LEAN Construction and Project Management

What is Lean Construction and Project Management?

A way to do more & more with less & less – less effort, less equipment, less time & less space – whilst providing customers with exactly what they want.   Improving cost, time, quality and safety simultaneously without trade-off.

Lean construction principles basically involve:

  • The elimination of waste, especially within the process, in a strategic and considered manner, and
  • By creating continuous flow

Lean Construction

  • A ‘lean’ system / process / organisation is one that is waste free
  • Lean is not about size or number of people employed. A reduction in employees may cut costs, and eliminate the waste of those employees, but does not decrease the proportion of waste to value adding within the organisation or process
  • Most waste is through products waiting to be worked on by succeeding activities

Types of waste

The classical 7 Lean Manufacturing wastes have been ‘translated’ into construction wastes as follows :

Defects Everyone in construction understands this type of waste. It includes doing the wrong installation, defects in fabrication, and errors in punch lists. Not meeting the required code is waste. Rework in construction is rarely measured.
Overproduction This happens when we fabricate material too early or stockpile material in the warehouse or at the job site. Estimating and bidding jobs that are not won is a form of this waste. Printing more blueprints or making more copies of a report than needed is overproduction.
Waiting Construction is full of this waste, including when a crew waits for instructions or materials at the job site, when a fabrication machine waits for material to be loaded, and even when payroll waits for the always-late timesheets.
Transportation. This waste occurs when we move material around the shop, when we load it on the truck or trailer, when we haul it to the job site, when we unload it, and when we move the material from the lay-down or staging area to the installation point.
Inventory This includes uncut materials, work in process, and finished fabrications. Some contractors claim that they have no inventory because they job-cost all material. While this may work for accounting, if the material is not yet installed and isn’t being used by the customer, it’s waste. This waste includes spare parts, unused tools, consumables, forms and cop

For more information about Lean Construction and Project Management in Australia, call 61 (02) 9683 6200 or email admin@performancedrivers.com.au.


Performance Drivers Consortium nurtures world class capability and business performance. Meetings focus on the deployment of new and relevant operational performance improvement tools such as Lean Enterprise.

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