Lean Project Production

Overview and aims

Lean project production is a philosophy-based approach that requires a new way of thinking and a new culture in design and construction of buildings and infrastructure. With its roots in manufacturing, the current exemplar of lean is Toyota, whose Production and Product Development Systems are held up as models of lean practice. Understanding and translating these lean practices into other organisations even in the manufacturing sector, continues to prove challenging, due to the need for a deep philosophical and cultural adjustment.

This module will introduce you to the concept of lean thinking and how it applies to construction and design in a national and international context. Using project simulations and real-life examples we will introduce you to the new thinking and the key underlying principles. The module will include likely benefits of transforming projects and organisations in accordance with the lean process. This will also include the sustainability aspect embedded in lean thinking.

Module content

  • Overview of the history and development of lean thinking and the differences between manufacturing and construction
  • Production and lean construction theory
  • Value, the customer, waste and a new mind set Lean design and design management
  • The Last Planner® system
  • Lean project production systems

Learning outcomes

After studying this module you should be able to:

  • identify and critically discuss basic attributes of lean construction theory and elements of a lean enterprise
  • critically evaluate implications of lean construction for various stakeholders
  • design and develop construction project delivery systems from a customer perspective.

This module will help you gain the skills and qualities to:

  • collect and integrate information and data from various sources
  • analyse, evaluate and interpret complex factual information and relevant issues in a systematic, critical and creative manner, and evaluate alternative processes and/or measure against relative criteria; making logical recommendations based on analysis, information and circumstances
  • effectively communicate information, ideas and concepts in a clear and articulate style, including the use of information technologies and systems where appropriate
  • develop and use personal skills and competencies to enable effective individual and team working, applying ethical and professional values to the work environment
  • apply study and research skills and act autonomously in planning, organising and executing your personal academic and professional development
  • use a range of contemporary electronic methods in a critical, creative and innovative way, and use complex subject specific specialist software to communicate nationally and internationally
  • develop a collaborative approach to project planning and project learning
  • select and use appropriate lean tools and techniques
  • manage time and resources.

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