Mapping wastes in complex projects for lean new product development: evidence from the astrophysical sector

Valeria Belvedere, Gaetano Carrone, Francesco Cuttaia, Monica Rossi, Luca Stringhetti

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno


This paper aims at detecting the most recurrent wastes of the New Product Development process (NPD) in complex projects, in order to identify improvement priorities for Lean NPD programs. Complex projects show a high level of structural complexity, a remarkable number of interdependent elements and a high uncertainty of results and means. Astrophysical projects are by definition “complex”, spread over many years and mostly based on in-progress technologies having a low level of readiness in the early phases of the development process: all these uncertainties can determine non negligible delays and extra-costs. To shed light upon these inefficiencies, the application of Lean NPD has been called for. This paper presents a study carried out within INAF (the Italian Institute of Astrophysics), aimed at mapping those practices that INAF workers feel as likely causes of recurrent inefficiencies. This study started from 14 in-depth interviews with opinion-leaders at INAF, aimed at getting a wide picture of the main inefficiencies at INAF. Then, building on the most recurring points raised during the interviews, a questionnaire was designed to collect opinions among INAF’s workers. A total number of 159 usable questionnaires were collected. The survey shows that INAF’s inefficiencies are consistent with the literature on Lean NPD. It also shows that inefficiencies peculiar to tasks typical of research activities (as over-processing and over-engineering) are perceived less critical than others related to administrative processes and HR management. Conclusions on the expected ease and effectiveness of application of Lean NPD programs in complex projects are drawn.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteXIX International Working Seminar on Production Economics
Numero di pagine10
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2016
EventoXIX International Working Seminar on Production Economics - Innsbruck, Austria
Durata: 22 feb 201626 feb 2016


ConvegnoXIX International Working Seminar on Production Economics
CittàInnsbruck, Austria


  • astrophysics
  • lean management
  • new product development
  • project management
  • survey
  • wastes


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