Transparency, Process Mapping and Environmentally Sustainable Building

Leidy Klotz1 & Michael Horman2

1Research Assistant, Institute for Technology and Management in Construction (TMB), University of Karlsruhe, Am Fasanengarten, D-76128 Karlsruhe, Germany


As Toyota’s production system matured, line managers made important use of visual controls with their kanban system and andon boards. Since encapsulated as transparency, these systems were remarkable for their ability to convey the wellbeing of production at any moment. This paper describes research investigating the impact of process mapping on transparency. This research will help determine whether process mapping may be a valuable tool to assist sustainable project delivery – where transparency is a key requirement. This paper has several contributions. First, a working definition of transparency based on lean theory is developed. A literature review follows that, using the framework provided by the transparency definition, presents evidence of transparency-related benefits provided by process mapping. Finally, the current progress and future plans of an ongoing project examining the relationships between transparency, process mapping, and sustainable project delivery at Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant (OPP) are described. Specifically, the development of process maps and a methodology to study their transparency impacts at OPP are discussed.


Sustainability, transparency, project delivery, process mapping.



Klotz, L. & Horman, M. 2007. Transparency, Process Mapping and Environmentally Sustainable Building, 15th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 322-331.

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