Business and IT

Automotive OEM - alignment on design and implementation of a global planning system


A classical task for our workshops is to organize the necessary alignment between business and IT. These are 2 different domains communicating in different languages and they often have different cultures. Often thinking from only one business unit exists which can foster a hostile internal delivery and frustration about non-collaborating. Behavioral patterns get formed accordingly.

The client wanted to build a state of the art and seamless planning system. It should cover the whole planning cycle from early sales forecasts to concrete production planning.In addition it had to be globally aligned for all products. The classical approach that business defines what they want, then IT builds it and finally there is a ‘Go Live’ did not prove itself.

An early and intense alignment must be organized to make interdependencies transparent and foster mutual understanding across business and IT. The complexity of this task was immense. The objective was to create ‘Release-Roadmap’ for the coming years that addresses priorities and feasibility.


We started a series of small and fast clocked workshops to understand the whole complexity and intention of the program. All relevant perspectives like sales, production, purchasing, research & development, suppliers, brands, markets and countries needed to have an intense discussion on requirements, priorities, functionalities and the art of the possible in today’s IT-world.

Then all this input was structured into small but meaningful ‘building blocks’ that the IT could program as a service. Temporal and functional interdependencies were analyzed and labelled to the ‘building blocks’. Then we had a 3-day large group workshop with more than 50 participants. All of them got a Factbook of about 60 pages to read upfront. During the workshop we started clarifying open questions and all different stakeholder groups could explain their favorite scenario and priorities.

Now we could start drafting a roadmap that demonstrates how the system could be built step by step and implemented globally. The ‘Release-Roadmap’ was developed with a number of fruitful discussions and iterations. Priorities, resource availability and budget allocation was checked to come to a robust and feasible outcome.


A multi year development- and implementation roadmap was finalized and decided upon. Now the business can clearly see which new functionalities come; when, where and what kind of changes will bring. Equally the IT got a robust plan for their resources and budget.