Boeing (BA) is a big company with many different projects. But one of them, its 787 Dreamliner, has been delayed six times already. This 250- to 330-seat aircraft now has 840 orders (down from 850), which amounts to a $148 billion backlog. While I've reported on conversations with people who claim that the 787 has problems with its environmental control system and its electrical system, The Wall Street Journal on Friday offered another bombshell technical glitch.
Before going into detail about this latest problem, it's worth thinking about how Boeing got here. As I wrote in my book about the company, You Can't Order Change, Boeing decided to do two new things with the 787. First, it outsourced 60% of the design and manufacturing. In the past, Boeing had done all its design work itself and only outsourced some of its manufacturing.