Hard, soft or lean? Planning on medium size construction projects

Part of book or chapter of book English OPEN
Greenwood, David ; Johansen, Eric (1999)
  • Publisher: Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM)
  • Subject: K200 | K900

In a paper presented to the 11th Annual ARCOM Conference, Johansen examined the way that managers and planners in medium sized construction projects plan in a flexible manner. This was termed "soft planning" and contrasted with the textbook approach which was termed "hard" planning. The fundamental components of hard planning are firm dates and critical activities. The reality was found to be quite different from the textbook approach. (Johansen, 1996a) The conclusion then, was that methods of soft planning methodologies should be developed to support what was actually happening. Here this conclusion is revised in the light of lean production concepts. After defining these concepts, the authors consider how they can affect the development of planning theories in construction; in particular, how concepts such as “shielding”, “lookahead planning” and “last planner” can allow managers to overcome the barriers to hard planning.
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