MAN.3 Project Management

Involved in the challenges of Automotive SPICE, particularly project management? Read on for a quick overview of key information on MAN.3, a key process from VDA Scope, including a video and our free white paper.

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Automotive SPICE® is a trademark of VDA QMC.

The Project Management process in Automotive SPICE® (also known as MAN.3) helps your organization to identify, establish, and control the activities and resources necessary for a project to produce a product.  

There is no need to mention how important project management is. Project management is the most critical factor for project success.

Often, projects have no clear scope definition; the project effort is severely underestimated. There isn’t enough staff capacity while customer requests for new features rapidly came in. 

As a result, customers are mad, and projects became nightmares!

The following are the 3 most important activities of Project Management in Automotive SPICE®.

Image   The MAN.3 process under VDA Scope

Your free white paper

Interested in finding out more about project management (MAN.3), the Automotive SPICE® process from VDA Scope? Our free white paper provides you with a summary of all key information, including an extract from our book on Automotive SPICE® Essentials – ideal reading for anyone new to the topic of process improvements. 

1. Define the project scope clearly.

The project scope describes what the project is about and what it shall accomplish. If you don't have a clear project scope, you're just in quicksand: You don't have a basis to estimate your effort. And then you have no justification for your personnel capacity. I've seen a lot of projects like this. They have far too much work for too few people. The result is more firefighting than professional work: constant hurry, poor quality and frustration of staff.

Here is your solution for how to define a realistic project scope: 

  • Your inputs are the customer requirements and feature rollout plan. And don't forget to check these documents for technical feasibility, realistic timing and the question of whether you can cope with the staff build-up quickly enough. 
  • Another input are the development processes of your company that will tell you what internal work you need. A great source are also similar projects of the past. 
  • In the first step you develop the Project Scope Statement. This is a high-level definition of the product to be develop as well as the deliverables at the respective milestones.
  • In the second step you develop the Work Breakdown Structure, abbreviated WBS. The WBS describes everything that is delivered to the customer and all necessary internal project work.
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Plan and monitor the work carefully.

If you do not follow some simple rules in a disciplined manner, you can invest a lot of energy in planning and monitoring and still not be effective. In the worst case, you can even lose control of your project. 

    These are the simple rules I recommend:
    • Do not plan in detail for distant periods of time. 
      Use rolling wave planning to plan the next development cycle in detail, while distant cycles are superficially planned.
    • Regarding planning granularity: 
      Do not try to plan tasks with a duration of less than one day at the lowest planning level. Try to have an average duration of about one week.
    Let’s talk about monitoring:

    Workflow management tools allow you to easily track work progress and hours spent compared to planned hours. This is very helpful in identifying tasks that go wrong. Technical meetings usually take place on a weekly basis. Use these meetings to discuss progress, issues, forecasts, and outlooks.

    Manage your stakeholders carefully.

    I have seen projects that have failed simply because they forgot to involve the right stakeholders. A project lives and dies with the people involved! There are many studies that show that projects with poor stakeholder management are much more likely to fail. 

    Professional stakeholder management basically works in 4 steps:
    • Identify potential stakeholders.
      You can perform brainstorming in your team or conduct interviews with stakeholders to identify additional stakeholders.
    • Analyze the stakeholders: 
      A very powerful method is the Power/Interest Grid, which offers you a very effective classification of the stakeholders into 4 categories.
    • Plan how to engage stakeholders: 
      you can use a stakeholder engagement grid to plan how to bring a stakeholder from a current engagement level to a desired level.
    • Manage and control stakeholder engagement: 
      Communicate and work with stakeholders to bring their engagement to the desired level.

    That is Project Management in short.  

    Nothing works without

    As part of our strategy to systematically improve development processes in the automotive electronics sector, we are also an official licensee of Automotive SPICE® – a trademark of the Association of the German Automotive Industry (VDA QMC).


    • Using AUTOMOTIVE SPICE® to achieve the required maturity levels within your key processes in development
    • Systematically improving existing workflows and methods
    • Evaluating the status of your process improvements through formal assessments and gap analysis
    • Fulfilling the requirements of Automotive SPICE® in harmony with SECURITY, FUNCTIONAL SAFETY and AGILE METHODS
    • Training your staff and assessors

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