R&D approach based on multiple partners and Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and Agile concepts: A case study in the electricity sector

  • Lorenna Fernandes Leal University of São Paulo
  • Artur Tavares Vilas Boas Ribeiro University of São Paulo
  • Victor Romão Lunica
  • Guilherme Soares Gurgel do Amaral ISA CTEEP
  • Ricardo Altmann Lunica
  • Ricardo Kahn ISA CTEEP
  • Bruno Guilherme Pacci Lunica
  • Marcos Avo Lunica
  • Mario Sergio Salerno University of São Paulo
  • Guilherme Ary Plonski University of São Paulo
  • Eduardo Zancul USP
Keywords: R&D, Electricity sector, Project governance, Lean Startup, Agile

Abstract

Goal: The paper aims to increase the understanding of the results and challenges that arise when running R&D projects based on multiple partners and the integration of Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and Agile concepts.

Design / Methodology / Approach: We followed a case study approach in the electricity sector. Two project cases were studied, using triangulated data from interviews, internal documents, and non-participant observations.

Results: The results of the Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and Agile concepts application in R&D projects show improvements in knowledge absorption, solution improvement through collaborative insights between partners, and identification of short-term opportunities. Some challenges, however, were identified, such as noisy integration, the role of the project manager requiring a sophisticated skillset, and complicated decision-making processes.

Limitations of the investigation: The conclusions have the inherent limitations of a case study conducted in one industrial sector and two projects led by one company.

Practical implications: The evolving competitive landscape demands more effective pathways to foster innovation. Recent approaches to innovation have challenged R&D practices. This study discusses a new way of addressing R&D efforts with multiple partners by integrating Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and Agile concepts.

Originality / Value: The combined and coherent application of concepts derived from Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and Agile in R&D practices in the electricity sector is new. The high volume of R&D activity in the electricity sector makes this in-depth analysis both relevant and valuable.

Published
2021-01-06
How to Cite
Leal, L., Ribeiro, A., Romão, V., do Amaral, G., Altmann, R., Kahn, R., Pacci, B., Avo, M., Salerno, M., Plonski, G., & Zancul, E. (2021). R&D approach based on multiple partners and Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and Agile concepts: A case study in the electricity sector. Brazilian Journal of Operations & Production Management, 18(1), 1-12. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.14488/BJOPM.2021.003
Section
Case study