Interface of financial management with other functional areas

Interface Management in Concurrent Engineering

One of the most difficult tasks in implementing the plan of project is to achieve integration and coordination of the different elements of project, to attain goals related to performance, budget and timeline, which in turn helps in achieving the project goals. For this, interface coordination is required which involves the management of coordination between work and timings across the different groups. Interface coordination can be achieved using LRC, which clearly defines the interactions between members and their roles, responsibilities and duties.

The latest approach for managing interfaces lays emphasis on the employment of Multidisciplinary Teams (MT) for both the planning and designing of the products/services to be delivered by the project. The use of MT can be challenging as it requires a certain structure for the planning process and managing conflicts within the team. To deal with such issues, Tan et al. proposed a planning model with the following four components: An integrated information base associated with the product plus design and production constraints, including technical and human

A software to support the conflict detection in the information base and resolution of conflicts

A software to develop a production plan and simulate changes in the plan, devised by the changes made in design due to the resolution of conflicts

A model that includes the knowledge base of the independent project team members and a network linking them, their computers and computerized assistants

There was another approach to resolve the problem of interface coordination developed by Barletta (1994). They define and map the various interdependencies among different members of the team. However, the nature of interfaces varies at different stages of the product/service production/design process. So, each phase is mapped separately. This MT structuring approach is stronger and better than Tan et al. approach’

Apart from interface coordination, there is another project management approach that helps in the designing and development of new product/service, i.e. concurrent engineering. In concurrent engineering, emphasis is laid on the performance of different tasks of product development (design, development, production, marketing, etc.) simultaneously. The approach is also known as simultaneous engineering. In concurrent engineering, teamwork approach is used, including different areas involved in the project.

The main benefits of concurrent engineering are as follows:

  • Early launch of a new product in the market
  • Lower chances of modifications in the product at a later stage, owing to unexpected problems
  • Improvement in the performance of the team due to a greater sense of involvement across the various functions
  • Competitive advantage for the organization if it introduces new product into the market before others

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