There is no theory of production in construction’ (Koskela). This statement lies at the root of a growing thrust of research in construction project management called ‘Lean Construction’. Lean construction views construction as a continuous flow of activities and materials rather than as an aggregation of sharply distinguished activities, related only by technical and resource dependencies. The process of building design should also be considered in terms of flow, as information flows from task to task and actor to actor. The assumption is that he ‘workflow’ of design and construction, both in general and in specific project situations, can be engineered to provide better results than are currently common.
Lean construction thinking is quite different to the conventional plan and control approach to construction management. The Technion LEAPCON (Lean Apartment Construction) game simulates execution of the finishing works in high-rise apartment buildings.
Construction project management is complicated by the lack of effective tools for monitoring
their progress in real time. Managers are frequently unaware of potentially negative budget and schedule impacts of activities underway on site until it is too late to take effective action to correct any undesirable trends.