I wrote about VW’s vaunted platform streamlining process about a year and a half ago (you can read my post here), and predicted at the time that it would eventually cause them grief.
I just read this article which describes how their platform is already backfiring on them. I had though it would take a few years for this to happen, but the auto industry evolves rapidly.
I’m not sure my reasoning was 100% accurate for why things aren’t working out there, but it still brings up an important point – a streamlining process can result in massive over-specialization based on the way things work today. That can have severe ramifications when the underlying model changes, because it can slow down the ability for an organization to change later on.
In addition, the actual process of streamlining can involve large organizational change, and as we all know, change management can be a tricky task.