Using visual management to improve transparency in planning and control in construction
The principle of transparency is rarely evident on construction sites. Current practice shows that instability in the execution phase is common, where activities, assumed to be feasible, have be rescheduled initiating a chain of further readjustments and uncertainties. In responding to these uncertainties, the lack of transparency in the construction process leads to communication issues and inefficient decision-making. There is little transparency of activities in the execution phase, making it difficult to foresee and communicate problems and plan to resolve them. \ud The LCM model is a Visual Management Model based on the Lean concepts, designed to improve transparency in production planning and control in construction. LCM is an acronym for Lean Construction Management. The aim of this research work is the development of this Visual Management Model, by clarifying its contribution to theory and practice. To address this aim, the Design Science method is adopted in this investigation. Design Science is applied to develop artefacts for solving problems with practical relevance and potential for theoretical contributions. Outputs of the work include i) the LCM model itself ii) instantiations of the LCM model to refurbishment and power plant construction (demonstrating that the solution works) iii) an evaluation of the utility and applicability of the model and iv) an explanation of its theoretical significance. The research focuses on three case studies which were important for devising, further improving and evaluating the model. This research provides a new model and associated method for applying Visual Management for production planning and control in construction. The model demonstrates how visual tools are systematically applied to manage information flow, support communication and to shed light on the deficiencies of traditional project management. In addition, it demonstrates how visual tools can be used to improve communication barriers and transparency when applying other systems of planning and control in construction such as the Last Planner System.
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