Suspend the project model when the situation calls for it!
What does KK Wind Solutions A/S do when there is a need for an extraordinarily fast delivery - to support the company's strategic direction?
KK Wind Solutions had a unique opportunity to bring a new solution to the market. The solution is aimed at customers of great strategic importance, both in the short and long term. KK Wind Solutions therefore needed to create a fully functional demo product for delivery within 3 months, which under normal circumstances would be close to impossible with a product development process involving many iterations and stakeholders. KK Wind Solutions took the consequence and created the basis for a tailor-made, flexible project that received a unique focus from both management and organization and which was executed on its own terms - with a successful outcome.
Read the full case below.
KK Wind Solutions had the opportunity to bid on a strategically important project, where one of the conditions was that the supplier (KK Wind Solutions A/S) would have to deliver a functioning demo product within three months. For KK Wind Solutions, there was no doubt that they would invest in developing the product within the given time frame, as the project hit the spot regarding development of own product platforms, which is part of the growth strategy of KK Wind Solutions. Three months is not a long time when it comes to product development, and it was clear that drastic measures were needed to succeed in the challenge and be able to assert itself in the selection process.
With many years of experience in product development, the management of KK Wind Solutions was aware that the task required a unique approach to be able to succeed within the tight time frame. In a normal process, the development process usually extends over a long period of time, partly because there are many interdependencies, iterations and many sub-deliveries, which are handled by different parts of the organization. The solution therefore consisted of giving up the normal approach and bypassing a number of the established processes. The starting point of the project helped to make this approach possible: The project had a 100% clear scope and a hard deadline - and at the same time it was of great strategic importance internally in KK Wind Solutions.
The project was given optimal conditions and a flexible framework and it differed from 'normal' development projects in a number of points:
- The project team was hand-picked and carefully selected - and the participants could focus fully and completely on the project
- Goals, scope and expectations for the project were clear, both for the management and for the project group - everyone knew exactly what their task was and how things should be approached
- Direct access to the relevant decision-makers and stakeholders - so that there was no waiting time during the project
- The project model was adapted to match the specific needs of the project - and there were limited requirements to follow existing processes, use the normal forms, templates, etc.
- There were clearly described agreements to circumvent the quality assurance elements that are mandatory in the wind industry - it was a demo product, so here the temporal aspect was prioritized
- The motivation was top notch with the tight schedule and the important strategic aim - it was easy to keep the steam going
In practical terms, an agile approach was taken where it made sense, for example in relation to task distribution and prioritization as well as stand-up meetings to ensure progress and monitor status. The project was also managed according to a project plan in the traditional (waterfall) sense.
The project reached the goal and delivered a functioning demo product - and at the same time, KK Wind Solutions has gained a considerable amount of experience, which means that future product development projects may take a different form. At the start of the project, there were doubts about whether it would be possible to succeed with the ambitious schedule, so the result has resonated in the organization.
What was it that made the difference from 'normal' product development projects that typically take much longer? The success of the project has given rise to considerations at several levels in the organization and now forms the basis for adjustments in the project model and a greater focus on the fact that different project types and circumstances can pave the way for an individual project to follow a tailor-made model.
kaastrup|andersen was responsible for the project management of the accelerated product development project.
Do you also need a boost in your product development? Let us look at how kaastrup|andersen can help you to estalish fast and efficient product development, so that you do not lag behind in a changing market. Contact Thomas Tengstedt on 50937243 or firstname.lastname@example.org and find out how we can strengthen your business and help you for future growth.
You can also read about how we, by use of an OSOS solution, created momentum in product development at MHI Vestas Offshore Wind.