Applying Lean Construction Techniques to Identifying and Reducing Waste in Grinaker-LTA Building Inland (GLTA



Dissertation submitted to Milpark Business School in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Master in Business Administration

Johannesburg, March 2010

Supervisor: Sarel Visagie

Declaration I, Stanley Tavero George, declare that this research report is my own, unaided work, except as indicated in the acknowledgements, the texts and references. It is being submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Business Administration at Milpark Business School, Johannesburg. It has not been submitted before, in whole or part for any degree or examination at any other institution.

Stanley Tavero George

Signed on………………….Day of…………………………………2010

ABSTRACT This study evaluated the current understanding and attitude towards waste recognition and the tendency to waste reduction within the Grinaker-LTA Building Inland business unit. The principles of Lean Construction were used as a basis for benchmarking the current state and as a tool to take the organization forward in this ever increasingly competitive building construction market. Two construction sites within Gauteng were used in this study. Employees were asked to respond to questionnaires that were structured to solicit certain information out of them. The collected data was analysed using tables and graphs. The study showed that there was no conclusive evidence that Grinaker-LTA was either traditionalistic or lean in the way that employees regarded waste on construction sites. However, an important imperative came out that the ability to recognize waste on site does not necessarily prompt action to reduce or eliminate it. Furthermore all five possible sources of waste on site were identified as being likely to be causing waste on sites. This situations reveals that GLTA needs to move towards a more lean position. This study recommended that Grinaker-LTA should start to scientifically evaluate its waste management programmes if it must stay ahead of the pack because operational efficiency is the answer to today’s profitable organizations. To achieve this goal, there is need for top management commitment, inclusivity, benchmarking and creation of a learning organization. Finally, it is also recommended that further research be undertaken to understand the organizational behaviour and design the service profit chain.

DEDICATION To my siblings and friends ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .

I am deeply appreciative of the assistance. may God bless you. Last but not least I would like to thank my partner and friends for enduring long hours without their loved one as I worked on this project. I also want to thank all the people who took their valuable time to complete my questionnaire. Mr S Visagie. Firstly. .I am extremely grateful to all the people who helped in the successful production of this dissertation. advice and support given to me by my supervisor.

List of Abbreviations CIDB GLTA JIT TFV TPS TQA TQC TQM TPM Construction Industry Development Board Grinaker LTA Building Inland Just In Time Transformation Flow and Value Model Total Production System Total Quality Assurance Total Quality Control Total Quality Management Total Productive Maintenance .

Table of Contents 1.0 Dissertation Title…………………………………………………………………1 1.1 Introduction……………………………………………………………..1 1.2 Problem Statement……………………………………………………..3 1.3 Purpose and importance of study…………………………………….5 1.3.1 1.3.2 1.3.3 Purpose…………………………………………………...5 Importance……………………………………………..…5 Review of existing literature…………………………….6

1.4 Research objectives……………………………………………………7 1.5 Research methodology………………………………………………...7 1.5.1 1.5.2 1.5.3 1.5.4 Definition and scope of the research study…………...8 Definition……………………………………………….…8 Scope…………………………………………………..…9 Limitations of the research study………………………9 Research validity………………………………9 Research reliability…………………………….9 1.6 Structure of the dissertation………………………………………….10 1.7 Timelines…………………………………………………………….…11 1.8 Conclusions………………………………………………………….…11 2.0 Related literature review………………………………………………….…….13 2.1 Introduction………………………………………………………..……13 2.2 Comparison to manufacturing……………………………………..…14 2.3 Lean production in manufacturing…………………………………...16 2.4 The new production system…………………………………………..17 2.5 Impact of new production system on construction…………………18 2.6 Impact of new production system in South Africa……………….…19 2.7 The concept of production………………………………………….…19 2.7.1 2.7.2 2.7.3 2.7.4 2.7.5 2.7.6 2.7.7 2.7.8 Transformation…………………………………………...20 Flow concept……………………………………………..21 Value generation concept……………………………….22 Just in time………………………………………………..22 Total quality control………………………………………23 Total productive maintenance…………………………..23 Concurrent engineering…………………………………24 Continuous improvement………………………………..24


Visual management………………………………………25

2.7.10 Value based strategy management…………………….25 2.8 Flows in construction………………………………………………..26 2.9 Construction waste…………………………………………………..28 2.9.1 2.9.2 2.9.3 2.9.4 2.9.5 2.9.6 2.9.7 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 Introduction……………………………………………..28 Waste and value loss in construction………………..29 Waste and value loss due to quality of works…….…29 Waste and value loss due to constructability………..29 Waste and value loss due to material management..30 Waste and value loss due to non-productive time….30 Waste and value loss due to safety issues………….30

New concept of waste in production activities……………31 Lean production model for waste in lean construction….32 Waste classification…………………………………………35 Key construction waste causes……………………………39 Waste and performance in construction……………….…39 Conclusion ……………………………………………….…39

3.0 Research methodology…………………………………………………….….41 3.1 Method of research……………………………………………….….41 3.2 Profile of respondents…………………………………………….….45 3.3 Hypotheses……………………………………………………………45 3.4 Structure of the questionnaire………………………………………46 3.5 Conclusion…………………………………………………………….47 4.0 Data analysis and interpretation………………………………………………48 4.1 Introduction……………………………………………………………48 4.2 Response………………………………………………………………48 4.3 General waste recognition……………………………………………49 4.4 Waste mitigation scenario……………………………………………52 4.5 Frequency of occurrence……………………………………………54 4.6 Sources and causes of waste……………………………………….56 4.7 Discussion of findings……………………………………………..…57 5.0 Conclusion and recommendations……………………………………………59 5.1 Introduction………………………………………………………….…59 5.2 Relating findings to research objectives……………………………59 5.3 Relating research findings to hypotheses………………………….61 5.4 Recommendations……………………………………………………62 6.0 References………………………………………………………………………66

7.0 Appendix…………………………………………………………………………70 Table of figures 1.1 Breakdown of the scopes of each phase of the research methodology……11 1.2 Gantt chart for approximate duration of research activities…………………14 2.1 Fundamental differences between manufacturing and construction……....17 3.1 Direct waste elements on site…………………………………………………..44 4.1 Response ………………………………………………………………...52 4.2 Classification of respondents …………………………………………………..52 4.3 General waste recognition………………………………………………………54 4.4 4.5 Waste mitigation…………………………………………………………………55 Frequency of occurrences………………………………………………………57

Table of Tables 2.1 Differences between manufacturing and construction……………..……………………….… 17

2.2 Direct waste on site ……….……………………………………………………...44 4.1 Key of waste type………………………………………………………………….52
4.2 Key of waste variable ……………………………………………………………..52 4.3 Matrix of general waste recognition …………………………………………….54

Dissertation Title Applying Lean Construction Techniques to Identifying and Reducing Waste in Grinaker-LTA Building Inland (GLTA)

1.1 Introduction

Grinaker-LTA Building Inland is a building construction company based in South Africa and is part of the listed company Aveng Group. The company has a long history dating back to the early 20th century and is currently one of the “big five” construction companies in South Africa.(CIDB, 2004) The construction business is a key sector in the world economy and more so for developing countries like South Africa. The industry is probably one of the longest surviving that has had a slow evolution mainly triggered by advances in technology. Advances in technology have enabled buildings to be erected faster and be more complicated in design. The globalization of the world economy has seen a lot of movement of companies, capital and skills within the industry. For individual companies this translates to more threats from the operating environment. Government interventions especially on regulating the green environment mean that it is not business as usual for most construction companies. The current downturn in the world economy has resulted in fierce competition for contracts. For example, the world’s largest destination for construction work, Dubai, has seen a cut of up to 30% in the amount of contracts available due to investors suspending projects.( EngineeringNews, 2009) From its crude beginnings, the construction industry has seen an evolution where building construction and management has become scientific. Whilst trying to address endemic problems in the industry such as low productivity,

Construction has been a slow evolving industry with the major changes happening due to harnessing new technology that makes the construction process faster. However.26). companies are in business to make profits. poor health and safety. However. emulating the successes in the lean manufacturing processes like the Toyota Production System (Leng.low client satisfaction. However. internal and temporary environments (Senior. it is time that softer issues of management be adopted and be widely used to optimize . 2002 p. 2004). of conversion and flow process similar to that of the manufacturing industries. the concept of waste is grossly misunderstood by a lot of construction personnel. Recently there has been a shift to Lean construction. According to the centre for Experiential Education and Shingo (1989). Advances in Total Quality Management and the subsequent development of the ISO 9000 series are all attempts to ensure that quality and customer satisfaction are achieved. Most studies in the construction industry have been centred on introducing new technologies and speeding up the construction process without much regard for the companies’ bottom line. a new paradigm that seeks to optimize the construction process. Companies like GLTA that have over time perfected their systems and are accredited for quality assurance systems and must move further and broaden the concept of waste so that they optimize their competitiveness. the only way of increasing profits in a competitive environment is to reduce costs. scholars and practitioners have developed scientific empirical ways of measuring success in projects. 2004). Organizations constantly change in response to their external. It is the pursuit of eliminating waste that will differentiate companies in the competitive environment of the construction business. Opportunities for reducing costs are realised through the identification of wastes and minimising them in parallel to value adding strategies such as training and new technology. The new paradigm is based on the concept. (Leng.

the writer has identified some waste on site and presumably the same observation may be extended to other similar construction sites within the company. This accreditation helps with the “end” side of the construction process as it ensures that certain processes are adhered to for quality purposes. There is still need to optimize the construction process at site level so that the “mean” end of production is efficient as well.the conversion and process flow for more productivity. However. less waste and higher profits. It is assumed that the concept of waste is not fully understood and by utilizing techniques of Lean Construction and education of key construction personnel. GLTA is ISO 9001 accredited. Lean Construction is a new paradigm that has roots in the manufacturing processes such as the Toyota Production System. Having joined the group recently. According to researchers and scholars. waste identification opportunities are possible thereby improving performance of the system. This should be done in parallel to value adding strategies already in place for the company. 1. Lean Construction philosophy is laid on the concept of conversion and flow process.2 Problem Statement Grinaker-LTA is one of the “big five” construction companies in South Africa. There is need to bridge the gap between the . Over the years the company has developed cultures and systems that have made it competitive and have capacity. the company is still bedevilled by some chronic problems found in construction such as low productivity and poor health and safety record and a lot of rework of jobs. further competitiveness will be induced into the company. If a construction process is evaluated as a conversion and flow process.

people and processes (Senior. According to the Lean Construction Institute. Processing is value adding (conversion). All this is done to reduce waste and finally increase customer satisfaction The Lean Construction Institute states that: Cycle time = Processing + handling + Inspection + Waiting The old paradigm concentrated on improving processing (Conversion) while disregarding handling. whilst handling. lean assembly. value. work structuring and production control.existing practices and the Lean Construction paradigm first. The organization might need to adopt a fine tuning or incremental adjustment strategy both of which are aimed at allowing the organization to operate more efficiently and optimize the consistencies between strategy. . the principles lie in taking further the principles of Total Quality Management for the organization to improve productivity through. Parameters for waste measurement. It is proposed that Koskela’s (1992) Conversion and Flow Process Model be used along with the principles of Lean Construction to evaluate the current state of waste recognition and mitigation for GLTA as well as to recommend the road map to compliance. that is. lean design. Flow and Value Management. structure. inspection and waiting waste. 2002). lean supply. cycle variability need to be defined and understood as well as the examination of the current personnel’s understanding of waste. inspections and waiting are nonessential and therefore regarded as waste that must be minimized.

however. According to the centre for Experiential Education and Shingo (1989).1. the only way of increasing profits is a competitive environment is to reduce costs. This study will set up the ground work for future thorough studies and implementation of lean construction techniques in GLTA . Lean Construction principles are meant to assist in improving the conversion and process flow of the building process. The group must take a leading role among its peers in the industry and move the South African construction industry forward in the new construction management paradigm. This fact is an assumed known.3. The concept of lean construction will be proposed as a solution to see waste recognition and reduction as a group strategy to improve productivity and profitability 1.3.3 Purpose and importance of the study 1.2 Importance Given the current global economic trends it is important for GLTA to position itself in a very competitive position if successes of the past are to continue being realised. GLTA has a department of continuous improvement and this study is meant to assist in proposing Lean Construction as an alternative solution to the group’s endeavours. The idea is to gauge how lean the organization is and map a road for compliance.1 Purpose The study is intended to evaluate the current understanding of Lean Construction within GLTA in reference to waste management. it has been scientifically elusive to fathom.

overproduction. processing and waiting. Ineffective communication and non-alignment of goals resulted in a lot of waste and less customer satisfaction. According to scholars. motion. dominated by fragmentations of responsibility between. flow of information and materials and generating value for the customer. . This thinking also recognizes the seven wastes that must be minimized as: correction. Design and construct.1. this thinking and practice eliminates waste and results in better customer satisfaction and in turn more profit for the construction company. Health and Safety and many more. Koskela and Huovila (1997) proposed 3 ways of conceiving a construction processes: conversion of inputs into outputs. Abdelhamid (2004) of the Lean Construction Institutes summarizes the history of thinking effectively. management and the artisans on site. However there was less elimination of waste resulting in less customer satisfaction still. Value engineering.4 Review of existing Literature Ballad and Howell (1998) defines construction as the design and assembly of objects fixed in place. conveyance. inventory. lean supply. However. work structuring and production control. The new thinking is Lean Construction that basically involves flow and value management. the customer. Total Quality Management. This all entails lean design. Moving towards Lean means consideration of value and flow processes. The first stage was construction-as-usual. Ballad and Howell argue that this view of the conversion process has dominated thinking and practice for a long time. Partnering. lean assembly. These new initiatives were broadly centered on productivity improvement mainly through new technology. The second stage saw scholars and practitioners ushering in new improvement initiatives that included.

1.  scenario   1. For the sake of this study.5 Research Objectives The research is aimed at one organization but forms a basis for further research in the subject to the construction industry in South Africa. the major objectives are: To examine the general perception and attitude towards and practice of Examine the extent of problems arising from waste identified in the current Identify the sources of waste Study the possible improvements aimed at eliminating waste  lean construction principles within GLTA.A thorough review of literature shall be done in subsequent chapters that will show the history of production management that culminated in the concept of Lean Construction.1: Breakdown of the scopes of each phase of the research methodology Formulate Problem Statement Identifying an area of study and research  of current literature so as to understand the subject matter. Finalizing the research topic A quantitative research approach will be The survey will be conducted within two Research Design   adopted for this study  .6 Research Methodology Table 1. sites of GLTA  A questionnaire shall be designed and structured in such a way that the factors and Data collection and processing variables relevant to the study are captured  Data will be collected by hand delivered questionnaires as the population is composed of colleagues  Data will be sorted according to level of responsibility of the respondents within the Data analysis company  Statistical analysis will be done through the descriptive and inference statistics  The significance of the factors and variables will be compared to the problem Conclusions and recommendations statement  A comparison of the outcomes of the data with the problem statement will be done.  Research report Constructive recommendations will be drawn based on the objectives of the study  Write up of the final draft to be submitted Definition and scope of the research study 1. An evaluation of the current extent of practice of the principles and wastes identified shall be done and based on that. .2 Definition This study is aimed at applying the principles of Lean Construction to GLTA Building Inland.

2 Research reliability The subject of lean construction is relatively new in South Africa.3 Scope  The study is limited to GLTA Building Inland construction sites in Gauteng Primary data will be collected from site personnel who are directly involved Province  in planning and executing building work.recommendation on the way forward in the implementation shall be suggested.4. 1. It is recommended that further extensive research be carried out throughout the group to get a more representative view of the performance of the group.4 Limitations of the research Study There are certain limitations to this research as the writer wishes to highlight: This study will be limited to GLTA Building Inland that is based in Gauteng Province.4. 1.6.1 Research validity GLTA has several business units based on province and speciality. thus there may be very little attention at documenting parameters of variability on the . 1. The outcomes of the study may be biased towards building construction projects and to a certain culture created over the years within the Inland business unit.

research aims. Definition of waste and models for waste minimization shall be discussed as well. methodology and limitations of the study Chapter 2. The concept of Lean Construction will be introduced.various projects undertaken. formulation of the hypothesis and how they are to be tested. Problems in Construction and the trends in Improvement Strategies: This chapter will examine the problems faced in construction and the various thinking and practices that have been developed over the years to try and resolve the problems. Chapter 3. Introduction: This chapter covers the overall perspective of the research study such as background to the study. Research Methodology: This chapter shall focus on the design of the questionnaire. scope and objectives.7 Structure of the Dissertation Chapter 1. 1. Data Analysis and Interpretation: . This might affect the understanding of questions by respondents and hence the consistency of the results obtained. problem statement. A general overview of the statistical analysis to be applied shall also be discussed Chapter 4.

The results from the questionnaires shall be interpreted with reference to the hypothesis and the research objectives.2: Gantt chart for approximate duration of research activities Description Drn Wks 2 Week 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 Literature review Questionnaire design Send out questionnaire Data analysis Conclusions and recommendations Drafting final report 8 4 4 6 4 4 1. Chapter 5. The findings shall be used to provide a strategic solution to the problems identified in GLTA and to provide a roadmap for the formalisation on the practice in the company Time lines: Table 1. Conclusions and Recommendations: This chapter shall conclude the study based on the findings.8 Conclusion .

1 Introduction According to the Construction Industry Indices (CIDB. To this end. 2007) there was 26% customer dissatisfaction. this study will attempt to look at one aspect of operations where the company can improve itself and also to act as a propellant for further in-depth studies to be carried out within the group. 25% .It is not easy to differentiate strategies among construction companies as there are so many similarities among them. Profitability within companies emanates from internal efficiencies. However.0 Related Literature Review 2. 2. 33 quality problems that were not acceptable. It is imperative that GLTA embark on a scientific evaluation of its activities to build efficiencies that will give it an edge over their competition with the ultimate goal of profitability and customer satisfaction. company cultures and practices are different.

temporary multi-organization and over time have not been given attention and are simply . such as one-of a kind. once off.defects that were not acceptable and safety remains a concern with the construction industry that recorded the second highest fatalities in the workplace after mining between the year 2006 and 2007. These problems are attributed to the nature of the industry. right the first time. free from defects. This indicates that customer satisfaction is also achieved through the organization’s internal processes. The CIDB quotes the M4I as saying “Clients in construction want their projects delivered on time. low productivity and others that are well known. in situ. safely and by profitable companies. efficiently. Most of these problems have been left unattended for a long time because of the inherent belief that they cannot be solved. According to research carried out by Koskela (1993) on studies done in Sweden. Regular clients expect continuous improvement from their construction companies to achieve a year on year reductions in project cost and reduction in project cost”. poor safety practices. it was discovered that there is a lot of none value adding activities in construction and associated costs as shown below:        Quality (non-conformance) external quality costs (during facility use) lack of constructability poor materials management excess consumption of materials on site time used for non-value adding activities on site lack of safety 12% 4% 6-10% 10% 10% 66% 6% Problems in Construction There are endemic problems in construction such as poor work quality. on budget.

moving machinery and other factors that cannot be easily predicted and planned for. 2. processes and technologies for the achievement of higher productivity 2. The new thinking is that the solution lies in the organization.factored in on pricing projects. adversarial contractual relationships and lack of customer focus that inhibit industry performance. improving the existing and use of new technology (Alarcon. According to Koskela (2000). although some believe that both industries still learn from one another (Howell et al. 1994).1 below Table. allocation and control of resources. industrialization.1 Fundamental differences between manufacturing and construction. This is exacerbated by use of temporary labour. planning. prefabrication and modularization and computer integrated construction. Scientific study of the industry has been difficult as appropriate models are difficult to draw. However some of these can be overcome by applying new flow designs. there has been no major improvement in construction due to this adoption mainly due to the fundamental differences between the two industries as indicated in the Table 2. When compared with manufacturing where activities are controlled and routine. construction has got a lot of variables that make it difficult to streamline information flow and waste management. The application of lean thinking to reduce waste in construction flow process) . Source: Leng (2004). Conclusions from some scholars are that it is the fragmented nature of the industry.2 Comparison to Manufacturing The Manufacturing Industry has been a source of reference for improvements in construction. lack of coordination and communication. 1998) Efforts to transfer the successes of the manufacturing industry to construction have been done. for example the use of new technology and process adoption.

Among the pioneers in the academic circles to try and adopt this new philosophy are Koskela and Alarcon. using less of everything and these changes have been due to application of a new philosophy called Lean Production. Alarcon (1995) also identified this fact and argued that performance could be improved by waste identification and reduction in parallel to the value adding strategies. shared resources and intermediate products only partly understood  Skills vary in all areas Assembly objectives requirement Produces one of a finite set of objects with clear definition from the beginning Rapid learning from the first units preparing for production line Make one only with details that are not clearly known from the beginning Rapid learning during both planning and early sub assembly cycles Improvement strategy In the late 1980’s there was a new trend in production that caught the attention of academics and construction practitioners. The challenge is identifying and measuring waste as an effective tool to improve production systems as it points out areas that need attention. . The fundamentals of this new development are that new industries are “lean”. Koskela (1992) identified the dominance of the “conversion” thinking in construction and argued for the replacement of it with the “conversion-flow” thinking.What How Start of manufacturing Highly defined  Highly defined  Ops plan is in great detail based on many trials  Primary sequence of tasks is inflexible and interdependency is documented and approved  Positions in sequence determines skills Start of construction Evolving  Partly defined but details unexamined  Extensive planning still Interdependencies remains by hard logic  due to conflicting measurements.

This maintained a planned pace of production and avoided unnecessary inventories. semi-autonomous machines. According to Conte and Gransberg (2001).3 Lean Production in Manufacturing Traditional production thinking after the industrial revolution never went beyond the concept of production as a transformation process. Juran and Feigenbaunm. This was a statistical method of quality assurance that was refined by industrial engineers through trial and error.Waste modelling and measurement assist with process management since operational costs can be properly modelled and information used for decentralised control 2. thereby ignoring the flow processes that are part of production and inhibited improvements in the system There was a paradigm shift in the 1950’s when Ohno. Simultaneously quality was attended to through consultants like Deming. co-operation with suppliers and other techniques The off-shoot from this system is termed Just-In-Time (JIT) and has contributed to major improvements in productivity in manufacturing from the 1970’s (Koskela 2000). Other philosophies emerged such as Total Quality Management (TQM). reduced set up times. Value Based Management and Concurrent Engineering but where all based on the same principles viewed from different angles. . a former Toyota executive set out to develop a new production system called the Toyota Production System (TPS). the TPS goal is to achieve continuous production by adopting monitoring measures for each process aiming to reduce waste. Elimination of inventories and other waste through small lot production. The basic idea was to adopt strategies that are based on downstream demand in the production chain.

resulting in complex. uncertain and confused flow processes. QA and TQM The flow activities should find ways of simplification. Womack and Jones (1996) suggested that lean thinking provides production processes a way to specify value. world class production. 2. Krafcik coined the name lean to emphasizes less of everything. elimination and automation in order to reduce them . According to Koskela (1992). a new production philosophy emerged known by several names (Lean production. Profit is realized through streamlining flow processes and making conversion more efficient. new production system). Conversion adds value while flow does not. administration and product development. 2. moving. It was mainly applied in manufacturing but has diffused to services. expansion of non-value adding activities and reduction of value adding output. inspection) processes. Value is realised through customer satisfaction and the money paid for the goods/services.At the beginning of the 1990’s. Analysis and separation of conversion and flow processes Conversion activities go through QC. traditionally the production system compounded conversion and flow as if it were all value adding. The latest trend is for a leaner production chain through all stages of production that must include the whole value chain. less materials and lower cost. less people. 3.4 The New Production system All production systems consist of Conversion and Flow (waiting. Enton (1994) summarized the applicability of lean thinking in construction process as: 1. conduct them without interruption and more effectively. line up value adding processes in best sequence.

However. Koskela (1992) identifies the dominance of the conversion thinking in construction and argues that this should be replaced by the Conversion-Flow thinking that runs along the new production system. There are many initiatives in tertiary institutions to permeate the knowledge to industry and one such example is the Lean Development Group base at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (www. the new production system has been applied in the US and Europe recently on a regular basis where a lot of work is being done by academics and practitioners to use it to improve the construction industry. most . There is no clear evidence of a deliberate aim to apply lean production methods in construction production.5 Impact of new production system on construction Since the 1990’s. Howell (Civil Engineer) and Ballard (Researcher). Lean production is mainly applied in South Africa’s manufacturing industry.2. 2. Lean Construction has gained momentum since 1993 and new curriculum especially at post graduate level is now being introduced to rework and accidents and increasing value in quality.nmmu. A nationwide “Rethinking Construction” movement in the UK is taking place led by a report from Sir John Egan in 1998. have put forward the concept of Lean Construction by seeing potential for applying the general principles set by Koskela. finished products. The Lean Construction Institute says that Lean Construction is a production management based approach to project delivery by maximizing value and reducing waste.6 Impact of the new production system in South Africa Following the trend of manufacturing being the predecessor of many production improvement strategies. etc. The essence of the Egan report is to set targets for improvement on a year-to-year-basis of productivity processes through waste reduction such as time.

moladi.7 The Concept of production Koskela did a historical analysis of the production concept and revealed that there are 3 sub-concepts to production and that the whole concept could be identified and separated into Transformation. it is going to take time for the new thinking to filter in South Africa and be appreciated as the solution to improving the current industry practices. Given that lean production in construction is a relatively new concept and is still in its infancy in Europe and the USA. Production management is there fore the decomposition of transformation into elementary tasks and transformations. acquiring the inputs to these tasks with minimal costs and the carrying out as efficiently as possible of these tasks. has embarked on a quest to find technology and methodologies that provide fast and cheaper erection methods for low cost housing.1 Transformation This has been the dominant theory since the beginning of the 20th century where production was viewed as transformation of inputs to outputs. The Government in its quest to provide affordable housing to the firms apply one or more of the predecessors of lean thinking especially in quality assurance such as Value Engineering. TQM and QA.transformations into smaller and more manageable tasks for individuals” . Flow and Value generation (TFV Model) 2. The core principle is “the decomposition” of sub. One such initiative is through the Moladi modular houses that are created from low strength concrete (www.7.

it is recommended that it is advantageous to insulate the production process from the external environment through physical or organizational buffering.1. Furthermore. Production as a transformation process. The assumption is that the transformation process is so important that it is necessary to insulate it from the erratic external environment Shortcomings of the transformation concept . The assumption is that sub-processes are independent of each other and cost reductions can be achieved through cost management of each sub-process. Lauri (2000) The total cost can be minimized through minimization of each subtransformation processes. Source: An exploration towards a production system and its application to construction. Koskela.Materials Labour Production Process Products Sub-process A Sub-process B Figure 2.

increase flexibility and increase transparency. the model abstracts away physical flows between conversions. However it over simplifies processes and tends to undermine the full potential to optimize the efficiency of production process. and excellent power of various tools to analyze and control of production in an easy and simple way. 2. reduce lead time and variability and providing practical ways in implementation such as simplifying by minimizing the number of steps.7.Transformation concept is conventionally widely-accepted in terms of production mainly due to its sufficient power to model reality. The transformation concept has its shortcomings. Non-transformation activities are unnecessary and the less of them is better and best if there are none of them.2 Flow Concept Time is introduced as an input (or resource) in production and therefore the main focus is in the amount of time consumed by the total transformation and its parts by aiming for the production improvement at shortening of the total time of production. The flows have cost and time variables that must be taken into account in the overall production process. The principles of eliminating the flow activities include reducing the share of non-value-adding activities. By focusing on conversions. parts and linkages. Time is consumed by two types of activities in the overall production flow which are transformation activities and non-transformation activities. .

led to other techniques that were forced responses to coping with fewer inventories such as lot size reduction. was introduced. It focused on control of the transformation and flow.5 Total Quality Control (TQC) TQC is a technique that is founded on the use statistical methods to control quality through inspection.7. where production is initiated by actual demand rather than by plans based on forecasts. 2. The principal idea in the approach was the reduction or elimination of inventories.2. namely control for the sake of the customer and it is important to highlight that the value generation concept does not focus on any particular aspect of physical production like transformation and flow model do but rather on its control in securing value generated for the customer.7. This concept covers external needs and the production system is structured in such a way that customer needs are taken into account. The pull type production control method. supplier cooperation.4 Just In Time (JIT) JIT is mainly applied in Industrial Engineering as initiated at Toyota car factories in the 1950’s. layout reconfiguration. 2. and set-up time reduction. and then producing products that conform to the specified design. in turn. The technique was started in Japan and has evolved from mere inspection of products to total quality control of the organization through: . This. Production management equates to translating these needs accurately into a design solution.3 Value Generation Concept The underlying concept is the satisfaction of the customer.7.

Histogram. through process control such as Fishbone Diagram. Flow charts or Check sheets & Correlation Diagram) to continuous process improvement through the new seven tools. Tree Diagram. preventive maintenance. The scope of TPM programs includes maintenance prevention (through design or selection of easy-toservice equipment). 2. Process Decision Programme Chart and Activity Network Diagram). and presently to designing quality into the product and process (Quality Function Deployment). incorporating the . Ease and cost of constructability. equipment improvements. while technicians and engineers handle more specialized tasks.The focus has evolved from an inspection orientation (sampling theory). as well as customer needs. team-based approach in which the product and the production process are designed and configured within the same time frame. 2.7.7. Control Chart. that is.5 Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) Total Productive Maintenance is a comprehensive program to maximize equipment availability in which production operators are trained to perform routine maintenance tasks on a regular basis. Matrix Diagram. The main ideas about concurrent engineering is to achieve an improved design process characterized by rigorous up-front requirements analysis. Affinity Diagram. Prioritization Grid. and predictive maintenance (determining when to replace components before they fail). Interrelationship Diagraph. quality issues.6 Concurrent engineering Concurrent engineering is a cross-functional. rather than sequentially. Pareto Chart. Run Graphs. and product life cycle costs are taken into account earlier in the development cycle.

The core principal of visual management is the ability to understand that. A Continuous Improvement strategy involves everyone from the very bottom to the very top. 2. and as much information is shared as is . gradual improvements. on par or behind and what needs to be done next.8 Visual management Visual management is an orientation towards visual control in production. if production is ahead. cost and delivery target improvements. 2.7. The key idea of continuous improvement is to maintain and improve the working standards through small. No orders are missed or lost and every one knows if they are behind or ahead on the day’s production. The main goal of the continuous improvements is to affect the mindset as well as achieve the improvements of the techniques. responsible for their own efforts. quality and workplace. Generally this method is implemented on large boards next to particular areas on the shop floor. with a quick look at the shop floor what orders are being done. Shop floor staff will take on more selfmanaging responsibility with this method as day-to-day decisions are handled on the shop floor. and tightening of change control towards the end of the design process.7. the basic premise being that small regular improvements leads to a significant positive improvement over time. everyone pitches in and receives training in the appropriate skills. In this case. areas and progress of their teams and the employees will continuously suggest improvements to meet quality. small-step improvement as opposed to big-step or radical improvement.7 Continuous improvement Continuous improvement is a never-ending effort to expose and eliminate root causes of problems.constraints of subsequent phases into the conceptual phase.

feasible. ranging from maintenance to production targets and production output to injuries.2 Summary of principles of lean production: Source: Leng (2004). The application of lean construction to reduce waste in construction process flow . in contrast to Competitor oriented approach toward overall production process. It is a continuous improvement to increase customer satisfaction by conceptualizing and articulating value as the basis for competing. 2. Principles of lean production for production improvement FLO W C OMPR ES SION FLO W D YNAM IC AND F LEXIBILITY FLO W STABILIT Y AND CO NTROL Focus c ontrol on the c omplete proc ess Build conti nuous i mpr ovement i nto s ys tem Bal anc e fl ow i mprovement with conversion impr ovement Reduc e the share of non-val ue addi ng Increas e output value acti viti es Increas e output flexi bility Reduc e variability Increas e proc ess transparenc y Reduc e the c ycl e ti me benchmar king Simplify by mi ni mizing s teps Figure 2.7.10 Value based strategy Management Value based strategy management is a customer-oriented.

basically meaning that planning and controlling production is very important and tasks and flows have to be considered in parallel in production management. it is not uncommon that detailed drawings are still lacking at the project start date.8 Flows in construction production Ballard and Howell (1998). .2. concluded that the production in construction is assembly-type. Latent errors in drawings will emerge as problems during construction on site. The productivity of manual labour is inherently variable. The degree of variability is higher in construction production compared to manufacturing production. and the availability of space and connecting works is dependent on the progress of tasks of previous trades. location flow (movement of trades on site) and assembly flow (sequence of work) There are at least seven resource flows that generate the construction task as illustrated In Figure 2. External conditions also form one specific source of variability. namely material flow (transportation of components site for particular installation). where different materials flow to the end product.3 below. Koskela (2000) says that ‘realization of tasks depends on flows. Koskela (2000) suggested that there are three types of flow associated with construction. and progress in turn is dependent on realization of tasks’. Many of these resource flows are of high variability. and thus the probability of a missing input is considerable. For instance.

Construction design Materials Workers Equipment TASK Space Connecting works External conditions Figure 2.3 Flows in Construction.9 Construction Waste . The preconditions of a construction task 2. Source: Koskela (2000).

2. This is clearly due to the dominance of the conversion model thinking that describes processes as conversion from one to another. Some wastes are related to efficiency and are difficult to measure because the optimal performance is not usually known. partial studies can be used from various countries to indicate the order of magnitude of non value-adding activities in construction. The association of only physical material as waste in construction has over the years caused a lot of other waste to go unquantified and hence neglected.2 Waste and value loss in construction Koskela (1992).9. In various studies conducted in Europe and USA it was noted that the causes of poor quality of work result from design (46%).9. . Quality costs are also incurred by the customer during facility use.3 Waste and value loss due to quality of works Unacceptable quality of work and nonconformance costs can be very high due to re-work. Waste is generally measured in cost or/and opportunity cost.9. 2. He summarized some of the findings as follows: 2. Deviation costs amount to an estimate of 12% as studied in the USA mainly due to design related issues. It is estimated that these cost are on average 10-20% of the project cost.1 Introduction An inclusive definition of waste is all activities and processes that produce cost directly or indirectly or do not add value. stated that there has never been any systematic attempt to observe all wastes in a construction process but nevertheless. construction (22%) and material (15%).

2. 2.4 Waste and value loss due to constructability Constructability is the capability of a design to be constructed. All the estimation given from the researches compiled by Koskela. It is cost effective for a project if the production process utilizes off-the-shelf materials.10% to 1 . some researchers such as Bell & Stukhart have estimated that 10 .6 Waste and value loss due to non-productive time Workers’ time is not usually utilized in activities that add value. Good designs should take into account the constraints and possibilities of the construction process. a reduction of the bulk material surplus from 5 . materials and is good for controlling variability.3% would result from a better material management practice.9. Furthermore.5 Waste and value loss due to material management According to Lend (2004).9. the average distribution of working time used in value-adding activities ranging around 30% to 40%. Besides that. the average distribution of working time of the 17 observed building projects survey in Chile conducted by Serpell. 2. For example.9 % in the United States.9.12% savings in labour costs could be produced by materials-management systems. (1995) during 1990 and . some researchers also reported that savings of 10% in materials costs can be achieved from vendor cooperation in streamlining the material flow. Oglesby and his co-author estimated around 36% in 1989 while Levy in 1991 claimed that the average share of working time is 31. Good constructability makes costs savings in time. et al. Leng (2004) indicates that similar figures from other countries but some other researches did show a greater variance in percentage.

10 New concept of waste in production activities In the new production paradigm. see waste as “Anything that is different from the minimum quantity of equipment. Lean thinking is essentially an extension of the traditional thinking that covers items that hitherto have not been studied in detail and exposed as stand-alone waste items. 2.” The above definitions of waste clearly allude to the fact that waste must be seen from an activity point of view and not from aggregate inputs such as material. machinery and labour as the traditional thinking focuses on. which generate additional costs but do not add value to the product (Koskela 1992). labour.7 Waste and value loss due to safety issues According to Levitte and Samelson(1988).9. in the USA. safety-related costs are estimated to be 6 percent of total project costs. waste is defined more broadly than its usual limited scope as any inefficiency that results in the use of equipment. Waste includes both incidences of material losses and the execution of unnecessary work. 2. Waste may also be defined as any losses produced by activities that generate direct or indirect costs but do not add any value to the product from the point of view of the client.1994 shows that the minimum value of productive work was 35% and the maximum was 55%. Pioneers of Lean production. parts and labour time that is absolutely essential for production. Lean Thinking digests construction production into smaller molecules that . By delving deeper and into more detail on the basis of activities. Toyota. materials. material. or capital in larger quantities than those deemed necessary in the production of a construction project.

Instead of concentrating on single activities as points of focus.11 Lean Production Model for Waste in Lean Construction The Lean production model in construction should be based on the Conversion-Flow model that has an ultimate goal of reducing waste in any production system. lean production seeks cycle time to understand the causes and losses due to waste. that is. There is also a very big benefit to construction production that was not so obvious using the traditional approach. more profit is realized. From a business perspective. There is opportunity to improve production in two ways using the Lean Thinking approach. Coordination will be achieved through the central schedule whilst smaller sections are managed by persons who are aware of the project goals and work together for the achievement of that goal. total project cost and duration become the single most important goal. Using lean thinking. Production is a flow that creates value through conversion processes and is a function of cost. 2. the construction project is viewed as one production system. waste elimination. The parameters that are variable in the model need to be measurable and standards set for continuous evaluation of the efficiency and performance. In other words. The first is to increase efficiency of value adding activities and the second is to eliminate or reduced waste. zero defects and flexible output. This means that customer satisfaction becomes the primary objective. time and value. It also becomes easier for practitioners to have specific targets for improving the production system. . this increases the bottom line of the organization.

Serpell et al. only processing activities are value-adding activities and the rest are waste and reducing their share in the process is the target for continuous improvement. and inspection. The model concentrates on the process flow rather than the exchange among the processes. waiting (delay). processing (conversion). As a rule in this model. 1992) This model distinguishes between value-adding and non value-adding activities. Moving waiting Process A inspection Moving scrap Figure 2. Koskela’s Flow Process Model (Koskela.Koskela (1992) proposed a conversion-flow process model. (1995) have proposed an open and dynamic construction . in which production is conceived as a flow of materials and information through four types of stages: transport (moving).4.

7 below. The model presents the construction production process that is linked to its external environment. Non controllable area Controllable area Flow regulation Flow and Process management Operational methods External flows Internal flows Conversion process p Environment .process model as described in Figure 3. Some variables in the external environment are controllable and some are not.

Source: Serpell (1995) Flow and conversion management are responsible for making the decision that define the performance of the system.Figure 2.12 Waste classification Scholars and practitioners acknowledged that there are many non-value adding activities during the design and construction process and the majority of these wasteful activities consume time and effort without adding value for the client. Based on the ratio of prevention investment cost . External flows are usually uncontrollable. and information. There are two types of flows as portrayed in the model. suppliers’ provision of resources and design information. et al. that can only be reduced through a significant change in the level of technological development. Flows are the inputs to the system that may be separated in two types. resources (labour. producing different types of waste Formoso. materials and construction equipment). Conversion activities transform the flows into finished and semi-finished products.5 Model of the construction process. Construction Managers have to deal with many factors that may negatively affect the construction process. (1999). The methods used in this activities decided by the flows and conversion management. for example. commented that there is an acceptable level of waste. From the inception of a construction project. Products are results of conversion activities. for example. Internal flows are usually controllable. 2. materials from a warehouse.

the stage that the main root cause is related to.over the cost of waste itself. where the cost of waste is significantly higher than the cost to prevent it. Although waste is usually identified during the production stage. Waste due to defects Formoso. Waste due to stock 6. Waste due to operation 7. in which the investment necessary to its reduction is higher than the economy produced. The most classical waste classification according to lean production paradigm is perhaps the classification done by Shigeo Shingo. such as materials manufacturing. Waste can also be classified according to its origin. (1999) gave further clarity on waste classification based on studies done on construction site in Brazil. Waste due to wait periods 3. Unavoidable waste (or natural waste). Waste due to transport 4. Waste due to overproduction 2. and planning. design. training of human resources. . that is. based on the Ohno’s framework of Toyota Production System: 1. that is. His classification is meant to assist managers to understand the different forms of waste. since it is related to the level of technological development. The second is avoidable waste. He proposed the following waste classification whereby waste was classified by its nature. they have classified wastes into two general groups. it may also be originated by processes that precede production. et al. The percentage of unavoidable waste in each process depends on the organization and on the particular site. Waste due to the system itself 5. why they occur and how they can be avoided or reduced. materials supply.

losses due to inadequate stock conditions on . A classic example is the overproduction of mortar that cannot be used on time. An example would be a gang waiting one operation to be complete before they can start working. Its main consequences are: waste of man hours. concrete is wasted if placed in confined spaces using a bucket. and pace of work by different groups or equipments. and the lack of planning of material flows. waste of space on site. For instance. Substitution: is monetary waste caused by the substitution of a material by a more expensive one that has an unnecessary better performance.Overproduction: related to the production of a quantity greater than required or earlier than necessary. Processing: related to the nature of the processing (conversion) activity. Inventories: related to excessive or unnecessary inventories which lead to material waste (by deterioration. the execution of simple tasks by an over-qualified worker. It is usually related to poor layout. which could only be avoided by changing the construction technology. the use of inadequate equipment or bad conditions of pathways can cause this kind of waste. This may cause waste of materials. It usually produces inventories of unfinished products or even their total loss. Transportation: concerned with the internal movement of materials on site. waste of energy. in the case of materials that can deteriorate. Waiting time: related to the idle time caused by lack of synchronization and levelling of material flows. or the use of highly sophisticated equipment where a much simpler one would be enough. and the possibility of material waste during transportation. Excessive handling. man-hours or equipment usage.

and monetary losses due to the capital that is tied up. Instead of classifying the waste of productive time. or poor arrangement of the working place. Productive work (value-adding activities) 2. measuring and cleaning 3. lack of integration between design and production. This might be caused by inadequate equipment. lack of planning and control. vandalism). 1. accidents. Contributory work (non value-adding activities but essential for conversion process): Those contributory work which are classified as waste include examples such as transporting. such as the excessive thickness of plastering. Movement: concerned with unnecessary or inefficient movements made by workers during their job. Waste that is time based is difficult to model because there are no optimal efficiencies to compare to. 9. This may lead to rework or to the incorporation of unnecessary materials to the building . It might be a result of lack of resource planning or uncertainty on the estimation of quantities. robbery. vandalism. Serpell et. poor qualification of the team work. instruction. ineffective work methods. etc. Others: waste of any nature different from the previous ones. al (1995) broke down those wastes factors in relation of work It can be caused by a wide range of reasons: poor design and specification. such as burglary. Non-contributory work (non value-adding activities): Those non contributory . Production of defective products: it occurs when the final or intermediate product does not fit the quality specifications. inclement weather.

and rework 2. value. travelling. idle time. .work which are classified as waste include waiting. quality of work life. the origin of the waste itself has to be identified. or productivity (usually labour productivity). To work out a continuous improvement strategy in reducing and eliminating those wastes in construction processes. physiological needs. Scholars have characterized performance in a broad definition as seven criteria on which management should focus its efforts on as discussed and that is namely effectiveness. innovation and profitability. Some of the key areas that cause waste are administration processes. 2. use of resources and information systems. Traditional models offer only a limited set of measures as most of them limit their analysis to a number of measures such as cost. Several models and procedures have been proposed for the evaluation of project performance at site and project level.14 Waste and performance in construction Modelling and evaluation of wastes and performance in construction projects is a challenge. efficiency. quality. productivity. schedule. Some of these models focus on prediction of project performance while others focus on measuring. cycle time or variability. The introduction of new production philosophies in construction requires new measures of performance such as waste. resting.13 Key construction waste causes Understanding the causes of waste would help in reducing or eliminating them from the process loops.

There a lot of opportunities to recognize waste using Lean Construction models whose aim is to eventually eliminate or minimize waste. which is. sources of waste and to compartmentalize the characteristics of waste.situ and composed of many variables. once off. Using Lean Construction models is both systematic and scientific. .2. The use of the new thinking coupled with other strategies within organizations is aimed at waste reduction and hence increased efficiency. There has been a drive to steer the industry towards a manufacturing production kind of scenario where management and production principles are systematic and scientific. It is there fore possible to use the Lean construction models within GLTA to test waste recognition and mitigation. in.14 Conclusion There are endemic problems in the construction industry including waste that have been attributed historically to the nature of the product. To this end a new system of thinking called Lean Construction has been put forward to challenge the conventional thinking that regards construction as a conversion only process but also to include the flow part of the process.

that is. Critical realism will be used to study the current situation regarding practice and attitude so that meaning can be extracted according to the model for evaluation. It is also hoped that given that the company has a long history. direct conversion waste.0 Research Methodology 3. non-contributory time waste and . 2007). whether there are deliberate steps taken of preventing and averting waste should it be recognized. responses could be obtained from the whole targeted population. that is. This research was postulated around Lean Construction techniques that recognize waste in construction through the process-flow models as suggested by Koskela (1992) and Serpell et al. site engineers and managers will be targeted for this study.3.1 Method of research The purpose of this academic research is to find out the degree of awareness and recognition of waste on site using the Lean Construction process-flow model as a yardstick. (1995). there might be subjectivity that will emanate from the acquired culture and that would subsequently point directly to the root of some of the anticipated challenges. There would be no need for probability sampling in this case (Saunders et al. The study will also try to search for the attitude towards waste by site construction personnel. Site staff that includes foremen. Fortunately for this study that was limited to a single business unit of Grinaker-LTA. Waste is categorized into three. The research is based on a quantitative and deductive approach that requires the use of a structured questionnaire that seeks to elicit certain variables that will be used for evaluation.

materials and equipment 2 Over allocation/unnecessary materials on site 3 Over allocation/unnecessary workers on site Waiting for materials to be delivered to site 4 Unnecessary procedures and working protocol Material loss/stolen from site Waiting for specialist skills to arrive on site Waiting for clarification and confirmation from consultants or client 5 .1.contributory time waste and each category has 9.1 Table 3. 7 and 3 identified wastes respectively as tabulated below in Table 3. Direct waste elements on site Source: Leng. “The application of lean construction to reduce waste in the construction process flow Direct conversion 1 waste Over allocation/unnecessary equipment on site Non-contributory time waste Waiting for others to complete work before commencement of the next task Waiting for equipment to be delivered to site Contributory time waste Time for supervising and inspection of works Time for instruction and communication between different tiers of workers Time for transporting workers.

People    Lack of trade skills Inexperienced inspectors Too few supervisors or foremen . execution. 1. Management and administration     Poor coordination among project participants Poor planning and scheduling Lack of control Bureaucracy 2. management & administration. material and information & communication factors have been recognized and listed below. Five groups of causal factors.6 Material deterioration/damage during construction periods Mishandling/error in construction applications or installations Materials for rework or repair of defective work Accidents on site Time for repair or rework of defective work Time for workers resting on site and other physiological needs 7 8 9 It is also imperative in this research to acknowledge some of the causes of these waste on site so that a relationship between waste and cause is established as a basis for thriving for continuous improvement. people. that is.

materials       delay of material deliveries poorly scheduled delivery of materials to site poor quality material misappropriation or misuse of material poor storage of material poor material handling on site 5. Execution       Inappropriate construction methods Outdated equipment Equipment shortage Ineffective equipment or poor choice of equipment Poor site layout Poor site documentation 4. Information and communication    Defective or wrong information Late information and decision making Unclear information 3.   Uncontrolled subcontracting practices Poor labour distribution Untimely supervision 3.2 Profile of respondents .

site engineers and site based managers. however care was taken to eliminate as much of the limitations as possible (Saunders et al. 2007). the result will be a good reflection of the real situation and be a good basis for future extensive studies within the operating group. The foremen are the specific practitioners who are in direct contact with labour. It is also assumed that there is a good chance of generalizability of the result of the study. The profile of respondents may result in some research limitations of reliability and validity. The descriptive analysis will be used to profile the respondents with special emphasis being put on their work experience and exposure to the . The questionnaire will be structured in such a way as to eliminate participant error. The respondents work in the same environment and fortunately for Grinaker-LTA. Site engineers generally are the interface between the consultants and the construction artisans. but due to the similarity of operations within this particular business unit.This study is limited to site personnel. They interpret and explain the project to the foremen and artisans. resource management and coordination. The respondents targeted include foremen.3 Hypotheses Descriptive analysis will be used to decipher the primary data once they are collected. most of them have been with the organization for a long time. The study is limited to two sites and may have limited validity. 3. Site based management will be involved in overall project execution. material and equipment and execute the construction. biases and observer errors. They are also involved in resource requisition and allocation.

The hypotheses that will be tested in this study are: Hypothesis 1: Direct conversion wastes are highly recognized and there is an attempt to control them Hypothesis 2: Non contributory time wastes are not easily recognized and there is no attempt to control them Hypothesis 3: Contributory time wastes are highly recognized but there is no attempt to control them 3.4 Structure of the questionnaire The questionnaire is divided into 4 sections. The relationship between waste recognition and deliberate attempt to control the waste will also be examined. It is logical that recognition must lead to attempted control. Analysis will be done separately for the three categories of waste so that there is a better comparison of the conventional waste and new waste categories under Lean Construction. Respondents will asked to recognize 20 waste elements and their personal experiences in controlling these waste elements . It is hoped that there is a correlation between waste recognition and control with company culture that will emerge. The first 2 sections of questionnaire are intended to examine the general perception and acceptance of Lean Construction philosophy based on the respondents’ waste recognition concepts. but this may not be so depending on company culture.Grinaker-LTA company culture.

There are 2 options available for the respondents and they will be required to answer whether the waste elements listed is actually a waste or non-waste and whether they are controlled or not controlled during the construction processes. Further more. say if it is mitigated on site and where they think the waste emanates. For section 3. (3) Likely. (4) Frequent. Respondents will be able to identify how frequently the waste occurs using 5 categories: (1) Never. 3.5 Conclusion Lean Construction models enable the categorization of waste and recognition of the sources of waste.during construction processes. and (5) Very Frequent. . three hypotheses have been put forward that will be tested using descriptive analysis of the findings. (4) Most Likely and the respondents will be provided with five different scales from 1 (no significant likelihood) to 5 (high likelihood). (3) Seldom. Secondly. The third and fourth sections are intended to review the extent of waste problems in the company by ranking them in terms of frequencies of occurrences and rate the likelihood of particular waste sources and causes in their construction practices where they work. (2) Unlikely. (2) Very Rare. The conversion and flow model makes it possible to track waste types along the construction process. Respondents will be asked to determine the likelihood of particular waste sources/ causes occurring using 4 categories: (1) Most unlikely. respondents will be asked to recognize waste. Respondents will be provided with five different scales from 1 (no significant effect variable) to 5 as (high detrimental effect variable). In Section 4. The methodology applied in this study is to first of all profile the respondents so that it may be possible to correlate the findings to the profiles.

There were 30 responses that were handed back and used for this analysis. 4. Response rate according to position within GLTA . The response rate was 71% and the highest number of responses came from Site Engineers as out of all the respondents they represent 50%. Figure 4.1.2 Response A total of 42 questionnaires were sent out to personnel at Eastgate and Samrand construction sites. Results from the tables will be drawn into graphs in order to give a visual view of the results.1 below shows the classification of respondents. Position held in GLTA 10% 20% Student Foreman Engineer 20% Manager 50% Figure 4.4. It was hoped that Foremen would have had a higher response so that the results of the study would not be biased towards the other groups. The results will be tabulated showing the percentage rating of each variable.0 Data Analysis and Interpretation 4.1 Introduction This chapter will give a presentation of the results from all returned questionnaires as well as a discussion on the significance of the results.

70% of the respondents have been with the company for at least 2 years.3 General waste recognition For the discussions on waste recognition.2.Distribution of Experience in GLTA 10% 10% 30% 0-2yr 2-5yr 5-10yr 10+yr 50% Figure 4. .2 above show the classification of respondents according to the number of years that they have been in GLTA. This is a good enough time span for the employees to have observed the practices within the company and also form opinions about “how things are done around here”. Most importantly there is 20% of respondents who have been within GLTA for more than 5 years. 4. Respondent classification according to experience within GLTA Figure 4. mitigation and frequency of occurrence that are coming now a key of waste type and variables has been done below that will identify waste as a colour code and variables as a number.

2 Key of Variables Variable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Description Waiting for others to complete their work before proceeding with other work Waiting for equipment to be delivered to site Waiting for materials to be delivered to site Waiting for specialist subcontractors to come to site Waiting for clarification and confirmation from the client and consultants Time for rework/repair of defective work Materials for rework/repair of defective work Time for workers resting on site during working periods Over-allocation/unnecessary equipment on site Over-allocation/unnecessary material on site Over-allocation/unnecessary workers on site Unnecessary protocols on site Unclear lines of communication Materials stolen from site during construction Material deterioration on site Errors in construction applications Accidents on site Time for supervising and inspection of work Time for instructions and communication among different trades on the same job Time for transporting workers.Table 4.1 Key of waste type Direct Conversation Waste Contributory Waste Non Contributory Waste Table 4. equipment and materials .

3 Matrix of results for general waste recognition Non Waste % 20 10 0 20 0 0 10 20 0 10 10 10 0 10 0 0 0 70 70 80 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Waste % 80 90 100 80 100 100 90 80 100 90 90 90 100 90 100 100 100 30 30 20 Genaral Waste Recognition 120 100 % Recognition 80 60 40 20 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Variable Waste Non Waste .Table 4.

This may be attributed to the traditional thinking of waste in construction. The mean recognition of waste was 83% which indicates that personnel on site are highly aware of waste.4 Waste Mitigation Scenario Table 4.3 General waste recognition There was a high rate of identification of direct conversion and non contributory wastes.Figure 4. 4. A lot of respondents identified this as non-waste.4 Matrix of results for mitigation of waste Variable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Yes % 50 50 70 60 70 70 80 70 50 40 40 No % 50 50 30 40 30 30 20 30 50 60 60 . However there seemed to be an unawareness of contributory waste. There was a tolerance towards waiting and break times for workers. The Conversion-Flow Model recognizes contributory time as a waste that must also be minimized.

. Direct conversion wastes have problems with a mean mitigation rate of 48%.12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 60 30 70 50 50 40 60 60 50 40 70 30 50 50 60 40 40 50 Mitigation Scenario 90 80 % Mitigation 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Variable Mitigation No Mitigation Figure 4. it does not necessarily mean that they mitigate these wastes.4 Waste mitigation scenario The mean mitigation rate is 56% and non-mitigation is 44%. Contributory and non contributory have a higher margin with mean mitigation rate of 56% and 65% respectively. The overall picture however is inconclusive because the results show that although personnel can recognize waste.

4.5 Frequency of Occurrence Table 5.5 Matrix of frequencies of waste occurrences Variable % 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 0 0 10 0 0 0 0 20 0 10 20 10 10 0 10 10 0 0 0 0 1 % 0 10 0 20 10 20 10 10 20 20 10 30 0 10 30 10 30 0 0 0 2 3 % 20 40 40 40 30 10 40 40 40 30 40 30 20 20 20 40 30 30 40 50 4 % 60 30 30 30 40 30 20 10 30 30 20 20 40 50 30 20 30 30 20 10 5 % 20 20 20 10 20 30 30 20 10 10 20 10 30 20 10 20 10 40 40 40 .

6 Sources and Causes of Waste In the table below. never (6%). The frequency of occurrence that is between wastes occurring frequently and very frequently is 50%. very rare (12%). Table 4. This shows that half the time when any operation is taking place on site there is wastage. frequently (29%) and very frequently (21%).6 Sources and causes of waste Most unlikely % 0 0 0 Most likely % 15 10 40 ` Description Management and Administration Poor coordination among project participants Poor planning and scheduling unlikely % 30 10 40 likely % 55 80 20 1 . seldom (32%). 4. the figures in red are the mean values of each selected rating options.5 Frequency of occurrence of wastes The mean frequencies are.70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 never very rare seldom frequently very frequently Figure 4.

lack of trade skills (50%). inspection and waiting. In all cases. the mean of the variable being a cause of waste is above 50%. The derivative equation from the conversion flow model suggests that the cycle time of a process involves conversion.6 Discussion of findings The findings of this study in many respects concur with literature that has been discussed in Chapter 2. late information (80%) and unclear information (70%) stand out as the problem areas that most likely cause waste on site 4. handling.6 above show that all the 5 variables are likely or most likely sources of waste. Poor planning (40%).2 3 4 5 Lack of control Bureaucracy People Lack of trade skills Inexperienced inspectors Too few supervisors Uncontrolled subcontracting practices Poor labour distribution Execution Inappropriate construction methods Outdated equipment Lack of equipment Poor site layout Poor site documentation Material Poor schedule of delivery of material to site Late delivery of materials to site Misuse of materials Poor storage of materials Poor handling of materials Information and Communication Wrong information Late information Unclear information 0 0 4 0 20 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 10 10 10 10 0 0 20 20 0 0 0 0 30 40 20 10 10 40 30 10 40 20 30 40 60 50 14 20 20 10 10 10 13 30 0 10 60 60 50 40 30 50 50 80 42 70 50 40 20 30 44 40 50 60 50 20 23 30 20 20 10 0 26 50 40 10 20 10 14 10 20 20 10 10 34 30 30 30 30 50 63 40 80 70 The results in Table 4. That is . poor handling of materials (50%).

From literature it was acknowledged that one of the endemic problems in construction is waste that has become acceptable over time that it is actually factored when tendering for work. It was easy to recognize direct conversion waste but no proportional effort was spent in mitigation. The equation above recognizes inspection as a consumer of time that must be minimized in as much as it is necessary. All five sources had scores of higher than 50% likelihood of being a cause of waste on site. Contributory and non-contributory wastes were viewed as avoidable wastes because they do not take a lot of money to rectify. According to Shingo and the Institute of Lean Thinking. The other categories of waste were easily identified because they could be easily turned into monetary value. The findings also point to the fact that all sources of waste as suggested in the Lean Construction theory are in fact causes of waste in GLTA. recognition of waste does not necessarily lead to its mitigation. As surprising as it is to difficult to understand.Cycle time = processing + handling + inspection + waiting On the aspect of waste recognition. handling and waiting wastes but failed in most instances to recognize inspection as a waste. it is clear that site staff identified processing. This thinking may be so deep-rooted that site staff does not see the negative consequence of wastage in processing activities. This view is supported by Serpell’s classification of waste as avoidable or unavoidable waste. these findings imply directly that GLTA is not lean and that it is losing profitability and the competitive edge by not making its operations efficient. .

1 Introduction This chapter concludes the study by discussing the results in relation to the objectives of the study and the hypotheses postulated. then the cycle time is reduced which results in less waste. As surprising as it . The underlying reasons for this may be that personnel can easily quantify waste or loss due to conversion processes and non contributory time into monetary value.2. What must be realised according to the Lean thinking process is that although contributory waste may be necessary. Recommendations will also be suggested on improvements that can be made based on the problem areas and positives found in the study.0 Conclusions and Recommendations 5.1 Objective 1: To examine the general perception and attitude towards and practice of lean construction principles within GrinakerLTA. no further work may be carried out.2 Relating research findings to research objectives 5. it was discovered that there was a high incidence of recognition of direct conversion and non-contributory waste and a dismally low recognition of contributory waste.5. 5. Contributory waste is regarded as acceptable because traditionally without the professional teams’ approval of work. For instance. If there is minimization. it is still a waste that must be minimized. From the research results. it is easy to quantify how much loss one makes by paying an employee for an hour for no work done or throwing away material.

GLTA is neither traditionalistic nor modernistic in approach and there is need to formalize the principles of lean construction in order to achieve less wastage and more profit. but simply points to the fact that the .2. the tendency to mitigate the recognized waste is not as great. 5. material and communication and information are all sources and causes of waste. Each of these areas had a mean score above 50% for the likelihood that it was a source of waste.2 Objective 2: Examine the extent of problems arising from waste identified in the current scenario The scenario that close to 90% of waste is identified on site and only 56% is actively mitigated paints a grim picture of an organization that is trying to move forward in terms of operational efficiency. It clearly came out that all the 5 sources. it seems that there is some appreciation of Lean Construction principles within the site personnel albeit unscientific. My suspicions are that this problem may be deep rooted in the GLTA culture or there is little encouragement and support to achieve no waste on sites.3 Objective 3: Identify the sources of waste In the study. 5. This in no way means that the company is not successful. execution. The extent of the problems is that on any activity that is happening on site. In conclusion. GLTA needs to do an introspection of the whole organization to see where improvements can be made. half the time there is wastage taking place and nobody bothers to eliminate the waste or its causes. The study shows that personnel are able to see what is going wrong on site and for some reasons they do not take action to mitigate the wrongs.2. namely management and administration. there were 5 areas identified by lean thinking as possible sources and causes of waste that were unfathomable. people. There is need to study why personnel do not have an attitude that wants to eliminate waste.

the study identified the sources and causes of waste in GLTA. The study there fore.2. 5. . In conclusion. Hypothesis 2: Non contributory time wastes are easily recognized and there is no significant attempt to control them. the study shows all the areas that cause or are a source of waste. In the next discussions possible improvements will be suggested on how to eliminate waste. This information will be utilized in formulating interventions aimed at reducing and eliminating waste 5.3 Relating research study to hypotheses The hypotheses suggested in Chapter 4 will be re-written in view of the facts gathered from the study as follows: Hypothesis 1: Direct conversion wastes are highly recognized and there is a significant attempt to control them. These are the areas that need attention and should be worked on. was successful in identifying waste and its sources.4 Objective 4: Study the possible improvements aimed at eliminating waste Although no direct questions were paused suggesting areas of improvement. Hypothesis 3: Contributory time wastes are not easily recognized and there is no significant attempt to control them.organization is not realizing its full potential.

Recognizing waste does not prompt action to control the waste. The following are some of the fundamental recommendations that GLTA can make on the road to Lean Construction: Management commitment Management must provide leadership for the new philosophy. As such. This will be the basis where GLTA can start to learn about itself and improving itself. This defies logic. They must understand the philosophy of Lean Construction and be able to preach it to their subordinates. There could be a lot of factor for this fact. it is a challenge to introduce lean thinking into an organization.The fact that only direct conversion wastes have a significant attempt at being controlled shows a traditional mindset of waste control. without any deliberate scientific interventions. The reality of the situation is that with globalization and increased competition from foreign companies. it will be impossible to really measure the attitude of personnel on waste management.3 Recommendations The process of implementing lean construction methods to identifying and reducing waste involves a change of mindset and sometimes organizational culture. For GLTA. However. It could be that personnel are not empowered to take action. the challenges are similar but this section will look at ways that the organization can take itself forward and start performing at world class levels. There will always be resistance to change especially new endeavours that may be met with a lot of scepticism from employees that . the cost of taking action may be higher than letting waste occur or utter ignorance of the principles of waste control. The overall goal is to achieve construction process optimization and efficiency in sub-activities by embracing the attitude of waste identification and elimination. however it is a fact that was discovered in the research study. There fore further studies need to be done in educating personnel about waste and waste control. 5. only lean companies will survive.

have been in the organization for along time. Management commitment will be required for that change to occur. Deliberate interventions must be identified in the system and goals set for improvement. Such solutions are likely to be accepted and implemented without too much resistance. Employees must also be given the powers to make major decisions as long as they fall within the company guidelines. Management must take time to communicate and filter the new ideology to employees. Steadily GLTA will create its on benchmarks for lean construction which may be compared to external benchmarks for further improvement or maintaining industry leadership. Initially the organization needs to understand itself through a process of Value Stream Mapping. Benchmarking Successes in Lean Construction must be measurable. Feedback must be given back so that they appreciate their involvement. Employee Involvement Employees are motivated when they are made to be part of the solution. rather than have it forced down their throat. This may be done in focus groups that brainstorm solutions. employees must be made part of the solution seeking team. Hierarchies in the organization do not need to change. . The focus should be on actionable and measurable improvement rather than on developing abstract capabilities. Successes must be quantified and celebrated as these short term successes create motivation and reinforcement to further successes. Planning for the job must also involve foremen and engineers on site so that they take ownership of the plan. but whenever there is an intervention needed. Road shows may be conducted on sites and must include junior and senior staff.

This will ensure a workforce that is cohesive. S (2004). Initial learning for employees who are already in the company would involve teaching them the principles and tools of lean construction and the rewards that come with the new philosophy. LCIAF. there must be a process of orientation that will reinforce the requirements of GLTA. 4th Lean Construction Institute Academic Forum. Michigan State University. Atlanta Georgia. References Abdelhamid T. . For new employees. A learning organization is a winning organization. On the job reinforcement will be required to make the process of adaptation work.Learning Implementation requires a substantial amount of learning. After every project there must be a debriefing process that captures mistakes and successes and these would be put in the company knowledge vault for future use.

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Questionnaire .Appendix 1.

perception or opinion I would you to thank you for taking part in this study and would like to assure you that your responses will be treated with the utmost confidence PROFILE How many years have you been with the company 0-2 years 2-5 years 5-10 years over 10 years . The questionnaire is divided into 4 sections that will need to be filled in as accurately as possible depending on your experiences.INTRODUCTION This questionnaire is part of a study to find the extent to which GLTA Building Inland sites have waste problems and create a road map to reducing the waste.

Please indicate with X item 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Description Waiting for others to complete their work before proceeding with other work Waiting for equipment to be delivered to site Waiting for materials to be delivered to site Waiting for specialist subcontractors to come to site Waiting for clarification and confirmation from the client and consultants Over-allocation/unnecessary equipment on site Over-allocation/unnecessary material on site Over-allocation/unnecessary workers on site unnecessary protocols on site Unclear lines of communication Materials stolen from site during construction waste nonwaste .What position do you hold on site Student Foremen Engineer/QS Management 1 General Waste Identification Indicate in the following Table items that according to your opinion and understanding are "waste" or "non-waste".

Please indicate with X whether you agree or disagree item 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Description Waiting for others to complete their work before proceeding with other work Waiting for equipment to be delivered to site Waiting for materials to be delivered to site Waiting for specialist subcontractors to come to site Waiting for clarification and confirmation from the client and consultants Over-allocation/unnecessary equipment on site Over-allocation/unnecessary material on site Over-allocation/unnecessary workers on site Unnecessary protocols on site Unclear lines of communication Yes No . equipment and materials Accidents on site 2 Existing Scenario According to your experience in the construction within Grinaker-LTA.12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Material deterioration on site Errors in construction applications Time for rework/repair of defective work Materials for rework/repair of defective work Time for workers resting on site during working periods Time for supervising and inspection of work Time for instructions and communication among different trades on the same job Time for transporting workers. are the following items properly controlled or mitigated wherever they occur.

equipment and materials Accidents on site 3 Frequency of Occurrence According to your experience in GLTA. Please indicate with X in the appropriate box Very rare item 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Description Waiting for others to complete their work before proceeding with other work Waiting for equipment to be delivered to site Waiting for materials to be delivered to site Waiting for specialist subcontractors to come to site Waiting for clarification and confirmation from the client and consultants Over-allocation/unnecessary equipment on site Over-allocation/unnecessary material on site Over-allocation/unnecessary workers on site Unnecessary protocols on site Unclear lines of communication Materials stolen from site during construction Material deterioration on site Errors in construction applications Time for rework/repair of defective work Materials for rework/repair of defective work Time for workers resting on site during working periods Never . what is the prevalence of occurrence of the following items.11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Materials stolen from site during construction Material deterioration on site Errors in construction applications Time for rework/repair of defective work Materials for rework/repair of defective work Time for workers resting on site during working periods Time for supervising and inspection of work Time for instructions and communication between different trades on the same job Time for transporting workers. The response mu frequently.

rate the items shown in the following Table as the cuases or sources of wast as most unlikely up to most likely. equipment and materials Accidents on site 4 Sources and Causes of Waste In your opinion and experience in GLTA. Indicate with X the appropriate rating item 1 Description Management and Administration Poor coordination among project participants Poor planning and scheduling Lack of control Bureaucracy 2 People Lack of trade skills Inexperienced inspectors Too few supervisors Uncontrolled subcontracting practices Poor labour distribution 3 Execution Inappropriate construction methods Outdated equipment Lack of equipment Poor site layout Poor site documentation most unlikely unlikel y most unlikely 4 Material Poor schedule of delivery of materil to site unlikel y .17 18 19 20 Time for supervising and inspection of work Time for instructions and communication among different trades on the same job Time for transporting workers.

Late delivery of materials to site Misuse of materials Poor storage of materials Poor handling of materials 5 Information and Communication Wrong information Late information Unclear information .

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