Stainless steel tanks for wine production

Case Study

Packaging Development Process Improvement


The Company

The company under review is a prestigious Portuguese firm dedicated to cultivating, producing, marketing, and exporting wines. With a strong global presence, the organization has gained popularity among wine enthusiasts worldwide. A commitment to quality, innovation, and excellence has shaped its journey to success. Currently, this company boasts a portfolio that spans over 30 brands. They result from meticulous cultivation across approximately 1,600 hectares of vineyards spread across 12 wine-producing regions encompassing five production origins. Its sales extend far beyond national borders, reaching over 120 countries.

The Challenge

In the wine industry, packaging plays a pivotal role. After all, 70% of wine purchase decisions are made directly on the shelf, with packaging taking center stage. Astonishingly, 67% of decisions to buy a new wine are essentially linked to the product’s packaging. In this context, a critical challenge for this company arises in developing packaging that not only effectively protects its products but also captivates and wins over consumers. The packaging design and creation process has become an essential pillar for business growth and the company’s success in the competitive global wine market.

In line with its commitment to continuous improvement, the company launched a project to optimize the packaging development process. An effective Project Management System needed to be developed, aiming to achieve a 100% rate of projects completed within the set timeframe. Additionally, it was vital to establish an efficient development process that also fostered seamless coordination among the teams involved.

The Approach

The project commenced with selecting a process for analysis, which was thoroughly mapped. Several improvement opportunities were identified, encompassing issues such as the lack of concept definitions, rework, constant changes in release dates, and poor resource management.

After analyzing the opportunities, an improvement vision was designed with the defined solutions and their respective implementation plan. Next, we will describe some of these solutions:

Development Projects Structuring

Packaging development projects were divided into six distinct categories, each with unique characteristics and challenges. This includes promotional actions, new products, harvest changes, specific labeling, relaunches, and legislation-related projects. Additionally, an extra category was identified to accommodate custom projects that did not fit into the existing categories. The project prioritization criteria were also enhanced, considering factors like budget, development effort, technical risk, and market strategy.

Project Design and Critical Path

A phase and task structure were created for each project, clearly identifying responsibilities and associated deadlines. A critical path was defined, allowing for monitoring project progress and identifying potential delays. On top of that, key decisions were established – these cannot be changed after having completed certain phases, thus ensuring greater control over project development.

Critical Path Photo in Post-its for Project Progress Monitoring


As not every project is the same and individual characteristics can influence a project’s complexity and relevance, a “tailoring” approach was implemented. In this approach, weighted scores are assigned based on criteria such as complexity, innovation, and criticality. This allowed projects to be sized into four categories: XS (Light), S (Small), M (Medium), and L (Large). Each category was provided with a management method suitable for its needs.

Table representing the tailoring approach with weighted scores according to established criteria.

Project Pull Planning

A project buffer was introduced into the critical path of each project type to absorb variations in task lead times. Schedule deviations were more effectively handled, and planned shipment dates were met whenever possible.

Project Buffer Diagram

Obeya Room and Performance Indicators

A visual control room was set up, offering a comprehensive view of all ongoing projects. This room contained information related to key indicators, portfolio projects, planning, identified issues, and risk management. This visual approach helped monitor progress and implement immediate actions as needed for all projects. Performance indicators provided valuable insights into project performance and helped pinpoint improvement areas.

Visual control room for monitoring project progress

With this holistic approach, the packaging development process transformed. The improvements made not only increased efficiency, which reduced rework and delays but also enhanced overall quality.


The results achieved were remarkable. The new project management system increased the rate of projects completed within the set timeframe from 22% to 88%. Additionally, another significant improvement was noted – a reduction of 46% in average project lead time.

Another key metric is the development team’s productivity, which rose by 18%. This indicates that the adopted approach improved time management and heightened the team’s efficiency and ability to deliver higher-quality projects in less time.

To sum up, the results depict a positive transformation in the company, with projects delivered on time, with greater efficiency, and more productive and motivated teams.

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