So far, Lean Construction has exerted a far greater influence on the production aspect of construction than on its design. However, Koskela and Ballard – the authors of what are to date the two most influential contributions to come from Lean Construction – both regard their respective input as no less relevant to one of these aspects than to the other. The theory hypothesis of this paper is that Lean Construction and the Last Planner SystemTM principles are equally relevant to design and production in construction. The study is based on the design process in design-build contracts, where design is partly carried out in parallel with construction, and the completion date is fixed. Literature studies of the design process indicate that the hypothesis is partly true. However, the findings of this paper indicate that the design process has certain characteristics that makes it fundamentally different from the production process. This paper argues that the design process should be defined as consisting of three phases, involving three different management strategies. The decision making process is identified as an integral part of the design process. A relationship between design and production plans, and six preconditions for the constraints analysis in design processes, are proposed.
Design management in construction, Preconditions for design, Decision making.