|Product Development and Start-ups (Long)|
Message #15 Posted by Bob on 9 Oct 2003, 8:51 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Jack N
I am not sure how many of you are in the business of developing and manufacturing products, but I can tell you that missing ship and to-market dates are devastatingly easy to do. I'm not making excuses for HP or their contract manufacturer, but that is a fact.
There are a thousand and one things that can go wrong if the product engineering and design are perfect. Some of these include: contract issues, employee training, machine setup/failure, inadequate spare parts, revision of subcomponents, poor project manager, loss of key technical leaders, intervention from marketing and sales, inadequate quantity or quality of raw materials, logistics issues, a typhoon, accidents, etc.
If they are revising the design, or discover flaws in the transition from prototype to production units, it could be even more time before they see the light of day.
If they are not, then this is where the program/project manager and team earns their pay. Provide leadership, do detailed planning to avoid errors, mitigate the negative impacts, resist design change, make contingency plans, delegate tasks, and make the critical path schedule.
With the roll-out of 3 different models, so close together, through a contract manufacturing arrangement in Asia, the challenge must have been tremendous. No one should be surprised that the delivery dates have slipped.