Experience and Results From Implementing Lean Construction in a Large Danish Contracting Firm

Mikkel Andreas Thomassen1, Dag Sander2, Kristine Ann Barnes3 & Anni Nielsen4

1mlt@mthojgaard.dk, MT Højgaard A/S,
2dsa@mthojgaard.dk, MT Højgaard A/S
3kab@mthojgaard.dk, MT Højgaard A/S
4nil@mthojgaard.dk, MT Højgaard A/S

Abstract

MT Højgaard – the largest contracting firm in Denmark – has in a number of years worked seriously with implementing Lean Construction. Lean methods have been used on more than 30 completed or ongoing construction projects. This paper takes stock of the experience and results obtained in the implementation process by presenting the main findings in our 2002 annual report on lean construction. The outline is as follows. First, an overview of the implementation of Lean Construction in MT Højgaard is given. This implementation consists of well-known lean methods such as “last planner” and “look ahead”, but more idiosyncratic methods are also presented in this section. For instance, the introduction of a new role on the building site (the “process manager”) and an IT-tool supporting lean-planning (called “PlanLog”). The number of lean projects performed in MT Højgaard provides an excellent opportunity for presenting aggregate data. Thus, second, the paper examines on a project level how the application of lean methods affects benchmarks such as profit (level and predictability), safety, client satisfaction and administrative costs. These preliminary data suggests that all parties can benefit from using LC. Among others, profit is increased for the main contractor as well as for the subcontractors and the workforce on the building site experiences an improvement in the working environment. The final section briefly explores some perspectives for the use of lean in MT Højgaard. In particular the possibility of using lean ideas in the design phase is raised.

Keywords

Lean Construction, Benchmarking, safety, Lean Design

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Reference

Thomassen, M.A. , Sander, D. , Barnes, K.A. & Nielsen, A. 2003, 'Experience and Results From Implementing Lean Construction in a Large Danish Contracting Firm' In:, 11th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Virginia, USA, 1-.

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