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1. Baarends, J. Lean Systems Engineering:.

Degree: 2015, Delft University of Technology

Waste is present in all projects. Failed projects represent the most waste, but even the most successful projects are burdened with lots of waste as well (Oppenheim, 2011). This suggests that (work) processes aren’t designed properly. This research will search for practical tools that could help reduce or eliminate this waste. The Systems Engineering approach and the Lean approach are the starting point of this research. Systems Engineering (in the Civil Engineering sector) has its own school of thought, which consists of five principles. In Lean Thinking Womack and Jones (1996) described the five principles of Lean (thinking). Combining the two approaches yields in Lean Systems Engineering. The Lean in Lean Systems Engineering should be viewed as an approach to enhance the traditional Systems Engineering process with the wisdom gained from Lean Thinking by Womack and Jones (1996), instead of replacing Systems Engineering with a new approach. According to Oppenheim (2011, p.4) the fundamental feature of Lean Systems Engineering is “to perform all preparations and planning of the people, processes, tools, and individual tasks well enough so that the tasks can be executed right the first time, creating customer value while minimizing waste.” In short, Lean Systems Engineering could be considered as the best of both worlds. This report focusses on the Customer Requirement Specification (process), which is a part of the Systems Engineering approach. Waste was identified through analysing the current Customer Requirement Specification process as applied by Witteveen+Bos. The five most problematic forms of waste that are impressionable are: 1. The process of granting requirements; 2. Including irrelevant requirements; 3. Continuous inflow of requirements; 4. CRS-process in underestimated; 5. Aiming for SMART requirements. Countermeasures have been developed in order to prevent or reduce these wastes. Despite all proposed measures to prevent or reduce waste, it may happen that waste still sneaks into the Customer Requirement Specification process. In order to identify this waste in an early stage of a project, the Requirement Monitor (RM) has been developed. The RM monitors all requirements real-time and it can be seen as a diagnostic tool. During a case study the proposed measures were tested and the Requirement Monitor was used to monitor the requirements and possible waste. The Requirement Monitor and additional interviews confirmed that four types of waste from the waste top 5 were present during the case study. However, the case study showed a tremendous reduction of wasted effort and time when a project startup is organized; costs have gone down almost seven times and time has been reduced ten times. Even in the worst-case scenario costs have gone down and less time was wasted. Thus, investing in activities upfront results in great savings in the end (of the process) and organizing a project startup reduces waste in practice. This conclusion has implications for Witteveen+Bos as well as for all other Civil… Advisors/Committee Members: Verbraeck, A., Leijten, M., Annema, J.A..

Subjects/Keywords: Systems Engineering; Lean; Customer Requirement Specification; Waste; Case study; Requirement Monitor

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APA (6th Edition):

Baarends, J. (2015). Lean Systems Engineering:. (Masters Thesis). Delft University of Technology. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Baarends, J. “Lean Systems Engineering:.” 2015. Masters Thesis, Delft University of Technology. Accessed October 21, 2019.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Baarends, J. “Lean Systems Engineering:.” 2015. Web. 21 Oct 2019.


Baarends J. Lean Systems Engineering:. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. Delft University of Technology; 2015. [cited 2019 Oct 21]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Baarends J. Lean Systems Engineering:. [Masters Thesis]. Delft University of Technology; 2015. Available from: