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.

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.