AlSehaimi, Abdullah O., Tzortzopoulos, Patricia and Koskela, Lauri (2013) Improving construction management practice with the Last Planner System: a case study. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 21 (1). pp. 51-64. ISSN 0969-9988

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
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.
Keywords Action research, Construction planning, Last Planner System implementation

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