A Theory of Workplace Planning: General Principles and a Management Steering Model

Ari Pennanen1, Michael Whelton2 & Glenn Ballard3

1Ph.D., Department of Architecture, University ofTampere, Finland. Project Manager and Workplace Planner, Haahtela Group, Helsinki, Finland, ari.pennanen@haahtela.fi
2Ph.D., Engineering & Project Management Program, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, USA, mwhelton@uclink.berkeley.edu
3Associate Adjunct Professor, Engineering & Project Management Program, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, USA, ballard@ce.berkeley.edu

Abstract

This paper presents a theory of workplace planning and a steering model to support the management of the facility planning process. The theory links workplace planning to production, not only to construction production, but also to the organization's general strategy. A spatial investment in an operation competes for the same resources as the other investments in the operations. Spaces are the scene of a temporal flow of operations and nonuse time. If waste of space for unneeded operations and waste of non-use-time can be reduced, more resources will be available for the other investments in operations, spatial or non-spatial. In the TFV theory of production value generation is viewed as a process where value for the customer is created through fulfillment of his requirements. This research suggests that also requirement identification should be included in production. Workplace planning is a process where valuable requirements for workplace production are determined through evaluating the values of stakeholders against the organization's strategy. The product of workplace planning for the rest of construction is the stakeholders commitment. The customer workplace is linked to a complex social system. The proposed steering model is based on dialogue between strategic and operational management. It is an application of closed loop control which operates on rapid feedback between stakeholders. The process encourages learning, group working and transparency. The steering model includes a procedure that models the customer's need for space based on the temporal and geometric factors. It gives the room schedule, functional possibilities and utilization degrees. It underlines accountability between decisions and outcomes. Achieving a final commitment of an organization is an iterative process of commitments, withdrawals and new approaches. The commitment drivers have been studied for steering model purposes.

Keywords

Commitment, complex systems, customer purpose, management steering, project definition, value generation, workplace planning.

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Reference

Pennanen, A. , Whelton, M. & Ballard, G. 2004, 'A Theory of Workplace Planning: General Principles and a Management Steering Model' In:, Bertelsen, S. & Formoso, C.T., 12th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Helsingør, Denmark, 3-5 Aug 2004.

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