ORGANIZING TO INTRODUCE LEAN PRACTICES IN CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES

Luis Fernando Alarcón, Sven Diethelm

Abstract


This paper describes organizational issues addressed by seven companies in their attempt to introduce “LeanConstruction” practices and techniques in their organizations. Seven Chilean construction companies are currentlydeveloping a collaborative research and implementation effort to improve their competitiveness in the local an internationalmarket. These companies have committed to develop several activities together: a) The implementation of methods toidentify and reduce waste in construction projects, b) The development and implementation of a performance measuringsystem for internal and external benchmarking, and c) Implementation of the “Last Planner” concepts in their projectplanning systems. The paper provides an overview of the research and implementation activities and then focus onorganizational and management issues faced by the companies during this project. The organizational approach of each ofthe companies is described together with their successes and failures, in an early stage of the project. These findings arecompared with others reported in the literature in an effort to identify the ingredients of the most successful strategies.

Keywords


Change management; lean construction; human resource management; improvement organization.

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