Lean Principles and the Construction Main Flows

Flavio A. Picchi1

1Consultant, Picchi Consultoria S/C Ltda, R. Vergueiro, 3086 cj. 112 - São Paulo - CEP 04102-001, Brazil, +55-11-570-9613, FAX +55-11-570-9613, piccon@xpnet.com.br. Starting on July 2000, the author will be developing and applying some of the ideas presented in this paper in a research project, at MIT, in collaboration with Lean Enterprise Institute.


This paper will discuss the five lean principles (value, value stream, flow, pull, perfection) and some specific construction characteristics, proposing three main flows for the analysis of construction: business, job site and supply flows. In manufacturing, the three flows (from order to cash, from concept to launch, from raw materials to customer) can be well characterized inside one plant, inside one corporation, or within the total value chain. Considering the total value stream in construction, "from order to cash" has an strong interface with the cycle "from concept to launch". This cycle was named "Business Flow", or "from business concept to keys delivery", and includes the design flow as a sub-flow. The "raw materials to customer" main cycles are: the "Supply Flow" (within the total value stream) and the "Job Site Flow" (door to door on a job site).


Lean principles, flow, lean construction.



Picchi, F.A. 2000, 'Lean Principles and the Construction Main Flows' In:, 8th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Brigthon, UK, 17-19 Jul 2000.

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