Positive Vs. Negative Iteration in Design

Glenn Ballard1

1Research Director, Lean Construction Institute, 4536 Fieldbrook Road, Oakland, CA 94619, 888/771-9207, FAX 510/530-2048, [email protected]; Lecturer, Civil and Envir. Engrg. Department, 215-A McLaughlin Hall, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712


Iteration is essential for generating value in design processes. However, not all iteration generates value. Iteration that can be eliminated without value loss is waste. Moving towards lean design requires a better understanding of both value generation and waste reduction. This paper contributes to the development of lean design by examining how waste can be reduced through elimination of negative iteration. Preliminary research findings are presented regarding such design management techniques as reduced batch sizing and set-based design. Future research is proposed.


Iteration, lean design, set-based design, value, value generation, value loss, waste



Ballard, G. 2000. Positive Vs. Negative Iteration in Design, 8th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , -. doi.org/

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