Lean Design Management in a Major Infrastructure Project in UK

Bruno Mota1, Clarissa Biotto2, Athar Choudhury3, Simon Abley4 & Mike Kagioglou5

1Senior Lean Consultant, Logikal Projects, Birmingham, UK, [email protected]
2Post-Doc Researcher, Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos, Brazil, [email protected]
3Graduate Consultant, Logikal Projects, Birmingham, UK, [email protected]
4Regional Director, Logikal Projects, Birmingham, UK, [email protected]
5Dean, School of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK, [email protected]


Lean Design Management (LDM) is a response from the lean construction community to overcome the chaotic design process in the AEC industry. Many tools, processes and methods were adapted to the context of design with limited success. This paper presents the use and adaptation of different lean design tools and processes in two phases of a major infrastructure project in the UK. The project is the new high-speed railway to be the backbone of the UK transport network, and it is considered Europe’s largest infrastructure project. The lean design implementation occurred in a Joint-Venture (JV) that had been awarded the main works civils contracts. This paper also compares the results of combined use of adapted last planner in phase 1 and adapted design structure matrix in phase 2, and identifies some of the practical challenges and benefits of the implementation of lean design management. The main contribution of this paper is the contextualisation of different project organisational structures and its influence on the success of the LDM tools implementation. Moreover, a common result for both phases is the enhancement of project communication, collaboration, and transparency of information for planning and control of the project activities.


Lean design management, last planner system, design structure matrix



Mota, B. , Biotto, C. , Choudhury, A. , Abley, S. & Kagioglou, M. 2019, 'Lean Design Management in a Major Infrastructure Project in UK' In:, Proc. 27th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC). Dublin, Ireland, 3-5 Jul 2019. pp 37-48

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