LCIFIN1: Applying lean production philosophy, tools and methods in the construction industry

LCIFIN1 (2010-2012) was the first extensive development project initiated by LCI Finland. The research project was funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation and coordinated by the researchers from the University of Oulu’s Department of Industrial Engineering and Managament. Seven firms participated in the project: Finnish Transport Agency, Morenia, NCC, Skanska, Suomen Talokeskus, Sweco PM and WSP.

The main objectives of the project were to increase understanding about lean and the related tools, which have been developed for its practical application, and to assess their potential in the firms operating in the Finnish construction industry. The focus was on piloting different lean tools and methods as well as improving the processes of the companies by mapping and developing value streams. The first lean projects were also initiated during the research project and many of them relied on project alliancing – a model that was adopted from Australia. In addition, the concepts and tools of lean construction were introduced in Finnish.

One of the greatest insights of the LCIFIN1 project was to understand the need for extensive cultural change; implementation of lean requires different processes, which again means that people have to adopt a new kind of modus operandi and mindset.