is very important so that standard processes can be adapted to the respective application.
  • “Worldwide” processes can be counterproductive. Processes must be adapted to the cultural conditions. Instead, the focus should be on the interfaces and it should be ensured that the different locations work well together.

Automotive SPICE is only a guideline

Automotive SPICE is a model and not a collection of directly executable processes. It provides basic requirements on working methods and results but does not dictate how they should be implemented. This is, and, remains the task of the company. Processes can only be successful if they reflect the reality of the users.


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