Mapping of BIM Process for Teaching Lean

Shobha Ramalingam1

1Ph.D, Assistant Professor, National Institute for Construction Management and Research (NICMAR), Pune, Maharashtra, India. Email:


Value Stream Mapping (VSM), a Lean tool and Building Information Modelling (BIM) are two contemporary approaches that aim to reduce waste and enhance collaboration in the realization of construction projects. While the principles and practices of both are found to benefit construction processes; there are limited studies that elucidate their synergies and demonstrate the value for teaching lean in construction management programs. VSM visually maps a process and identifies areas for possible improvement. However, it is directly applicable on assembly line operations in a manufacturing industry, an environment which the civil engineering students may not be familiar with, and therefore require experiential learning. To this end, the process of conversion of 2- dimensional (2D) design drawings to a 3D building information model of a construction project was foremost captured through VSM technique in an experimental study consisting of 4 student teams. The action learning methodology allowed the teams to generate the current state map, identify wastes in the process and aim for an ideal future state through kaizen efforts and brainstorming sessions. The experiment helped to reinforce the VSM technique in teaching lean and allowed the students to present appropriate opportunities for improvement. Lessons learnt can further act as a stepping stone to benefit professionals in actual practice.


Value stream, Process improvement, Lean construction, Action learning, Teaching



Ramalingam, S. 2018, 'Mapping of BIM Process for Teaching Lean' In:, 26th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Chennai, India, 18-20 Jul 2018. pp 1291-1301

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