Accelerating the Adoption of Lean Thinking in the Construction Industry

Dawn Naney1, Clay Goser2 & Marcelo Azambuja3

1CEO, Symphony LLC, Saint Louis, MO, 63129, USA, Phone +1 314/691-7109,
2President, Symphony LLC, Saint Louis, MO, 63129, USA, Phone +1 314/691-7109,
3Assistant Professor, Dept. of Construction, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL, 62026, USA, Phone +1 618/650-3845,


If the construction industry seeks to increase the adoption of process improvement means, methods and technologies, organizations must concentrate on understanding the nature of the change and influence the team participant’s ability to identify, accept, and implement innovative ideas and technologies. This paper introduces the Gartner’s Hype Cycle model as applied to change adoption of Lean Thinking in construction. Gartner’s Hype Cycle is a graphic representation of the maturity, adoption, and social application of specific technologies. By examining Gartner’s five phases of adoption, one can identify interesting similarities to the construction industry’s acceptance of lean practices, organizational process change, and the ability to inform strategies to increase the speed of adoption. Our findings suggest that organizations can decrease time spent in the “Trough of Disillusionment” and accelerate the successful adoption of new process strategies such as Lean Thinking and Integrated Project Delivery and new technologies such as Building Information Modeling and collaborative tools through focused alignment and engagement. Recommended studies on team alignment and engagement and the impact on project process and outcome success measures will be suggested as venues to further research in this arena.


Lean Thinking, Transformation, Tipping Point, Gartner’s Hype Cycle



Naney, D. , Goser, C. & Azambuja, M. 2012, 'Accelerating the Adoption of Lean Thinking in the Construction 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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