A Case Study on Design Science Research as a Methodology for Developing Tools to Support Lean Construction Efforts

James P. Smith1

1Assistant Professor, Department of Construction Science and Management, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, jps7@clemson.edu

Abstract

Effective application of lean theory in construction generally requires tools and/or processes to facilitate implementation. Last Planner System®, A 3 problem solving, plus/delta and pull scheduling sessions are a few examples. These kinds of tools assist construction participants in making the shift from abstract theories to project application. As innovation in this area is constantly occurring in the lean community, methodologies for developing new tools warrant consideration and testing. Design Science Research (DSR) is a methodology that was strongly recommended by facilitators during the 2012 International Group for Lean Construction Summer School program in San Diego, CA. This paper uses a project that attempted to develop a trust-building tool as a case study to analyze the effectiveness of DSR as a methodology. The results of the project show support for the continued application of DSR methodology in the development of tools and processes supporting lean construction efforts. It was determined that the flexibility and iterative evaluation loop inherent to DSR were effective at providing a framework for the tool created in the case study project. However, the comparative need for time associated with iteration may limit interested researchers’ ability to apply DSR to future projects.

Keywords

Lean construction, action learning, process, design science research, constructive research.

Files

Reference

Smith, J.P. 2015, 'A Case Study on Design Science Research as a Methodology for Developing Tools to Support Lean Construction Efforts' In:, Seppänen, O., González, V.A. & Arroyo, P., 23rd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Perth, Australia, 29-31 Jul 2015. pp 517-526

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