Mapping wastes in complex projects for Lean Product Development (3/35)

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Lean Product Development (LPD) is suggested as an approach that can reduce waste in projects aimed at developing technically complex items, which typically present substantial uncertainty about their output, as well as higher costs and longer development times. However, how can LPD be implemented in complex projects, where some redundancies in the development process are considered necessary in order to guarantee the quality of the final outcome? This paper answers this question, through a survey conducted at INAF, the Italian Institute of Astrophysics, that runs complex projects. The evidence shows that complex projects can actually be affected by the types of waste reported in LPD literature. Still, researchers may fail to determine the real priorities of intervention as they have trouble distinguishing between value-adding and value-destroying activities. Furthermore, they do not perceive the relevance of addressing the wastes generated by their own work; on the contrary, they place considerable attention on inefficiencies that are beyond the scope of their direct responsibilities. Recommendations to overcome this problem are proposed.

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Written by Morgan Lankford


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