Effectiveness of lean management in construction
I am well aware of how congested the construction industry can be and I appreciate the time and effort they spared to be a part of the research. To conclude, I must thank my family and university colleagues to the continuous support and motivation to complete my studies even through struggle. Abstract The following report presents the results of the investigation into the effectiveness of lean management in construction and whether or not it makes real impacts to a project. The study focused on four elements which are implemented within lean management. These elements have been comprehensively defined in the study. However, the study confirmed that individuals do not have an in-depth understanding of the benefits Lean brings to even the smallest of construction projects for both short and long-term investments.
This study recommends that further research will provide a clear indication for management to use as lean as a tool. Operational definition of terms Lean Management: This is an approach to running an organization that supports the concept of continuous improvement, a long-term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality (Forbes and Syed, 45). Lean Project management: This is the comprehensive adaption of the other lean concepts, such as lean construction, lean manufacturing and lean ideas/thinking. These factors are integrated into a project management context (Forbes and Syed, 45). Owing to the fact that the entire project management aspect using lean management is a broad topic, this section presents four basic techniques of lean management that will be covered in the study.
Research Background Lean production was developed by Toyota and led by Engineer Ohno. He was a smart if not difficult individual who dedicated countless days to eliminating waste within his production. The term “lean” was coined by the research team working on international auto production to reflect both the waste reduction nature of the Toyota production system and to contrast it with craft and mass forms of production (Forbes and Syed, 45). Engineer Ohno shifted attention to the entire production system from the narrow focus of craft production on worker productivity and mass production on Machine. The four topics chosen are quality control using total quality management, planning and process improvement, productivity and workforce or teamwork management. Quality control using total quality management is a management principle that works by using TQM as a tool to improve the quality of management, construction phase and the final product.
Obtaining a good quality for the final product starts by setting better quality management schemes among the workers in the organisation. In construction, the quality of the final product depends on the manner in which he initial steps were carried out. For instance, in modular construction, the units cannot match properly if the engineer failed to effectively perform his assignments (Forbes and Syed, 230). In some instances, where managers are not keen on following up, workers may be productive in accomplishing tasks that may cause future collisions of schedules. Productivity can be brought to term by a management element known as delegation of duties. In a large project where many activities are progressing synchronously, a single manager may not be able to monitor all the activities.
The best way to handle such projects is to delegate duties to the other employees who can double up as supervisors (Forbes and Syed, 23). The workforce forms a very basic element of management. It will create an understanding of why firms implement lean management and the impacts it has on the projects. Once this objective has been met, it can then be presented to the firms and feedback will be given. To reflect on the attitude towards lean management, shown from a construction firm. The objective to reflect on the attitude of small construction firms will allow the report to state the position of the companies. By reflecting on the attitude, the report can critically analyse how easy implementing lean management can be.
It also defines the challenges faced during the research and other elements of research. Chapter 4: Results and discussions This chapter forms a very basic portion of this study. It presents the results obtained from the administered questionnaires, interviews and personal statement analysis. It also gives an evaluation and a conclusion of the findings based on statistical methods. Chapter 5: Conclusion and recommendation This portion of the study presents a summary about the findings and the researchers standpoint. Eliminating irrelevant activities which eat on time and resources also needs proper planning. Lean management is keen on improving the planning exercise in an organisation. Lean management is a new concept of management that can be applied in the construction industry (Salem, 165). Despite being a new management principle, it touches on the key areas which affect the initial design phase, the construction phase and the maintenance phase of the construction.
Other than touching on the basic components of managing a construction project, it also offers new concepts that can be used to handle these areas. tandfonline. com/doi/abs/10. 1080/01446190500521082 Increasing Productivity Focusing on the workforce, where managers increase the expectations of subordinates, leading to a boost in day-to-day productivity. · http://psycnet. apa. With the increase in interest on the techniques and methodology, the exponential growth of knowledge and research has led to many successful implementations to large construction projects. Several studies from a variety of countries confirm that waste within the industry represents a large percentage of production costs and waste can be divided into multiple definitions. However, as highlighted within the introduction, the types of waste will revolve around total quality management, planning and process improvement, productivity within the construction team and teamwork using lean management.
The definition of waste can be divided into two elements which define its relevance in the construction field as it pertains management. Firstly, waste relates to an activity. Small or medium construction projects have a significant impact on the construction sector, the implementation of the following methods within small or medium projects can ultimately lead to a reduction of waste, an increase of productivity, planning and process improvement and quality for the industry as a whole. This study aims to highlight the benefits and impacts of lean project management and whether the effects of lean project management has the similar effects with those within factory environments and manufacturing industry. Other than the benefits, it will also study the attitude construction companies have towards lean management methods and provide primary research to be analysed and critically appraised.
The findings established by the study can then be used by project managers as a resource to support the implementation of lean management to their project, as well as, provide a safety net into effectiveness of lean project management. Chapter Two-Literature Review Introduction Lean construction is a philosophy based on the concepts of lean manufacturing. The period used during the design process was also dependent on the complexity of the project. Projects that were more complex took a big deal of time in the design process. The introduction of CAD tools in the construction industry have made it possible for complex projects to be designed in a few days rather than months. Taking months in the design process was the case when the design was done manually.
Moreover, any corrections made on the drawings would mean that the drawing had to be redone. The concept of lean construction Luis Alarcon defines quality as a measure of conformance to specifications. These specifications may vary but they have an aim of ensuring that the user of the building gets the best quality for his money. For example, the specification may describe the minimum size of steel to be used, the minimum coats of paints that should be applied to a wall along-side the mixing ratio, the nature of bricks to be used on the wall and most importantly the concrete and mortar ration in the event the construction is using the traditional materials. In construction projects, quality has two dimensions.
There are several functions of specifications regarding the quality of the building. Such errors can be corrected by the coordination of the construction team in the design process. This makes it possible for a member in the team to identify an error which has not been identified by another member. This reduces the chances of corrections while the project is already on. This can be related to the context of management that implements lean management techniques such as Bill Smith’s Six Sigma. In this technique value will be increased due to the elimination of defects, hence; the quality. Casting of concrete is a conversion process while delivering concrete on site is a flow process. If by any chance, concrete delivery is delayed by any possible conditions, the casting will also be delayed.
Similarly, if the wrong mix is delivered, the casting will also be of a poor quality. In some cases, it may call for future demolition due to structural failure (Eaton, 277). As such, lean management does not only cast its wings in the construction site. Through the aspect of total quality management, lean construction recommends that all the workers ought to be qualified for the job they are handling. One of the formula of ensuring the workers have the set skills is through interviews and tests on practical skills since construction is a practical activity. Another method is establishing regular follow ups on the site activities to examine the degree of excellence at which the work is being handled. The construction industry is also rapidly changing in terms of materials and machines being used.
Lean management recommends the training of the work force in order to ensure they understand how to use the new materials or use the advanced machines (Forbes and Syed, 64). Appreciating professional expertise is a basic component of lean construction management. This facilitates the formation of an all-rounded team (Forbes and Syed, 65). Other aspects of waste include number of change orders, safety costs and excess consumption of materials. In most scenarios, the client, architect engineer, contractor and any other party to a construction project agree to implement a change in the project (Forbes and Syed, 223). Though changes are inevitable, they ought to be greatly reduced. Excessive consumption of materials is another contributor to waste in the construction industry. Material consumption is governed by the mix ratios.
If the batching is not done correctly, materials, especially cement, are used in excess of the anticipated and budgeted amount. This may push the contractor into incurring an extra cost of replacing the misused cement. Implementing lean construction; stabilizing work flow Glenn Ballard and Greg Howell establish that managers in the construction industry devote a tremendous amount of energy and resources to planning projects and developing the schedules, budgets and other requirements that collectively tell project personnel what they should do. Chapter Three-Research Methodology Introduction A general survey was carried out in Central Birmingham to assess how the effectiveness of lean management principles in the construction industry. Some secondary information such as the application of total quality management, waste reduction, planning and workforce management were also taken into consideration.
For the analysis of primary as well as secondary data, statistical methods were used to analyse and present the data obtained from the field. Project size This report will be based on the exploitation of lean project management and the benefits the techniques bring too small/medium construction projects. In order to increase accuracy, this report will base the size of the project by total financial resource available, number of team members involved, number and size of deliverables to be produced and timeframes involved in delivery (Project sizes). Primary data The research will be constructed on three different foundations of primary data. Method Description Example Questionnaire Using the idea of a questionnaire, there will be multiple questions on each of the four topic areas, covering the critical elements to create the study.
Also, after these questions, a small section of multiple choice will be added in order to get some quantitative data. The questionnaire will be administered to a number of different minor construction organisations within the midlands UK. [How familiar are you with lean project management methods? = 0(No) – 4(Very Familiar. (Ideas to eliminate waste using management tools. ) Figure 4: Tools of collecting primary data As stated previously, the lean management principles derive from a manufacturing background, therefore the effectiveness will vary when implementing similar qualities into construction. There are gaps within the literature in terms of lean project management within small organisations. The study will rely on the cooperation of these organisations in order to be successful and accurate. Reliability and validity of data collection instruments Validity refers to the phenomenon that the evidence presented by the data collected supports the projected result of the study (Mugenda, O.
The study will fail to represent the category within the industry therefore becoming inadequate and worthless. If this is the case, the results and conclusion cannot be implemented within real life scenarios. Ultimately, the study will have no benefit to the industry and cannot be used with companies currently in trade. However, with consideration of the location and facilities available, the accessibility of the data wanted should not be an issue. It is reasonable to comment that there was no 100% cooperation between the individual and the organisations asked to comply however there must be a majority. The study assumed that the persons and the construction sites involved in the study form a good representation of the required sample in collecting the required information.
Limitations Since this study was done in an urban setup and majorly in construction sites, it was hard to get people to volunteer as participants due to the busy nature of an urban environment. Secondly, the research had cost constraints that limited it into conducting the research using a few respondents which may not give a true result of what is truly happening in the real-life situation. Data analysis and Presentation The questionnaires were first examined to ensure they are consistently completed. Data from the questionnaires was coded and fed into the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) spreadsheet for analysis. It is also important to note that those unaware of the principles of lean management are interested in trying it out.
Management Challenges associated to waste of time and value depreciation There are several challenges that have been listed the interviewed professional on site. Some are common while others are specific. Delays in delivery was listed by 60% of the respondents. Damage on materials was also listed as a challenge by 60% of the respondents. All the four topics listed in this study were selected by different participants during the interview. These included the application of total quality management, workforce management, productivity improvement, as well as, planning and process improvement. This implied that the application of the tools used in lean manage worked to improve the effectiveness of talks in different sites differently. That is, while one site required total quality management to improve its performance, another firm required productivity and process improvement to make its performance better.
Importance of lean management in managing construction sites The result in this section were obtained from forty percent of the participants in this study. A five-point Likert scale was used to analyse the response of the participants in the survey. The scale was ranked from one (1) to five (5). One (1) represented the lowest degree while five (5) represented the highest degree. Alternatively, one (1) represented 0% while five represented 100%. The first questioned inquired about the response of the respondents concerning how they deemed the importance of the lean construction management to construction projects. It also implies that there is need for training in order to make the implementation of the management principles in lean management more practical. The last question sought to inquire on the impact of waste on construction sites.
The rate of the impact of waste on construction sites was ranked at an average 84%. This average was attained from all respondents since the impact of waste was an independent question which did not depend on the knowledge of the respondent on lean management. The results obtained from this section were very useful in establishing the quantitative result about the study. Lean management offers solutions to these problems with regard to total quality management, planning and process improvement, productivity and team work (Tezel). There are available forms of management that are being applied by the respondents. One of the common practice in the current construction market is just in time construction. Just in time construction focuses more on the timely accomplishment of the construction tasks.
However, lean construction is all-rounded and covers various aspects of construction other than covering the aspect of time alone. However, the integration and the effectiveness of these techniques into construction project management is limited. This study therefore recommends that other studies ought to be carried out in order to prove the effectiveness of each tool of lean construction management. These will help companies in selecting the tool in lean management that suits the problem they are facing. Appendix I Works Cited Forbes, Lincoln H. , and Syed M. Project Sizes - Small, Medium And Large. (n. d) available from <http://www. mpmm. com/project-sizes. Available from: https://ascelibrary. org/doi/abs/10. 1061/(ASCE)0742-597X(2006)22%3A4(168) Johansen, Eric, and Lorenz Walter. “Lean construction: Prospects for the German construction industry.
” Lean Construction Journal 3. Modern construction management. John Wiley & Sons, 2013. Available from: https://books. google. co. google. co. ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dWF4AgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA286&dq=Lean+productivity+and+a+small+private+practice+&ots=tueW1kGnjy&sig=sNEAADUuqh23p9ebSGB5TekWthU&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=flow%20activitie&f=false Ballard, Glenn, and Greg Howell. “Implementing lean construction: stabilizing work flow. ” Lean construction (1994): 101-110. How important do you deem Lean management within a project? _ 1 _ 2 _3 _ 4 _ 5 1 = not important at all 5 = 100% important Rate the effectiveness of Lean construction management within a project. _ 1 _ 2 _3 _ 4 _ 5 1 = not effective at all 5 = 100% effective Importance of Lean construction to your project. _ 1 _ 2 _3 _ 4 _ 5 1 = not important at all 5 = 100% important Difficulties to implementing new Lean concepts to your project _ 1 _ 2 _3 _ 4 _ 5 1 = not difficult at all 5 = 100% difficult Impact of waste activities on you project _ 1 _ 2 _3 _ 4 _ 5 1 = no impact at all 5 = 100% impact Additional comments ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
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