Dispelling the Complexity Myth: Founding Lean Construction on Location-Based Planning

Russell Kenley1

1Professor of Construction. School of Built Environment, Unitec New Zealand, Private Bag 92025, Auckland, New Zealand, Phone +64 9815 4321 (7374), FAX +64 9815, [email protected]


There has been a recent trend toward believing that projects are complex, unpredictable and that control systems of late intervention such as Last Planner are necessary to solve the problem. The complexity assumption is challenged in this paper, and it is shown that the some of the apparent complexity arises from a simple mathematical problem which is easily resolved—and thus better planning becomes not only possible but a better solution. A complex refurbishment project is used to illustrate the different approaches and to show where apparent complexity arises. It is then shown how under normal planning methods the sites are asked to resolve an intractable problem. They do their best, but they have been let down by the planners.


Flowline, Complexity, Chaos, Location-based, Scheduling.



Kenley, R. 2005, 'Dispelling the Complexity Myth: Founding Lean Construction on Location-Based Planning' In:, 13th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Sydney, Australia, 19-21 Jul 2005. pp 245-251

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