Mobility of the future: Reporting connected car projects right

Connected cars are the automotive industry’s future. Manufacturers have already begun to focus on this trend and greatly expand their range of connected car services for customers. They are even more successful with this when they standardize project reporting and cost calculation.

As a product, cars are rapidly becoming more digital, which is due in part to changing customer demands. Cars also feature a growing amount of software for such things as connected car services. With these digital services, automakers can develop new business models and tap into sales and efficiency potential. Automakers have already reached one conclusion: they want to further digitalize their vehicles and processes and continue expanding their range of related services.

The range of connected car services is extensive. It includes data updates for navigation devices in the vehicle via mobile phone networks, vehicle status reports that provide the driver with all information about the vehicle at a glance and the option to activate blinkers with an app. Blinker activation can be useful for finding the car more quickly in a parking garage. The more extensive the range of connected car services is, the more important it is for automotive groups to establish a standardized in-house project reporting process, as well as to further formalize and transparently itemize cost calculation for the development of services and the costs of operating them.

Overarching project reporting creates transparency

Together with Lufthansa Industry Solutions, one major automotive group has done precisely this and implemented overarching project reporting for connected car services. Process, project management and automotive experts compiled the reporting requirements – from conceptualization to operational handover of new connected car services – and came up with proposed solutions, in some cases in the form of prototypes. 

New tools have helped to improve and standardize reporting processes, from the start of the development project for services to their completion. These changes ensure greater process transparency, as employees and the management team can check the project’s status including the timetable and costs over the entire period at any time. This cuts process costs for project reporting. In addition, the web application Jira is used to log all software changes within the development project as prototypes for the management team so they can be traced more easily. 

Calculating costs for connected car services in a structured and transparent way

With support from Lufthansa Industry Solutions, the group also established formal methods of calculating development and operating costs of new connected car services so that they can be determined in a more structured and transparent way. Lufthansa Industry Solutions documented all aspects of project implementation, such as project reporting, processes, tools and methods, in a project manual for the client. This manual is continuously updated and serves as both a reference work and training tool for employees and new colleagues.