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Implementation of the LPS using an excel spreadsheet: A case study from the New Zealand construction industry

Fahimeh Zaeri (Department of Construction Management Programme, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)
James Olabode Bamidele Rotimi (Department of Built Environment Engineering, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)
M. Reza Hosseini (School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia)
Jeff Cox (University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the implementation challenges of one of lean construction’s recent tools, the last planner system (LPS), by exploring issues in the New Zealand construction sector to identify potential areas for improvement. To achieve this aim, the study formulated two objectives: to present the challenges in LPS use and to explore solutions by using an Excel spreadsheet for facilitating LPS applications.

Design/methodology/approach

The study drew primarily upon a case study approach. A fieldwork study and document analysis of a New Zealand construction project were conducted with an extensive literature review undertaken on the LPS concept.

Findings

The findings revealed that although an automated spreadsheet could be a simple and inexpensive option for using the LPS, data collection, storage and transfer into the spreadsheet could significantly influence the reliability of the LPS outcomes. Most data utilisation challenges were found to occur around the three data sets included in the weekly work plan (WWP). The study presented several automation solutions which had been applied to overcome data utilisation challenges.

Originality/value

Among the first of its kind in the construction industry, this study, with its first-hand account of an organisation which uses the lean paradigm, provides an in-depth insight into LPS tool implementation. The study extends the current body of knowledge by unearthing the challenges of LPS integration into construction activities and presenting efforts undertaken in a construction case project to overcome relevant issues. This adds value by enhancing the reliability of the LPS and, consequently, the effectiveness of its implementation in practical terms.

Keywords

Citation

Zaeri, F., Rotimi, J.O.B., Hosseini, M.R. and Cox, J. (2017), "Implementation of the LPS using an excel spreadsheet: A case study from the New Zealand construction industry", Construction Innovation, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 324-339. https://doi.org/10.1108/CI-01-2016-0002

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited