Discussion of Strategies for Measuring Workflow in Construction

Trond Bølviken1 & Bo Terje Kalsaas2

1Director, Business Development and Strategy, Veidekke Entreprenør AS, P.O. Box 506 Skøyen, N-0214 Oslo, trond.bolviken@veidekke.no (Veidekke Entreprenør AS is a Norwegian subsidiary of Veidekke ASA, a major Scandinavian construction and real-estate-development company)
2Dr.Ing, Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Department of Working Life and Innovation, University of Agder, 4846 Grimstad, Norway, Phone +47 37 25 30 00, e-mail: bo.t.kalsaas@uia.no


This paper is part of a larger, on-going research project on workflow in construction. In the paper we present a conceptualisation of flow, and identify and discuss different possible strategies for measuring workflow. The premise for our conceptualisation of flow is that it must integrate the two dimensions of uniformity (smoothness) and intensity (volume). In terms of methods for measuring workflow, we discuss the pros and cons of using indicators versus direct measurement; and of self-assessment versus third-party observations. We identify the following potential approaches or starting points for measurement, and offer a short discussion of their relative merits:  The actors’ perception of work stoppage (extent and causes)  The actors’ perception of the degree of workflow  The actors’ perception of the distribution between flow, making do, and stoppage  Percentage of Plan Completed (PPC)  Actual time use compared to estimate  Perfect person-to-person handover of work  Perfect handover of work between trades  Detailed breakdown of planned activities and studies of individual time use of time use  Piece-work earnings  Turnover per person per time unit We offer no conclusion as to which of these approaches to measurement is best suited to the purpose of measuring workflow; however, we do provide a description of the process towards reaching such a conclusion in the future.


Flow, workflow, measurement.



Bølviken, T. & Kalsaas, B.T. 2011, 'Discussion of Strategies for Measuring Workflow in Construction' In:, Rooke, J. & Dave, B., 19th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Lima, Peru, 13-15 Jul 2011.

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