Boeing’s latest commercial airplane called Dreamliner is a great engineering achievement. This plane incorporates some of the latest most innovative technology available.
Building Dreamliner required a lot of changes some were small incremental other were gigantic. They were more shifts rather than changes. All this created risks, some were anticipated others were not possible to be foreseen. When changes are added one after another after another the probability of problems multiplies dramatically and things can go astray. It can happen to a small company and it can happen to a giants like Boeing with year of practice and experience:
Privately, Boeing officials admit that an all-new plane, a new technology and a new way of working with manufacturers (which involved risk-sharing), was too much novelty all at once.
Read on the full article on The Economist: Nightmareliner
Considering the scale and complexity of the whole project I’m sure there will be some great lessons learned.