The Challenge of Innovation in Highly Complex Projects: What Can We Learn from Boeing's Dreamliner Experience?

Aaron J. Shenhar, Vered Holzmann, Benjamin Melamed, Yao Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Understanding the link between project complexity and innovation is highly pertinent. Yet, the challenge of innovative complex projects has received limited research attention and little theory development. This article provides a retrospective analysis of the difficulties experienced by Boeing during the development project of its highly innovative Dreamliner aircraft. Eventually successful, this project suffered extensive delays and cost overruns. The article analyzes the project's complex nature of innovation, while using several frameworks to provide an integrative view of its challenges and suggesting possible alternative ways to address them. Insights for complex project teams and future research directions are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-78
Number of pages17
JournalProject Management Journal
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Keywords

  • Boeing 787 Dreamliner
  • aerospace
  • complex project and program management
  • complexity
  • innovation
  • project management

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Challenge of Innovation in Highly Complex Projects: What Can We Learn from Boeing's Dreamliner Experience?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this