Using System Dynamics Modeling as a Lean Construction Work Structuring Tool

Mohamed A. El-Gafy1 & Tariq Abdelhamid2

1Assistant Professor, 114 Human Ecology, Construction Management Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1323. Email: elgafy@msu.edu
2Associate Professor, 116 Human Ecology, Construction Management Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1323. Email: tariq@msu.edu

Abstract

Discrete Event Simulation has been advanced in the construction literature as a tool to design construction operations while incorporating performance variability to arrive at more realistic durations and cost estimates. This tool can enable Lean Construction work structuring (LWS), which is concerned with the selection and sequencing of work methods during the product design stage. LWS is “thinking production process during the product design stage”. This paper introduces system dynamics as a quantitative approach for LWS wherein an operation is designed and analyzed for effectiveness of production strategies before implementation. System Dynamics evaluates the actions in terms of dependencies and feedback loops among process variables. The proposed modeling approach will be qualitatively demonstrated and discussed using a bricklaying operation to illustrate the benefits of the proposed methodology.

Keywords

lean construction, lean work structuring, discrete event simulation, dynamic system modeling, simulation,

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Reference

El-Gafy, M.A. & Abdelhamid, T. 2008, 'Using System Dynamics Modeling as a Lean Construction Work Structuring Tool' In:, Tzortzopoulos, P. & Kagioglou, M., 16th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Manchester, UK, 16-18 Jul 2008. pp 121-130

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