Lean Project Control and Management System

Rahul Anand, Purdue University


Information is power; when we know something, it is hard to ignore. The foundation of this thesis is to create awareness about the inadequacy of the existing project control and management system (PCMS). There is a need for rapid improvements in PCMS, and proposed actual improvements in PCMS are put forward here. Patty and Denton said, “If there is anything to be learned from the history of work-process innovation, it is that any system of principles and methods will experience a life cycle. In other words, as processes mature, innovation is required to facilitate survival, let alone growth in sales of any product or service” (Patty and Denton 2010). The PCMS for capital project delivery in the engineering procurement construction (EPC) industry is in the same situation; it has completed its cycle and is in need of innovation. This thesis describes: “What Is”, the current state of Project Control and Management System (PCMS); “What Should Be”, the practices of PCMS: and “How to Close the Gap”. The advancements in PCMS are based on concepts which are process derived from Lean concepts and principles already applied in other industries such as manufacturing, aerospace, and ship building, where they have exhibited tremendous benefits. A new classification of PCMS is explained based on its characteristics and objectives. Two models are proposed to enhance the PCMS and make it a Lean PCMS. A “Real Time Visual Control Flow System Model” is proposed to enhance the existing flow system beyond advanced work packaging and the last planner system, by incorporating aligned breakdown structure, pull planning and control, real-time control, visual control, critical chain project management, making and keeping commitments. Our “Lean PCMS” model is proposed to enhance the whole system of PCMS and achieve the desired state of excellence for PCMS. The intention of this research is to make the current PCMS a Lean PCMS and to shift the reactive approach of project controls to a more proactive approach. A case study, “How to Close the Gap”, using Kaizen methodology (only the Kaizen appraisal stage, in real settings) in a large EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) company, is described.




Cai, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Civil engineering

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