By Professor Low Sui Pheng
The relentless pursuit of organisational excellence to achieve better quality, higher productivity and ultimately, sustained profitability, is crucial for businesses, more so in the construction sector with complex projects involving many stakeholders. Traditionally, many construction businesses have adopted quality tools and productivity techniques in silos, thus missing the bigger picture in the process. In recent years, however, some businesses have started to recognise the need to adopt a more holistic, systemic approach in striving for organisational excellence and thereby transforming themselves to become lean enterprises.
QUALITY ISSUES IN CONSTRUCTION
Solutions to classic issues in the construction sector such as low productivity, low quality and poor coordination are often adopted from the manufacturing sector, which is then adjusted for implementation. To address quality issues, for example, companies are advised to adopt the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000 standard. The later part of this article will show how ISO 9000 requirements converge with Lean Management Principles (LMP).
Professor Low Sui Pheng
Professor Low Sui Pheng is with the Department of Building, School of Design and Environment at the National University of Singapore (NUS) where he teaches project management, quality, productivity and international construction. He received his PhD from University College London and his DSc (Eng) from the University of Birmingham. A Chartered Construction Manager by profession, he is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building. He is a co-author of a book Lean Construction Management: The Toyota Way (Springer, 2014) together with Dr Gao Shang. The book has attracted more than 82,000 downloads globally since its publication.