Application of Lean Construction Principles in Product Development Process Modelling

Patricia Tzortzopoulos1 & Mike Kagioglou2

1Architect, M.Sc., Ph.D. candidate, School of Construction and Property Management, University of Salford, Bridgewater Building, Salford, Greater Manchester, M7 1NU, UK, Tel:+ 44 (0161) 2954284 FAX + 44 (0161) 2954587, e-mail: p.tzortzopoulos@pgr.salford.ac.uk
2Centre manager, University of Salford, Salford Centre for Research and Innovation (SCRI) in the Built and Human Environment, Meadow Road, Salford, M7 1NU, UK, FAX + 44 (0161) 2954587, e-mail: m.kagioglou@salford.ac.uk

Abstract

Several studies have pointed out the importance of the product development process in terms of improving the performance of the construction industry. Product development management is difficult because it involves thousands of decisions with numerous interdependencies, under a highly uncertain environment. This has led to the development of a number of initiatives in research and practice aiming at improving the product development process. Process models have been devised, which are useful in understanding how the process develops and suggesting ways of controlling it. Unfortunately, the implementation of these models and methodologies in practice is very slow and until now there are no major improvements resulting from these solutions. One of the reasons for this is the lack of understanding that any new product development process needs to be managed as part of a change programme within companies. The aim of this article is to present an analysis on the application of lean construction principles to product development modelling in real life settings. This discussion is based on empirical data collected in one case study that focused on the importance of integrating any new product development process within a change management framework. The case study involved the assessment of the development and implementation of a product development process model within a construction company from different perspectives, including the utilisation of information technology.

Keywords

Product development, process modelling, lean principles

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Reference

Tzortzopoulos, P. & Kagioglou, M. 2003, 'Application of Lean Construction Principles in Product Development Process Modelling' In:, 11th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Virginia, USA, 1-.

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