Management of Preconstruction Using Lean: An Exploratory Study of the Bidding Process

Justin Reginato1 & Thais da C. L. Alves2

1Assistant Professor, Construction Management Program, Department of Civil Engineering, California State University Sacramento, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA, 95819-6029, USA, Phone +1 916/278-6592,
2Assistant Professor, J.R. Filanc Construction Engineering and Management Program, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, 92182-1324, USA, Phone +1 619/594-8289,


The study of office-related activities and their management in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry has been overlooked in the construction management literature. With that in mind, the authors of the present paper call attention to the need to manage information and shield projects from variation starting from the initial stages when service providers are chosen in projects where competitive bidding is used. The nurturing proposition of this paper is that regardless of the project delivery method being used, Lean Construction concepts can be used to shield projects against risk and unintended variation brought to projects due to the nature of the competitive bidding process. The paper presents a series of practical examples of how preconstruction office activities and documents are often handled in the AEC and discusses these examples vis-à-vis Lean Construction concepts and practices aiming to promote continuous flow. This exploratory study illustrates how the use of lean techniques in the bidding phase might facilitate the screening of subcontractors in hard bid environments, and contribute to reducing project risk and uncertainty, regardless of the delivery method. The paper concludes with practical recommendations regarding the management of bidding activities and topics that merit further investigation.


Preconstruction, office activities, bid process, making ready process, pull planning



Reginato, J. & Alves, T.D.C.L. 2012, 'Management of Preconstruction Using Lean: An Exploratory Study of the Bidding Process' 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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