Critical Review of the Potential for the Implementation of Lean in the Nigerian Building Industry

Ograbe Ahiakwo1, David Oloke2, Subashini Suresh3 & Jamal Khatib4

1BTech, MSc, PhD Student in Built Environment, School of Technology, University of Wolverhampton, Wulfruna Str. Wolverhampton WV1 1LY United Kingdom,+44(0)1902321271, ograbe.ahiakwo@wlv.ac.uk
2BEng, MSc, PhD, Snr. Consultant-Built Environment, School of Technology, University of Wolverhampton, Wulfruna Str. Wolverhampton WV1 1LY, United Kingdom +44(0)1902322273, d.a.oloke@wlv.ac.uk
3BEng, MEng, PhD, Principal Lecturer, School of Technology, University of Wolverhampton, Wulfruna Str. Wolverhampton WV1 1LY, United Kingdom +44(0)1902321710, s.subashini@wlv.ac.uk
4BEng, MEng, PhD, Reader in Civil Engineering Material, Built Environment, University of Wolverhampton, School of Technology, Wulfruna Street, WV1 1LY, United Kingdom, +44(0)1902518588, j.m.khatib@wlv.ac.uk

Abstract

The concept of Lean Construction has been observed to improve workflow reliability, planning and control, particularly in developed and emerging countries like USA, UK, Korea and Brazil. It has been a useful means of achieving project duration reduction and improved cost and quality performance. Predominantly, the Last Planner System, process mapping and other collaborative planning tools of lean construction were utilised in these projects and they accounted for the successes of these projects. However, within under developed and a few developing countries the situation is slightly more at variance. Using Nigeria as a case study for example, the general perception at the moment is that the building industry is mainly characterised by poor project definitions, incomplete project designs and waste generation resulting in uncompleted building projects or poorly completed ones. This paper commences with a review of how lean was applied and why it was successful in the countries identified by previous studies. It then progresses to further review what is currently obtainable in the Nigerian building industry. This then led to a process of addressing the applicability of lean tools within the Nigerian building industry. The results from the review reveal the potential for the application of lean tools within the industry. Sequel to this, the author proposes that Last Planner System of lean be implemented via action research within building industry of Nigeria. It is on the basis of this that further research is being proposed to address this concern.

Keywords

lean construction, Last Planner, Nigeria, workflow

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Reference

Ahiakwo, O. , Oloke, D. , Suresh, S. & Khatib, J. 2012, 'Critical Review of the Potential for the Implementation of Lean in the Nigerian Building Industry' In:, Tommelein, I.D. & Pasquire, C.L., 20th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. San Diego, USA, 18-20 Jul 2012.

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