AeroAstro Annual 1
Annual Report 2003-2004
In the excitement of exploring new territory, pushing limits and expanding boundaries, aerospace systems have focused on technical excellence, striving for higher, faster and farther. The complexity of these systems lies not only in their technical designs, but also in their political and social contexts. These contexts are inex- tricably linked to the success and failure of many aerospace programs. Although the Cold War united societal, governmental, and industrial aerospace priorities, the resulting pursuit of performance regardless of cost became readily apparent and unac- ceptable following the Cold War. Cost overruns and schedule delays brought about more government oversight of defense pro- grams. Commercial aircraft 23 The Lean Aerospace Initiative: Innovating Transformation by Deborah Seifert Nightingale The Lean Aerospace Initiative: INNOVATING TRANSFORMATION At 100 years, there have been many celebrations of the rich history of the aero- space industry and many speculations of what the future will hold. The industry is characterized by highly complex technical innovations and spectacular firsts. Recent focus in the industry has been on continuous process improvement. Many aerospace organizations have responded by applying lean principles focused on creating value and eliminating waste. As indicated by the timeline above, much product innovation has occurred in the 100-year history of the aero- space industry. This focus on improving technology has recently been augmented with an emphasis on process innovation and continuous improvement.