Lean project management during the construction phase of South African public sector projects : the perspective of construction project managers.
In construction, the progress of the project is driven primarily by the programme and the Construction Project Manager (CPM). The project programme sets out the basis upon which the project is monitored and controlled by the CPM. Many construction projects in the public sector are subject to late completion, cost overruns and poor quality as a result of inadequate management of the programme. Poor management of the programme stems from failure to adequately programme the work and properly execute the programme, failure to provide adequate qualified human resources to manage the programme, failure to develop an efficient programme and to effectively maintain the programme throughout the project execution, and failure to control cost changes that impact the programme throughout the execution of the project. Lean Project Management (LPM) is the inclusive adoption of other lean concepts such as lean construction, lean manufacturing and lean thinking into the project management context. During the construction phase of projects, there are many opportunities for the CPM to implement lean tools and techniques that will have a positive impact on the project from a programming perspective. This research aimed to investigate impacts of implementing LPM tools and techniques by CPM’s during the construction phase of public sector projects on the successful delivery of the programme. A comprehensive literature review was done on the concepts of LPM, the public sector, the CPM profession, the construction phase and the project programme and the relationship between these areas of concern. A survey questionnaire directed at a sample of all professionally registered CPM’s in Kwa-Zulu Natal involved in the public sector was used to: determine whether CPM’s were aware of LPM; how important LPM was to CPM’s and how often they use it during the construction phase and whether poor programme management during the construction phase impacted the successful delivery of the programme. Out of 234 registered CPM’s that were selected in the research sample, 72 registered CPM’s responded to the survey questionnaire, representing a 31 per cent response rate. The research established a link between the project programme during the construction phase of projects and the implementation of LPM by CPM’s during this phase towards overcoming the obstacles of poor delivery of the programme on public sector projects. It further presented the integration between the areas of concern in a practical way through the research findings from the literature and data collection and analysis that portrayed the relationship between the programme and LPM. It was concluded that CPM’s were aware of LPM and that poor programme management during the construction phase negatively impacted the successful delivery of the programme. In addition, LPM was important to CPM’s and its principles and techniques were being implemented during construction on public sector projects.
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