Top Down vs. Bottom Up Approaches Regarding the Implementation of Lean Construction Through a French Case Study

Fabrice Berroir11, Lahcène Harbouche22 & Conrad Boton33

1R&D Engineer, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, fabrice.berroir@list.lu
2R&D Project Manager, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, lahcène.harbouche@list.lu
3Postdoctoral Researcher, Ecole de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal, conrad.boton@gmail.com

Abstract

In order to sustainably reduce wastes on construction sites, companies need to know where they should start their Lean journey and how the different Lean tools can practically be used together. Based on a two years research project in Paris involving 15 construction sites of a major French company, this paper compares a top down and a bottom up implementation approach. During the first part of the project, Lean actions were decided by top managers using company-wide indicators. The focus was put on 5S programs in order to bring stability, to introduce Lean thinking on sites and because it is traditionally described as a part of the foundation of the “Lean House”. In contrast, during the second part of the project, each use of Lean tool (5S, quality control, Last Planner System) was decided with sites crews according to local measures. Implementation methods, performances, commitment of the crews and sustainability of both approaches are discussed using case studies in order to provide practical recommendations on the use of Lean tools. Ultimately the paper shows how digital technologies can support field implementation by improving data collection and decision making.

Keywords

Lean construction, 5S, Last planner system, Field implementation.

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Reference

Berroir1, F. , Harbouche2, L. & Boton3, C. 2015, 'Top Down vs. Bottom Up Approaches Regarding the Implementation of Lean Construction Through a French Case Study' 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 73-82

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