Work Structuring for Flow

Nelly P. Garcia-Lopez1, Martin Fischer2 & Luis F. Alarcón3

1Project Director, Grupo Galopa, Bogotá, Colombia, +57 305 297 7320, [email protected]
2Kumagai Professor of Engineering and Director of the Center for Integrated Facility Engineering, Stanford University
3Professor, Department of Construction Engineering and Management, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile, +56 2 2354 7165, [email protected]


Achieving smooth production flow has been one of the main objectives underlying lean manufacturing and construction. To achieve production flow, field managers rely on work structuring methods to enable them to structure activities and flows. Current work structuring methods enable field managers to structure activities, but they do not explicitly represent all seven construction flows or their movement through the project. Hence, field managers rely on their intuition and tacit understanding of flow sequencing, which can cause communication problems between stakeholders resulting in delays and productivity loss. This paper presents a work structuring method that allows field managers to explicitly represent construction activities, flows, and flow movement through the project. The work structuring method was tested prospectively at three construction sites with different scopes and planning methods. The work structuring method allows field managers to generate activity and flow-based schedules to plan and control the project. Furthermore, it improves stakeholder understanding of the plan by visually representing activities’ and flows’ interdependencies.


Work flow, work structuring, flow integration, production management, lean construction



Garcia-Lopez, N. P. , Fischer, M. & Alarcón, L. F. 2019, 'Work Structuring for Flow' In:, Proc. 27th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC). Dublin, Ireland, 3-5 Jul 2019. pp 311-322

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