The Chrysler PT Cruiser
If the Chrysler Group would have thought ahead and used a more in depth BRD before production of their PT Cruiser, they may have saved all the headaches that followed. Using the above elements, let’s look at how their BRD failed.
Stakeholders – Chrysler pretty much had most of the stakeholders identified including teams, vendors and the production of the PT Cruiser. Stakeholders that weren’t identified included the dealerships that would be selling the Cruiser and the end customer purchasing the vehicle—these two stakeholders were simply left out of the BRD entirely. An oversight indeed as perhaps these two stakeholders were the most important.
Stakeholder Requirements – Again, Chrysler did a pretty good job when it came to everyone at top levels supplying and overseeing the build. What they didn’t do was question the timeline for production (manufacturer to market), end users (customers) or dealers (sellers) on things such as price, model availability, demand and optional equipment. Had they taken the time to gather these requirements, perhaps those unforeseen delays in product delivery could have been swayed. Many consumers awaited the PT Cruiser to hit the showroom floor in models and colors presented in brochures only to find not only were the color choices slim at the get go, the vehicles didn’t arrive often until months after they were promised.
Categorizing Requirements – If Chrysler’s BRD included the requirements of all stakeholders, they surely would have discovered not only the end user needs and wants but also realized why vehicle production was delayed—in advance of production.
Interpret and Record Requirements – Here Chrysler failed miserably. If they had taken the time to actually document and analyze what stakeholders wanted, (such as vehicle availability) the many failures associated with the Cruiser may have been averted.
Signing Off – Every BRD requires signatures from project sponsors, lead stakeholders and stakeholder representatives to ensure the project will be delivered as required and requested—and on time. Chrysler also failed to do this meaning the actual money maker for the Cruiser (the customer) was left out of the picture and another important stakeholder (the dealers) were left returning deposits to unhappy customers.
If Chrysler would have utilized a well thought out BRD, this example of a process business requirements document may not have failed but succeeded on every level. In fact, Chrysler stopped production on the PT Cruiser in 2009—that alone speaks of failure.