Using Storytelling to Understand a Company´s Lean Journey

Carlos Alexandre M. do A. Mourão1, Antonio N. de Miranda Filho2, Rebeca Nara Nogueira3, José de P. Barros Neto4 & Jorge Moreira da Costa5

1PhD Candidate, Civ. Eng. M.Sc., Fac. of Engin., Univ. of Porto, Technical Director, C. Rolim Engenharia, Fortaleza/Bazil, [email protected],
2Civil Engineer, Ph.D., CEO, Construtora Santo Amaro Ltda., Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil, [email protected],
3M.Sc. Candidate, Fed. Univ. of Ceará, [email protected],
4Professor, Dept. of Acad. and Technol. Integ., Fed. Univ. of Ceará, Fortaleza/Brazil, [email protected],
5Assoc. Professor, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal, [email protected],


Lean implementation has become a recurring topic in literature. Scholars have studied lean tools, implementation barriers and proposed strategies, audit tools, and maturity models to overcome such barriers. However, despite the importance of these methods, over the years, researchers have realized that "best practices" emerge from a combination of contextual factors and coherent strategic choices affecting workforce management, supplier relationship, and other "soft" factors. Therefore, through exploratory research structured according to business storytelling fundamentals, the authors describe a company's lean journey along a timeline to provide an overview to understand the strategic choices and even the underlying rationale aligning strategic, tactical, and operational level decision-making. Findings suggest that lean implementation is a never ending journey, which requires organization-wide changes for achieving success. Furthermore, strategic choices enhancing organizational stability and predictability seem to have played a crucial role in the company's success in lean implementation, knowledge retention, and capability development.


Lean implementation, organizational stability, strategic choices, business storytelling.



Mourão, C. A. M. A. , Filho, A. N. M. , Nogueira, R. N. , Neto, J. P. B. & Costa, J. M. 2021, 'Using Storytelling to Understand a Company´s Lean Journey' In:, Proc. 29th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC). Lima, Peru, 14-16 Jul 2021. pp 423-432

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