The purpose: To review the term ―flow‖ in production conceptually. The paper is a step towards fulfilling an ambition to find a way of measuring flow (of work) in construction in a manner that does not destroy the intuitive quality of the term, and of measuring flow as directly as possible. Research method: Theoretical and empirical exploration. Research findings: Flow is a construct widely used in different disciplines. It has a strong intuitive appeal in terms of meaning and experience, but it is not easily defined in relation to the operational level of production. The lean construction community seems to take a casual attitude to the concept of flow even though much hinges on it in this area of knowledge. In order to develop a more precise concept of flow in construction, and one that is geared towards measurability, we suggest building on Shingo‘s distinction between process and operation, and that, for example, a clear distinction be made between conditions for flow and the flow as such. Main contribution: The relevance of the paper is that it will help unpack the concept of flow as it applies to the construction industry.
Lean Construction, Production theory, Flow, Measurement