Summary of The Lean Advantage for Large Construction Projects

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Large construction projects, such as “power plant and oil platform construction, civil and structural engineering, shipbuilding and railway network construction and maintenance,” generally experience scheduling delays and cost overruns. Christian Greiser, Roland Haslehner, Santiago Castagnino, Armin Lohr, Pascal Engel and Ailke Heidemann at The Boston Consulting Group analyze why the increasing complexity of large construction projects is negatively affecting productivity and profits, and they explain how a lean approach can help. getAbstract recommends this report all those involved in the management of large construction projects.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why modern-day large construction projects so often  suffer time and cost overruns,
  • How the lean approach’s four “lean principles” and six “actionable levers” can help contractors combat this trend, and
  • How contractors can begin to apply and test the lean approach in their own future projects.

About the Authors

Christian Greiser, Roland Haslehner, Santiago Castagnino, Armin Lohr, Pascal Engel and Ailke Heidemann are experts at The Boston Consulting Group, a business management and strategy consulting firm.



The increasing complexity of managing and executing modern-day large civil and structural construction projects across multiple industries negatively affects the productivity and profits of these projects. The complexities of construction projects involve not only the product, but also the process, which means coordinating among subcontractors and stakeholders, managing the supply chain, handling evolving customer specifications, finding the best people for various jobs, and scheduling and sequencing the necessary work. Contractors who have embraced and implemented a lean approach find this approach helps streamline the construction process, which improves production time and quality while also reducing costs. The lean approach’s four “lean principles” are:

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