LEAN RESEARCH

Until now, our industry has relied on anecdotal evidence to demonstrate that implementing Lean in design and construction results in improved project outcomes for owners, designers and all project team members.

Now, two LCI-funded research efforts bring empirical evidence showing projects with a high Lean intensity are more likely to be completed ahead of schedule, under budget and to the owner’s satisfaction. Click below to explore videos, one-page fact sheets and full case studies that build a Business case for Lean design and construction. Share this with your organization, team or with those skeptical of the Lean advantage.

THE BUSINESS CASE FOR LEAN IN DESIGN

The most recent research from 2017 focused on identifying how design professionals can improve client outcomes and maximize design excellence. This study was conducted as a follow-up of the previous effort that uses a similar methodology of comparing best vs. typical projects.

Design firm-relevant metrics were examined to establish a benchmark of performance and to reveal the impact of Lean methods. The video featuring designers who tell what the research means to them and the one-page fact sheet below will form a Business case for Lean in design.

THE BUSINESS CASE FOR LEAN PROJECT DELIVERY

LCI’s first research effort in 2016 funded two studies that collectively examined 162 projects across the U.S. to understand why some projects excel more than others. "Why do Projects Excel? The Business Case for Lean Project Delivery" was conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics. LCI and Canada's Integrated Project Delivery Alliance co-sponsored the "Motivation and Means: How and Why IPD and Lean Lead to Success" study performed by the University of Minnesota, which revealed five myths about Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Lean.

Check out the one-page fact sheet below and watch the three videos to get a high-level look into the research findings that show a significant correlation between high Lean intensity projects and their likelihood of coming in ahead of schedule and under budget. Then, read the research to learn how teams optimize owner and supply chain satisfaction using the IPD model and Lean processes.

2016 Research Overview

Bill Seed

Why Do Projects Excel?

Bevan Mace

Why do Projects Excel?
The Business Case for Lean!

{PDF Document}

5 Myths About IPD and Lean

Renee Cheng

Motivation and Means:
How and Why IPD and Lean Lead to Success

{PDF Document}

Policy on Overhead Cost Limits in Connection with LCI-Funded Research
The Lean Construction Institute has established a "not to exceed" overhead policy of 20% for academic work in educational institutions funded by LCI. We are a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization with a limited annual budget for research-type initiatives. As such, we are responsible to our board, our members and the industry as a whole to ensure our limited funding is devoted as much as possible to the generation of worthwhile research rather than large overhead costs. We also maintain a policy of prompt payment to universities with which we contract in order to help reduce their administrative costs and any overhead burden of monitoring and collecting on invoices generated in connection with research we fund. We also take seriously our mandate to promote lean practices by making our proposal process for scoping and awarding projects as brief and succinct as possible, further eliminating wasted effort and OH costs to our academic institution partners.

OWNER SUCCESS STORIES

Watch the owner success story videos below for unscripted responses from several owners who participated in the "Motivation and Means: How and Why IPD and Lean Lead to Success" study. Each owner describes how using Lean and IPD impacted their team, project outcomes and their organization as a whole.

T. Rowe Price
Success Story on IPD and Lean

Brian Dean

Rocky Mountain Institute
Success Story on IPD and Lean

Cara Carmichael

University of California San Francisco
Success Story on IPD and Lean

Michael Bade

Sutter Health
Success Story on IPD and Lean

James Pease

If LCI can be of assistance to you in launching or advancing your Lean journey, let us hear from you.

PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO LEAN RESEARCH

The newly developed Practitioners’ Guide to Essential Lean Research helps professionals locate and frame seminal research relevant to challenges they face. Many academic articles can inform specific decisions in the field, but can be hard to find and are not always written with industry practitioners in mind. This map categorizes essential articles and tags them with descriptions and keywords. Covering research from past and current research, it also includes topics that will be critical to the future of our industry such as virtual reality and automation.

Practitioner’s Research Map

LCI's new Project Validation Guide is available now for download!
  • Fill out the form below to download this first-of-its-kind guide aimed at providing teams with direction and resources for validating projects to maximize owner value and team performance.

    Owners, design professionals, superintendents and all Lean professionals will find value in this guide developed by LCI Research Committee member Dr. David Grau and his research team at Arizona State University.







  • Penn State Lean Deployment Planning Guide

    Fill out the form below to download the PSU Lean Deployment Planning Guide

    A Lean Deployment Plan for a project can help project teams apply Lean principles and practices along the various stages of a project by embedding them into their project management processes. The plan is developed following the formation of the project team and the development and validation of the project business plan. Therefore, the plan is ideally meant to be developed by the project team collaboratively with commitment to the resources needed for implementation.

    This guide is designed to walk the project team through the steps of the planning procedure to systematically create their project specific Lean Deployment Plan. The guide employs a simple, four-step process to 1) prepare the process, 2) select the lean methods, 3) plan the process for each methods use, and, 4) integrate those methods into a project plan to deploy on the project. Each step of the procedure is defined and described in detail in the Guide. Along with this description, there are also template resources provided with the download to help the project team work through the steps of this planning procedure, and document their project specific Lean Deployment Plan. We welcome your feedback on the planning guide so that we can continue to improve this planning resource.

Why Projects Excel – Great Design Enabled by Lean

Building on the success of the 2016 LCI-sponsored owner study, which focused on why projects excel and the owner business case for Lean construction, LCI sponsored a follow-up study focused on the design professional. The study used a similar methodology of comparing best vs. typical projects, as well as design firm-relevant metrics to establish a benchmark of performance and reveal the impact of Lean methods. Click here for a summary of the results

The three-minute video below is a reflection by several LCI members in the design community created at the time the study was released at the LCI Congress event in October, 2017. The four designers include Robert Bostwick, Bostwick Design Partnership; Stan Chiu, HGA; Michael Murray, The Beck Group; and Andrea Sponsel, HKS with Bevan Mace, Balfour Beatty US, introducing the research method used. Each reflects on:

  • Why this research is important to them
  • What outcome from this research resonates most
  • What outcome they hope will come from this study based on research revealing why projects excel

THE BUSINESS CASE FOR LEAN IN DESIGN

How Satisfied, Really Satisfied, Are Owners?

The Lean Construction Institute and Dodge Data & Analytics conducted an important research study in 2015-16 with owners to determine which factors have the most impact on successful project performance, plus provide benchmarking-type input. A webinar on preliminary results is available here; the final results analysis is in the process of being developed.

Click here for the Webinar        Click here for the Slide Deck

 

LCI sponsored research — RESULTS

The 2016 research results provide evidence that Lean construction correlates to better project outcomes. The videos below summarize the findings of the two LCI-funded research studies performed by Dodge Data & Analytics and the University of Minnesota (the latter was co-sponsored with Canada’s Integrated Project Delivery Alliance.) The research team collectively examined 162 projects across the U.S. to learn from the good to the great and understand why some projects excel. This research advances LCI’s primary goal of increasing owner and supply chain satisfaction with design and construction delivery.

2016 Research Overview

Bill Seed

Why Do Projects Excel?

Bevan Mace

Why do Projects Excel?
The Business Case for Lean!

{PDF Document}

5 Myths About IPD and Lean

Renee Cheng

Motivation and Means:
How and Why IPD and Lean Lead to Success

{PDF Document}

Owner Success Stories

The videos below are unscripted response by several owners who participated in the University of Minnesota case studies. They were simply asked to describe how the use of Lean and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) have affected their project participants, their results on the project studied, and their organizations as a whole. We hope you will find the responses both stimulating and encouraging as a ratification of the findings embodied in the research itself. If LCI can be of assistance to you in embarking on your own Lean journey, please let us hear from you.

T. Rowe Price
Success Story on IPD and Lean

Brian Dean

Rocky Mountain Institute
Success Story on IPD and Lean

Cara Carmichael

University of California San Francisco
Success Story on IPD and Lean

Michael Bade

Sutter Health
Success Story on IPD and Lean

James Pease

The Business Case for Lean

 

LCI Practitioners Guide to Essential Lean Research

The newly developed LCI essential research guide helps practitioners locate and frame seminal research in Lean Design and Construction. Many academic articles can be helpful to inform specific decisions in the field, but these types of papers can be hard to find and are not necessarily written with industry needs in mind. This guide categorizes essential articles and tags them with descriptions and keywords. Covering research from the past and current research, it also includes topics that will be critical to the future of building industry (such as virtual reality and automation).

Practitioners Guide

 

Policy on Overhead Cost Limits in Connection with LCI-Funded Research
The Lean Construction Institute has established a “not to exceed” overhead policy of 20% for academic work in educational institutions funded by LCI. We are a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization with a limited annual budget for research-type initiatives. As such, we are responsible to our board, our members and the industry as a whole to ensure our limited funding is devoted as much as possible to the generation of worthwhile research rather than large overhead costs. We also maintain a policy of prompt payment to universities with which we contract in order to help reduce their administrative costs and any overhead burden of monitoring and collecting on invoices generated in connection with research we fund. We also take seriously our mandate to promote lean practices by making our proposal process for scoping and awarding projects as brief and succinct as possible, further eliminating wasted effort and OH costs to our academic institution partners.