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The term greenfield has its origins in construction planning and urban development. It refers to project planning on a previously undeveloped, undeveloped area, i.e., on the proverbial “greenfield”.
In the meantime, the term is being used across the board in various industries and sectors. This always involves projects that relate to a sphere not yet characterized by corresponding structures. Accordingly, such approaches are not limited in their development by the existing environment.
In sales, greenfield refers to an entirely new market that can be developed. In management, it is used, among other things, for the establishment of new organizational structures in a newly founded area. In industry, the term can refer to the fundamental design of new types of factories or plants. For example, in the context of an Industry 4.0 project, this would apply to the planning and construction of a new automated and digitally organized manufacturing plant to be built. The greenfield term is also used in software development. Here, it refers to a fundamentally new software installation in which no consideration has to be given to compatibility with existing systems.