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Article
Publication date: 17 April 2009

Bo Jørgensen and Stephen Emmitt

Better integration of project processes has often been identified as the key issue regarding construction performance improvement. In some countries lean construction has…

Abstract

Purpose

Better integration of project processes has often been identified as the key issue regarding construction performance improvement. In some countries lean construction has become well‐established, although there appears to be considerable diversity in the interpretation of the concept. Lean construction initially focused on production aspects, but gradually design issues have started to receive more attention and integrating construction design and production processes from a lean perspective are beginning to be addressed. The purpose of this paper is to identify some of the practical challenges underlying the implementation of approaches promoted as “lean” and compare this with published research/theory.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an extensive review of the literature, a multiple case‐strategy approach was used to explore the practical application of lean approaches to design and construction integration in an organisational setting. Summaries of the case studies, one from the USA and two from Denmark, help to highlight a number of pertinent issues facing practitioners and researchers.

Findings

Findings suggest that it is possible to identify a number of aspects that (in theory as well as in practice) both influence and, to various extents, limit the applicability of the lean philosophy to construction. Findings also help to emphasise the importance of a number of interdependent factors for achieving better integration, namely: value identification/specification; an appropriate project delivery framework; structuring and planning of delivery processes; transparency; management and leadership; learning; and the importance of local context.

Originality/value

The findings provide an original contribution to the integration of design and construction activities from a lean perspective. The findings are generic and could be practically applied in a variety of contexts.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

TR Sreeram and Asokan Thondiyath

The purpose of this paper is to present a combined framework for system design using Six Sigma and Lean concepts. Systems Engineering has evolved independently and there…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a combined framework for system design using Six Sigma and Lean concepts. Systems Engineering has evolved independently and there are numerous tools and techniques available to address issues that may arise in the design of systems. In the context of systems design, the application of Six Sigma and Lean concepts results in a flexible and adaptable framework. A combined framework is presented here that allows better visualization of the system-level components and their interactions at parametric level, and it also illuminates gaps that make way for continuous improvement. The Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act is the basis of this framework. Three case studies are presented to evaluate the application of this framework in the context of Systems Engineering design. The paper concludes with a summary of advantages of using a combined framework, its limitations and scope for future work.

Design/methodology/approach

Six Sigma, Lean and Systems Engineering approaches combined into a framework for collaborative product development.

Findings

The present framework is not rigid and does not attempt to force fit any tools or concepts. The framework is generic and allows flexibility through a plug and play type of implementation. This is important, as engineering change needs vary constantly to meet consumer demands. Therefore, it is important to engrain flexibility in the development of a foundational framework for design-encapsulating improvements and innovation. From a sustainability perspective, it is important to develop techniques that drive rationality in the decisions, especially during tradeoffs and conflicts.

Research limitations/implications

Scalability of the approach for large systems where complex interactions exist. Besides, the application of negotiation techniques for more than three persons poses a challenge from a mathematical context. Future research should address these in the context of systems design using Six Sigma and Lean techniques.

Practical implications

This paper provides a flexible framework for combining the three techniques based on Six Sigma, Lean and Systems Engineering.

Social implications

This paper will influence the construction of agent-based systems, particularly the ones using the Habermas’s theory of social action as the basis for product development.

Originality/value

This paper has not been published in any other journal or conference.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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Article
Publication date: 15 October 2020

Hannelore Schouten, Stefan Heusinkveld, Wouter van der Kam and Jos Benders

The aim of this study is to document and analyze experiences with building a new hospital guided by lean-led hospital design (LLHD) (Grunden and Hagood, 2012) and to…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to document and analyze experiences with building a new hospital guided by lean-led hospital design (LLHD) (Grunden and Hagood, 2012) and to investigate key mechanisms enhancing healthcare professionals' participation and collaboration in implementing this innovative approach.

Design/methodology/approach

An in-depth case study of the implementation of LLHD in a Dutch hospital was performed based on multiple data sources. The case hospital presented a unique opportunity since there was embedded access to the data by the first author.

Findings

Three mechanisms supporting participation and collaboration of staff for implementing LLHD were identified. (1) Freedom in translating a concept enables managers to balance it with variations in practice at the organizational level. (2) A set of key principles governing the design process appeared an important anchor on a managerial level in a changing environment. (3) Creation of a supportive attitude toward lean and lean facility design, with co-creation as a key element of LLHD.

Practical implications

By using the emerging mechanisms, managers/change agents can enlarge collaboration and participation of hospital staff when implementing organization-wide innovations.

Originality/value

This case study delivers a unique inside view on the dynamics evolving in the complex change processes at organizational, managerial and personal levels involved in implementing LLHD.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2011

Shahram Taj and Cristian Morosan

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of lean operations practice and design on the Chinese manufacturing performance, using lean assessment data from 65…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of lean operations practice and design on the Chinese manufacturing performance, using lean assessment data from 65 plants in various industries.

Design/methodology/approach

Exploratory factor and regression analyses are used to examine the associations among operations practice, production design, and operations performance. Three constructs are developed, two for operations practice (human resources and supply chains) and one for production design.

Findings

Factor analysis shows that three factors are sufficient to represent the lean performance dimensions of flow, flexibility, and quality. Regression analysis shows that the lean performance factors are strongly related to operations practice and production system design. Using lean factors and operations practice/design, our results indicate significant gaps in lean manufacturing practices among different industries, with the petroleum and hi‐tech industries performing relatively best. In addition, the garment industry performs very well in flexibility, indicating it does not compete just on price, but also on rapid response. Finally, all industries perform well in quality, underlining the emerging economy character of China. These results support other recent findings of the positive impact of lean operations on the performance of the Chinese manufacturing sector.

Research limitations/implications

The paper's findings, which are based on the experience of selected manufacturing plants in China, should not be interpreted as indicative of the characteristics of the Chinese manufacturing plants in general.

Originality/value

This paper advances the evidence on the role of lean manufacturing in two ways. First, to derive more robust statistical results, the paper relies on primary lean assessment data, as opposed to secondary opinion survey data common to most other studies. Second, to obtain more general findings, the paper makes use of a wider set of relevant variables, both for assessing manufacturing practice and performance, than is usual in the literature.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2013

Christina Bodin Danielsson

The concept of Lean office design has emerged, claiming to support an efficient labour process. This article aims to investigate how the two main perspectives identified…

Abstract

Purpose

The concept of Lean office design has emerged, claiming to support an efficient labour process. This article aims to investigate how the two main perspectives identified in the Lean office: the neo-Tayloristic approach and the team-based approach, based in different historical backgrounds, use the office design to shorten lead time and free up time.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive review is done in the article of what the Lean office concept means for different research areas and to practitioners.

Findings

The study presents the two Lean office perspectives in relation to each other, something that has not been done before since it is only recently the team-based Lean office was introduced. The study also presents possible risk and benefits of two perspectives from an employee and organizational perspective.

Research limitations/implications

Since this is a first exploratory review of the Lean office concept based on theories and examples from design practice, further empirical studies are needed to determine risks and benefits of the concept.

Practical implications

The clarifying examples in the article make it useful for people involved in the design and building process of offices.

Originality/value

The article brings together the fields of labour process, office research and facility management with the design practice and presents the two perspectives Lean office design in relation to each other, which has not been done before since the team-based Lean office has only recently been introduced.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 15 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2012

S. Vinodh and S. Aravindraj

The purpose of this paper is to report a research on the development of axiomatic modeling of a lean manufacturing system.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report a research on the development of axiomatic modeling of a lean manufacturing system.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual model for lean manufacturing has been adopted. A hierarchical structure has been developed to model the design process of a lean manufacturing system composed of functional requirements, design parameters and process variables.

Findings

The theory of axiomatic design advocates the creation of process variables by mapping the design parameters in the process domain. This article serves as an efficient guideline for the design process to clarify the tools, methods and resources of designing lean manufacturing system.

Research limitations/implications

The implications of the axiomatic model has been derived based on the experiences gained from a single manufacturing organization. Yet, the findings and contributions of this research work would be useful to the captains of thee majority of the manufacturing companies situated in the world.

Practical implications

The axiomatic modeling approach serves as an efficient guideline for the design process to clarify the tools, methods and resources of designing a lean manufacturing system of an Indian rotary switches manufacturing organization.

Originality/value

The conceptual model of lean manufacturing has been developed from literature. Based on the conceptual model, the hierarchical model for axiomatic approach has been developed. The contributions and the inferences are original and add value to the state of the art approaches.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Sherif Mostafa, Nicholas Chileshe and Tariq Abdelhamid

The purpose of this study is to systematically analyse and synthesise the existing research published on offsite manufacturing/construction. The study aims to highlight…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to systematically analyse and synthesise the existing research published on offsite manufacturing/construction. The study aims to highlight and associate the core elements for adopting the offsite concept in different construction contexts. This ultimately facilitates the enhancement of the offsite uptake.

Design/methodology/approach

The research study was carried out through a systematic literature review (SLR). The SLR was conducted to identify and understand the existing themes in the offsite research landscape, evaluate contributions and compile knowledge, thereby identifying potential directions of future research. The grand electronic databases were explored to gather literature on the offsite concept, lean and agile principles and simulation. A total of 62 related articles published between 1992 and 2015 have been included in this study. The relevant literature was systematically analysed and synthesised to present the emerging offsite themes.

Findings

The descriptive and thematic analyses presented in this paper have identified related offsite research studies that have contributed to setting a firm foundation of the offsite concept in different construction contexts. Each of the 62 articles was examined for achieving the aim and objectives of this study, the method of data collection and coverage of offsite themes. The results of the analyses revealed that the articles mostly provide information on the offsite concept and its definitions (53 per cent) and offsite barriers and/or drivers (27 per cent). However, limited attention has been paid to the integration of lean and agile principles (13 per cent) and simulation (7 per cent) within the offsite concept, which are therefore more open to research within the offsite concept.

Research limitations/implications

The literature review highlights the main themes and components of the offsite construction concept. This forms a solid basis and motivation for researchers and practitioners to build on to enhance the uptake of the offsite concept in different contexts. This study also presents a research roadmap within the offsite concept, along with a recommendation for further research to be conducted using the research framework proposed in this study. The framework could lead to validation of using simulation to integrate lean and agile principles within the offsite concept.

Originality/value

This paper presents a systematic review of the literature related to offsite construction in different contexts. The emerging components, that is, offsite definitions, drivers and/or barriers, lean and agile principles and simulation have been highlighted and discussed thematically. A research framework that enables pursuit of the integration of lean and agile principles offsite through the lens of simulation has been proposed. The framework is expected to open up new opportunities on the effectiveness of offsite development in different contexts.

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Gerald Beasley and Trish Rosseel

The purpose of this paper is to present a case study that considers the links between cost avoidance, lean design, and sustainability in relation to two different library…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a case study that considers the links between cost avoidance, lean design, and sustainability in relation to two different library projects at University of Alberta Libraries (UAL) – the design of the Research and Collections Resource Facility and the development of new fee-based library services at UAL’s John W. Scott Health Sciences Library.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study describes the analysis of each project’s workflows in relation to lean design in order to enhance processes and service delivery.

Findings

Findings to date in both of these ongoing projects suggest that consideration of the lean philosophy has already led to process and service improvements. With regard to the new building design project, revised task design is already resulting in significant savings in staff time, and work space. And the staffing model for fee-based specialized services has already been redesigned, an alignment with lean principles.

Research limitations/implications

While this paper does discuss and define lean design, it does not provide a comprehensive summary of research in this area.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the value of lean design as a framework for designing, developing, and reviewing academic library buildings, services, processes, and workflows to ensure they are sustainable.

Details

Library Management, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Eder Martinez, Carolina K. Reid and Iris D. Tommelein

The purpose of this paper is to explore opportunities and barriers to using lean construction to address issues related to the value, quality and scalability of affordable…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore opportunities and barriers to using lean construction to address issues related to the value, quality and scalability of affordable housing production in Latin America.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a case study of a housing developer in Ecuador that used lean construction in the design and construction stages of an affordable housing project. The study describes how the developer addressed operational challenges derived from implementing a customization strategy and analyzes qualitative and quantitative data to assess the outcomes of lean initiatives.

Findings

The developer reduced cost and delivery time without sacrificing consumer choice. However, the economic and policy conditions worked against the benefits of lean construction, demonstrating the importance of the regulatory context in facilitating or inhibiting lean initiatives and construction innovation.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focuses on conventional means for new housing construction. Self-help and upgrading are not covered.

Practical implications

The operational challenges described in this study, as well as the innovative ways to deal with them, are beneficial for practitioners seeking to improve the quality and efficiency of affordable housing construction.

Social implications

This paper advances knowledge about how to increase value and quality delivery in the built environment which may benefit low-income families.

Originality/value

This study bridges construction innovation and housing policy, discussing the potential of lean construction within the policy and regulatory environment in which affordable housing takes place.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2008

D.T. Matt

The purpose of this paper is to provide a methodological guidance for the practical use of the axiomatic designed production module template presented in a former…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a methodological guidance for the practical use of the axiomatic designed production module template presented in a former publication. The objective is to accelerate the design process and increase the quality of results in the design of lean production systems.

Design/methodology/approach

Two case studies based on practical cases were presented to different test teams. A first test cycle helped to improve the user friendliness of the axiomatic designed tree of functional requirements and design parameters. The second test cycle served to prove the practicability of the template, comparing the teams' results with the realized solution.

Findings

Based on the teams' feedbacks, ten “easy‐to‐use” steps for the systematic design of lean production systems were developed. The guideline obtains the best results if used in combination with the value stream mapping concept.

Research limitations/implications

Apart from one case study in injection moulding, practical evaluations were focused on applications in the field of manual, hybrid or automated assembly systems, which perhaps limits the applicability of the presented approach in some machining processes.

Practical implications

Several successful implementations demonstrated the validity of the presented method in terms of results, planning time and user friendliness. Even students with nearly no practical experiences in production system design were able to present astonishing results within short timeframes.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need of a methodological guidance in the design of lean production systems and offers practical help to shorten the design times and improve the quality of the design results.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 19 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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