Implementing Lean Construction: Understanding and Action

Greg Howell1 & Glenn Ballard2

1Adjunct Professor at Boise State and Virginia Tech.; Executive Director of the Lean Construction Institute, [email protected]
2Lecturer at U.C. Berkeley and Research Director for the Lean Construction Institute, [email protected]


Lean thinking is a new way to manage construction. Born in manufacturing, the goals demand a new way to coordinate action, one that is applicable to industries far removed from manufacturing. Implementation requires action be shaped by a deeper understanding of the goals and techniques. This paper explains the implications of the goals and key production principles, and how when taken together they result in a different way to manage construction. Implementing lean in construction then becomes a matter of developing and acting on this new knowledge. Advice on implementation is offered.


Lean construction, implementation, project management.



Howell, G. & Ballard, G. 1998. Implementing Lean Construction: Understanding and Action, 6th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , -.

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