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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

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Article
Publication date: 19 March 2018

Josana Gabriele Bolzan Wesz, Carlos Torres Formoso and Patricia Tzortzopoulos

The purpose of this paper is to propose a model for planning and controlling the design process in companies that design, manufacture and assemble prefabricated…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a model for planning and controlling the design process in companies that design, manufacture and assemble prefabricated engineer-to-order (ETO) building systems. This model was devised as an adaptation of the Last Planner® System for ETO multiple-project environments.

Design/methodology/approach

Design science research, also known as prescriptive research, was the methodological approach adopted in this research. An empirical study was carried out at the design department of a leading steel fabricator from Brazil, in which the proposed model was implemented in six different design teams.

Findings

The main benefits of the proposed model were shielding design work from variability, encouraging collaborative planning, creating opportunities for learning, increasing process transparency, and flexibility according to project status. Two main factors affected the effectiveness of the implementation process commitment and leadership of design managers, and training on design management and project planning and control core concepts and practices.

Research limitations/implications

Some limitations were identified in the implementation process: similarly to some previous studies (Ballard, 2002; Codinhoto and Formoso, 2005), the success of constraint analysis was still limited; some of the metrics produced (e.g. ABI, causes of planning failures) have not been fully used for process improvement; and systematic feedback about project status was not properly implemented and tested.

Originality/value

The main contributions of this study in relation to traditional design planning and control practices are related to the use of two levels of look-ahead planning, the introduction of a decoupling point between conceptual and detail design, the proposition of new metrics for the Last Planner® System, and understanding the potential role of visual management to support planning and control.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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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…

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

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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

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Article
Publication date: 3 September 2018

Athena Maria Perez and Somik Ghosh

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…

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.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 25 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Algan Tezel and Zeeshan Aziz

The purpose of this paper is to explore the benefits of visual management (VM) systems in transportation construction projects in England.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the benefits of visual management (VM) systems in transportation construction projects in England.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a comprehensive literature review, the benefits of VM were investigated through action and case study research executed within two construction projects in England.

Findings

The main findings are: VM can contribute to increased self-management, better team coordination, better promises or an increasing plan percent complete, easier control for the management and improved workplace conditions in the transportation sector. It is important for the management to obtain the engagement of their workforce for VM through increased participation and show the actual benefits. However, managerial monitoring and control on the systems should not be underestimated.

Originality/value

The transportation sector in England has been systematically deploying Lean construction techniques in its operations for a while. One of those Lean techniques is a close-range visual communication strategy called VM. The literature on the VM implementation in construction is scarce and generally limited to the building construction context. This paper documents the benefits of VM systems for the transportation sector by using data captured through both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. The paper also identifies a set of recommendations for similar research efforts in the transportation context in the future.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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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.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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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…

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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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Ghaleb J. Sweis, Mohammad Hiyassat and Fares F. Al-Hroub

There is little information existing about the spread of lean among Jordanian construction companies. Building on a report by Diekmann et al. (2004), this paper aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

There is little information existing about the spread of lean among Jordanian construction companies. Building on a report by Diekmann et al. (2004), this paper aims to perform a similar investigation among first-grade Jordanian construction companies to assess the extent of implementation of lean techniques.

Design/methodology/approach

For this purpose, a quantitative approach to measuring contractors’ conformance to lean practices was adopted. A survey of 61 contractors was conducted using both e-mails and personally delivered surveys that were completed on the spot. The results were analysed, and a practice value index, which indicates the level of implementation, was figured out for lean practices. In addition, an analysis of variance was conducted to determine whether there were differences among respondents from different construction fields.

Findings

The survey indicated that some procedures used by Jordanian contractors were consistent with lean construction practices. However, there was no proof that lean concepts were used on a company-wide basis. Furthermore, the survey revealed that the Jordanian construction industry lacks a “continuous improvement“ mentality, suffers from the absence of error proofing devices and provides minimal training at several levels of the organisation.

Originality/value

The outcomes of the study are valuable for contractors and developers of management practices, as it will encourage them to adopt lean construction holistically and identify features that are not exploited in the Jordanian construction industry.

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2003

Glenn Ballard, Nigel Harper and Todd Zabelle

Reducing the lead time for engineered‐to‐order products can allow more time for exploration and testing of design alternatives, reduction of project durations, or some…

Abstract

Reducing the lead time for engineered‐to‐order products can allow more time for exploration and testing of design alternatives, reduction of project durations, or some combination of both. Combined with improved reliability of work flow on site, more fabricated products can be pulled to site when needed, thus avoiding unnecessary inventories. Lead time reduction benefits both the design and the construction phases of projects, and it benefits the fabricator as well. Integration of engineering and detailing may offer the greatest potential for lead time reduction. However, fabrication lead times can also be reduced. This paper describes the application of lean production concepts and techniques to structural precast concrete fabrication. The key change was learning to identify and utilise work flow as opposed to focusing management effort on keeping workers and plant busy. Results included shop cycle time and lead time reduction, increased throughput rate, and improved productivity.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

1 – 10 of 86