The Engineering Division of global energy leader launched an initiative among its business entities to demonstrate (through concrete results) Lean efficiency in its design activity and begin the process of wider roll-out of the approach.


Wavestone supported an Engineering Centre during a three-month pilot workstream on a project to design a nuclear-generation facility. We had to meet two major challenges:

  • Reduce the duration of the technical steps in the engineering design process by 30%
  • Ensure a capability to integrate modifications in the commissioning phase (during the first live commissioning tests).

Responses and Key Success Factors

  • The work was conducted as a Lean 6 Sigma DMAIC-type project (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control);
  • Three work streams – a detailed description of the current state of affairs, identification of dysfunctional areas, and proposals for improvements, and the involvement of the key players in the project – allowed the engineering design processes to be reconstructed, critical paths to be identified, and a detailed action plan to be built, along with a roadmap and the clear definition of the associated gains;
  • Concrete changes to the engineering design process and its coordination were identified, for example:reduced turnaround times, tighter coordination of the players involved, and reductions in redesign loops. These were put in place, achieving the aim of reduced cycle length; it is estimated they will deliver the 30% reduction desired: cutting an original 22-month timescale by six months.