Organizing to Introduce Lean Practices in Construction Companies

Luis F. Alarcon1 & Sven Diethelm2

1Universidad Católica de Chile, Escuela de Ingeniería, Casilla 306, Correo 22, Santiago, Chile, e-mail: lalarcon@ing.puc.cl
2Universidad Católica de Chile, Escuela de Ingeniería, Casilla 306, Correo 22, Santiago, Chile, e-mail: sdiethel@ing.puc.cl

Abstract

This paper describes organizational issues addressed by seven companies in their attempt to introduce “Lean Construction” practices and techniques in their organizations. Seven Chilean construction companies are currently developing a collaborative research and implementation effort to improve their competitiveness in the local and international market. These companies have committed to develop several activities together: a) The implementation of methods to identify and reduce waste in construction projects, b) The development and implementation of a performance measuring system for internal and external benchmarking, and c) Implementation of the “Last Planner” concepts in their project planning systems. The paper provides an overview of the research and implementation activities and then focus on organizational and management issues faced by the companies during this project. The organizational approach of each of the companies is described together with their successes and failures, in an early stage of the project. These findings are compared with others reported in the literature in an effort to identify the ingredients of the most successful strategies.

Keywords

Change management; lean construction; human resource management, improvement organization.

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Reference

Alarcon, L.F. & Diethelm, S. 2001, 'Organizing to Introduce Lean Practices in Construction Companies' In:, Ballard, G. & Chua, D., 9th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Singapore, Singapore, 6-8 Aug 2001.

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