Work-in-Process and Construction Project Information Flows

Chang-Sun Chin1

1Ph.D., Honorary Fellow, Construction Engineering and Management Program, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison, [email protected]


The inception and completion of the contractor’s tasks (i.e., physical production) rely on complete and prompt responses to related information from the design team. However, observations on processing times of Requests For Information (RFI), which is one of major construction project information flows, show that the processing times are unnecessarily long and that on-time response rates are low. The primary goal of this study is to investigate reason(s) for long information processing time from the production perspective. The study uses three similar projects in terms of the type of building, project budget, and construction duration, gathering actual RFI processing times and measuring key flow performance metrics in order to determine that the major reason for late RFI reviews is the high level of work-inprocess (WIP) in the system. To fortify this finding, the study conducts regression analyses, which show a strong correlation between the number of WIP (i.e., RFIs) and the number of delays. The study also analyzes what factors make the WIP level high and suggests possible solutions to reduce the level of WIP from the production perspective.


Delay, processing time, regression, request for information, work-in-process



Chin, C. 2009. Work-in-Process and Construction Project Information Flows, 17th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 257-266.

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