Product: Management and Development
Product: Management and Development
Original Article

The fractal structure for large development programs

Paulo Tromboni de Souza Nascimento, Eduardo Vasconcellos

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The organizational structure of Embraer’s EMBRAER 170/190 Program has made it possible to integrate the efforts of thousands of people from many different countries and from different companies to the conception, planning, and construction of new regional jets aimed at serving the needs of the market adopting competitive timeframes, competitive prices and competitive performances. This organizational structure comprises a hierarchy of management cells operating within a matrix structure. These management cells provide the structural support for the integrating function of the hierarchy of a large integrated product development program; thereby guaranteeing that the critical technical and management areas are present at the various levels of the project’s work breakdown structure. There is a great potential for self-similarity – a defining property of fractals – in the make-up of these cells, and so the metaphor of the fractal structure that we develop here emerges quite naturally.


innovation management, project organization, cross functional integration, management cells, organizational metaphors.
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