PLANTA project in tests for the BMW 7 series

Systematic project management for vehicle testing

The cross-industry project management software PLANTA project by PLANTA Projektmanagement Systeme GmbH is used in IT, in development and research departments, in engineering and plant construction, and in the controlling departments of medium-sized and large companies. Renowned vehicle manufacturers and suppliers to the automotive industry also use PLANTA project to plan and execute their projects.

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One example from the automotive sector is the use of PLANTA project during vehicle testing by the “Complete vehicle testing” and “Crash“ main departments at BMW. As a result, the system was also used during testing of the new BMW 7 series. It permits efficient and clear planning of resources in addition to effective documentation of projects. All tests were planned and stored in PLANTA project – from cold and heat tests on the vehicle and individual components through to long-term tests to ensure component stability and the long-term reliability of systems and drives.

In order to merge actual data with plans, PLANTA project is connected to a larger database in which vehicle master data, vehicle logs, tank data, etc. are stored. This system contains interfaces to SAP, central budget planning systems, time recording and the internal settlement system, among other things.

Integrated System
The use of PLANTA project and its integration in the IT landscape of the BMW Group results in an integrated system for planning, controlling and settling all vehicle development projects in the two main departments. At the same time, planning and the current status of testing can be transferred to the design departments and project management in a standardized form.
PLANTA project is primarily used by the planning staff in the two main departments, who are responsible for integrated activity and budget planning. A few dozen other employees process additional data, while around 100 colleagues from partner departments use PLANTA project as “viewers“.

Selection Criteria
The BMW Group introduced this system in 2004. The main selection criteria were a database-oriented working method and simplified planning: standardized effort packages can be assigned to the tests. Another criterion was the flexible adaptibility of the system to individual requirements.

Advantages of the System
PLANTA project provides the BMW Group with a flexible tool that systematically records and prepares both the results and cost planning/distribution during the entire testing process. BMW planners consider the transparency of the system to be one of its main advantages: uniform, consistent, and up-to-date data is available with a wide variety of analysis options. This has facilitated planning significantly.

Adjustments Pay Off
The connection to the extensive database environment permits end-to-end information flow, and the automated effort assignment also produces cost transparency. Despite intensive modification work, the use of an existing system “pays off“:
the costs for PLANTA project, including all licenses, come in at around one third, compared to bespoke programming.