Managing Execution of an Environmentally Friendly Vehicle: The Shell Eco-marathon Project 2010/2011 at the NTNU
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The Norwegian University of Science and Technology competed in the Shell Eco-marathon the 4th time in the year 2011. A competition with the goal: More Distance – Less Fuel A competition about designing, building and testing an environmentally friendly vehicle. A new project team consisting of NTNU Master Students started out another year in 2010. Establishing the project and improving the existing car (DNV Fuel Fighter) until the race in 2011 with the following goals: Win the Fuel Cell Class Break the world record of 1246 km/l hold by the NTNU Win the Communication and Marketing Award A project year with challenges to overcome, positive and negative experiences ended as a full success seen from a project management as well as a sponsors perspective. The Shell Eco-marathon project team 2011 won the following awards: 2nd place in the Fuel Cell Class 1st place in the Communication and Marketing Award This report gives insight into the Project Management of the Shell Eco-marathon project 2011 at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. By providing general information about the project management and the challenges of this project as well as critical factors for success and pitfalls the team encountered in the different project phases. Conclusions and Lessons Learned can be drawn out of the experience of managing this project. The most important were Sponsors are the crucial basis of the Shell Eco-marathon project. They have to be convinced to join through a professional approach and by creating value for them. Verify your assumptions and keep your plans up to date, to provide the basis for decisions and control. The challenge between too strict control and the loss of control is crucial to overcome for success. Control needs to be done, but is has to be adapted to the situation. Do not depend on one solution always have alternatives. Have and use an extra budget for minimizing risk. Test, Test and Test. Without Testing it is only an assumption if components work or not. One side dependency on suppliers is given in the Shell Eco-marathon, minimize it and avoid the impacts by using contracts and networking. Handle the change of team members properly and transfer the responsibility officially. Those have to be clear in the project at all time. A high performing team, with all necessary competencies and knowing their responsibilities, guided and supported by the project manager by structuring and organizing is crucial to succeed under the pressure and limited time in the race. Coming prepared to the race from the car, the spare parts to trouble shooting are the hard factors for success. The responsibility of the project manager and the team ends, when the next team has successfully started and gained the knowledge of the year before. A higher motivation and commitment of the team are the benefits of positive emotions. How the top management of the NTNU can contribute to success, is shown in the end.This covers areas of general support, for e.g. a board of directors or the initiation of the project.