Can you cook an Indian Curry with German SPICEs?
All German OEMs and most of the European OEMs expect a process maturity which has to be proven in an assessment. The American OEMs require CMMI® or similar Automotive SPICE®-levels of maturity/capability and Japan is moving towards Automotive SPICE® as well (Japan has most certified assessors after Germany!). Another boost for Automotive SPICE® is the release of ISO 26262 end of 2011.
Culture and processes
In assessments and in process improvement projects we collected evidence that cultural differences require different approaches to similar challenges.
How does culture affect our processes? One definition for culture by Edgar Schein supports the thesis that different cultures need appropriate approaches for processes: Culture is the way in which a group of people solves problems and reconciles dilemmas.
In the presentation Bhakskar Vanamali showed that for instance the independence of Quality Assurance (SUP.1, BP.2) is difficult to understand in South-East-Asia. Japanese and Korean culture would expect that all members of a group developing a product are responsible for the quality. The concept of independence to ensure that quality is really achieved works only in the context of Western culture.
Corporate processes versus internationalization
One cause for problems of internationalization is cultural difference. Especially large companies have an internal culture which is often characterized by the cultural context of the home base of the company. There are several examples where problems occurred in assessments because a process was rolled out internationally but was difficult to implement in a national context.