https://doi.org/10.24928/2017/0199

An Exploration of Compatibility of U.S. Army Culture and Lean Construction

Ralph T. Salazar1, Zofia K. Rybkowski2 & Glenn Ballard3

1Graduate Student, Department of Construction Science, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, 77843-3137 USA, ralph.salazar@tamu.edu (corresponding author)
2Associate Professor, Department of Construction Science, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA, 77843-3137, Ph :+1-979-845-4354, zrybkowski@tamu.edu
3Associate Professor, Department of Construction Science, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA, 77843-3137, Ph :+1-979-845-4354, zrybkowski@tamu.edu

Abstract

The culture of the United States Army has evolved significantly over the course of the service of the present generation of Soldiers. Through the implementation of Lean Management practices, and Six Sigma measurement and analysis tools, Army leaders are more able to competently perform a mission or accomplish a business goal. Through careful case study of previous missions, effort spent building learning organizations, and cultivating a culture of respect, leaders have discovered a formula to optimize unit performance. The keys to unlocking the benefits of Lean’s historically proven efficiency methods lie in changing the attitude and mindset of the Army’s workforce to effectively apply lean methods to the myriad projects and tasks that the citizens of the United States ask its Soldiers to perform every day. Cultural transformation must occur, however, in an unforgiving environment that poses significant threats to our national security, leaving very little margin for error in applying the new managerial methodology to both state-side and war-side operations. Using as its framework Jeffrey Liker’s Principles of Management described in The Toyota Way, this paper will explore the ways in which the U.S. Army is already equipped to implement lean, and those areas where more cultural evolution must take place to take full advantage of the philosophy. Viewing the Army culture as a whole, and then discussing more specifically Health Facility Development and Military Hospital Construction, the authors’ contention is that the U.S. Army and Lean Construction are more compatible than may appear at first glance.

Keywords

Lean Construction, Military Culture, Military Decision Making

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Reference

Salazar, R.T. , Rybkowski, Z.K. & Ballard, G. 2017, 'An Exploration of Compatibility of U.S. Army Culture and Lean Construction' In:, 25th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Heraklion, Greece, 9-12 Jul 2017. pp 405-412

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