Software Development Lessons Learned from the Failures of General Motors

In the mid-late 20th century, industry giants asked themselves; “How do we continuously improve?”, “How do we build a quality product?” and “How do we design for end users?” These are the same challenges that we face as software developers and designers today. Issues with technical innovation, resource constraints, and organizational support, are experienced not only in zeros and ones but were experienced on the road. In the early 20th century, the U.S. was considered a global leader in economic and scientific achievement. After those major innovations in transportation, space exploration, and computer science, American industries focused on manufacturing advantages, such as mass production and repeatable use. Progress was now measured by process improvements, adapting to market changes and ability to pivot. Why has the tech industry continued to boom, while other industries struggle? Using examples from General Motors, this talk examines their failures in reliability, collaboration, and product design. Take a step back in history to relive the experiences of these pioneers, learn from their past failures, and how they apply to crafting software products today.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

  1. What can we as technologists learn from the automotive industry? (Beyond Lean Mfg)
  2. History of the Automotive Industry
    1. History of GM
    2. Market Conditions and Government Regulations
  3. Life as a GM Worker
  4. GM and Toyota: NUMMI plant
    1. Life as a Toyota Worker
    2. The Assembly Line
    3. Kaizen
  5. Proof Case: Expansion to other GM plants
  6. The Aftermath
  7. Learning from GM’s Failures: How to Apply to our Daily Lives

Learning Outcome

Technology is often thought of a tool or skill; but it's proven to be at minimum a market channel and further, a product unto itself. We as technologists can learn from the successes and failures of GM, a product company since 1908! Attendees should leave with a better understanding of industry, lean manufacturing, process improvement and motivating people.

Target Audience

everyone, anyone

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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