While lean construction supports the management of complexity, a set of guidelines has not yet been articulated and explicitly linked to complex systems theory. In this study, six guidelines for managing complex socio-technical systems (CSS), proposed by the authors of this paper in an earlier work, are adopted as a basis. The guidelines are: (a) design slack; (b) encourage diversity of perspectives when making decisions; (c) anticipate and monitor the impact of small changes; (d) monitor the gap between guideline and practice; (e) give visibility to processes and outcomes; and (f) create an environment that supports resilience. The applicability of the guidelines to construction is illustrated by an exploratory study of a refurbishment project. Also, as the use of the guidelines only makes sense in a CSS, the investigated project is described according to a set of characteristics of complexity.
Complex systems, socio-technical systems, refurbishment.