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Barriers faced by new-adopter of Last Planner System®: a case study

Athena Maria Perez (The Haskell and Irene Lemon Division of Construction Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA)
Somik Ghosh (The Haskell and Irene Lemon Division of Construction Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 3 September 2018

Issue publication date: 20 September 2018

Abstract

Purpose

Documented evidence supports the improvements resulting from the use of the Last Planner System® (LPS) as a lean construction technique; however, several barriers to the implementation of the technique have been identified. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the implementation process of LPS by a project team that is transitioning from the traditional planning and control to LPS on a typical commercial project. The paper compares the adopted implementation process with that of the recommended best practices and identifies the overlaps and variances.

Design/methodology/approach

An in-depth case study was conducted to accomplish the specific objectives: document the process of LPS implementation in detail; identify the overlaps and variance from the recommended practices; and investigate the causes for variance from the recommended practices. The authors used direct observations, document investigations and semi-structured interviews with key project participants to gather data. Constant comparison and content analysis were used as data analysis method for this study.

Findings

The paper identified critical barriers to the implementation process of LPS in the case study project, which are supported by existing literature and are considered typical of project teams that are new adopters and transitioning to the implementation of LPS.

Research limitations/implications

Based on a single case study, the outcomes may lack generalizability. However, similar findings of existing literature and evaluations by the project personnel substantiated the findings of the study.

Originality/value

The study attempted to conduct a systematic investigation on the implementation process of LPS, which is a less investigated topic. The paper draws attention to the major barriers experienced while adopting LPS in the case study project and suggested possible ways to address similar issues in the future. The barriers experienced by the case study project are typical of project teams who are new adopters and transitioning to the adoption of LPS, process and have the potential to be alleviated through the recommended practice implementation and process maintenance strategy.

Keywords

Citation

Perez, A.M. and Ghosh, S. (2018), "Barriers faced by new-adopter of Last Planner System®: a case study", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 25 No. 9, pp. 1110-1126. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-08-2017-0162

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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