Implementing Lean on Capital Projects

Glenn Ballard1 & Yong-Woo Kim2

1Associate Adjunct Professor, University of California, Berkeley. [email protected]
2Assistant Professor, Construction Management and Engineering Program, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 1 Forestry Dr, Syracuse, NY 13135.


This paper reports the findings of a research project commissioned by the Construction Industry Institute (U.S.A.) to discover the secrets of successful implementation of lean principles and methods on capital projects. Findings were drawn primarily from a review of the literature and from case studies. The best prospects for successful implementation were found in those projects driven by organizations committed to being lean enterprises; i.e., pursuing the lean ideal in accordance with lean principles, and using the best available tools and methods. As regards project implementation, findings and the corresponding recommendations are provided for contractual and organizational structures, project definition, design, supply, assembly and post project learning.


Implementation, lean, lean enterprise, lean project delivery



Ballard, G. & Kim, Y. 2007. Implementing Lean on Capital Projects, 15th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 88-97.

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