Mahindra & Mahindra: transforming product innovation
Mahindra & Mahindra’s automotive division is transforming product innovation with IBM’s Rational solutions. Together, we are integrating every stage of the development process into a single seamless, traceable system: enhancing collaboration between stakeholders, increasing product quality and reducing time to market.
The challenge: competing through innovation
As India’s automotive industry undergoes rapid growth, Mahindra & Mahindra faces increasing competition from its rivals. Equally, customer demands are growing beyond simply engine power and robust mechanics. They expect a vehicle that also delivers optimized performance, fuel economy, comfort and connectivity – all of which require sophisticated software to achieve.
Integrating software and systems engineering into the mechanical engineering process brings its own difficulties with it. For one thing, there are more people involved. For another, there are more steps in the journey from requirements gathering, to final testing and delivery.
A process with many disparate and disconnected stages invites confusion because total transparency between all parties is difficult to achieve. It’s a traceability problem, too. Information put forward at the requirements gathering stage can get lost in transit, which means delays or duplication of work further down the line, as the process must cope with additional information.
The solution: traceable, flexible, collaborative
Recognising that disconnected development processes were delaying them in getting products to market, Mahindra and Mahindra deployed IBM’s Rational solutions to help them switch to an end-to-end, collaborative lifestyle management approach.
IBM Rational links all projects, teams, and stakeholders involved in systems and software development together. Instead of many processes, there is now just one – connecting every stage from requirements, to source code, to testing – and ensuring that final deliverables exactly meet initial requirements.
Such a transparent system brings with it the ability to be flexible. If the requirements change, the system will show exactly how each component will be affected. It means the team can understand the full impact of any proposed changes, without undergoing a costly assessment.
A single end-to-end process means that information about each production asset is securely held and easily accessed. When a project moves from one stage to another – from requirements to development, for example, or development to testing – everyone involved can access all the key information instantly. This means:
- Better collaboration between stakeholders
- Fewer misunderstandings
- Better information retention
- No duplication of work
- Increased software quality
- A defect-free end product
There’s a knock-on effect, too. Well-defined components developed in a reduced time-frame can be reused in subsequent projects, meaning that there’s no need to start absolutely from scratch.
Understanding the solution
IBM’s solution is built from a suite of IBM Rational software, as follows:
- IBM Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager: defines hierarchies for electrical and electronic products
- IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation: elaborates requirements
- IBM Rational Quality Manager: handles testing and quality management
- IBM Rational Insight: provides dashboards and reporting functionality
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