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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2021

Sheila Belayutham, Rabiatul Nurul Akmar Mohamad Jaafar, Herda Balqis Ismail and Che Khairil Izam Che Ibrahim

Megaprojects are typically very expensive public-centred projects that leave little space for any mismanagement or deficient planning, which could affect the project…

Abstract

Purpose

Megaprojects are typically very expensive public-centred projects that leave little space for any mismanagement or deficient planning, which could affect the project adversely. The Last PlannerSystem (LPS) is a lean construction planning and control tool that functions to reduce waste and increase performance. Given the benefits, the application of the LPS in megaprojects is still scarce, especially in Malaysia. Hence, this study aims to compare the current production planning, monitoring and review practices in a megaproject with the LPS in order to explore the possibilities of adapting the LPS to the current practices.

Design/methodology/approach

This longitudinal case-based study has first explored the current practices implemented in an infrastructure megaproject, which is an urban rapid transit (URT) project, which was then compared to the standard LPS practices. The case study has adopted several research methods such as observation, interview and document review.

Findings

Findings from the study highlight that the current production planning, monitoring and review practices in the URT project mostly differs from the standard LPS practices with only slight similarities found in the major planning phases. The comparative study, which based on five reference points through master, phase, look-ahead, weekly work plan and measure, and learning has resulted in several key elements, representative of the different planning phases, such as collaborative programming, reverse planning, reliability, dependability and continuous learning.

Practical implications

This study provides an alternative perspective to rail planners, as well as other types of project planners in considering the use of the LPS to enhance the quality of planning, monitoring and review in projects. The framework that highlights the core values and key elements for the related planning phases enables project teams with no lean background to partially adapt their current practices to the LPS with minimal disruption.

Originality/value

This study first contributes to the body of knowledge, where limited study was found comparing and contrasting current production planning practices against the LPS, particularly in rail-based megaproject. The results from the comparison are the key elements representing each of the planning phases that was rooted back to the core values (teamwork, involvement and collaboration, communication and transparency, and continuous improvement) necessary to enhance the current practices.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Emmanuel Itodo Daniel, Christine Pasquire, Graham Dickens and Herman Glenn Ballard

The purpose of this paper is to identify how the newly emerging UK practice of “collaborative planning” (CP) for construction project delivery aligns with the advocated…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify how the newly emerging UK practice of “collaborative planning” (CP) for construction project delivery aligns with the advocated principles of the global last planner system (LPS) of production planning and control.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed, qualitative, exploratory approach was adopted for the study. This entailed qualitative data through three techniques, namely: semi-structured interviews, documents analysis, and structured observation. In total, 30 in-depth interviews were conducted over a 12 month period with lean construction consultants, clients, main contractors, and subcontractors drawn from the building, highways and infrastructure and rail sector. In all, 15 projects were visited where practices were observed.

Findings

The study reveals that the current practice of CP in the UK partially aligns with the LPS principles. Where practitioners have heard of the LPS they believe it to be the same practice as CP.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to 30 interviews, observation of 15 projects and document analysis. The aim of the study is not to generalise the findings, however, since the study examined top construction companies and practitioners in the UK and the findings were consistent across the sample, some conclusions could be made. The study is also limited to examining the construction phase only, future studies should incorporate the design phase.

Practical implications

A clear identification of the elements of current practice compared to the components of the LPS provides a contribution to the future practice of project production planning and management in the construction industry.

Social implications

The study highlights a continuing resistance to collaboration within the industry. This resistance is subtly embedded within implemented practices even though they are based on collaborative working for their success.

Originality/value

This is among the first studies in the UK that comprehensively examines and reports the application of LPS/CP practice in construction across the major construction sectors. Future studies could build on the findings from this work to develop an approach/methodology to improve the current practice.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 January 2014

Abdullah O. AlSehaimi, Patricia Tzortzopoulos Fazenda and Lauri Koskela

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of implementing the Last Planner System (LPS) to improve construction planning practice and enhance site…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of implementing the Last Planner System (LPS) to improve construction planning practice and enhance site management in the Saudi construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

LPS was implemented in two large state-owned construction projects through an action research process. The data collection methods included interviews, observations and a survey questionnaire.

Findings

The findings identify benefits including improved construction planning, enhanced site management and better communication and coordination between the parties involved. The paper describes the critical success factors for LPS implementation. The paper also describes barriers to the realisation the full potential of LPS, including the involvement of many subcontractors and people's commitment and attitude to time.

Research limitations/implications

The work reported in this paper is limited to two case studies.

Practical implications

The study has thus contributed to improving management practice and may aid the establishment of a basis for the development of further research in the area of lean construction. The research outcomes can inform practitioners of the opportunity to implement alternative management methods in construction, and give a good account of the opportunities and challenges. Beside the direct benefits to managerial practice, the study also contributed to practice by offering practical recommendation that can assist in the achievement of the full potential of lean and LPS in Saudi Arabia.

Originality/value

This is the first comprehensive academic study in the Saudi construction sector concerning the application of lean construction principles and techniques. The study has thus contributed to practice and developed a basis for the development of further research in the area of lean construction. It may help construction organisations to establish a new strategy and policies to improve their managerial practice. The outcomes of the case studies can be used as a reference for organisations seeking to improve their managerial practice.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 June 2019

Bassam A. Tayeh, Khalid Al Hallaq, Hafiz Zahoor and Abdulla H. Al Faqawi

The purpose of this paper is to prioritize the vital tools/techniques for the effective implementation of the last planner system (LPS) in the cross-cultural setting of a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to prioritize the vital tools/techniques for the effective implementation of the last planner system (LPS) in the cross-cultural setting of a developing country, i.e. Gaza Strip. Besides, the potential benefits of implementing LPS are prioritized.

Design/methodology/approach

The significant techniques and likely benefits of LPS implementations were identified through comprehensive literature, followed by their verification through a pilot study. The quantitative data were collected using a questionnaire survey from 89 companies, operating in the Gaza Strip construction industry. The relative important index was calculated for prioritizing the significant tools/techniques (16) which support the effective LPS implementation, and highlighting the potential benefits (10) achieved through LPS implementation.

Findings

The results showed that the “use of visual devices to spread information in the construction site,” “attendance of key actors” and “look ahead plan” are the most important tools/techniques supporting LPS implementation. The top three potential benefits of implementing LPS include: “allows a better understanding of the program control,” “maximizes the co-operation and confidence among team members” and “allows the manager to better visualize the work program.” To prevent any waste in project time and to ensure the material supply and continuity of works, the study recommends advance supply and storage of demand materials, and early availability of the shop-drawings for acceptance by the superintendent.

Practical implications

The study’s findings are expected to guide the key construction stakeholders to prioritize their energies toward effective LPS implementation in the Gaza Strip.

Originality/value

Though this study pertains to Palestine, its methodology can be generalized in other countries and regions, having a similar work environment, after making necessary cultural adjustments.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Fahimeh Zaeri, James Olabode Bamidele Rotimi, M. Reza Hosseini and Jeff Cox

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…

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.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 August 2021

Tarek Salama, Ahmad Salah and Osama Moselhi

The purpose of this paper is to present a new method for project tracking and control of integrated offsite and onsite activities in modular construction considering…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a new method for project tracking and control of integrated offsite and onsite activities in modular construction considering practical characteristics associated with this type of construction.

Design/methodology/approach

The design embraces building information modelling and integrates last planner system (LPS), linear scheduling method (LSM) and critical chain project management (CCPM) to develop tracking and control procedures for modular construction projects. The developed method accounts for constraints of resources continuity and uncertainties associated with activity duration. Features of proposed method are illustrated in a case example for tracking and control of modular projects.

Findings

Comparison between developed schedule and Monte Carlo simulation showed that baseline duration generated from simulation exceeds that produced by developed method by 12% and 10% for schedules with 50% and 90% confidence level, respectively. These percentages decrease based on interventions of members of project team in the LPS sessions. The case example results indicate that project is delayed 5% and experienced cost overrun of 2.5%.

Originality/value

Developed method integrated LPS, LSM and CCPM while using metrics for reliability assessment of linear schedules, namely, critical percent plan complete (PPCcr) and buffer index (BI). PPCcr and BI measure percentage of plan completion for critical activities and buffer consumption, respectively. The developed method provides a systematic procedure for forecasting look-ahead schedules using forecasting correction factor Δt and a newly developed tracking and control procedure that uses PPCcr and BI. Quantitative cost analysis is also provided to forecast and monitor project costs to prove the robustness of proposed framework.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 February 2020

Adib Amany, Katayoon Taghizade and Esmatullah Noorzai

This paper aims to increase the integrity of the planning process with the executive process by simulating the Last Planner System (LPS) technique using building…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to increase the integrity of the planning process with the executive process by simulating the Last Planner System (LPS) technique using building information modeling.

Design/methodology/approach

A five-dimensional model was prepared, and after specifying the number of physical conflicts on the plans, all the scenarios of the starting points in the expert contractors’ plans were analyzed. Accordingly, the best scenario was determined by LPS technique. To assess the performance of the study, it was implemented on several tasks of a construction project.

Findings

The results of this research indicate that if this method is used in the planning process, the time conflicts between the expert contractors who are in the critical path are reduced, and the total delay of the scheduled time reaches zero. In addition, the conflicts between contractors whose suspension will cause no incentive and increase the daily cost overruns will reduce to the lowest point.

Originality/value

By simulating LPS in the planning process, time-physical conflicts are considered at the lowest point. Using this approach, conflicts are detected before the execution process, resulting in a significant reduction in the delays and cost overruns in construction projects.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2021

Musab Jamal Maraqa, Rafael Sacks and Sabrina Spatari

The study aims to test, measure and quantify the impacts of lean construction and BIM implementation on flow in construction projects.

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to test, measure and quantify the impacts of lean construction and BIM implementation on flow in construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach

Detailed control data from a set of 18 high-rise residential construction projects executed between years 2011 and 2020 were analyzed using the construction flow index (CFI), a measure of workflow quality. Seven comparable projects with a diverse range of LPS, BIM, VDC and 5S implementation were selected to compare the impacts of these innovations on flow.

Findings

Implementing BIM in the big room and applying the last planner system and other lean construction techniques increased the CFI from 4.31 to 8.12 (on a 10-point scale). Avoiding trades crossing one another's paths between tasks was the most significant aspect of improved flow. Moreover, the benefits of implementing lean practices with BIM or VDC were found to be measurably greater than when these approaches were implemented separately.

Research limitations/implications

The primary limitation of the study is that the degree of confidence in the results is limited by the nature of the case study approach. Although 18 is a respectable number of case study projects, it cannot offer the degree of confidence that a broader, representative sample of projects could. Similarly, the case studies are all drawn from the same construction context (residential apartments) and the same geographic region, which necessarily limits confidence concerning the degree to which the findings can be generalized.

Originality/value

The research is the first of its kind to quantitatively assess the impacts of BIM and lean construction on flow. Use of the CFI to quantify flow quality also highlights the potential value of CFI in providing project managers and planners a clear view of the smoothness or irregularity of flow and of differences between subcontractors' production rates.

Article
Publication date: 25 June 2019

Adnan Enshassi, Nour Saleh and Sherif Mohamed

This paper aims to investigate the application of lean construction (LC) techniques in reducing accidents in construction projects.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the application of lean construction (LC) techniques in reducing accidents in construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative approach was used to collect the required data using a questionnaire survey and descriptive analysis was used to analyse the collected data. The LC techniques that were investigated in this paper are related to the tools of the last planner system (LPS), increased visualisation (IV), 5S, error-proofing, daily huddle meetings (DHMs), first-run studies (FRS), continuous improvement (Kaizen) and accident investigation (5Whys).

Findings

The overall results indicated that LC techniques are poorly implemented in construction projects in the Gaza Strip. The top three LC tools used to reduce the causes of accidents in the Gaza construction projects were 5Whys, 5S and LPS, while the highest three LC techniques applied to reduce the causes of accidents that were applicable were cleaning the workplace and removing materials and machines that are not required; conducting accident investigation and root cause analysis programmes; and using safety signs and labels on site.

Research limitations/implications

There is a lack of information and published studies regarding the links between LC and safety, especially in the Middle East. This paper is limited to the perceptions and geographical boundaries; therefore, it cannot be generalised. However, it could form the basis for useful comparison in the future. Triangulation research method could also be used in future research to minimise the bias and validate the conclusions.

Practical implications

The findings of this paper will stress professionals and construction companies in Gaza to reconsider their behaviour towards using LC techniques. The findings of this paper will aid them to shift their attention and resources towards including LC techniques in their plans to reduce the causes of accidents on construction sites.

Social implications

The findings of this paper will encourage professionals and construction companies in Gaza to reconsider their behaviour towards using LC techniques. The findings will also aid them to shift their attention and resources towards including LC techniques in their plans to reduce and/or avoid the causes of accidents on construction.

Originality/value

Because of the lack of published works that are specific to the Middle East, the authors believe that the originality lies in the paper’s serious attempt to explore the application level of the LC concept to safety in this part of the world. This paper contributes to a better understanding of the applicability of LC techniques in terms of accidents reduction. Findings from this paper provide a clear picture of the current status of using LC techniques to reduce accidents in the Gazan construction projects which drive them to investigate the main barriers and try to overcome them.

Details

Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction , vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-4387

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 April 2019

Gabriele Hofinger Jünge, Erlend Alfnes, Kristina Kjersem and Bjorn Andersen

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate an effective project management practice focusing on planning and control. By doing so, it contributes to the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate an effective project management practice focusing on planning and control. By doing so, it contributes to the debate on rethinking traditional project management practices and accentuates the need for adjustments based on the project context.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper extends the project management theory by proposing a lean project planning (LPP) and control framework, developed and tested in collaboration with ten engineer-to-order (ETO) companies. By following a design science research approach, elements from lean thinking and current project planning and control practices are combined into a maturity model (MM).

Findings

ETO project characteristics are identified, and their implications for planning and control are discussed. Nine enablers that transform current project planning and control approaches into a lean approach are defined, allowing the analysis of the underlying complexity of planning and controlling ETO projects and thus facilitating the determination of the actions required to improve project performance.

Research limitations/implications

Once fully embedded in an organization, the presented MM can provide a safe framework for self-criticism and can be used to conduct self-assessments without the need for an external facilitator. Thus, this paper is of particular interest to practicing project managers who aim to implement LPP and control.

Originality/value

To the authors’ best knowledge, this paper is the first to empirically examine the journey toward LPP and control from a MM perspective. This research attempts to describe the enablers of LPP and control.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

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