The Billion Dollar Lessons Learnt By Ford Motor Company That You Must Do On Your Project - PM 360 Consulting
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The Billion Dollar Lessons Learnt By Ford Motor Company That You Must Do On Your Project

Alan Mulally’s Billion Dollar Lessons

The Billion Dollar Lessons Learnt By Ford Motor Company That You Must Do On Your Project

Alan Mulally’s Billion Dollar Lessons

Alan Mulally took an old failing company and restored it to its former glory.  The company with a scarred brand and aged business model was losing 16 billion dollars a year. That’s 50 million a day, 365 days a year!  The company was no other than Ford Motor Company. His focus on teamwork and accountability created a new company culture. This new culture focused on positive leadership with a vision toward moving forward. This, in turn, drove results. Source:


He spent almost 40 years at Boeing first as a lead designer and then as the general manager for the 777. The 777 plane is a very intricate machine with over 3 million parts and a global supply chain. The 777 has been the subject of documentaries, articles and case studies. While the 777 project was very impressive it was not Mulally`s greatest achievement. It was when he saved Ford, the world’s largest car manufacturer from bankruptcy.

Mulally is a leader with a method that works, especially when applied to big projects. Whether it is building a new generation of airliners, or transforming a large company. His approach begins with understanding the problem and how it came about. Then the goal is to determine what to do about it. Source:

Mulally created the “One Approach”. The “One Ford” approach also inspired Steve Ballmer to launch the “One Microsoft” plan.

In this article, you will see 5 important measures that brought the company back from the brink. These measures that worked so well for Ford also work on projects. Without these measures, there is a strong possibility that your project will fail.


There are many more secrets to Alan Mulally`s success at Ford. These are 5 essential things that you must apply to you project:

1. “You have a problem; you are not the problem.”

There is no point as the project manager always reporting that the project is green. Saying everything is ok and then towards the end start to panic as everything is broke.

2. Vision, Focus, Plan

Most people are aware of the need to have a clear project plan yet it is also important to have vision and focus. Showing someone how the task that they are doing links to the benefits of the project is a huge motivator. Also showing what the focus should be will help give the project team clarity on what they should be working on.

3. Make things simple

An easy way to make things simple on your project right at the start is making sure the scope is clear. During the delivery of the project it is a good idea to break the project down into easy to understand small parts.

4. Positive Leadership

Good project management requires good leadership. Be open and honest with your project team and this will encourage them to be open and honest with you and each other.

5. Review the model of doing business

This particularly applies to projects that have been ongoing for a while and have lost their way. Instead of stopping the project go back to what the project first set out to achieve. This can get a project going again.