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Agile Product Development: Features Identification and Application in the Electricity Sector

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 July 2019

Artur Tavares Vilas Boas Ribeiro
University of Sao Paulo;
Lorenna Fernandes Leal
University of Sao Paulo;
Guilherme Soares Gurgel do Amaral
Ricardo Kahn
Bruno Guilherme Pacci Evaristo
Victor Romão
G Altmann Ricardo
R Avó Marcos
Mario Sergio Salerno
University of Sao Paulo;
Guilherme Ary Plonski
University of Sao Paulo;
Eduardo Zancul*
University of Sao Paulo;
Contact: Zancul, Eduardo, University of Sao Paulo, Departamento de Engenharia de Produção, Brazil,


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The electricity sector is in the midst of a structural change driven by new technologies. In Brazil, the electricity sector regulation has mechanisms to foster innovation, including investments in R&D. Recently, the regulatory agency and the industry have been calling for approaches to increase the rate at which R&D departments generate solutions that end up being adopted. As a result, novel approaches to R&D project management have entered the agenda. In this context, the objective of this paper is to characterise Agile Product Development and its application in a highly regulated sector. The paper presents a systematic literature review with the debates about Agile and new product development. Then, a case study exploring an early adoption of the Agile approach in R&D project management in the Brazilian electricity sector is presented. Results include the identification of the Agile features most frequently mentioned in the literature. Moreover, the case study explores the Agile features that were more easily absorbed in early adoption, such as iterative patterns, and discusses implementation challenges in team structure, feedback loops, and communication.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
© The Author(s) 2019


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