Reduction of Work-in-Progress in the Construction Environment

Aguinaldo Santos1, James Andrew Powell2 & Marjan Sarshar3

1Lecturer at the Civil Engineering Postgraduate Programme, Paraná Federal University, Jardim das Américas C.P: 19011 CEP: 81531-990, Curitiba, Paraná, Brasil Fax: 005541 2669174 Phone: 0055 322 3535 ext: 6402,
2Professor and Director of the Academic Enterprise. The University of Salford, M54WT, England, Fax: 0044 2955999, Phone: 0044 2955000, ,
3Lecturer at the Bridgewater Building M54WT Salford School of Construction and Property Management, The University of Salford, England, Fax: 0044 295 5011, Phone: 0044 161 295 5317


“Reduction of work-in-progress” is one of the core heuristic approaches for reducing production cycle time according to modern production management theories. However, traditional management sees production as a transformation of inputs and outputs and, thus, usually ignores the large quantities of waste generated by excessive work-in-progress. In this context, this research has investigated the degree in which English and Brazilian construction companies currently apply this heuristic in construction. The analysis of empirical evidence confirmed that “reduction of work-in-progress” is not well understood among construction managers and there is great misunderstanding regarding the actual effects of work-in-progress on cycle time. The high process variability, the sequential mode of production and poor interface design between processes were major factors contributing to the poor performance of case studies in this respect.


Reduction of Cycle Time, Reduction of Work-in-progress, Lean Production



Santos, A. , Powell, J.A. & Sarshar, M. 2000, 'Reduction of Work-in-Progress in the Construction Environment' In:, 8th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Brigthon, UK, 17-19 Jul 2000.

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