Construction projects are known to be complex, due to being subject to uncertainty and variability. The use of buffers to protect them from the detrimental impact of variability has been well-researched. A key managerial choice is not whether or not to buffer variability, but rather how to define the necessary combination of buffers. Slack is a concept related to buffers but has been used in the literature to describe a broader range of strategies for coping with complexity. It allows an organisation to adapt to internal pressures for adjustment or to external pressures for change in policy. This paper aims to further develop the concept of slack and to unveil its relationships with other concepts and ideas that are partly overlapping such as buffers, resilience, robustness, flexibility, and redundancy. A concept map was devised in order to articulate the nature of the slack concept. This paper explores in detail this concept map and proposes a conceptual role for slack in the realm of Lean.
Slack, buffer, complexity, variability, uncertainty, concept map, waste
Formoso, C. , Tommelein, I. D. , Saurin, T. A. , Koskela, L. , Fireman, M. , Barth, K. , Bataglin, F. , Viana, D. , Coelho, R. , Singh, V. , Zani, C. , Ransolin, N. & Disconzi, C. 2021, 'Slack in Construction - Part 1: Core Concepts' In:, Proc. 29th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC). Lima, Peru, 14-16 Jul 2021. pp 187-196