Achieving Lean Design Using Design Interface Management Tool

Senthilkumar Venkatachalam1, Koshy Varghese2 & C.Y. Shivaji3

1Research Scholar, Civil Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India -600036, Tel:+91-44–22575255, Fax:+91-44-2257 4252, Email:
2Professor, BTCM Division, Civil Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India – 600036, Tel: +91 -44 -22574257, Fax:+91-44-22574252, Email:
3Deputy General Manager (Design), DIAL Project, L&T ECC, Delhi, India, Tel: +91 - 44 – 2257 5255, Fax: +91 - 44 - 2257 4252, Email:


The design and construction on infrastructure projects were earlier done in sequence. However, the rapid rise in the infrastructure requirements and accelerated project schedules produced tremendous pressure on the construction organizations to adopt concurrent and fast-track techniques. This resulted in suboptimal utilization of resources and increased wastes to meet the schedule in the construction and design phases. Lean principles are used to plan the wastes reduction in the construction phase which was a common demand in the past. Research studies show that the design phase has more impact on the overall project planning and wastes reduction than the subsequent phases. Many methods have been devised to plan the design phases. Of these, the Design Structure Matrix (DSM) has shown a lot of application potential. This paper discusses a server based DSM tool called ‘diMs’ implemented on a design project to achieve lean design through managing the processes. The paper also discusses the waste reduction using ‘diMs’ tool compared with the conventional design practices with an example case study.


Lean design, DDSM, diMs, design interface management.



Venkatachalam, S. , Varghese, K. & Shivaji, C. 2009, 'Achieving Lean Design Using Design Interface Management Tool' In:, Cuperus, Y. & Hirota, E.H., 17th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Taipei, Taiwan, 15-17 Jul 2009. pp 533-542

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