A Lean Strategy to Performance Measurement – Reducing Waste by Measuring ‘Next’ Customer Needs

Michelle S. Leong1 & Paul Tilley2

1Director, Lean Practitioners Ltd. Leckford, Crookes Lane, Kewstoke, W-S-M BS22 9XB, UK Phone +44 845 8673788, Mobile +44 7935 312214, [email protected]
2Teaching Fellow, School of Engineering, Physics & Mathematics, University of Dundee; UK. Phone +44 1382 385103; [email protected]


Despite the odd victory here and there, the construction industry is continuing to be seen by many as a poor performer – especially considering the advances being made in other industries. It is the authors’ belief that this is due (to a large extent) from a gateway waste of not measuring and/or using wrong, inappropriate or insufficient measures for performance appraisal. By identifying and using appropriate measures for benchmarking performance, both quick wins and long-term process improvements can be achieved, as better knowledge helps to identify the right direction and focus areas for investing in improvement efforts. The aim of this paper is to briefly discuss current performance measurement (or lack there of) within the construction industry and through the use of a simple case study example, identify some of the waste and repercussions of either not measuring or using inadequate/inappropriate measures or targets. The paper also aims to explore the notion of measuring NEXT customer needs – as part of a lean performance measurement strategy – in order to try to achieve end user customer satisfaction. A case study example involving the RFI process is then used to illustrate the authors’ belief that tailoring measures according to NEXT customer needs will assist in driving behaviour towards end user value, improving performance, reducing waste and contributing directly to the bottom line.


data collection, construction, lean, measures, NEXT customer, systems thinking, value, value demand, failure demand



Leong, M. S. & Tilley, P. 2008. A Lean Strategy to Performance Measurement – Reducing Waste by Measuring ‘Next’ Customer Needs, 16th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 757-768. doi.org/

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