Improving construction management practice with the Last Planner System: A case study

Abdullah O. Alsehaimi, Patricia Tzortzopoulos Fazenda, Lauri Koskela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of implementing the Last Planner System (LPS) to improve construction planning practice and enhance site management in the Saudi construction industry. Design/methodology/approach - LPS was implemented in two large state-owned construction projects through an action research process. The data collection methods included interviews, observations and a survey questionnaire. Findings - The findings identify benefits including improved construction planning, enhanced site management and better communication and coordination between the parties involved. The paper describes the critical success factors for LPS implementation. The paper also describes barriers to the realisation the full potential of LPS, including the involvement of many subcontractors and people's commitment and attitude to time. Research limitations/implications - The work reported in this paper is limited to two case studies. Practical implications - The study has thus contributed to improving management practice and may aid the establishment of a basis for the development of further research in the area of lean construction. The research outcomes can inform practitioners of the opportunity to implement alternative management methods in construction, and give a good account of the opportunities and challenges. Beside the direct benefits to managerial practice, the study also contributed to practice by offering practical recommendation that can assist in the achievement of the full potential of lean and LPS in Saudi Arabia. Originality/value - This is the first comprehensive academic study in the Saudi construction sector concerning the application of lean construction principles and techniques. The study has thus contributed to practice and developed a basis for the development of further research in the area of lean construction. It may help construction organisations to establish a new strategy and policies to improve their managerial practice. The outcomes of the case studies can be used as a reference for organisations seeking to improve their managerial practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-64
Number of pages14
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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