Employing the Principle of “Going and Seeing” to Construction

Mike Samudio1, Thais da C.L. Alves2 & David Chambers3

1Senior Project Manager, Rudolph and Sletten, 10955 Vista Sorrento Parkway, Suite 100, San Diego, CA, 92130, U.S.A. [email protected]
2Assistant Professor, J.R. Filanc Construction Engineering and Management Program, Dept. of Civil, Constr., and Envir. Engrg., San Diego State University, [email protected]
3Concrete General Foreman, Rudolph and Sletten, [email protected]


The paper describes the team’s journey from learning about the main production problems to going and seeing in the field how to improve operations and plan reliability in a large laboratory project replacement in San Diego, CA. Analyzing root causes the team realized the two categories that reduced reliability were over-committing and revising the plan. The counter measures employed improved performance in these categories, which improved reliability of meeting scheduled commitments. However, unexpectedly cycle times for concrete wall pours increased. In order to solve the problem, the team employed the principle of “going and seeing” to gather relevant information to make informed decisions. The production line was observed for several hours a day, performance was measured, and barriers to flow were documented. The result of “going and seeing” brought the team closer to managing the project as a production line. The data collected provided insight to the contributing factors to production cycle times including wait time, inventory, and rework. Tools employed to track the data included value stream maps and employee feedback to inform project planning. This provided the necessary balance to complement the implementation of Last Planner on this hard bid federal project.


Go and see, Gemba, Last Planner System™, value stream map, laboratory building



Samudio, M. , Alves, T. C. & Chambers, D. 2011. Employing the Principle of “Going and Seeing” to Construction, 19th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , -. doi.org/

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