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Current Deployment of Lean Methods in the Construction Industry

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022244/00001

Material Information

Title: Current Deployment of Lean Methods in the Construction Industry
Physical Description: 1 online resource (51 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Building Construction -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Building Construction thesis, M.S.B.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This report investigates the deployment of lean construction in an attempt to answer the following two questions: 1) what percentage of leading contractors is aware of lean construction techniques, and 2) to what extent has lean construction been accepted into practice by the construction industry in 2008. The source of the data collected for this report was a survey. This survey was distributed to industry professionals representing the 113 companies who attended the University of Florida?s 2008 spring career fair on February 12, 2008. The University of Florida?s spring career fair had Project Managers, Project Engineers, Senior Vice Presidents, Presidents, and Chief Operating Officers from some of the world?s top general contracting firms in attendance. Results of the survey indicate that most of general contractors, specialty contractors, and construction management firms in the construction industry are unfamiliar with the term lean construction as an approach to managing the construction process. Lean is consequently not being utilized in the construction industry. It is likely that many of the techniques encompassed under lean principles are being used; however, companies are not utilizing lean construction principles as the overall approach for completing their projects.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.B.C.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Issa, R. Raymond.
Local: Co-adviser: Obonyo, Esther.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022244:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022244/00001

Material Information

Title: Current Deployment of Lean Methods in the Construction Industry
Physical Description: 1 online resource (51 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Building Construction -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Building Construction thesis, M.S.B.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This report investigates the deployment of lean construction in an attempt to answer the following two questions: 1) what percentage of leading contractors is aware of lean construction techniques, and 2) to what extent has lean construction been accepted into practice by the construction industry in 2008. The source of the data collected for this report was a survey. This survey was distributed to industry professionals representing the 113 companies who attended the University of Florida?s 2008 spring career fair on February 12, 2008. The University of Florida?s spring career fair had Project Managers, Project Engineers, Senior Vice Presidents, Presidents, and Chief Operating Officers from some of the world?s top general contracting firms in attendance. Results of the survey indicate that most of general contractors, specialty contractors, and construction management firms in the construction industry are unfamiliar with the term lean construction as an approach to managing the construction process. Lean is consequently not being utilized in the construction industry. It is likely that many of the techniques encompassed under lean principles are being used; however, companies are not utilizing lean construction principles as the overall approach for completing their projects.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.B.C.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Issa, R. Raymond.
Local: Co-adviser: Obonyo, Esther.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022244:00001


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6e43f06e35ba9d4ba3fb3e9ac0b9e173
87aa5142d8c8ca650c9878ed467f96c1ee284913







CURRENT DEPLOYMENT OF LEAN METHODS INT THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY


By

DANE RYAN GILBERT

















A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE INT BUILDING CONSTRUCTION

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2008

































O 2008 Dane Ryan Gilbert




























To my family









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank all of the people who have helped me in the completion of this thesis.

I thank my committee (Dr. Raymond Issa, Dr. Esther Obonyo, and Dr. Ian Flood) for helping to

guide me through this process. I would also like to thank my parents, Dan and Kathy Gilbert.

They taught me to do everything to the best of my ability.












TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .............. ...............4.....


LIST OF TABLES ................. ...............7.__. .....


LIST OF FIGURES .............. ...............8.....


AB S TRAC T ......_ ................. ............_........9


CHAPTER


1 INTRODUCTION ................. ...............10.......... ......


What is Lean Construction? ........._.._.._ ...............10.._._._ ....
Problem Statement ........._..... ...._... ...............10.....

Objective of this Study .............. ...............13....

2 LITERATURE REVIEW ........._.._.. ...._... ...............14....


Lean Production ........._.._.. .. ..._.. ...............14.....
Total Quality Management ........._..... ...._... ...............17....
Continuous Improvement .............. ...............20....
Lean Production in Construction ............_.... ... .._ .. ...............21..
Previous Research on the Deployment of Lean Construction ....._____ ...... .. ..._...........23
The International Group of Lean Construction .............. ...............25....


3 METHODOLOGY .............. ...............27....


Sample Selection .............. ...............27....
The Survey ................. ...............27.................
Analysis Performed .............. ...............28....

4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS................ ...............3


Survey Response Rate .............. ...............30....
Demographics ................. ...............3.. 0..............
Survey Results ................. ...............3.. 1..............


5 CONCLUSIONS .............. ...............41....


6 RECOMMENDATIONS ................. ...............43.................











APPENDIX

A LEAN CONSTRUCTION SURVEY............... ...............45.


B INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH BOARD SURVEY COVER LETTER. ................... ..........48

LIST OF REFERENCES .........__.. ..... ._ __ ...............49....


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ........._.___..... .__. ...............51....










LIST OF TABLES


Table page

1-1. Productivity Increases for Various Industries in the U.S. ............. ...... ............... 1

2-1. Comparison of craft production, mass production, and lean production .............. ............... 15

2-2. Comparison of the conventional CM approach and the lean construction approach ............22

4-1. Number of employees contained within the responding companies ................ .................30O

4-2. Annual turnover in terms of revenue of the responding companies ................. ................ .3 1

4-3. Typical nature of the proj ects done by the responding company ................ ............... ....3 1

4-4. Nature of the business done by the responding company .............. ..... ............... 3

4-5. Customer most often dealt with by the responding company .............. .....................3

4-6. Percentage of respondents who are familiar with the term "lean construction" as an
approach to managing the construction process. ............. ...............32.....

4-7. Percentage of companies who currently utilize lean construction methods or concepts
on their proj ects. ................. ............... 2...._ _....

4-8. Year started and the number of years that have elapsed since the companies began
using lean construction. ............. ...............37.....

4-9. Mean and range of the number of years since the companies implemented lean
construction as an approach to managing the construction process .............. .................37










LIST OF FIGURES


figure page

1-1. Definition of productivity ................. ...............11.......... .....

2-1. Six steps of the Continuous Improvement Cycle ................. ............. ..................21

4-1. Companies using lean construction based on the number of persons employed by the
com pany. .............. ...............33....

4-2. Exponential trend of the number of employees in companies utilizing lean construction....33

4-3. Companies using lean construction based on the company's annual turnover in terms of
revenue. .............. ...............34....

4-4. Companies using lean construction based on the typical nature of the company's
construction proj ect. ........... ..... .._ ............... 5....

4-5. Companies utilizing lean construction techniques based on the nature of their business.....36

4-6. Business sector of the customer most often dealt with by the construction companies
utilizing lean construction ................. ...............36........... ....

4-7. Groups the companies interface with most with regards to lean construction. .....................39

4-8. Amount of time companies plan on devoting to lean construction in the future. .................39

4-9. Definition of lean construction chosen by companies ................. .............................40









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science of Building Construction

CURRENT DEPLOYMENT OF LEAN METHODS INT THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

By

Dane Ryan Gilbert

May 2008

Chair: R. Raymond Issa
Cochair: Esther Obonyo
Major: Building Construction

This report investigates the deployment of lean construction in an attempt to answer the

following two questions: 1) what percentage of leading contractors is aware of lean construction

techniques, and 2) to what extent has lean construction been accepted into practice by the

construction industry in 2008.

The source of the data collected for this report was a survey. This survey was distributed

to industry professionals representing the 113 companies who attended the University of

Florida's 2008 spring career fair on February 12, 2008. The University of Florida' s spring career

fair had Proj ect Managers, Proj ect Engineers, Senior Vice Presidents, Presidents, and Chief

Operating Officers from some of the world' s top general contracting firms in attendance.

Results of the survey indicate that most of general contractors, specialty contractors, and

construction management firms in the construction industry are unfamiliar with the term lean

construction as an approach to managing the construction process. Lean is consequently not

being utilized in the construction industry. It is likely that many of the techniques encompassed

under lean principles are being used; however, companies are not utilizing lean construction

principles as the overall approach for completing their projects.










CHAPTER 1
INTTRODUCTION

The increasingly competitive construction market of today is requiring general

contractors (GC) and construction management firms (CMF) to better manage construction

proj ects by increasing profits, while sticking to very strict time constraints. Essentially, it is the

job of the GC and CMF to maximize productivity on each project they undertake. In order to do

this, many general contractors and construction management firms are turning to continuous

improvement techniques as an approach to managing their proj ects. One of these continuous

improvement techniques that have garnered attention in the recent past is what is known as lean

construction.

What is Lean Construction?

Lean construction is a new method for managing the construction process. The ideology

of lean construction stems from the popular manufacturing production technique developed by

the Toyota production company known as lean manufacturing. In theory, lean production can be

defined as "a system that delivers a Einished product free from defects to a customer, in zero

time, and with nothing left in inventory" (Farrar et al. 2004). Moreover, in the construction

industry, lean can be described as "the continuous process of eliminating waste, meeting or

exceeding all customer requirements, focusing on the entire value stream, and pursuing

perfection in the execution of the constructed proj ect" (Salem and Zimmer 2005).

Problem Statement

There have been few documented research proj ects that have attempted to determine the

construction industry's acceptance of lean construction as an approach to managing the delivery

of a project. The construction industry has historically been very slow in the implementation of

any kind of change. This has made actualization of continuous improvement techniques such as










lean construction very difficult. This is in direct contrast to the manufacturing industry, which

has implemented the lean production approach with great success leading to more efficient and

higher quality production.

The construction industry in the United States is an archetype of how the construction

industry throughout the world is in great need for continuous improvement techniques and

productivity improvements in general. "The U.S. Department of Commerce defines productivity

as dollars of output per person-hour of labor input" (Adrian 2004). This is annotated in Figure 1-

1. One can infer from this definition of productivity the best way to increase productivity is

through greater labor efforts. However, increased labor effort is just one of the ways to increase

productivity on a construction proj ect. Other ways to increase productivity include: more

efficient uses of equipment and tools, use of higher quality materials, improve the training of

labor, lessen government induced restrictions, minimize rework, and eliminate idle time (Adrian

2004). The maj ority of this list can be greatly affected by the decisions made by the

management team and the overall approach the GC or CMF uses to manage the construction

process.





Dollars of output
Pmaductivity -
Persn-hours ocflaborrr inrput






Figure 1-1. A Definition of Productivity










The construction industry in the United States has a declining rate of productivity

increases. In 2002, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that the U.S. construction

industry's productivity was increasing at a rate 0.80%, which when compared to other industries

ranks among the worst, if not the worst, in the United States. These results can be seen in Table

1-1. Although the U.S. as a whole has been increasing at a rate of 2.70% annually, the

construction industry has only been increasing at a rate of 0.80% per year (Adrian 2004).

Table 1-1. Productivity Increases for Various Industries in the U.S.
Industry Productivity Increases (%)

Agriculture 3.64

Construction 0.80

Government 1.64

Manufacturing 2.60

Mining 3.17

Public Utilities 5.40

Transportation 4.60




A quick analysis of Table 1-1 shows that the manufacturing industry is having increases

in productivity far beyond that of the construction industry. There are many factors that account

for this, such as the construction industry is a stochastic process where things such as labor

supply, weather, and material cost are different on every proj ect. Despite the fact that varying

conditions are inherent to the construction process, a great deal of research has been done

attempting to legitimize lean production techniques as a viable management approach for

improving productivity in the construction industry.










Objective of this Study

Table 1-1 shows the U.S. construction industry's need for continuous improvement and

lean construction techniques. It is well documented that the manufacturing industry has adopted

lean production as a viable technique to improve its business performance and develop a

sustainable competitive edge. A great deal less has been researched on the deployment of lean

techniques in the construction industry. The obj ective of this study was to determine the

following: 1) what percentage of leading contractors are aware of lean construction techniques

and, 2) to what extent has lean construction been accepted into practice by the construction

industry in 2008.









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

It is the j ob of every General Contracting and Construction Management firm to

maximize productivity on every project they encounter. They must do this while also

completing the proj ect on time and often within strict budget constraints. In the past, the

manufacturing industry has led the way in terms of productivity improvement initiatives. One of

the most recent productivity improvement techniques being used by many world-leading

manufacturing companies is lean production.

Lean Production

The ideas which formulate what is known as lean production were developed by Taiici

Ohno, an engineer working for the Toyota manufacturing company. The term "lean" was later

coined by the authors of The Machine That Changed the World published in 1990, who used the

term to describe Toyota' s approach to manufacturing. The result of the research showed that

many Japanese automotive manufacturing companies were substantially ahead of their American

and European counterparts with regards to productivity, quality, and time-to-market. This was

particularly true of Toyota (Taylor and Brunt 2001).

Lean production, as established by Taiici Ohno and the Toyota Company, is vastly

different from the "craft production" and "mass production" methods of making things that

preceded it. Craft production uses highly skilled workers to produce one-of-a-kind products,

using very simple, yet flexible tools to make precisely what the customer wants. Examples of

products made from craft production include; works of decorative art, custom furniture, and

exotic sports cars. Mass production on the other hand uses lesser trained workers who tend

expensive machinery with a single purpose, to produce a high volume of standardized products.

The machinery is inherently very intolerable of disruption. The mass production companies











therefore incorporate extra suppliers, workers, and space to insure smooth production. Womack

et al. (1990) offered a comparison of these techniques to making things (Table 2-1).

Table 2-1. Comparison of craft production, mass production, and lean production (Womack et
al. 1990)


Mass


Craft
Work force Highly skilled in design,
machine operations and
fitting. Apprenticeship
for workers.


Lean
Flexible teams work
the process. Little
management layers.
Improvement
responsibility throughout
the organization
Network of suppliers
with design and
engineering capability.
Improvement along
supply chain.

General purpose

Ever-decreasing model
life cycles. Niche models
possible.


Interchangeable workers
(division of labour).
Improvement
responsibility industrial
engineers and foreman

Vertical integration.
Central organization -
design, engineering and
production in one place.



Dedicated machines


High volume. Long
product life cycle.


Organization







Tools

Product


Extremely decentralized
but concentrated in one
city. Most parts and design
from small machine shops.
Coordinated by owner/
entrepreneur.
General-purpose machine
tools
Very low production
volume No two exactly
alike


Lean production combines the advantages of craft and mass production while eliminating

the high cost of craft production and the rigidity of mass production. Lean production employs

"teams of multi-skilled workers at all levels of the organization and uses highly flexible,

increasingly automated machines to produce volumes of products in enormous variety"


(Womack et al. 1990). Koskela (1992) summarizes the principles behind lean production as

follows:


* Eliminate non value-adding activities (eliminate waste or "muda")
* Increase output value through a systematic approach to analyzing the customer's needs.
* Reduce the time it takes to complete a cycle
* Reduce variability
* Simplify the cycle by minimizing the number of parts, steps, and linkages










* Increase process transparency
* Focus control on the complete process
* Incorporate continuous improvement in the process
* Benchmark

These principles are achieved using the following methodologies and tools also

summarized by Koskela (1990):

* Just in Time
* Total quality management
* Time based competition
* Concurrent engineering
* Process design (reengineering)
* Value based management
* Visual management
* Total productive maintenance
* Employee involvement

Lean production seeks perfection in the way things are made. It is the process of

delivering a product free of defects, in the shortest amount of time possible, with zero waste,

with no inventory, and with an endless amount of variety. It is an endless quest for perfection

(Womack et al. 1990).

Since the publication of The Machine That Changed the World, the benefits of lean

manufacturing have been well documented. David Taylor and David Brunt have exclaimed that

"we have seen examples where throughput times and defects have been cut by 90 percent,

inventories reduced by three-quarters and space and unit cost slashed in half. All of this has been

done at very little capital cost to the organizations involved and firms have begun to develop the

flexibility necessary to meet their customers' needs. With performance improvement of this

magnitude it has been possible for such companies to double output and profits with the same

headcount" (Taylor and Brunt 2001).









Many of the ideals encompassed in the lean production system stem from concepts

previously encapsulated in Total Quality Management (TQM).

Total Quality Management

The development "Total Quality Management (TQM) can be thought of as a management

philosophy of involving everyone in an organization, firm, or process in controlling and

continuously improving how work or a service is done with the obj ective of meeting customer

expectations of quality" (Adrian 2004). In order to understand this definition, we must also

define the term quality. Quality can be described as freedom from errors, consistency in

production, and a means of adding value through improvements (Adrian 2004).

The ideology of Total Quality Management can be traced back to the 1920's where

Walter A. Shewart first began statistical analysis of quality control techniques. In his book,

Economic Control of Quality of2anufactured Product, Shewart outlines a statistical analysis of

problems on the production line. "During this time period, American industry shifted focus to

maximization of output and the monitoring of results through inspection and work incentives"

(Adrian 2004).

After the end of World War II, the Japanese began to focus on quality control techniques

to rejuvenate their faltering economy. To do so, American experts such as W. Edwards Deming

were called upon to aid in the Japanese economic refurbishment. Deming was invited to the

Japanese Union of Scientist and Engineers, a prestigious research center, in March of 1950.

Deming went on to work with many Japanese manufacturing companies where he trained

hundreds of engineers and managers in statistical product control. Deming had a very clear









message: improvement in quality control will lead to increase revenues as well as a larger share

of the market. Deming became somewhat of a Japanese celebrity. However, it was not till much

later that his ideas of quality control, and statistical analysis in order to improve productivity

began to be accepted in the United States (Austenfeld 2001).

Shortly after Deming made his maj or contributions to the Japanese manufacturing

industry, M. Juran released a manufacturing process he named "total quality control". Juran's

total quality control was simply an addition to Deming's earlier statistical models expanding the

statistical techniques to everybody, not just the technicians that were Deming' s focus. Juran also

placed focus on the customer and customer needs (Adrian 2004).

It was not until the 1980's that "statistical techniques, focus on the work process, and an

emphasis on people and development of interdisciplinary teams" began to be studied in the

United States (Adrian 2004). In the mid 1980's, Phillip Crosby expanded on the focus on the

customer. His concept made it so that the worker was not only involved in improvement

brainstorming, these same workers who fostered the ideas for improvement, also became vital in

the implementation of the quality improvements. The result was a grand acceptance of Total

Quality Management as a discipline to improve quality control in the United States (Adrian

2004).

There are three main components to Total Quality Management. These components are:

1) getting everyone involved, 2) customer satisfaction, and 3) continuous improvement. These

components make up the framework for a successful Total Quality Management approach to

production.

The first step in implementing an effective Total Quality Management approach is to get

everyone in the company involved. In years previous to 1980's when Total Quality Management










practices began to be implemented, decision making was left up to upper management. This

centralized management group would then tell lower management of the changes, who would

then subsequently enforce the changes onto the workers. There was little or no input coming

from the employees or subordinates. The construction industry is a perfect example of an

industry that has an inherent problem with getting laborers involved. The owner of the

construction company makes a decision on how something should be done, this is passed down

to the proj ect manager, who relays the decision to the superintendent, who then relays the

message to a foreman, who in turn mandates it to a craftsmen. In this situation there is little or

no opportunity for the craftsman to get involved in the decision process. The problem, however,

is that it is very often the craftsmen who knows the best method of performing the work. This is

why under the Total Quality Management approach, Corrective Action Teams or Quality

Improvement Teams are formed. These Corrective Action Teams "identify processes or defects

in the firm, product, process, or organization" and possible solution to these problems (Adrian

2004). These teams are made up of a diverse group of employees within the organization.

Continuing the use of a construction company as an example, a Corrective Action Team may

consist of a proj ect manager, a superintendent, a proj ect engineer, a clerical worker or office

manager, and a couple of craftsmen from different trades (Adrian 2004).

The second step to implementing a Total Quality Management system is to direct all

efforts to satisfy the needs of the customer. A customer-first approach redirects the

organization's focus from the people who provide the service or product and focuses it on the

person receiving the service or product. Everything the company does should benefit the

customer. In the construction industry, the "customer" is the owner, or owner' s representative in










the private sector, and the government, government official, or the taxpayers in the public sector

(Adrian 2004).

Continuous Improvement

The Einal step in achieving Total Quality Management is an emphasis on continuous and

ongoing improvement. This process can be described as a six step cycle. This six step process is

outlined in Figure 2-1 (Adrian 2004).

The first step is to identify the problem, defect, or improvement required. It is important

for management to listen to their employees in order to make sure defects do not go ignored or

unnoticed. The second step is to assign the problem, defect, or improvement required to the

Corrective Action Team or Quality Improvement Team. This team then goes on to measure the

defect, how many times it occurs, as well as the variation in performance. The fourth step in the

process focuses on analyzing or brainstorming for possible alternatives to the process and how it

can be done better. This analysis should be focused on eliminating the defect being studied.

Step Hyve in the continuous improvement process is to systemize and implement the solution.

These solutions would usually be the ideas that showed the most promise as far as their ability to

eliminate the defect (Adrian 2004).

The Einal step in the process is to re-evaluate the solution and measure again the defect to

see if it still exists. This is the most important step in the Continuous Improvement process.

Step six involves measuring the solution implemented in step Hyve, then repeating the last four

steps of the process. This would begin with step three in which you again measure and analyze

the process that spawned the defect. Brainstorm for appropriate solutions. Implement a system

to Eix the defect. Finally, measure the defect again until the problem is eliminated.











Step 6
Re-evaluate the solution
and measure again


Step 2 Step 3 Step 4
Assign the defect Measure and Brainstorm for
to a Corrective Action analyze the for the best
Team process Solution




Figure 2-1. The six steps of the Continuous Improvement Cycle (Adrian 2004)


Lean Production in Construction

The manufacturing industry has almost always led the way in terms of productivity

improvements. There has been a great deal of research that cites the many benefits of the lean

production approach in the manufacturing industry. This begs the question as to whether or not

the techniques, processes, and ideology of lean production are applicable to the construction

industry.

"The construction industry has rej ected many ideas from manufacturing because of the

belief that the construction industry is different. Manufacturers make parts that go into proj ects

but the design and construction of unique and complex proj ects in highly uncertain environments

under great time and schedule pressure is fundamentally different from making tin cans" (Howell

1999).

Howell, however, believes that the ideals encompassed in the lean production approach are

viable for managing a construction project. Howell summarizes the differences stating that "the


Step 5
Systemize and
implement the solution











current form of production management in construction is derived from the same activity


centered approach found in mass production and project management. It aims to optimize the


proj ect activity by activity, assuming customer value has been identified in the design" (1999).

In contrast, Howell describes managing under lean construction different "because it; has a clear


set of obj ectives for the delivery process, is aimed at maximizing performance for the customer


at the proj ect level, designs concurrently product and process, and applies production control


throughout the life of the proj ect" (1999).


Table 2-2 compares the conventional construction management approach with the lean


construction management approach (Abdelhamid and Salem 2005).


Table 2-2. Comparison of the conventional CM approach and the lean construction approach
(Abdelhamid and Salem 2005)
CIonventional CMV Lpan Construct~ion
Wle know how to TIL4NSFORM materials into We (still) know how to TRA~NSFORM~ materias into
ta~ndie, structures. usinglj~ structures.
W~e expect to hav~e scope changes and design errors We design product and construction process Itogerkst to
during construction, which will be field-enginleered by avoid design erroricdomssions that lead to constructablity
construction t~e~amn Issues.
Wle empowrr~ managers to be the SOLE planners. We empower managers to Ibe the FIRST planners of
processes and phases and foremen and orkers to be the
LAST planners ofopatos
We~ assume: that reducing cost in one piece wvill reduce We treat entire project as a system and use Target Costing
cost of the entire project the whole is the sum of its to a~tchi; pr F11Ec cost reductions the whol is more than
parts ~the sum oafits pn
WeT push for high local pro~ductliv~iy miStakenlyI We push for high system throughput which is the only way~
thinking that this is a way to achieve debal3 ef~ficincy. to achieve Iskkal efciecy
We~ manage Ihe pr o~cs i using schedules of cost- We use schedules of cost-accruing elements as INPUJT to
accruiag elements the ones on which progress the planning and control of site production operations.
pamnsare based.
We are guided by the time/~ostiquality trade-o~ff W~e challenge the time cost quality trade-offparadigm by-
paradigm. You can only get one of the two, but not temovring the sources of waste in the designiproduction
the third. processes to promote better and more reliable
WORKFLOWT.
We~ don't plan or control site production operations We plan and control site production operations to preempt
unless they become _ff 131 eredc time and cost we cost-acenuing elements frmu going :ofr Impered time and
wait untilproblems happen then react to get projclt cost.
back on track.
WIe consider VCALUE delivered to the ownaer wihe W~e consider V'ALUE elivr~ed to the owner when. product
product pafhdlr naus: is maximized reative to its cost value is increased (ithe facility better fulfills the tme needs
A Vaue Engineeaing (VE) approach. of the owinet purposes) by~ managing constriction process
value a Vialue-base Management (V~BM) apps eacht









Lean production does not really include any new management principles or techniques that

are not currently being implemented, or at least attempted, in the construction industry today. It

simply "combines existing principles in a new day" (Shingo 1992). "The basic idea of lean

production is very simple. Keep your production system and production organization simple and

avoid waste" (Melles 1994). Elimination of waste, or Japanese "muda", is the primary principle

behind lean production. Koskela identifies seven elements of waste in the construction industry

(1992).

* Work is done below the desired quality (non-conformance)
* External quality cost (during facility use)
* Lack of constructability
* Poor material management
* Excess consumption of materials on site
* Working time used for non-value adding activities (waiting, over processing)
* Lack of safety

"Stimulate your employees to improve their own production process" (Melles 1994).

Create bilateral relationships among each task group to heighten communication within the

organization. Above all, employees must change their attitudes with regards to productivity.

"The most important goal of lean production is to change the attitude of all employees of a

company" (Melles 1994).

Previous Research on the Deployment of Lean Construction

A literature search revealed three research proj ects that have been conducted on the

penetration of lean construction into the industry. The first research attempt, done by Common

et al. (2000), was an attempt "to test the transfer of lean principles to construction by

investigating their penetration into large construction companies in the United Kingdom" (2000).

This research determined that in 1999, there were 221 "large" construction companies operating

within the UK. After an initial survey attempt that resulted in insufficient data due to a low










response rate, a second survey was completed in which 100 construction companies were

surveyed, and 34 of these companies completed the survey. This research concluded that there

was limited knowledge of lean techniques. There has been some adoption of lean techniques;

however, these only exist while also relying on traditional approaches. Perceptions of lean

techniques varied; most of the respondents did not realize the importance of design and planning

(Common et al. 2000).

The second research attempt entitled, "Understanding Lean Construction and How it

Penetrates the Industry: A Comparison of the Dissemination of Lean within the UK and the

Netherlands" was done in conjunction with the previous research done by Common et al. on the

deployment of lean construction in the UK. This research was done in order to compare survey

results of a similar sample of Dutch contractors with the contractors previously surveyed in the

UK. The original questionnaire was translated into Dutch and sent out to 60 medium to large

construction companies. Zero questionnaires were returned. A second survey was then sent out

in its original English form, and 12 companies responded. This represented a response rate of 20

percent. The results of the survey indicated that "the dissemination of lean concepts in the

Netherlands is even lower than the UK although there is more consistency in perceptions"

(Johansen et al. 2002). Most believed that either lean production could not be applied to

construction or that it could only be applied in a limited way (Johansen et al. 2002).

The third and final research attempt discovered by the literature search built upon the

methodologies used in the earlier work in the UK (Common et al. 2000) and the Netherlands

(Johansen et al. 2002). This research attempted to range the dissemination of lean techniques

within construction companies in Germany in 2007. The questionnaire for the research was sent

out to 61 companies taken from Topl00 construction companies in Germany (2005), and this









resulted in a response rate of 61 percent. The conclusions that resulted from the analysis of this

data were that "there is little awareness of lean in the German construction industry and that

hardly any company uses lean concepts on a company wide basis despite evidence that

procedures and techniques that are used on German construction sites are generally consistent

with lean construction practice. There appears to be cultural resistance to a manufacturing

derived, product on- sy stem-vi ew of constructi on" (Johansen and Walter 2007).

The International Group of Lean Construction

Lean construction has been researched by the academic community since its conception in

the early 1990s. The group that has probably had the greatest effect in the evolution of its theory

as well as the promotion of its practice is the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC).

The IGLC was founded in 1993. It is composed of a network of professionals and researchers in

architecture, engineering, and construction. The IGLC believes that the practice, education, and

research of design and construction need to be radically renewed in order to adapt to the needs of

the ever-growing population.



According to the IGLC website, the goal of the organization is as follows:

Our goal is to better meet customer demands and dramatically improve the AEC process as
well as product. To achieve this, we are developing new principles and methods for
product development and production management specifically tailored to the AEC
industry, but akin to those defining lean production that proved to be so successful in
manufacturing.



The IGLC currently holds annual conferences open to researchers and companies who

would like to create and gain knowledge on the subj ect of lean construction and the advancement

of its practice. The organization also post papers on the findings of its research.










The IGLC is not the only organization actively participating in the expansion of lean

construction. Other organizations include

* Australian Center for Construction Innovation (ACCI)
* European Group for Lean Construction
* Lean Construction Institute
* Salford Centre for Research and Innovation

These organizations are actively striving to increase public knowledge of lean construction

as well as its use in the construction industry.









CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

This report investigates the deployment of lean production techniques in the construction

industry. The objective of this study was to determine the following: 1) what percentage of

leading contractors is aware of lean construction techniques, and 2) to what extent has lean

construction been accepted into practice by the construction industry in 2008.

Sample Selection

The source of the data collected for this report was a survey. This survey was distributed

to industry professionals representing the 113 companies who attended the University of

Florida's 2008 spring career fair on February 12, 2008. The University of Florida' s spring career

fair contained Proj ect Managers, Proj ect Engineers, Senior Vice Presidents, Presidents, and

Chief Operating Officers from some of the world' s top general contracting firms.

The University of Florida' s 2008 career fair was chosen as the sample selection for this

report, because it contained a wide range of general contractors who are located all around the

globe. These general contractors range from the very small (annual volume of under $100

million) to the very large (annual volume of $14.6 billion). The University of Florida' s 2008

spring career fair also contained a large maj ority of contractors listed on the ENR' s Top 400

Contractors. It can be assumed that the maj ority of the ENR' s Top 400 Contractors have the

resources and personnel available to commit time and money to research and productivity

improvement techniques. Therefore, the University of Florida's 2008 spring career made a

suitable sample for the means of this report.

The Survey

The survey was designed in three sections. This survey and all of its three sections are

included in the Appendix A of this report. The first section entitled, "Questions Regarding the










Company", is comprised of multiple choice questions regarding the specifics of each company

including its number of employees, its annual turnover in terms of revenue, and the nature of a

typical proj ect. This section contains a total of five questions to be answered by the

representative of the company.

The second section of the survey entitled, "Questions regarding Lean Construction

Practices", contains multiple choice and short-answer questions. These questions attempt to

discover the company representative's familiarity with lean construction techniques, the

deployment of these techniques within the company, and whether the company has seen any

benefits due to the utilization of these techniques. This section contains two multiple choice

questions and two short-answer questions.

The third and final section of this survey entitled, "Questions Regarding Research and

Industry Involvement", contains four multiple choice questions and two short-answer questions.

These questions attempt to identify the company's involvement in lean construction research, as

well as any plans to devote resources to lean construction in the future.

In addition to the survey, an introductory letter was composed outlining the purpose of the

survey, as well as the rights of all the respondents. Approval for the survey was obtained from

the University of Florida' s Institutional Review Board.

Analysis Performed

After the survey responses were received, a statistical and analytical examination was done

in order to best answer the following questions posed in this report: 1) what percentage of

leading contractors is aware of lean construction techniques, and 2) to what extent has lean

construction been accepted into practice by the construction industry in 2008. For a few of the

survey questions, it was pertinent to calculate the mean and range, responses. It was also

necessary to show a significant correlation between the companies using lean construction and










the number of people employed within those companies. Microsoft Excel 2003 was used to

calculate these statistical results.









CHAPTER 4
RESULTS AND ANALYSIS

Survey Response Rate

A total of 113 surveys were issued at the University of Florida' s M.E. Rinker Hall School

of Building Construction spring 2008 career fair on February 12, 2008. A copy of the survey can

be found in Appendix A of this report. The University of Florida's spring career fair contained

Proj ect Managers, Proj ect Engineers, Senior Vice Presidents, Presidents, and Chief Operating

Officers from some of the world' s top general contracting firms. A total of 44 companies

responded to the questionnaire. This yields a response rate of 39%.

Demographics

Companies that responded to the Lean Construction Survey ranged from employing below

200 employees to over 10,000 employees. Of the 44 companies that responded to the survey,

27% of the companies contained below 200 employees, 43% contained between 200 to 1,000

employees, 23% contained between 1,000 and 10,000 employees, and 7% contained over 10,000

employees (Table 4-1). Also, out of the 44 companies that responded to the questionnaire, 7%

had an annual turnover in terms of revenue of $1 million to $5 million USD, 2% had an annual

turnover between $5 million and $25 million USD, 23% had an annual revenue between $25

million and $100 million USD, and 71% had an annual revenue over $100 million USD (Table

4-2). Additionally, 11% of the respondents said that "infrastructure" best describes the nature of

their proj ects, 5% said that "heavy industrial" best describes the nature of their proj ects, and 84%

said that "buildings" best describes the nature of their proj ects (Table 4-3).

Table 4-1. Number of employees contained within the responding companies
Number of Emploees Contained within the company
Under 200 200-1000 1000-10000 Over 10,000
% of Respondents 27% 43% 23% 7%










Table 4-2. Annual turnover in terms of revenue of the responding. companies
Annual Turnover in terms of revenue (millions USD)
I to 5 5 to 25 25 to 100 Over 100
% of Respondents 7% 2% 20% 71%


Table 4-3. Typical nature of the proj ects done by the responding company
Typical Nature of Proj ects
Infrastructure Heavy Industrial Buildings
% of Respondents 11% 5% 84%


Out of the responding companies, 75% considered themselves General Contractors, 9%

considered themselves Specialty Contractors, 2% consider themselves Suppliers, and the

remaining 14% responded "other" when asked the nature of their business (Table 4-4). Of the 44

companies that responded to the survey, 48% of the companies said that their customer most

often comes from the private sector, and 52% said that their customer most often comes from the

public sector (Table 4-5).

Table 4-4. Nature of the business done by the responding. coman
Nature of the business
General Contractor Speialt Contractor Supplier Other
% ofR Re ndents 75% 9% 2% 14%


Table 4-5. Customer most often dealt with by the responding company
Customer is Most Often
Private Public
% of Respondents 48% 52%



Survey Results

In order to better ascertain the deployment of lean construction, respondents were asked to

answer questions regarding their familiarity with lean construction, as well as whether or not

they currently utilize lean construction methods or concepts on their proj ects. Twenty three

percent of the respondents said that they were familiar with the term "lean construction" as an










approach to managing the construction process (Table 4-6). Every respondent who said that they

were familiar with the term lean construction also said that they utilized lean construction

concepts or methods on their current projects. Table 4-7 shows a summary of the percentage of

companies who responded saying that they currently utilize lean construction concepts or

methods on their proj ects.

Table 4-6. Percentage of respondents who are familiar with the term "lean construction" as an
aprach to managing. the construction process.
Familiar with Lean Construction
Yes No
% of
Respondents 23% 77%


Table 4-7. Percentage of companies who currently utilize lean construction methods or concepts
on their proj ects
Utilize Lean Construction
Currently
Yes No
% of
Respondents 23% 77%


In order to further analyze the data, the respondents were then split up into those who said

that they currently utilize lean construction concepts and methods, and those who said that they

do not. The 23% of respondents that said "yes" to the question of whether or not they currently

utilize lean construction were then further examined as to their demographics. Figure 4-1 shows

the percent of companies who use lean construction techniques based on the number of persons

employed by the company. It was discovered that 8.3% of the companies with fewer than 200

employees utilize lean construction techniques, 10.5% of the companies with between 200 and

1000 employees utilize lean construction techniques, 40.0% of the companies with between

1,000 and 10,000 employees utilize lean construction techniques, and 66.7% of the companies












with over 10,000 employees utilize lean construction. Next, the bar graph of this data was


analyzed to determine a trend line for the graph. The R-squared value for the trend was 0.9334


(Figure 4-2).


60 00%


50 00%


-00

40 00%


30 00%




10 00%


~111111


less than 200 200 to 1000 1000 to 10000 more than 10000
Number of Employees


Figure 4-1. Companies using lean construction based on the number of persons employed by the
company.


-00
80 00%


-00
70 00%


60 00%
-00


50 00%


40 00%


/


R = 0.9334


M~xen~l~ es1)


less than 200 200 to 1000 1000 to 10000 more than 10000
Number of Employees


Figure 4-2. Exponential trend of the number of employees in companies utilizing lean
construction.











The 23% of respondents who answered "yes" to the question of whether or not they utilize

lean construction concepts and techniques were then analyzed to compare there annual turnover

in terms of revenue, the typical nature of their proj ects, the nature of their business, and whether

there company was most often from the public or private sector. First, the companies were


analyzed in terms of there annual revenue. Of the companies with an annual turnover in terms of

revenue of under $25 million, 0% utilizes lean construction. Of the companies with an annual

turnover between $25 and $100 million, 33.33% utilize lean construction. As shown in Figure 4-


3, of the companies with an annual turnover more then $100 million, 19.4% utilize lean concepts

and techniques.


35.0096


30.00%-


25.00%-






1 0.00% -1






5.00%-


0.00%'
1mil -5mil 5mil -25mil 25mil -100mil > 100mil
Revenue in Millions of $

Figure 4-3. Percentage of companies using lean construction based on the company's annual
turnover in terms of revenue.











Next, the companies that use lean techniques were analyzed to compare the nature of their

business. Of the companies that said "Infrastructure" to the question asking the nature of their


business, 40.0% utilize lean construction techniques. Of the companies that answered "Heavy

Industrial" to the question regarding the nature of their business, 50.0% utilize lean techniques.


Finally, of the companies that replied "buildings" with regard to the nature of their business, 16.

7% utilize lean on their projects. This data is shown in Figure 4-4.




60.00%



50.00%-



S 40.00%-


30.00%-



S20.00%-166



10.00%-



0.00%
Infrastructure Heavy Industrial Buildings
Project Type

Figure 4-4. Percentage of companies using lean construction based on the typical nature of the
company's construction proj ect.

The next step was to analyze the type of company and whether they utilize lean


construction techniques. Of the companies that answered "General Contractor" as the nature of

their business, 18.2% use lean techniques. Of the companies that answered "Specialty


Contractor", 25% utilize lean techniques. Zero percent of the companies that consider

themselves suppliers utilize lean techniques. Of the companies that said "Other", 33.3% utilize


lean techniques (Figure 4-5).











35 00%


30 00%-


25 00%-


S20 00%-


15 00%-


10 00%-


5 00%-



GC Spec C Supplier Other
Business Type

Figure 4-5. Percentage of companies utilizing lean construction techniques based on the nature
of their business.


Finally, the companies that utilize lean techniques were compared as to what sector the


customers that they most often do business with. Of the companies that answered "Public",


30.4% utilize lean techniques. Of the companies that answered "Private", 9.5% use lean


techniques (Figure 4-6).




30 00%-


25 00%-


20 00%-


15 00% -


10 00%-



5 00%-

Private Public
sector Type
Figure 4-6. Business sector of the customer most often dealt with by construction companies
utilizing lean construction.










The eighth question of the survey asks the respondent to state the year in which their

company started utilizing lean construction. The responses of the ten companies that responded

to this question are summarized in Table 4-8. The mean year and range of the amount of time

elapsed from the year are summarized in Table 4-9.

Table 4-8. Year started and the number of years that have elapsed since the companies began
using lean construction.


2003 5
2000 8
2000 8
2003 5
2000 8
1998 10
1994 14
2000 8

Table 4-9. Mean and range of the number of years since the companies implemented lean
construction as an approach to managing the construction process
Number of Years since implementation of Lean
Mean Minimum Maximum
7.78 4 14


The ninth question of the survey asks the respondent if they have identified any tangible

benefits from utilizing Lean Construction practices. Of the companies utilizing lean

construction, 88. 9% believe they have identified tangible benefits. Question nine also asks the

respondent to list examples of the benefits they have identified. The three responses were

"limited supply chain = more profit = simplification and increased customer satisfaction";

"Constructability increases on every proj ect" and; "We staff our proj ects based on lean ideology

and constructability increases as a result."










The tenth and eleventh questions pertain to if the company has made a conscious decision

not to utilize lean techniques. Question ten of the survey asks if the respondent's company has

evaluated lean construction concepts and methods and reached a decision not to utilize these

techniques. Every person who responded to this question answered "no." The eleventh question

asks, "if your company has decided not to adopt Lean Construction to your practices, what was

the critical deciding factor driving the decision?" Since every respondent who answered

question ten answered "no", question eleven went unanswered by every person responding to the

survey .

The final section of the survey asks questions regarding the responding company's

research and industry involvement. Of all the 44 persons that responded to the questionnaire,

only one respondent (2.3%) said that their company actively participates in research proj ects

conducted by academic institutions regarding lean construction. Zero respondents said that

members of their company participate in an annual lean construction conference such as the

IGCL. When asked the question of "which group does your company interface with more often

regarding adoption and application of Lean Construction concepts and methods", 13.6%

responded "Customers/Owners", 0% responded "Academic Institutions", and 86.4% responded

"neither" (Figure 4-7).

Question 15 of the survey asks the quantity of time and resources the respondents company

plans to devote to lean construction. 1 1.4% of the respondents said "more time". None of the

respondents responded "less time". 77.3% responded, "no time and resources" The summary of

this data can be seen in Figure 4-8.





100.00%


00

90.00%


-000

80.00%


-000

70.00%


-000

60.00%


50.00%


86j :16


Customers/Owners Academic Institutions Neither

Interface Group


Figure 4-7. Groups the companies interface with most with regards to lean construction.


90.00%


80.00%


70.00%


60.00%


50.00%


40.00%


30.00%


20.00%


10.00%


000%


?? 27


il 36 ..


More Time Less Time No Time


Figure 4-8. Amount of time companies plan on devoting to lean construction in the future












The Einal multiple choice question of this survey asks the respondents to choose the


definition of lean construction that most closely resembles their own. 22.7% of the respondents


chose "the continuous process of eliminating waste, meeting or exceeding all customer


requirements, focusing on the entire value stream, and pursuing perfection in the execution of the


construction project". The remaining 77.3% of the respondents chose "other" when answering


the question. This data can be seen in Figure 4-9.


-000

90.00%


-000
80.00%


-000

70.00%


-000

60.00%


50.00%


T~~ r3~i


0.00%


Definition


Figure 4-9. Definition of lean construction chosen by companies: A) "the holistic pursuit to the
elimination of material waste on a construction proj ect" B) "Kaizen (Japanese for
permanent and stepwise quality improvement)" C) "the continuous process of
eliminating waste, meeting or exceeding all customer requirements, focusing on the
entire value stream, and pursuing perfection in the execution of the constructed
project" D) "Other"









CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSIONS

The results of the survey indicate that the deployment of lean construction within the

industry is low. Lean construction, as a concept appears to be largely unknown.

The companies that are familiar with the term "lean construction" as an approach to

managing the construction process all believe that they are currently utilizing these techniques

and concepts on their projects. Also, a large majority of the companies that are familiar with

lean believe that they are receiving tangible benefits. No company said that they consciously

decided not to use lean concepts. Based on these findings, the conclusions of the research are

that although most the representatives of today's General Contractors and Construction

Management firms are unaware of lean construction as a technique, the representatives that are

familiar with it, are using it and believe that it is beneficial to their company. The benefits most

often listed by the respondents were related to better constructability.

The next most noteworthy results gained from this research are illustrated Figure 4-2.

Figure 4-2 shows the percentage of companies using lean construction based on the number of

persons employed by the company. The R-squared value of the graph is very close to 1.

Therefore, the graph has an exponential trend. The conclusion that can be drawn from this graph

is that as the number of employees in a company increases, so does the knowledge and use of

lean construction.

Another important result gained from this research is that companies that produce an

annual turnover in terms of revenue of less than $25 million are unfamiliar with the term "lean

construction" as a technique to manage the construction process. These companies subsequently

do not utilize lean construction on their proj ects.









Most of the companies who responded said that they began utilizing lean construction

within the last eight years. The longest period that any company surveyed has been

implementing lean construction on their proj ects is 14 years.

Only one company of the 44 companies who responded to the survey actively participates

in research proj ects conducted by academic institutions or other organizations regarding lean

construction methods and techniques. None of the companies who responded to the survey

currently attend any conferences regarding lean construction.

Based on the findings of this research, the main conclusion is the maj ority of GCs and

CMFs in the construction industry are unfamiliar with the term lean construction as an approach

to managing the construction process. Lean is subsequently not being utilized in the construction

industry. It is likely that many of the techniques encompassed under lean principles are being

used; however, companies are not utilizing lean construction as the overall approach for

completing their projects. Organizations such as the International Group for Lean Construction

believe that the practice, education, and research of design and construction need to be radically

renewed in order to adapt to the needs of the ever-growing population. If lean is an answer to

this change, it appears that it is going to be a slow process.









CHAPTER 6
RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendations for Further Research

Additional research on the topic of lean construction will be greatly beneficial to

productivity in the construction industry. The first recommendation for further research is to

increase the sample size. This research surveyed 113 companies at the University of Florida' s

spring 2008 Building Construction career fair. Forty four companies responded to the survey. A

research effort that targeted the ENR top 400 general contractors would enlist the best group of

general contractors in the world. It is assumed from this research that by targeting the top 400

countries in the world, a larger percentage of companies will be aware of the concepts and

benefits of lean construction.

The second recommendation for future research is to ask questions about the principles of

lean construction individually to determine whether or not companies are utilizing the principles

of lean construction without knowing the formal term. This research can be done on a point

system in which for every principle of lean construction that the company says it is utilizing,

they receive a point. This point system can then be used to calculate what principles of lean

construction are being utilized the most, what companies are utilizing these concepts, and

whether these techniques appear to be effective.

The third recommendation for future research is to survey the academic community.

Knowledge of new topics often comes from universities, schools, and other academic

organizations. Research into whether the academic community is aware and teaching about lean

construction principles and techniques could be very beneficial. This will help to determine why

lean construction is having a difficult time in its penetration of the construction industry.









The final recommendation for future research is to limit the survey to only U.S. or

Japanese based companies. The data obtained from this research could be contrasted to the

findings of Johansen et al. (2007) for the Netherlands, the UK, and Germany.









APPENDIX A
LEAN CONSTRUCTION SURVEY

LEAN CONSTRUCTION SURVEY
Rinker School of Building Construction
The following4 questions will require 10 5 minutes of your time. Kindly respond to all the
questions you are comfortable answering.

SECTION 1 Questions Regarding the Company: (please circle your answer)

1. How many persons do you employ in your company?
a) Under 200 employees
b) 200 to 1,000 employees
c) 1,000 to 10,000 employees
d) over 10,000 employees

2. What is your annual turnover in revenue terms?
a) $ 1 million to $ 5 million USD
b) $ 5 million to $ 25 million USD
c) $ 25 million to $ 100 million USD
d) over $ 100 million USD

3. What is the typical nature of your projects?
a) Infrastructure
b) Heavy Industrial
c) Buildings

4. Which of the following best describes the nature of your business?
a) General Contractor
b) Specialty Contractor
c) Supplier
d) Other

5. Your customer is most often from which sector?
a) Private
b) Public

SECTION 2 Questions regarding Lean Construction practices: (please circle your
answer)

6. Are you familiar with the term "Lean Construction" as an approach to managing
the construction process?
a) yes
b) no


7. Do you currently utilize Lean Construction methods or concepts on your projects?









a) yes
b) no

8. In what year did your company start to utilize Lean Construction concepts and
methods on your projects?
Year started

9. Has your company identified tangible benefits from utilizing Lean Construction
practices that have enhanced your company profits?
a) yes Examples:


b) no

10. Has your company evaluated Lean Construction concepts and methods and
reached a decision not to utilize these techniques?
a) yes
b) no

11. If your company has decided not to adopt Lean Construction to your practices,
what was the critical deciding factor driving this decision?
a) concluded the concepts & methods do not add value
b) lack resources to fully evaluate the concepts
c) lack resources to incorporate, train and deploy
d) other

SECTION 3 Questions regarding Research and Industry Involvement: (please circle
your answer)

12. Does your company actively participate in research projects conducted by
academic institutions or other organizations regarding Lean Construction methods and
techniques?
a) yes
b) no

13. Do members) of your company participate in an annual Lean Construction
conference such as the IGCL conference?
a) yes
b) no

14. Which group does your company interface with more often regarding adoption
and application of Lean Construction concepts and methods?
a) Customers/Owners
b) Academic Institutions
c) neither









15. During the next year your company will devote which of the following to the
subject of Lean Construction?
a) more time and resources
b) less time and resources
c) no time or resources

16. The following choices represent opinions expressed in recent editorials and
publications. Which of these definitions of Lean Construction is closest to your own?
a) the holistic pursuit to the elimination of material waste on a construction
project
b) Kaizen (Japanese for permanent and stepwise quality improvement)
c) the continuous process of eliminating waste, meeting or exceeding all
customer requirements, focusing on the entire value stream, and
pursuing perfection in the execution of the constructed project.
d) Other
Please Fill In

17. Please add any other thoughts or views you have regarding the application and
use of Lean Construction methods and concepts in the industry in 2007 below.










Thank you for your time and support!









APPENDIX B
INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH BOARD SURVEY COVER LETTER



February 12, 2008

Subject: Survey Request

Dear Sir/Madam:

I am a graduate student at the University of Florida completing a Master's Degree in Building
Construction from the Rinker School of Building Construction. A requirement for the degree is
to produce a master's thesis pertinent to the industry. My subject research is to explore the
extent to which Lean Construction has penetrated the business and is being practiced within
construction contractor environments.

I respectfully request and would greatly appreciate your time and consideration in completing
the enclosed questionnaire regarding Lean Construction. I will be back to pick up any
completed surveys around 1:00 pm. You may also submit the completed form to
stofmind@ufl.edu if you do not have time to complete the form today. I assure you that your
response will be treated confidentially and no firms will be individually identified in the report.

The survey should take approximately ten minutes to complete. I sincerely thank-you for your;
time, thoughts, and cooperation in completing this survey.

Very truly yours,



Dane Ryan Gilbert
Masters in International Construction Management Program
Rinker School of Building Construction, University of Florida
Research Committee Chairman: Dr. Raymond Issa









LIST OF REFERENCES


Abdelhamid, Tariq and Salem, Sam (2005) "Lean Construction: A New Paradigm for
Managing Construction Proj ects" Intemnational Workshop on Innovations and Materials and
Design of Civil Infrastructure, 28-29 December 2005, Cairo Egypt

Austenfeld, Robert Jr. (2001). "W. Edwards Demings: The Story of a Truly Remarkable
Person." Intemnational Quality Federation, Retrieved November 23, 2007 www.iqfnet.org

Adrian, James J. (2004). Construction Productivity: Measurement and Improvement,
Stipes, Champaign.

Common, G, Johansen, D.E., Greenwood, D.J. (2000). "A survey of the take up of Lean
concepts among UK construction companies." Proceedings, International Group for Lean
Construction 8th Annual Conference, IGCL-8

Farrar, Jack M., AbouRizk, Simaan M., and Mao, Xiaoming (2004). "Generic
Implementation of Lean Concepts in Simulation Models", Lean Construction Joumnal, Vol 1 #1
October 2004, ISSN 1555-1369, www.leanconstructionjournal.org

Howell, Gregory A. (1999). "What is Lean Construction 1999." Proceedings,
International Group for Lean Construction 7th Annual Conference, IGGL-7, 1-10.

Johansen, Eric, Glimmerveen, Henk, and Vrijhoef, Ruben (2002). "Understanding Lean
Construction and how it Penetrates the Industry: A Comparison of the Dissemination of Lean
within the UK and the Netherlands." Proceedings, International Group for Lean Construction
10th Annual Conference, IGCL-10, 1-1 1.

Johansen, Eric and Walter, Lorenz (2007). "Lean Construction Prospects for the
German Construction Industry", Lean Construction Journal, Vol 2 #2 October 2005, ISSN 1555-
13 69, www.leanconstructonj ournal.org

Koskela, L. (1992). "Application of the New Production Philosophy to Construction",
Technical Report No. 72 Centre for Integrated Facility Engineering, Department of Civil
Engineering, Stanford University.

Melles, Bert (1994). "What Do We Mean by Lean Production in Construction?", Defit
University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands.

Salem, O. and Zimmer, E. (2005). "Review Application of Lean Manufacturing
Principles to Construction", Lean Constructionn Journal, Vol 3 #1 April 2007, ISSN 1555-1369,
www.1eanconstructionjournal.org

Shingo, S. (1992). Non Stock Production. Productivity Press, Cambridge.










Taylor, David and Brunt, David (2001). Manufacturing Operations and Supply Chain
Management: The Lean Approach, Thomson Learning, London.

University of Florida (2007) Institutional Review Board "IRB-01 Policies and Procedures
Manual", University of Florida website www.irb.ufl.edu, Version 21 November 2007.

University of Florida (2007) "Policy and Procedures Manual, University of Florida,
UFIRBO2", University of Florida website www.irb.ufl.edu, Revision June 2007.

Womack, James P., Jones, Daniel T., and Roos, Daniel (1990). The Machine That
Changed the World, Rawson Associates, New York.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Dane Gilbert received a Bachelor of Design in Architecture from the University of Florida,

Gainesville, Florida in May 2006. After graduation, he enrolled at the M.E. Rinker, Sr. School

of Building Construction at the University of Florida to pursue a Master of Science of Building

Constrction.

Dane Gilbert was born in Tampa, Florida. Upon graduation, he will move back to Tampa

to work as a proj ect engineer. He hopes to become very successful in the construction industry

so that he can give back to the University of Florida' s Rinker School of Building Construction.





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1 CURRENT DEPLOYMENT OF LEAN METHODS IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY By DANE RYAN GILBERT A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 Dane Ryan Gilbert

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3 To my family

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would lik e to thank all of the people who have helped me in the completion of this thesis. I thank my committee (Dr. Raymond Issa, Dr. Es ther Obonyo, and Dr. Ian Flood) for helping to guide me through this process. I would also like to thank my parents, Dan and Kathy Gilbert. They taught me to do everything to the best of my ability.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........7 LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................................8 ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................9 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................10 What is Lean Construction?....................................................................................................10 Problem Statement.............................................................................................................. ....10 Objective of this Study........................................................................................................ ...13 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................14 Lean Production......................................................................................................................14 Total Quality Management.....................................................................................................17 Continuous Improvement....................................................................................................... 20 Lean Production in Construction............................................................................................21 Previous Research on the Depl oym ent of Lean Construction................................................ 23 The International Group of Lean Construction ......................................................................25 3 METHODOLOGY................................................................................................................. 27 Sample Selection....................................................................................................................27 The Survey..............................................................................................................................27 Analysis Performed................................................................................................................28 4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS................................................................................................. 30 Survey Response Rate........................................................................................................... .30 Demographics.........................................................................................................................30 Survey Results................................................................................................................. .......31 5 CONCLUSIONS.................................................................................................................... 41 6 RECOMMENDATIONS........................................................................................................ 43

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6 APPENDIX A LEAN CONSTRUCTION SURVEY.....................................................................................45 B INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH BOARD SURVEY COVER LETTER.............................. 48 LIST OF REFERENCES...............................................................................................................49 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................51

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 1-1. Productivity Increases for Various Industries in the U.S......................................................12 2-1. Comparison of craft production, m ass production, and lean production .............................. 15 2-2. Comparison of the conventional CM appr oach and the lean construction approach ............ 22 4-1. Number of employees containe d within the responding com panies.....................................30 4-2. Annual turnover in terms of re venue of the responding com panies...................................... 31 4-3. Typical nature of the projec ts done by the responding com pany.......................................... 31 4-4. Nature of the business done by the responding com pany..................................................... 31 4-5. Customer most often dealt with by the responding company............................................... 31 4-6. Percentage of respondents who are familia r with the ter m lean construction as an approach to managing the construction process................................................................ 32 4-7. Percentage of companies who currently ut ilize lean construction m ethods or concepts on their projects..................................................................................................................32 4-8. Year started and the num ber of years th at have elapsed since the companies began using lean construction......................................................................................................37 4-9. Mean and range of the number of years since the companies implemented lean construction as an approach to m anaging the construction process.................................. 37

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1-1. Definition of productivity.............................................................................................. .......11 2-1. Six steps of the Continuous Improvement Cycle................................................................. 21 4-1. Companies using lean construction base d on the num ber of persons employed by the company.............................................................................................................................33 4-2. Exponential trend of the number of employees in com panies utilizing lean construction.... 33 4-3. Companies using lean cons truction based on the com pany s annual turnover in terms of revenue...............................................................................................................................34 4-4. Companies using lean construction base d on the typical nature of the com panys construction project............................................................................................................35 4-5. Companies utilizing lean construction techniques based on th e nature of their business. .... 36 4-6. Business sector of the customer most often dealt with by the construction com panies utilizing lean construction.................................................................................................. 36 4-7. Groups the companies interface with mo st with regards to lean construction. ..................... 39 4-8. Amount of time companies plan on devo ting to lean construction in the future.................. 39 4-9. Definition of lean cons truction chosen by com panies........................................................... 40

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9 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science of Building Construction CURRENT DEPLOYMENT OF LEAN METHODS IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY By Dane Ryan Gilbert May 2008 Chair: R. Raymond Issa Cochair: Esther Obonyo Major: Building Construction This report investigates the deployment of lean construction in an attempt to answer the following two questions: 1) what percentage of l eading contractors is aware of lean construction techniques, and 2) to what extent has lean construction been accepte d into practice by the construction industry in 2008. The source of the data collected for this report was a survey. This survey was distributed to industry professionals repr esenting the 113 companies who attended the University of Floridas 2008 spring career fair on February 12, 2008. The Universi ty of Floridas spring career fair had Project Managers, Project Engineers, Senior Vice Presidents, Presidents, and Chief Operating Officers from some of the worlds t op general contracting fi rms in attendance. Results of the survey indicate that most of general contractors, spec ialty contractors, and construction management firms in the construc tion industry are unfamiliar with the term lean construction as an approach to managing the cons truction process. Lean is consequently not being utilized in the construction industry. It is likely that many of the techniques encompassed under lean principles are being used; however, companies are not utilizing lean construction principles as the overall approach for completing their projects.

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10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The increasingly competitive construction market of today is requiring general contractors (GC) and construction management firms (CMF) to better manage construction projects by increasing profits, while sticking to very strict time constraints. Essentially, it is the job of the GC and CMF to maximize productivity on each project they undertake. In order to do this, many general contractors and construction management fi rms are turning to continuous improvement techniques as an approach to mana ging their projects. One of these continuous improvement techniques that have garnered attention in the recent pa st is what is known as lean construction. What is Lean Construction? Lean construction is a new m ethod for managi ng the construction process. The ideology of lean construction stems from the popular manufacturing production te chnique developed by the Toyota production company known as lean manufacturing. In th eory, lean production can be defined as a system that delivers a finished product free from defects to a customer, in zero time, and with nothing left in inventory (Farra r et al. 2004). Moreove r, in the construction industry, lean can be described as the conti nuous process of eliminating waste, meeting or exceeding all customer requirements, focusi ng on the entire value stream, and pursuing perfection in the ex ecution of the constructed proj ect (Salem and Zimmer 2005). Problem Statement There have been few docum ented research proj ects that have attempted to determine the construction industrys acceptance of lean constr uction as an approach to managing the delivery of a project. The construction i ndustry has historically been very slow in the implementation of any kind of change. This has made actualization of continuous improvement techniques such as

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11 lean construction very difficult. This is in di rect contrast to the ma nufacturing industry, which has implemented the lean production approach with great success leading to more efficient and higher quality production. The construction industry in the United States is an archetype of how the construction industry throughout the world is in great need for continuous improvement techniques and productivity improvements in general. The U.S. Department of Commerce defines productivity as dollars of output per person-hour of labor input (Adrian 2004). This is annotated in Figure 11. One can infer from this definition of productiv ity the best way to in crease productivity is through greater labor efforts. Howe ver, increased labor effort is ju st one of the ways to increase productivity on a construction project. Other ways to increase produc tivity include: more efficient uses of equipment and tools, use of higher quality materials, improve the training of labor, lessen government induced restrictions, mini mize rework, and eliminate idle time (Adrian 2004). The majority of this list can be greatly affected by the decisions made by the management team and the overall approach the GC or CMF uses to manage the construction process. Figure 1-1. A Definition of Productivity

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12 The construction industry in the United Stat es has a declining rate of productivity increases. In 2002, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that the U.S. construction industrys productivity was increasin g at a rate 0.80%, which when compared to other industries ranks among the worst, if not the worst, in the Un ited States. These results can be seen in Table 1-1. Although the U.S. as a whole has been increasing at a rate of 2.70% annually, the construction industry has only been increasing at a rate of 0.80% per ye ar (Adrian 2004). Table 1-1. Productivity Increases fo r Various Industries in the U.S. Industry Productivity Increases (%) Agriculture 3.64 Construction 0.80 Government 1.64 Manufacturing 2.60 Mining 3.17 Public Utilities 5.40 Transportation 4.60 A quick analysis of Table 1-1 shows that th e manufacturing industry is having increases in productivity far beyond that of the constructio n industry. There are many factors that account for this, such as the construction industry is a stochastic process where things such as labor supply, weather, and material cost are different on every project. Despit e the fact that varying conditions are inherent to the construction process, a great d eal of research has been done attempting to legitimize lean production techni ques as a viable management approach for improving productivity in the construction industry.

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13 Objective of this Study Table 1-1 shows the U.S. construction indus trys need for continuous im provement and lean construction techniques. It is well documented that the ma nufacturing industry has adopted lean production as a viable technique to improve its busin ess performance and develop a sustainable competitive edge. A great deal less has been researched on the deployment of lean techniques in the constructi on industry. The objec tive of this study was to determine the following: 1) what percentage of leading contra ctors are aware of lean construction techniques and, 2) to what extent has lean construction been accepted into practi ce by the construction industry in 2008.

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14 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW It is the job of every Ge neral Contracting and Constr uction Management firm to maximize productivity on every project they en counter. They must do this while also completing the project on time and often within strict budget constraints. In the past, the manufacturing industry has led the way in terms of productivity improvement initiatives. One of the most recent productivity improvement t echniques being used by many world-leading manufacturing companies is lean production. Lean Production The ideas w hich formulate what is known as lean production were developed by Taiici Ohno, an engineer working for the Toyota manufacturing company. The term lean was later coined by the authors of The Machine That Changed the World published in 1990, who used the term to describe Toyotas appr oach to manufacturing. The result of the research showed that many Japanese automotive manufacturing companies were substantially ahead of their American and European counterparts with regards to produc tivity, quality, and time-to-market. This was particularly true of T oyota (Taylor and Brunt 2001). Lean production, as established by Taiici Ohno and the Toyota Company, is vastly different from the craft production and mass production met hods of making things that preceded it. Craft production us es highly skilled workers to produce one-of-a-kind products, using very simple, yet flexible t ools to make precisely what the customer wants. Examples of products made from craft production include; work s of decorative art, custom furniture, and exotic sports cars. Mass production on the ot her hand uses lesser trained workers who tend expensive machinery with a single purpose, to produce a high volume of standardized products. The machinery is inherently very intolerabl e of disruption. The mass production companies

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15 therefore incorporate extra suppliers, workers, and space to insure smooth production. Womack et al. (1990) offered a comparison of these techniques to making things (Table 2-1). Table 2-1. Comparison of craft production, mass production, a nd lean production (Womack et al. 1990) Craft Mass Lean Work force Highly skilled in design, Interc hangeable workers Flexible teams work machine operations and (division of labour). the process. Little fitting. Apprenticeship Improvement management layers. for workers. responsibility industrial Improvement engineers and foreman responsibility throughout the organization Organization Extremely decentralized Verti cal integration. Ne twork of suppliers but concentrated in one Central organization with design and city. Most parts and design design, engineering and engineering capability. from small machine shops. productio n in one place. Improvement along Coordinated by owner/ supply chain. entrepreneur. Tools General-purpose machine Dedi cated machines General purpose tools Product Very low production High volume. Long Ever-decreasing model volume No two exactly product lif e cycle. life cycles. Niche models alike possible. Lean production combines the advantages of craft and mass production while eliminating the high cost of craft producti on and the rigidity of mass produc tion. Lean production employs teams of multi-skilled workers at all levels of the organization and uses highly flexible, increasingly automated machines to produce volumes of products in enormous variety (Womack et al. 1990). Koskela (1992) summarizes the principles behind lean production as follows: Eliminate non value-adding activitie s (eliminate waste or muda) Increase output value through a systematic appr oach to analyzing the customers needs. Reduce the time it takes to complete a cycle Reduce variability Simplify the cycle by minimizing the number of parts, steps, and linkages

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16 Increase process transparency Focus control on the complete process Incorporate continuous improvement in the process Benchmark These principles are achie ved using the following me thodologies and tools also summarized by Koskela (1990): Just in Time Total quality management Time based competition Concurrent engineering Process design (reengineering) Value based management Visual management Total productive maintenance Employee involvement Lean production seeks perfection in the way th ings are made. It is the process of delivering a product free of defects, in the shortest amount of tim e possible, with zero waste, with no inventory, and with an endless amount of variety. It is an endl ess quest for perfection (Womack et al. 1990). Since the publication of The Machine That Changed the World, the benefits of lean manufacturing have been well documented. David Taylor and David Brunt have exclaimed that we have seen examples where throughput times and defects have been cut by 90 percent, inventories reduced by three-quarters and space and un it cost slashed in half. All of this has been done at very little capital cost to the organizations involved and firms have begun to develop the flexibility necessary to meet their customers needs. With performance improvement of this magnitude it has been possible for such compan ies to double output and profits with the same headcount (Taylor and Brunt 2001).

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17 Many of the ideals encompassed in the lean production system stem from concepts previously encapsulated in Total Quality Management (TQM). Total Quality Management The development Total Quality Management (TQM) can be thought of as a management philosophy of involving everyone in an organization, firm, or process in controlling and continuously improving how work or a service is done with the objective of meeting customer expectations of quality (Adrian 2004). In orde r to understand this definition, we must also define the term quality. Quality can be described as freedom from errors, consistency in production, and a means of adding valu e through improvements (Adrian 2004). The ideology of Total Quality Management can be traced back to the 1920s where Walter A. Shewart first began statistical analys is of quality control techniques. In his book, Economic Control of Qualit y of Manufactured Product, Shewart outlines a statistical analysis of problems on the production line. During this tim e period, American indus try shifted focus to maximization of output and the monitoring of re sults through inspection and work incentives (Adrian 2004). After the end of World War II, the Japanese began to focus on quality control techniques to rejuvenate their faltering economy. To do so, American experts such as W. Edwards Deming were called upon to aid in the Japanese economic refurbishment. Deming was invited to the Japanese Union of Scientist and Engineers, a prestigious research cen ter, in March of 1950. Deming went on to work with many Japanese manufacturing companies where he trained hundreds of engineers and managers in statistica l product control. Deming had a very clear

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18 message: improvement in quality co ntrol will lead to increase revenues as well as a larger share of the market. Deming became somewhat of a Japa nese celebrity. However, it was not till much later that his ideas of quality c ontrol, and statistical analysis in order to improve productivity began to be accepted in the United States (Austenfeld 2001). Shortly after Deming made his major cont ributions to the Japanese manufacturing industry, M. Juran released a manufacturing process he named total quality control. Jurans total quality control was simply an addition to Demings earlier statisti cal models expanding the statistical techniques to everybody, not just the technicians that were Demings focus. Juran also placed focus on the customer and customer needs (Adrian 2004). It was not until the 1980s that statistical t echniques, focus on the work process, and an emphasis on people and development of interdisci plinary teams began to be studied in the United States (Adrian 2004). In the mid 1980s, Phillip Crosby expanded on the focus on the customer. His concept made it so that the worker was not only involved in improvement brainstorming, these same workers who fostered th e ideas for improvement, also became vital in the implementation of the quality improvements. The result was a grand acceptance of Total Quality Management as a discipline to improve quality control in the United States (Adrian 2004). There are three main components to Total Quality Management. These components are: 1) getting everyone involved, 2) customer sati sfaction, and 3) continuous improvement. These components make up the framework for a successful Total Quality Management approach to production. The first step in implementing an effective To tal Quality Management approach is to get everyone in the company involved. In years previous to 1980s when Total Quality Management

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19 practices began to be implemented, decision ma king was left up to upper management. This centralized management group w ould then tell lower management of the changes, who would then subsequently enforce the changes onto the workers. Ther e was little or no input coming from the employees or subordina tes. The construction industry is a perfect example of an industry that has an inherent problem with getting laborers involved. The owner of the construction company makes a decision on how some thing should be done, this is passed down to the project manager, who relays the decisi on to the superintendent, who then relays the message to a foreman, who in turn mandates it to a craftsmen. In this situ ation there is little or no opportunity for the craftsman to get involved in the decision process. The problem, however, is that it is very often the craftsmen who knows the best method of performing the work. This is why under the Total Quality Management approach, Corrective Action Teams or Quality Improvement Teams are formed. These Correctiv e Action Teams identify processes or defects in the firm, product, process, or organization and possible solution to these problems (Adrian 2004). These teams are made up of a diverse group of employees within the organization. Continuing the use of a construction company as an example, a Corrective Action Team may consist of a project manager, a superintendent, a project engineer, a clerical worker or office manager, and a couple of craftsmen from different trades (Adrian 2004). The second step to implementing a Total Qual ity Management system is to direct all efforts to satisfy the needs of the customer A customer-first approach redirects the organizations focus from the people who provide the service or produc t and focuses it on the person receiving the service or product. Ev erything the company does should benefit the customer. In the construction i ndustry, the customer is the owner, or owners repr esentative in

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20 the private sector, and th e government, government official, or th e taxpayers in th e public sector (Adrian 2004). Continuous Improvement The final step in achieving Total Quality Ma nagem ent is an emphasis on continuous and ongoing improvement. This process can be described as a six step cycle. Th is six step process is outlined in Figure 2-1 (Adrian 2004). The first step is to identify the problem, defect or improvement required. It is important for management to listen to their employees in order to make sure defects do not go ignored or unnoticed. The second step is to assign the problem, defect, or improvement required to the Corrective Action Team or Quality Improvement T eam. This team then goes on to measure the defect, how many times it occurs, as well as the variation in performance. The fourth step in the process focuses on analyzing or brainstorming for possible alternatives to the process and how it can be done better. This analysis should be focused on eliminating the defect being studied. Step five in the continuous improvement proce ss is to systemize and implement the solution. These solutions would usually be the ideas that show ed the most promise as far as their ability to eliminate the defect (Adrian 2004). The final step in the process is to re-evaluat e the solution and measure again the defect to see if it still exists. This is the most important step in the Continuous Improvement process. Step six involves measuring the solution implemente d in step five, then re peating the last four steps of the process. This would begin with step three in which you again measure and analyze the process that spawned the defect. Brainstorm for appropriate solutions Implement a system to fix the defect. Finally, measure the defect again until the problem is eliminated.

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21 Step 1 Step 6 Step 5 Identify defect or Re-evaluate the solution Systemize and improvement needed and measure again implement the solution Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Assign the defect Measure and Brainstorm for to a Corrective Action analyze the for the best Team process Solution Figure 2-1. The six steps of the Con tinuous Improvement Cycle (Adrian 2004) Lean Production in Construction The m anufacturing industry ha s almost always led the way in terms of productivity improvements. There has been a great deal of re search that cites the many benefits of the lean production approach in the manufact uring industry. This begs the question as to whether or not the techniques, processes, and ideology of lean production are a pplicable to the construction industry. The construction industry has rejected many ideas from manufacturing because of the belief that the construction industr y is different. Manuf acturers make parts that go into projects but the design and construction of unique and complex projects in highly uncertain environments under great time and schedule pressure is fundame ntally different from making tin cans (Howell 1999). Howell, however, believes that the ideals enco mpassed in the lean production approach are viable for managing a construction project. Howell summarizes the differences stating that the

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22 current form of production management in cons truction is derived from the same activity centered approach found in mass production and proj ect management. It aims to optimize the project activity by ac tivity, assuming customer value has been identified in the design (1999). In contrast, Howell describes managing under lean construction different b ecause it; has a clear set of objectives for the delivery process, is aimed at maximizi ng performance for the customer at the project level, designs concurrently pr oduct and process, and applies production control throughout the life of the project (1999). Table 2-2 compares the conventional construc tion management approach with the lean construction management approa ch (Abdelhamid and Salem 2005). Table 2-2. Comparison of the conventional CM approach and the lean construction approach (Abdelhamid and Salem 2005)

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23 Lean production does not really include any new management principles or techniques that are not currently being implemented or at least attempted, in the construction industry today. It simply combines existing principles in a new day (Shingo 1992). The basic idea of lean production is very simple. Keep your production system and production or ganization simple and avoid waste (Melles 1994). Elimination of waste, or Japanese muda, is the primary principle behind lean production. Koskela iden tifies seven elements of wast e in the construction industry (1992). Work is done below the desire d quality (non-conformance) External quality cost (during facility use) Lack of constructability Poor material management Excess consumption of materials on site Working time used for non-value adding activities (waiting, over processing) Lack of safety Stimulate your employees to improve thei r own production process (Melles 1994). Create bilateral relationships among each task group to heighten communication within the organization. Above all, employees must change their attitudes with regards to productivity. The most important goal of lean production is to change the at titude of all employees of a company (Melles 1994). Previous Research on the Deployment of Lean Construction A literature search revealed three research projects that have been conducted on the penetration of lean construction into the industry. The first research attempt, done by Common et al. (2000), was an attempt t o test the transfer of lean principles to construction by investigating their penetration into large construction companies in the United Kingdom (2000). This research determined that in 1999, there were 221 large construction companies operating within the UK. After an initial survey attempt that resulted in insufficient data due to a low

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24 response rate, a second survey was complete d in which 100 construction companies were surveyed, and 34 of these companies completed the survey. This research concluded that there was limited knowledge of lean techniques. There has been some adoption of lean techniques; however, these only exist while al so relying on traditi onal approaches. Perceptions of lean techniques varied; most of the respondents did not realize the importan ce of design and planning (Common et al. 2000). The second research attempt entitled, Understanding L ean Construction and How it Penetrates the Industry: A Comparison of the Dissemination of Lean within the UK and the Netherlands was done in conjunction with the previous research done by Common et al. on the deployment of lean construction in the UK. This research was done in order to compare survey results of a similar sample of Dutch contractors with the contractors previously surveyed in the UK. The original questionnaire was translated in to Dutch and sent out to 60 medium to large construction companies. Zero questionnaires were returned. A second survey was then sent out in its original English form, and 12 companies re sponded. This represented a response rate of 20 percent. The results of the survey indicated th at the dissemination of lean concepts in the Netherlands is even lower than the UK although there is more consistency in perceptions (Johansen et al. 2002). Most be lieved that either lean produ ction could not be applied to construction or that it coul d only be applied in a limite d way (Johansen et al. 2002). The third and final research attempt disc overed by the literatu re search built upon the methodologies used in the earlier work in th e UK (Common et al. 2000) and the Netherlands (Johansen et al. 2002). This research attempte d to range the dissemina tion of lean techniques within construction companies in Germany in 2007. The questionnaire for the research was sent out to 61 companies taken from Top100 construc tion companies in Germany (2005), and this

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25 resulted in a response rate of 61 percent. The conc lusions that resulted from the analysis of this data were that there is little awareness of lean in the Germ an construction industry and that hardly any company uses lean concepts on a company wide basis despite evidence that procedures and techniques that are used on Germ an construction sites are generally consistent with lean construction practice. There appears to be cultural resistance to a manufacturing derived, production-system-view of c onstruction (Johansen and Walter 2007). The International Group of Lean Construction Lean construction has been re s earched by the academic comm unity since its conception in the early 1990s. The group that has probably had the greatest effect in the evolution of its theory as well as the promotion of its practice is the In ternational Group for Lean Construction (IGLC). The IGLC was founded in 1993. It is composed of a network of professionals and researchers in architecture, engineering, and construction. The IGLC believes that the practice, education, and research of design and construction need to be radically renewed in order to adapt to the needs of the ever-growing population. According to the IGLC website, the goal of the organization is as follows: Our goal is to better meet customer demands and dramatically improve the AEC process as well as product. To achieve this, we are developing new principles and methods for product development and production manageme nt specifically tailored to the AEC industry, but akin to those defining lean production that proved to be so successful in manufacturing. The IGLC currently holds annual conferences open to researchers and companies who would like to create and gain knowledge on the subject of lean construction and the advancement of its practice. The organi zation also post papers on the findings of its research.

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26 The IGLC is not the only or ganization actively participati ng in the expansion of lean construction. Other organizations include Australian Center for Co nstruction Innovation (ACCI) European Group for Lean Construction Lean Construction Institute Salford Centre for Research and Innovation These organizations are actively striving to in crease public knowledge of lean construction as well as its use in the construction industry.

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27 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY This report investigates the deployment of lean production te chniques in the construction industry. T he objective of this study was to de termine the following: 1) what percentage of leading contractors is aware of lean construction techniques, and 2) to what extent has lean construction been accepted into practice by the construction industry in 2008. Sample Selection The source of the data collected for this report w as a survey. This survey was distributed to industry professionals repr esenting the 113 companies who attended the University of Floridas 2008 spring career fair on February 12, 2008. The Universi ty of Floridas spring career fair contained Project Managers Project Engineers, Senior Vi ce Presidents, Presidents, and Chief Operating Officers from some of the wo rlds top general contracting firms. The University of Floridas 2008 career fair wa s chosen as the sample selection for this report, because it contained a wide range of ge neral contractors who are located all around the globe. These general contractors range fr om the very small (annual volume of under $100 million) to the very large (annual volume of $14.6 billion). The University of Floridas 2008 spring career fair also contained a large majo rity of contractors li sted on the ENRs Top 400 Contractors. It can be assumed that the majo rity of the ENRs Top 400 Contractors have the resources and personnel available to commit ti me and money to research and productivity improvement techniques. Therefore, the University of Floridas 2008 spring career made a suitable sample for the means of this report. The Survey The survey was designed in three sections. Th is survey and all of its three sections are included in the Appendix A of this report. The f irst section entitled, Questions Regarding the

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28 Company, is comprised of multiple choice quest ions regarding the specifics of each company including its number of employees its annual turnover in terms of revenue, and the nature of a typical project. This secti on contains a total of five questions to be answered by the representative of the company. The second section of the su rvey entitled, Questions re garding Lean Construction Practices, contains multiple choice and short-answer questions These questions attempt to discover the company representatives familiari ty with lean construction techniques, the deployment of these techniques within the co mpany, and whether the company has seen any benefits due to the utilization of these techniqu es. This section contains two multiple choice questions and two shor t-answer questions. The third and final section of this survey entitled, Ques tions Regarding Research and Industry Involvement, contains four multiple ch oice questions and two short-answer questions. These questions attempt to identify the companys involvement in lean c onstruction research, as well as any plans to devote resources to lean construction in the future. In addition to the survey, an introductory letter was composed outlining the purpose of the survey, as well as the rights of all the responde nts. Approval for the survey was obtained from the University of Floridas Institutional Review Board. Analysis Performed After the survey responses were received, a st atistical and analytical examination was done in order to best answer the following questions posed in this report: 1) w hat percentage of leading contractors is aware of lean construction techniques, and 2) to what extent has lean construction been accepted into practice by the co nstruction industry in 2008. For a few of the survey questions, it was pertinent to calculate the mean and range, responses. It was also necessary to show a si gnificant correlation between the comp anies using lean construction and

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29 the number of people employed within those companies. Microsoft Excel 2003 was used to calculate these statistical results.

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30 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS Survey Response Rate A total of 113 surveys were issued at the Univ ersity of Floridas M.E. Rinker Hall School of Building Construction spring 2008 career fair on February 12, 2008. A copy of the survey can be found in Appendix A of this report. The Univer sity of Floridas spring career fair contained Project Managers, Project Engine ers, Senior Vice Presidents, Presidents, and Chief Operating Officers from some of the worl ds top general contra cting firms. A total of 44 companies responded to the questionnaire. This yields a response rate of 39%. Demographics Com panies that responded to the Lean Construction Survey ranged from employing below 200 employees to over 10,000 employees. Of the 44 companies that responded to the survey, 27% of the companies contained below 200 employees, 43% contained between 200 to 1,000 employees, 23% contained between 1,000 and 10,000 employees, and 7% contained over 10,000 employees (Table 4-1). Also, out of the 44 co mpanies that responded to the questionnaire, 7% had an annual turnover in terms of revenue of $1 million to $5 million USD, 2% had an annual turnover between $5 million and $25 million US D, 23% had an annual revenue between $25 million and $100 million USD, and 71% had an annual revenue over $100 million USD (Table 4-2). Additionally, 11% of the resp ondents said that infrastructure best describes the nature of their projects, 5% said that hea vy industrial best describes the na ture of their projects, and 84% said that buildings best describes the nature of their projects (Table 4-3). Table 4-1. Number of employees cont ained within the responding companies Number of Employees Contained within the company Under 200 200-1000 1000-10000 Over 10,000 % of Respondents 27% 43% 23% 7%

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31 Table 4-2. Annual turnover in terms of revenue of the responding companies Annual Turnover in terms of revenue (millions USD) 1 to 5 5 to 25 25 to 100 Over 100 % of Respondents 7% 2% 20% 71% Table 4-3. Typical nature of the pr ojects done by the responding company Typical Nature of Projects Infrastructure Heavy Industrial Buildings % of Respondents 11% 5% 84% Out of the responding companies, 75% consider ed themselves General Contractors, 9% considered themselves Specialty Contractors, 2% consider themselves Suppliers, and the remaining 14% responded other when asked the na ture of their business (Table 4-4). Of the 44 companies that responded to the survey, 48% of the companies said that their customer most often comes from the private sector, and 52% said that their customer most often comes from the public sector (Table 4-5). Table 4-4. Nature of the busin ess done by the responding company Nature of the business General Contractor Specialty Contractor Supplier Other % of Respondents 75% 9% 2% 14% Table 4-5. Customer most often de alt with by the responding company Customer is Most Often Private Public % of Respondents 48% 52% Survey Results In order to better ascertain th e deploym ent of lean construc tion, respondents were asked to answer questions regarding their familiarity with lean constructi on, as well as whether or not they currently utilize lean construction methods or concepts on their projects. Twenty three percent of the respondents said that they were familiar with the term lean construction as an

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32 approach to managing the construc tion process (Table 4-6). Every respondent who said that they were familiar with the term lean construction also said that they utilized lean construction concepts or methods on their current projects. Table 4-7 shows a summary of the percentage of companies who responded saying that they curren tly utilize lean cons truction concepts or methods on their projects. Table 4-6. Percentage of responde nts who are familiar with the term lean construction as an approach to managing the construction process. Familiar with Lean Construction Yes No % of Respondents 23% 77% Table 4-7. Percentage of companies who currently utilize lean constructi on methods or concepts on their projects Utilize Lean Construction Currently Yes No % of Respondents 23% 77% In order to further analyze the data, the res pondents were then split up into those who said that they currently utilize lean construction concepts and methods and those who said that they do not. The 23% of respondents that said yes to the question of whether or not they currently utilize lean construction were th en further examined as to thei r demographics. Figure 4-1 shows the percent of companies who us e lean construction techniques based on the number of persons employed by the company. It was discovered that 8.3% of the companies with fewer than 200 employees utilize lean construc tion techniques, 10.5% of the co mpanies with between 200 and 1000 employees utilize lean construction techni ques, 40.0% of the companies with between 1,000 and 10,000 employees utilize lean construction techniques, and 66.7% of the companies

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33 with over 10,000 employees utilize lean constructi on. Next, the bar graph of this data was analyzed to determine a trend line for the graph. The R-squared value for the trend was 0.9334 (Figure 4-2). 8.33% 10.53% 40.00% 66.67% 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% less than 200 200 to 1000 1000 to 10000more than 10000 Number of EmployeesPercentage Using Lean Figure 4-1. Companies using lean construction based on the numb er of persons employed by the company. 8.33% 10.53% 40.00% 66.67% R2 = 0.9334 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% 80.00% less than 200200 to 10001000 to 10000more than 10000 Number of EmployeesPercentage Using Lean Series1 Expon. (Series1) Figure 4-2. Exponential trend of the number of employees in companies utilizing lean construction.

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34 The 23% of respondents who answered yes to the question of whether or not they utilize lean construction concepts and techniques were then analyzed to compare there annual turnover in terms of revenue, the typical nature of their pr ojects, the nature of their business, and whether there company was most often from the public or private sector. First, the companies were analyzed in terms of there annual revenue. Of th e companies with an annu al turnover in terms of revenue of under $25 million, 0% utilizes lean cons truction. Of the companies with an annual turnover between $25 and $100 million, 33.33% utilize lean construction. As shown in Figure 43, of the companies with an annual turnover more then $100 million, 19.4% utilize lean concepts and techniques. 0.00% 0.00% 33.33% 19.35% 0.00% 5.00% 10.00% 15.00% 20.00% 25.00% 30.00% 35.00% 1mil 5mil 5mil 25mil 25mil 100mil > 100mil Revenue in Millions of $Percentage Using Lean Figure 4-3. Percentage of co mpanies using lean construction based on the companys annual turnover in terms of revenue.

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35 Next, the companies that use lean techniques were analyzed to compare the nature of their business. Of the companies that said Infrastru cture to the question asking the nature of their business, 40.0% utilize lean construction techniques. Of the companies that answered Heavy Industrial to the question regard ing the nature of their business, 50.0% utilize lean techniques. Finally, of the companies that repl ied buildings with regard to the nature of their business, 16. 7% utilize lean on their projects. This data is shown in Figure 4-4. 40.00% 50.00% 16.67% 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% Infrastructure Heavy Industrial Buildings Project TypePercentage Using Lean Figure 4-4. Percentage of companies using lean construction based on the typical nature of the companys construction project. The next step was to analyze the type of company and whether they utilize lean construction techniques. Of the companies that answered General Contractor as the nature of their business, 18.2% use lean techniques. Of the companies that answered Specialty Contractor, 25% utilize lean techniques. Zero percent of the companies that consider themselves suppliers utilize lean techniques. Of the companies th at said Other, 33.3% utilize lean techniques (Figure 4-5).

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36 18.18% 25.00% 0.00% 33.33% 0.00% 5.00% 10.00% 15.00% 20.00% 25.00% 30.00% 35 00% GC Spec. C Supplier Other Business TypePercentage Using Lean Figure 4-5. Percentage of companies utilizing lean construc tion techniques based on the nature of their business. Finally, the companies that utili ze lean techniques were compared as to what sector the customers that they most often do business wit h. Of the companies that answered Public, 30.4% utilize lean techniques. Of the compan ies that answered Private, 9.5% use lean techniques (Figure 4-6). 9.52% 30.43% 0.00% 5.00% 10.00% 15.00% 20.00% 25.00% 30.00% 35.00% PrivatePublic Sector T yp e% Using Lean Figure 4-6. Business sector of the customer most often dealt with by construction companies utilizing lean construction.

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37 The eighth question of the survey asks the re spondent to state the year in which their company started utilizing lean construction. The responses of the ten companies that responded to this question are summarized in Table 4-8. The mean year and range of the amount of time elapsed from the year are summarized in Table 4-9. Table 4-8. Year started and the number of year s that have elapsed since the companies began using lean construction. Year Started Years Elapsed 2004 4 2003 5 2000 8 2000 8 2003 5 2000 8 1998 10 1994 14 2000 8 Table 4-9. Mean and range of the number of years since the companies implemented lean construction as an approach to managing the construction process Number of Years since implementation of Lean Mean Minimum Maximum 7.78 4 14 The ninth question of the survey asks the re spondent if they have identified any tangible benefits from utilizing Lean Construction pr actices. Of the companies utilizing lean construction, 88. 9% believe they have identified tangible benefits. Question nine also asks the respondent to list examples of the benefits they have identified. The three responses were limited supply chain = more profit = simplifi cation and increased customer satisfaction; Constructability increases on every project and; We staff our projects based on lean ideology and constructability increases as a result.

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38 The tenth and eleventh questions pertain to if the company has made a conscious decision not to utilize lean techniques. Question ten of the survey asks if the respondents company has evaluated lean construction concepts and method s and reached a decision not to utilize these techniques. Every person who responded to this question answered no. The eleventh question asks, if your company has decided not to adopt Lean Construction to yo ur practices, what was the critical deciding factor driving the decision? Since every respondent who answered question ten answered no, question eleven we nt unanswered by every person responding to the survey. The final section of the survey asks que stions regarding th e responding companys research and industry involvement. Of all the 44 persons that responded to the questionnaire, only one respondent (2.3%) said th at their company actively partic ipates in research projects conducted by academic institutions regarding lean construction. Zero respondents said that members of their company partic ipate in an annual lean construction conference such as the IGCL. When asked the question of which gr oup does your company interface with more often regarding adoption and applic ation of Lean Construction concepts and methods, 13.6% responded Customers/Owners, 0% responded Academic Institutions, and 86.4% responded neither (Figure 4-7). Question 15 of the survey asks the quantity of time and resources the respondents company plans to devote to lean constr uction. 11.4% of the respondents sa id more time. None of the respondents responded less time. 77.3% responde d, no time and resources The summary of this data can be seen in Figure 4-8.

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39 13.64% 0.00% 86.36% 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% 80.00% 90.00% 100.00% Customers/Owners Academic Institutions Neither Interface GroupPercentage of Company Responses Figure 4-7. Groups the companies interface with most with regards to lean construction. 11.36% 0.00% 77.27%0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% 80.00% 90.00%More Time Less Time No TimePercentage of Company Responses Figure 4-8. Amount of time companies plan on devoting to lean construction in the future

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40 The final multiple choice question of this survey asks the respondents to choose the definition of lean construction that most closel y resembles their own. 22.7% of the respondents chose the continuous process of eliminati ng waste, meeting or exceeding all customer requirements, focusing on the entire value stream, and pursuing perfection in the execution of the construction project. The remaining 77.3% of the respondents chose other when answering the question. This data ca n be seen in Figure 4-9. 0.00% 0.00% 22.73% 77.27% 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% 70.00% 80.00% 90.00% abcdDefinitionPercentage of Company Responses Figure 4-9. Definition of lean c onstruction chosen by companies: A) the holistic pursuit to the elimination of material waste on a construc tion project B) Kaizen (Japanese for permanent and stepwise quality improveme nt) C) the continuous process of eliminating waste, meeting or exceeding al l customer requirements, focusing on the entire value stream, and pursuing perfection in the execution of the constructed project D) Other

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41 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS The results of the survey indicate th at the deployment of lean construction within the industry is low. Lean construction, as a concept appears to be largely unknown. The companies that are familiar with the term lean construction as an approach to managing the construction process all believe that they are curre ntly utilizing these techniques and concepts on their projects. Also, a large majority of the co mpanies that are familiar with lean believe that they are rece iving tangible benefits. No company said that they consciously decided not to use lean concepts Based on these findings, the conclusions of the research are that although most the repres entatives of todays General Contractors and Construction Management firms are unaware of lean construction as a technique, the re presentatives that are familiar with it, are using it and believe that it is beneficial to their company. The benefits most often listed by the respondents were related to better constructability. The next most noteworthy results gained from this research are illustrated Figure 4-2. Figure 4-2 shows the percentage of companies us ing lean construction based on the number of persons employed by the company. The R-squared value of the graph is very close to 1. Therefore, the graph has an exponential trend. The conclusion that can be drawn from this graph is that as the number of empl oyees in a company increases, so does the knowledge and use of lean construction. Another important result gained from this re search is that companies that produce an annual turnover in terms of revenue of less th an $25 million are unfamiliar with the term lean construction as a technique to manage the cons truction process. These companies subsequently do not utilize lean construc tion on their projects.

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42 Most of the companies who responded said th at they began utiliz ing lean construction within the last eight years. The longest period that any company surveyed has been implementing lean construction on their projects is 14 years. Only one company of the 44 companies who re sponded to the survey actively participates in research projects conducted by academic ins titutions or other organizations regarding lean construction methods and techni ques. None of the companie s who responded to the survey currently attend any conferences regarding lean construction. Based on the findings of this research, the ma in conclusion is the majority of GCs and CMFs in the construction industry are unfamiliar with the term lean construction as an approach to managing the construction process. Lean is subsequently not be ing utilized in the construction industry. It is likely that many of the techniques encompassed under lean principles are being used; however, companies are not utilizing lean construction as the overall approach for completing their projects. Organizations such as the International Group for Lean Construction believe that the practice, educat ion, and research of design and c onstruction need to be radically renewed in order to adapt to the needs of the ev er-growing population. If lean is an answer to this change, it appears that it is going to be a slow process.

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43 CHAPTER 6 RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendations for Further Research Additional research on the topic of lean c onstruction will be gr eatly beneficial to productivity in the construction industry. The fi rst recomm endation for further research is to increase the sample size. This research surveyed 113 companies at the University of Floridas spring 2008 Building Construction career fair. Fort y four companies responded to the survey. A research effort that targeted the ENR top 400 ge neral contractors would enlist the best group of general contractors in the world. It is assumed from this rese arch that by targeting the top 400 countries in the world, a larger percentage of companies will be aware of the concepts and benefits of lean construction. The second recommendation for future research is to ask questions abou t the principles of lean construction individually to determine whether or not compan ies are utilizing the principles of lean construction without knowing the formal term. This research can be done on a point system in which for every principle of lean c onstruction that the compa ny says it is utilizing, they receive a point. This point system can then be used to calculate what principles of lean construction are being utilized the most, what companies are utilizing these concepts, and whether these techniques appear to be effective. The third recommendation for future research is to survey the academic community. Knowledge of new topics often comes from universities, schools, and other academic organizations. Research into whether the academ ic community is aware and teaching about lean construction principles and techniqu es could be very beneficial. Th is will help to determine why lean construction is having a difficult time in its penetration of th e construction industry.

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44 The final recommendation for future research is to limit the survey to only U.S. or Japanese based companies. The data obtained fr om this research could be contrasted to the findings of Johansen et al. (2007) for the Netherlands, the UK, and Germany.

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45 APPENDIX A LEAN CONSTRUCTION SURVEY LEAN CO NSTRUCTION SURVEY Rinker School of Building Construction The following questions will require 10 15 minut es of your time. Kindly respond to all the questions you are comfortable answering. SECTION 1 Questions Regarding the Company: (please circle your answer) 1. How many persons do you employ in your company? a) Under 200 employees b) 200 to 1,000 employ ees c) 1,000 to 10,000 employees d) over 10,000 employees 2. What is your annual turnover in revenue terms? a) $ 1 million to $ 5 m illion USD b) $ 5 million to $ 25 million USD c) $ 25 million to $ 100 million USD d) over $ 100 million USD 3. What is the typi cal nature of y our projects? a) Infrastructure b) Heavy Industrial c) Buildings 4. Which of the fo llowing best describes the nat ure of your business? a) General Contractor b) Specialty Contra ctor c) Supplier d) Other 5. Your customer is most often from which sector? a) Private b) Public SECTION 2 Questions regarding Lean Construction practices : (please circle your answer) 6. Are you familiar with the term Lean C onstruction as an approach to managing the construction process? a) yes b) no 7. Do you currently utilize Lean Constr uction methods or concepts on your projects?

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46 a) yes b) no 8. In what year di d your company start to utiliz e Lean Construction concepts and methods on your projects? Year started ___________ 9. Has your company identified t angible benefits from ut ilizing Lean Construction practices that have enhanced your company profits? a) yes Examples:__________________ _____________________ __________________________________________ ______________________ ________________________ _____________________ ___________________ b) no 10. Has your company evaluat ed Lean Construction concepts and methods and reached a decision not to utilize these techniques? a) yes b) no 11. If your company has decided not to adopt Lean Construction to your practices, what was the critical deciding factor driving this decision? a) concluded the concepts & met hods do not add value b) lack resources to fully evaluate the c oncepts c) lack resources to incorporate, trai n and deploy d) other ___________________________ _______________ SECTION 3 Questions regarding Research and Industry Involvement : (please circle your answer) 12. Does your company actively parti cipate in research projects conducted by academic institutions or other organizati ons regarding Lean Construction methods and techniques? a) yes b) no 13. Do member(s) of your company participate in an annual Lean Construction conference such as the IGCL conference? a) yes b) no 14. Which group does your company in terface with more often regarding adoption and application of Lean Construction concepts and methods? a) Customers/Owners b) Academic Institutions c) neither

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47 15. During the next year your com pany will devote which of the following to the subject of Lean Construction? a) more time and resources b) less time and resources c) no time or resources 16. The following choices r epresent opinions expressed in recent editorials and publications. Which of these definitions of Lean Construction is closest to your own? a) the holistic pursuit to the elimi nation of material waste on a construction project b) Kaizen (Japanese for permanent and stepwise quality improvement) c) the continuous process of elimi nating waste, meeti ng or exceeding all customer requirements, focusing on t he entire value stream, and pursuing perfection in the execut ion of the constructed project. d) Other ______________________________________________________ _______. Please Fill In 17. Please add any other thoughts or view s you have regarding t he application and use of Lean Construction methods and c oncepts in the industry in 2007 below. __________________________________________ ______________________ __________________________________________ ______________________ __________________________________________ ______________________ __________________________________________ ______________________ __________________________________________ ______________________ ________________________________________ Thank you for your time and support!

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48 APPENDIX B INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH BOARD SURVEY COVER LETTER February 12, 2008 Subject: Survey Request Dear Sir/Madam: I am a graduate student at the University of Fl orida completing a Masters Degree in Building Construction from the Rinker School of Building Construction. A requirement for the degree is to produce a masters thesis pertinent to the industry. My subject research is to explore the extent to which Lean Construction has penetrated the business and is being practiced within construction contractor environments. I respectfully request and would greatly appreciate your time and consideration in completing the enclosed questionnaire regarding Lean Construction. I will be back to pick up any completed surveys around 1:00 pm. You may also submit the completed form to stofmind@ufl.edu if you do not have time to complete the for m today. I assure you that your response will be treated confidentially and no firms will be individually identified in the report. The survey should take approximately ten minutes to complete. I sincerely thank-you for your; time, thoughts, and cooperation in completing this survey. Very truly yours, D R Gilbert Dane Ryan Gilbert Masters in International Construction Management Program Rinker School of Building Construction, University of Florida Research Committee Chairman: Dr. Raymond Issa

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49 LIST OF REFERENCES Abdelhamid, Tariq and Salem, Sam (2005) Lean Construction: A New Paradigm for Managing Construction Projects International Workshop on I nnovations and Materials and Design of Civil Infrastructure, 28-29 December 2005, Cairo Egypt Austenfeld, Robert Jr. (2001). W. Edwards Demings: The Story of a Truly Remarkable Person. International Quality Federation, Retrieved November 23, 2007 www.iqfnet.org Adrian, James J. (2004). Construction Pr oductivity: Measurement and Improvement, Stipes, Champaign. Common, G, Johansen, D.E., Greenwood, D.J. ( 2000). A survey of the take up of Lean concepts among UK construction companies. Proceedings, International Group for Lean Construction 8th Annual Conference, IGCL-8 Farrar, Jack M., AbouRizk, Simaan M ., and Mao, Xiaoming (2004). Generic Implementation of Lean Concepts in Simulation Models, Lean Construction Journal, Vol 1 #1 October 2004, ISSN 1555-1369, www.leanconstructionjournal.org Howell, Gregory A. (1999). W hat is Lean Construction 1999. Proceedings, International Group for Lean Construction 7th Annual Conference IGGL-7, 1-10. Johansen, Eric, Glimmerveen, Henk, and Vr ijhoef, Ruben (2002). Understanding Lean Construction and how it Penetr ates the Industry: A Comparison of the Dissemination of Lean within the UK and the Netherlands. Proceedings, International Group for Lean Construction 10th Annual Conference, IGCL-10, 1-11. Johansen, Eric and Walter, Lorenz (2007). Lean Construction Prospects for the German Construction Industry, Lean Constr uction Journal, Vol 2 #2 October 2005, ISSN 15551369, www.leanconstructonjournal.org Koskela, L. (1992). Application of the New Production Philosophy to Construction, Technical Report No. 72 Centre for Integrated Facility Engineering, Departm ent of Civil Engineering, Stanford University. Melles, Bert (1994). What Do We Mean by Lean Production in Construction?, Deflt University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands. Salem, O. and Zimmer, E. (2005). Review Application of Lean Manufacturing Principles to Construction, Lean Constr uction Journal, Vol 3 #1 April 2007, ISSN 1555-1369, www.leanconstructionjournal.org Shingo, S. (1992). Non Stock Producti on. Productivity Press, Ca mbridge.

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50 Taylor, David and Brunt, Da vid (2001). Manufacturing Op erations and Supply Chain Management: The Lean Approach, Thomson Learning, London. University of Florida (2007) Institutional Review Board IRB-01 Policies and Procedures Manual, University of Florida website www.irb.ufl.edu, Version 21 November 2007. University of Florida (2007) Policy and Pr ocedures Manual, University of Florida, UFIRB02, University of Florida website www.irb.ufl.edu, Revision June 2007. Womack, James P., Jones, Daniel T., a nd Roos, Daniel (1990). The Machine That Changed the World, Rawson Associates, New York.

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51 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Dane Gilbert received a Bachelor of Design in Architecture from the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida in May 2006. After graduation, he enrolled at the M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Fl orida to pursue a Master of Science of Building Construction. Dane Gilbert was born in Tampa, Florida. Upon graduation, he will move back to Tampa to work as a project engineer. He hopes to b ecome very successful in the construction industry so that he can give back to the University of Floridas Rinker School of Building Construction.