Implementing Physical Architecture: Ford''s Generic Physical Architecture (EX)
One of Ford's key business needs centers on defining common platforms across its brands, which allows it to achieve large economies of scale, while maintaining individual brand identity. To realize this goal, Ford brought together representatives from all consumer business groups, including Ford North America, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, and Ford of Europe. In order to get to a truly common platform, the group needed a common information platform for defining a car. The group was chartered to build consensus on the definition of the information instance that defines product lifecycle and product contents. The result was Ford's Generic Physical Architecture (GPA), which is being rolled out across all its different brands.
David Knapp provides a detailed look at how GPA helps Ford achieve complexity reduction with a consistent information architecture. He examines the challenges encountered, explains the logical steps taken to create the GPA, provides insight into the GPA structure and hierarchy, shows how GPA enables disciplines to share and reconcile information, presents examples of graphical user interfaces used for populating the GPA, and provides answers to questions from the audience.
This paper derives from the presentation by David Knapp at D.H. Brown Associates, Inc.'s (DHBA) annual conference, Product Lifecycle Management Road MapTM. Ford demonstrates the application of the concepts of the Twelve-Fold Way TM to reduce product and process complexity and to create a consistent information architecture. (DHBA developed the Twelve-Fold WayTM framework.)
Keywords: Architecture, Ford, Hierarchy, Manufacturing, Physical Architecture, placeholders, product creation, Product Lifecylce Management, Reuse, Twelve-Fold Way