For 2+ years I led the design engineering development of Electronic Control Panels (ECPs) for all Ford and Lincoln products worldwide.  

My role as the Product Manager for the Design Studio was to progress their design through Ford's 3D development process with minimal changes. Given all of the programs that were being developed on the similar timelines, at any moment I was managing teams of 20+ people from the various disciplines consisting of product development engineers, designers, safety engineers, and other program management engineers to deliver on-time, in-spec ECP 3D data for engineering to move forward to manufacture.  


Products that I LED:

 2015 Fusion, F-150, Mustang & 2016 Lincoln MKZ, MKS, MKC and 2017 Lincoln Continental.


The beginning

During the start of the program, the design studio delivers sketches of their initial concept. Once the data is received, it's disseminated to the various engineering teams for analysis and feasibility feedback. With each milestone, I led weekly meeting cadences to review and progress the design forward. As the team went through the milestones the tolerances for additional allowances/ design changes diminished until the design was frozen and no new changes were allowed.

Challenges faced during this time ranged from a variety of problems like additional features that need to be added last minute to the surface, to a design that doesn't fit in the given space, to the supplier not being able to deliver the Studio's design request. When these types of issues occurred and were determined to impact timing, I led the team into an Agile frame of work where weekly meetings became daily meetings to get instant feedback from the supplier for design feasibility until the issue was solved. Shifting back and forth from waterfall to agile when needed enabled successful and early design delivery of 3D data to the engineering team to go to the next product development phase. 


The Finale

Once the design was frozen, the product was ready for final sign-off. By the time this occured, the model was checked for 100% complete feasibility from the suppliers, no known issues due to safety, and Studio design buyoff. I led this buyoff gaining alignment for the design to move to the next phase for manufacturing. 


Below are some the items in did in my day to day:

  • Ensured designs met internal and federal standards & with the Design team's input developed solutions to fix any problems that occurred.
  • Evaluated the negative aspects of developed Studio designs
  • Led development to update designs based on user feedback and industry trends.
  • Provided engineering input into creative process.
  • Educated designers on all safety related issues & directed design teams to follow design initiatives. 
  • Developed global graphic strategies for climate control buttons to implement on forward model ECP/EFPs.
  • Created proposals of Ford & Lincoln interiors for Studio to support program milestone reviews.
  • Presented the current status of ECPs to senior management: goals being met with upcoming product releases & roadmap updates.
  • Delivered sections and feasible CAD data to support design release tool builds, stool try-outs, and vehicle launch builds.
  • Provided engineering criteria and guidelines for the design teams and suggested creative engineering solutions.