In the manufacturing world, a flawless launch is one in which a new product is brought through the 90-day start of production phase with no defects or delays. It is an elusive ideal, since manufacturers must — among other things — keep development costs on target, secure production part approvals, deliver samples on time, ensure customer plant conformance, and avoid customer plant returns.
The concept of the flawless launch can easily be applied to large software projects at global manufacturing companies. After all the planning, scoping, and budgeting has been completed, there is a brief period in which the project is “launched” that is fraught with pitfalls.
See how one SAP program manager at a large multinational automotive manufacturing corporation designs his IT department’s version of the flawless launch. The program manager has requested anonymity, and is referred to in this article as “the expert.”