Strategic Issues in Lean Construction Implementation

Jose de Paula Barros Neto1 & Thais da C.L. Alves2

1Professor, Structural Engineering and Construction Department, Federal University of Ceará, Campus do Pici, s/n, Bloco 710, Pici, CEP: 60455-760, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, jpbarros@ufc.br
2Assistant Professor, Structural Engineering and Construction Department, Federal University of Ceará, Campus do Pici, s/n, Bloco 710, Pici, CEP: 60455-760, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, thaiscla@yahoo.com

Abstract

The paper discusses topics on production strategy and the need for proper definition of strategic goals before the implementation of Lean Production/Construction in construction companies. This research was motivated by two main reasons. The first reason is that few papers in the construction management literature tackle the relationship between strategic issues and Lean, even at IGLC conferences. The second is that construction companies seem to have implemented Lean in operational levels starting from tools and principles with low level of complexity without actually linking these to the companies’ strategic goals. Without proper strategic orientation Lean implementation may fail like other initiatives to improve companies’ performance. The research method used in this investigation comprised three phases: literature review, field research, and interviews with specialists and managers in construction companies. The authors carried out a research on a group of construction companies that have been implementing Lean in their construction sites and looked for evidences that link operational action to strategic planning. The paper concludes with the results of the cross analysis between the cases and the interviews as well as recommendations to assure proper engagement between Lean and strategic issues in construction companies.

Keywords

Strategy, production strategy, lean construction implementation.

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Reference

Neto, J.D.P.B. & Alves, T.D.C. 2007, 'Strategic Issues in Lean Construction Implementation' In:, Pasquire, C.L, C.L. & Tzortzopoulos, P., 15th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. East Lansing, Michigan, USA, 18-20 Jul 2007. pp 78-87

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