This paper provides an approach to support design of organizational control structures in lean construction projects. Abstracting and analyzing lean practices from the perspective of Management Cybernetics and the Viable System Model (ViSM) in particular was found to elevate understanding of the former in previous research. It seems promising to further investigate how applying the ViSM can aid the implementation of lean thinking in environments that face cultural- and other hurdles to sustainably establishing lean practices. To take further steps in this direction of research we present an approach for identification and design of organizational control structures in the context of lean practices utilizing the ViSM. Then, we present an exemplary application of said approach, showcasing supportive design of control structures within a pull-based material supply system at a hospital construction project in San Francisco, California. The example shows that the ViSM and its underlying principles of Management Cybernetics can largely support establishing control structures in lean context. Responsibility assignments and information channels could be transparently included in the organization structure and their assumed contribution to sustainable lean implementation could initially be verified.
Management Cybernetics, Viable System Model, Lean Construction, lean control mechanisms, lean implementation
Schmidt, M.T. , Elezi, F. , Tommelein, I.D. , Berghede, K. & Lindemann, U. 2014, 'Supporting Organizational Design Towards Lean With the Viable System Model' In:, Kalsaas, B.T., Koskela, L. & Saurin, T.A., 22nd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Oslo, Norway, 25-27 Jun 2014. pp 73-83