Using Lean to Counteract Complexity

Antonio N. de Miranda Filho1, Luiz F. M. Heineck2 & Jorge Moreira da Costa3

1Civil Engineer, Ph.D., CEO, Construtora Santo Amaro Ltda., Fortaleza, CearĂ¡, Brazil,
2Civil Engineer, Ph.D., Senior Professor, Business Administration Department, CearĂ¡ State University (UECE), Brazil.
3Civil Engineer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Porto (FEUP), Portugal,


Based on a literature review and drawing from the experience of lean implementation in multiple construction projects, this paper explores the notion that simplicity and integrality might be crucial for any production system seeking to develop competences against variations derived from both internal and external sources. A discussion using different systems thinking approaches is conducted to provide a better understanding of the volatile behaviour of complex organizations. The aim is to encourage initiatives that address organizational simplicity and integrality in construction projects and, more important, to highlight the important role of lean tools and principles for this endeavour.


Systems thinking, organizational complexity, production system design, lean tools



Filho, A.N.D.M. , Heineck, L.F.M. & Costa, J.M.D. 2016, 'Using Lean to Counteract Complexity' In:, 24th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Boston, USA, 20-22 Jul 2016.

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