Comparing and Implementing Alternative Work Structures - Installation of Door Frames

Cynthia C.Y. Tsai1 & Iris D. Tommelein2

1Ph.D. Candidate, Civil and Envir. Engrg. Department, 215 McLaughlin Hall, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712, USA, Mobile: 510/593-4884, FAX: 510/643-8919, ccytsao@alum.calberkeley.org
2Professor, Civil and Envir. Engrg. Department, 215-A McLaughlin Hall, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712, USA, 510/643-8678, FAX: 510/643-8919, tommelein@ce.berkeley.edu

Abstract

For each new project, supply chain participants (SCPs) must decide whether to adopt a ‘tried and true’ past work structure or an alternative that involves designing and building perhaps using an unfamiliar approach. Significant risks but also rewards may be associated with using different work structures. Conservative SCPs therefore favor work structures that involve no change or only incremental change, as opposed to radical change. Often, a project’s tight budget and schedule induce SCPs to use only the ‘tried and true’ because the corresponding processes and outcomes are predictable. In addition, directions given to SCPs instruct them to design and build projects in a certain way, so it is difficult to consider building projects any differently, especially if the current method works. If one SCP sees an opportunity for improvement with an alternative work structure, others remain to be convinced that it is an opportunity before they will help obtain approvals and manage implementation. This paper describes such a case. It presents ways to characterize and compare work structure alternatives. SCPs might use similar comparisons to guide their selection of work structures on future projects.

Keywords

Work structuring, process design, product design, supply chain management, door frame installation, precast concrete wall installation, caulking, grouting, design build, project management, change management, first-run study

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Reference

Tsai, C.C. & Tommelein, I.D. 2002, 'Comparing and Implementing Alternative Work Structures - Installation of Door Frames' In:, Formoso, C.T. & Ballard, G., 10th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Gramado, Brazil, 6-8 Aug 2002.

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