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Doktorarbeit / Dissertation, 2015
List of Figures.
List of Tables
Language and Word Application.
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
1.2 THE STUDY BACKGROUND
1.3 STATMENT OF THE PROBLEM OF STUDY
1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
1.5 SCOPE AND LOCATION OF THE STUDY
1.6 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
1.7 DESCRIPTION AND NATURE OF THE STUDY
1.8 RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND DOMAIN
1.8.1 Research Questions
1.8.2 Research respondents
1.8.3 Researcher’s Role in the Study
1.9 RESEARCH NULL HYPOTHESES
1.10 SIGNIFANCE OF THE STUDY
1.10.1 Contribution to body Knowledge
1.11 JUSTIFICATION AND RATIONALE
1.12 RESEARCH ASSUMPTIONS
1.13 RESEARCH LIMITATIONS
1.14 THE RESEARCH THESIS STRUCTURE
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1.1 Lean Thinking and Value Management Philosophies
2.1.2 Quality Management
2.1.3 Road Quality from Customer perspective
2.2 THE LEAN PHILOSOPHY
2.2.1 History of Lean Philosophy
2.2.2 Mass Production Thinking Philosophy
2.2.3 TPS -The Toyota Way
2.2.4 Lean Thinking
2.2.5 Lean Synchronisation
2.2.6 Lean Production
2.2.7 Lean Construction
126.96.36.199 Lean Thinking in (Road) Construction
188.8.131.52 The Lean thinking principles
2.2.8 Lean Six Sigma
2.2.9 Complementary of Lean and Six Sigma
2.2.10 Lean Thinking and Talent Management
2.2.11 Lean and Theory of Constraints (TOC)
2.2.12 Lean enterprise and Network
2.3 THE VALUE PHILOSOPHY
2.3.1 Value Management and Total Asset Management (TAM)
2.3.2 Value Engineering
2.3.3 Value Management
2.3.4 Waste Reduction in Construction
2.3.5 Earned Value Management
2.3.6 TFV- Theory in Value Management
2.3.7 Strategic Management in Construction
2.3.8 Collaboration in Road Construction
2.3.9 Value Management and Human Resources
2.3.10 Change Management for Road Construction and Maintenance
2.3.11 Health and Safety for enhanced value gravel roads
2.4 OUTPUT PERFORMANCE ROAD CONTRACTS - The Lean and Value perspectives
2.5 OUTPUT PERFORMANCE ROAD CONTRACTS - The Evolution and Experiences
2.5.1 Performance Management
2.6 OUTPUT PERFORMANCE ROAD CONTRACTS - The ‘CREMA’ Contracts
(Contracts for Rehabilitation and Maintenance- Latin America)
2.6.1 OUTPUT PERFORMANCE ROAD CONTRACTS - The Accrued Benefits
2.6.2 OUTPUT PERFORMANCE ROAD CONTRACTS - Performance Indicators
2.6.3 OUTPUT PERFORMANCE ROAD CONTRACTS - The mode of Payment
2.7 LEAN THINKING AND VALUE MANANAGEMENT THROUGH OUTPUT PERFORMANCE ROAD CONTRACTS -The Zambian Experience
2.7.1 OUTPUT PERFORMANCE ROAD CONTRACTS -The Way Forward
CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.2 THE STUDY CONCEPTUAL AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
3.2.1 The Study Philosophy
3.2.2 The Study Epistemology
3.3 RESEARCH DESIGN
3.3.1 Research process
3.3.2 Case study
3.3.3 Data collection
3.3.4 Data collection reliability and validity
3.4 RESEARCH POPULATION AND SAMPLING
3.4.1 Research Sample
3.4.2 Questionnaire design
3.4.3 Data Analysis Techniques
3.4.4 Likert Scale Analysis
3.4.5 The Funnel Model - OPRC case studies
CHAPTER FOUR DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
4.1.1 Likert Scale Questionnaire Rating
4.1.2 Questionnaire description
184.108.40.206 Section A: Respondent details/information
220.127.116.11 Section B: Lean Thinking/Construction Philosopy
4.1.3 Section A:-Total Number of responses
4.2 DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS
4.2.1 Section B: LTT - Lean Thinking Philosophy
4.2.2 Section C: VMT- Value Management Philosophy
4.2.3 Section D: - OPRCs in Gravel Road
4.2.4 Section E: - Collaboration in Gravel Road Construction and Maintenance
4.3 ANALYSIS of Questionnaire Responses
4.3.1 Likert statement - B1: Lean Thinking (LT) Philosopy
4.3.2 Likert statement - B2: The term Lean Thinking (LT) Philosophy
4.3.3 Likert Question - B3: The extent of Lean Thinking Philosophies
4.3.4 Likert Statement- B4: Lean Construction Philosophy
4.3.5 Question - B5: Lean Thinking Philosophy
4.3.6 Likert Statement - B6: The Road Contractors
4.3.7 Section C: Value Management (VM) Philosophy
4.3.8 Question - C1: The extent Value Management (VM) phisophies?
4.3.9 Question - C2: Value Management Philosophy
4.3.10 Likert Statement - C3: Value Management Philosophy
4.3.11 Likert Statement - C4: The Scope/Design of works
4.3.12 Likert Statement - C5: Perceived Value of Gravel Roads
4.3.13 Likert Statement - C6 Value Management Philosophy
4.3.14 Section D: Output Performance Based Road Contracts (Gravel Roads)
18.104.22.168 Statement - D1: Gravel Roads are an important
22.214.171.124 Statement - D2: Quality of most Gravel Roads
126.96.36.199 Statement - D3: Gravel Roads are difficult to Sustain
188.8.131.52 Statement - D4: Gravel Roads Contracts suitability
184.108.40.206 Statement - D5: Long term Road Contracts (OPRCS)
220.127.116.11 Statement - D6: OPRCS operate on the LT and V M philosophies
18.104.22.168 Statement - D7: Strategic LT and VM Philosophies
4.3.15 Section E: Collaboration for Gravel Roads
22.214.171.124 Statement - E1:Collaboration among Client, Consultant and Contractor
126.96.36.199 Statement - E2: Current Gravel Road Contracts
188.8.131.52 Statement - E3: Current Most Gravel Road Contracts
184.108.40.206 Statement - E4: The Function of Gravel Roads
220.127.116.11 Statement - E5: Lean Thinking and Value Management philosophies
18.104.22.168 Statement - E6: Collaboration is a LT and VM tool
4.4 DATA ANALYSIS for Unstructured Questions- Section F
4.4.1Discussion of the results
4.4.2 Validity and Reliability of Data and Information
22.214.171.124 Section F- General Comments and Perceptions on OPRCs
CHAPTER FIVE DISCUSSION OF RESULTS OF THE OPRC CASE STUDIES
5.1.1 Output and Performance Based Road Contracts (OPRCs) - The Strategy
5.2 RESULTS and Findings of the Case - Studies on OPRCs for Gravel roads Interviews
5.2.1 Case-Study 1: Observations on OPRCs and other Gravel Roads in Southern Province
126.96.36.199 Observations and Findings on the OPRCs and other Gravel Roads in Southern Province
5.2.2 Case-Study 2: Observations on OPRCs and other Gravel Roads in Lusaka Province
188.8.131.52 Observations and Findings on the OPRCs and other Gravel Roads in Lusaka Province
5.2.3 Case-Study 3: Observations on OPRCs and other Gravel Roads in Eastern Province
184.108.40.206 Observations and Findings on the OPRCs and other Gravel Roads in Eastern Province
5.2.4 Case-Study 4: Observations on Gravel Roads from Conventional Contracts point of view in Central and Southern Provinces
220.127.116.11 Observations and Findings obtained from the Spinal Road Contract
18.104.22.168 Observations and Findings obtained from the Monze-Niko/Kalomo-Kabanga Road Contract
22.214.171.124 Observations and Findings obtained from the KFW and GRZ funded roads Contracts
5.2.5 Case-Study 5: Observations from Consultants on OPRCs and Conventional Road Contracts
5.3 THE OPRC MODEL -Gravel Road Construction and Maintenance in Zambia
5.3.1 OPRCs and Conventional Road Contracts-Comparisons
5.3.2 OPRCs - Lean Thinking and Value Management Model
5.4 CONCLUSION-Findings and Presentation
CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
6.2 Main conclusions
6.2.1 Findings and Inferences
6.2.2 Required interventions
6.4 Main Study Limitations
6.5 Further research
GLOSSARY AND TERMS
I hereby declare that this PhD Research and Thesis were conducted and written solely by myself, guided and assisted by Professor Chibelushi M. Musongole (PhD) and Dr. Christine
P. Mushibwe (PhD) in accordance with the University of Lusaka Senate rules. Further that all information in this Document [PhD Research Thesis] has been obtained and presented in accordance with academic regulations and ethical conduct. I also declare that, as required by these rules and conduct, I have fully cited and referenced all material and results that are not original to this work.
Name: Kasongo, Richard Mwale Signature:
To: The Dean, Faculty of Business Administration and Management, UNILUS
This Thesis, written by Kasongo, Richard Mwale and entitled “ Strategic Lean Thinking and Value Management for Gravel Roads in Zambia ” having been approved in respect to style and intellectual content is referred to you for judgement.
PhD Research Supervisors: I/We have read this Dissertation and recommend that it be approved.
Name: Musongole, Chibelushi Maxwell (PhD)
Name: Mushibwe, P. Christine (PhD) Signature:
Date of Defence/VIVA VOCE: 26th August, 2015 The Thesis of Kasongo, Richard Mwale is approved.
Dean, Business Administration and Management University of Lusaka (UNILUS)
It is with great honour that I dedicate this piece of work to my Wife, Children and Parents. But most of all it is worthwhile to note that this work was provoked and conducted in memory of my late mother and my late daughter so as to keep their dreams alive and bring their desires and aspirations somehow to fruition.
UNILUS, Lusaka, April, 2015.
Kasongo Richard Mwale
“… what should have been done in haste yesterday is better done in calm tomorrow1 … and tomorrow of yesterday is today, which is now2 ”
(Bjornfot Anders1, 2006 and Author2, 2015)
“ I do not know what I appear to the World; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the Seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me ” .
(Hopp & Spearman, Isaac Newton)
“ This Journey is far from over, but suffice to say that in my view I could safely say that my perceived destination for now is here, where my steam appear to have vanished ” (Kasongo, R.M. Author, 2015).
I am most grateful to my research supervisor, Professor C. M. Musongole, for his critical but infallible guidance, patience and support coupled with the rich knowledge and experience in the areas of Research methodology and Statistics to which I have greatly benefited and will always remain deeply indebted. His unreservedly calmness whenever I called upon him for advice, is one which I will always cherish for the impetus it gave to this research work.
Further, I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to Dr. C.P. Mushibwe (ZAOU), Management and members of Staff of University of Lusaka (UNILUS), especially the Department of Business Administration and Management for their unfailing and awesome guidance and support rendered to me during the entire course of my studies. Without their contribution, this piece of work could not have been realised. I also will forever remain indebted to Management and Staff of Ng’andu Consulting Limited, for their goodwill to have allowed me to take up PhD studies, amidst the busy and demanding work schedules. I specifically wish to extend my indelible gratitude to the following; Eng. A. Ng’andu (Managing Director), Eng.
D. Mwale (Director), Eng. M. Liyungu (Director) and all those that contributed in several and various ways to this study. Great appreciation is also extended to Engineers and other Staff of the RDA, NRFA, NCC, Consulting and Contracting firms for their valuable support.
I am most grateful to my wife Janet and children, Kasongo, Kutasha and Bupalo for their patience and support, especially that I have been away from them emotionally and sometimes physically for the entire period of the PhD studies programme. I wish to thank all my relatives such as Dad, Uncles, Siblings, Cousins, Nieces, Nephews and several close friends etc. that have sacrificed greatly during the course of this very long and daunting but worthwhile PhD voyage. I wish to remember through this piece of work, my dear late mother and daughter [Chilufya] for the love and care they had for me. May the Lord almighty God rekindle their souls to note that they are fondly adored and missed, they were a force to reckon with and have kept my dreams and aspirations alive so as to take me to such great heights to that end this noble task has been accomplished. Above all I am humbled to the Lord through the hand of Jesus Christ, to have given me immense measure of grace that I was able to go through the tedious route of the PhD programme without derailment or incidence that could have otherwise impeded on my progress. Even if this work is dedicated to my family but before them is my everlasting God and may His name always be praised. TO GOD BE THE GLORY [DEO GLORIA], FOR THE GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!!!!
The interest for me to venture into this Study; “ Strategic Lean Thinking and Value Management for Gravel Roads ” , was perceived and conceived in 2008 while I was pursuing my Master of Science (MSc) in the Construction Project Management at Loughborough University, Leicestershire, in England, of the United Kingdom. As a Student at Loughborough, I encountered for the first time the philosophies of “ Lean Thinking ” and “Value Management ” through Professor Christine Pasquire, my former Lecturer in “ Lean Construction ” and “ Cost and Value Management ” modules.
I should hasten to confess here that these two modules though consisting new or emerging theories were among those that I developed utmost adoration and passion which eventually culminated into my remarkable performance in the same at the end of the MSc programme, at Loughborough University. Professors Pasquire, Alistair, Carrillo, Fotwe and Edwards, invited and encouraged me to stay on to pursue a PhD programme at Loughborough University at the end of the MSc programme in 2009, in these areas. However, although I had impetus to proceed, could not at that time however, take up the offer due to some pressing issues back home, in Zambia. In short, I needed to be back in Zambia as soon as I had completed my MSc programme.
With such pressing demands, Professor Pasquire reluctantly allowed me to leave Loughborough University upon completion of my Studies without entangling myself in other academic studies, but further encouraged me to take up the PhD whenever I felt ready so as to be an ambassador of “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies in Zambia. She inspired me in advancing these Phisolophies in my home Country, Zambia, as they were key drivers to improving performance in many fields of human endeavour, including the Road Construction and Maintenance Management (RCMM). Upon arrival in Zambia, I felt perturbed that I had returned from the United Kingdom with unfinished business, even if I had successfully completed the MSC programme, the main reason for which I travelled there. I should also mention that I was actually yearning to enrol for the PhD research programme in the area of “ Quality Improvement ” and “ Value addition Management ” so as to gain more and in depth knowledge of the philosophies I first interacted with at Loughborough University of the United Kingdom.
Professor Alistair Gibb, the Supervisor for my MSC research project went to a great extent of even arranging for a Scholarship for my PhD programme, which unfortunately I turned down as I was not ready then, due to circumstances I have earlier alluded to. I am therefore greatly indebted to these gallant learned Men and Women, who triggered and ignited my interest to take up the PhD programme challenge which seemed farfetched then but alive within me.
The passion for me to take up this challenge (PhD) even grew deeper, when I found myself working on the World Bank funded Project under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) and being implemented by the Road Development Agency (RDA). The World Bank Transport and Infrastructure specialist, Ben Gerick, was spearheading Output Performance Road Contracts (OPRCs) for the Construction and Maintenance of gravel roads in Zambia on a pilot basis. In 2010, I was appointed as a focal point person (Coordinator) by RDA Management for this programme while I worked as Chief Engineer - Construction and Maintenance. With the interaction, I had on this programme and experience I was reinvigorated and my almost simmered Loughborough University dream became vividly alive like a gleam or beam of sunlight piercing through a tinny window and so was re- inspired. It became obvious that this was the right time for me to take up the PhD programme challenge in the area of Management, specifically Construction Project Management (CPM).
The nature and state of the Road Network in Zambia also motivated me into selecting the research topic around the Construction and Maintenance of gravel roads. It should be appreciated that approximately 80% of the Zambia Road Network is of gravel standards and if not all, most of them are in a deteriorated state (RDA, 2013). Hence, the reason for my focusing on the research in Construction Project Management (CPM) directed at the improvement of gravel roads. This was also driven by the understanding that I had been working in the Road Sector for over two (2) decades post graduating from the University. My notable vast experience in the Construction and Maintenance of Paved and Unpaved roads in Zambia, offered good platform and basis for me to undertake this study. In short this Study;
“ Strategic Lean Thinking and Value Management philosophies in the Construction and Maintenance of Gravel Roads in Zambia ” could not have come at a right time than now.
However, it was not until, UNILUS placed an advert in the Zambian print media in 2011, inviting applications for DBA/PhD programmes, that it clearly dawned on me that time had come to resume this long voyage of pursuing PhD studies. It cannot be overemphasized that this could not come at the right time than now when my main core duties were to do with Construction Project Management (CPM). UNILUS Management is greatly commended for the initiative and for rolling up its first DBA/PhD programmes, for which I am most delighted and excited to be among the first Cohort of students (candidates).
The encouragement I received from inception of the programme to research topic selection and approval by the Programme Coordinator and Supervisor, Dr. Lewis Chilufya and Prof. Musongole Chibelushi Maxwell respectively, cannot go unnoticed. As for Prof. Musongole, though very critical in appreciating the need to improve gravel roads instead of upgrading them to paved standards, his valuable counsel was however, candidly objective and indelible as a good mentor and motivator. I owe a great deal of most insights in this Study to him for which I will also remain deeply indebted. Dr. C.P. Mushibwe [Co-supervisor], the successor to Dr. L. Chilufya (both now working with ZAOU) offered me great deal of encouragement and rendered the much needed infallible advice and calmly guidance during the course of the PhD Studies. I should conclude by stating that I am most grateful to so many academicians and scholars such as Prof. P. Chifwanikeni, Prof. L. Siaminwe, Dr. R. Kaulule, Prof. S. Kasanda, Mr. Frank M. Kayula (PhD Student) to mention but a few who in some ways rendered me support to enable me embark on this long but worthwhile journey of undertaking PhD Study for the “ Strategic Lean Thinking and Value Management philosophies in the Construction and Maintenance of Gravel Roads in Zambia ” involving theories developed from disciplines of Business and Project Management.
Figure 1: Typical condition of most gravel roads in the rainy season in Zambia
Figure 2: Deteriorated pedicle road (gravel road)
Figure 3: Most Gravel roads in Zambia have deteriorated due to lack of strategic maintenance
Figure 4: Timeline of Lean Production
Figure 5: Summarized Timeline for Lean Thinking
Figure 6: Synchronized Lean and Value context in projects
Figure 7: Traditional approach-Buffers separate stages
Figure 8: Lean Synchronisation - Deliveries are made on request
Figure 9: Construction Project's factors of Time, Cost and Quality - Scope/Quality or Constraint triangle
Figure 10: Lean Thinking Principles
Figure 11: Strategic and Operational Levels of Lean Thinking
Figure 12: Value Management process (The Job Plan, Adopted from, NSW, 2004)
Figure 13: Aims and Objectives of Value Management
Figure 14: Value Management Process
Figure 15: Seven (7) types of Lean Wastes
Figure 16: A Management framework for Health and Safety Management
Figure 17: Likert Scale rating along a Continuum - Balanced Scale type
Figure 18: Funnel Theory, the problem solving continuum
Figure 19: Road Practitioners Lean Thinking/Construction Knowledge in Gravel Roads
Figure 20: Engineer's Knowledge in Lean Thinking Philosophy for Gravel Roads
Figure 21: Extent of Application of Lean Thinking Philosophy in Gravel Roads
Figure 22: Lean Construction in Gravel Roads
Figure 23: Lean Thinking Philosophy can enhance Quality of Gravel Roads
Figure 24: Contractors need more knowledge in Lean Thinking
Figure 25: Extent of Value Management Knowledge
Figure 26: Value Management is a new philosophy is Gravel Roads
Figure 27: Enhancement of Gravel Road Contracts through Value Management
Figure 28: Determination of Design and Scope for Gravel roads
Figure 29: Determination of Perceived Value by the Client
Figure 30: Perception of Value Management in Gravel Roads
Figure 31: Importance of Gravel Roads in Zambia
Figure 32: Quality of Gravel roads without Maintenance
Figure 33: Gravel Roads are difficult to sustain
Figure 34: Gravel Roads are not suited for Short term Contracts
Figure 35: Long term Contracts (OPRCs) are suitable for Gravel Roads
Figure 36: OPRCs operate on the Lean Thinking and Value Management philosophies
Figure 37: Strategic LT and VM Philosophies can enhance quality of Gravel Roads
Figure 38: Collaboration in Gravel Road Construction and Maintenance
Figure 39: Location of Zambia on the African Map-OPRCs
Figure 40: 1st Generation OPRCs Project locations on the Zambian Map
Figure 41: 1st Generation OPRC Contracts failed due to poor preparations and Financing
Figure 42: Stakeholders monitoring and evaluating progress of 2nd Generation OPRC contracts perceived to be designed on Lean Thinking and Value Management philosophies
Figure 43: 2nd Generation OPRC Contracts were successful due to good preparation and financing
Figure 44: 2nd Generation OPRCs Project Locations on the Zambian Map
Figure 45: A World Bank Official congratulating the Contractor on achieving performance or road service levels compliance
Figure 46: D361 road before the OPRC
Figure 47: Author/Researcher at the beginning of road D361 at Pemba
Figure 48: D361 road in Choma after improvement through OPRC,
Figure 49: Traffic volume and loads have increased on D354 road in Choma
Figure 50: Easy movement of farm produce is a new norm on OPRC roads
Figure 51: Diverted traffic from Monze-Niko road to D361 OPRC road in Choma
Figure 52: Chongwe to Chalimbana road before OPRC
Figure 53: Chongwe - Chalimbana road after improvement through OPRC
Figure 54: A road in Katete before OPRC
Figure 55: Extraction of construction materials an antidote for gravel roads
Figure 56: A road in Katete after improvement with OPRC
Figure 57: Spinal Road before Rehabilitation in KNP: the consequences of lack of Sustainable Road Maintenance System-A sign of non application of Lean Thinking and Value Management Philosophies
Figure 58: Works in Progress on Spinal Road
Figure 59: Researcher inspecting improvement works on Spinal Road
Figure 60: Rehabilitated Spinal Road in KNP
Figure 61: Senior Civil Engineering Consultant checking flooded Causeway
Figure 62: Washed out Spinal Road during 2012-2013 Rainy Season
Figure 63: Flooded and Soft Spots on Spinal Road due to 2012-2013 rains
Figure 64: Deteriorated Monze - Niko Road after rehabilitation in
Figure 65: Rock out crops on Monze - Niko road
Figure 66: A cyclist using the middle part of Monze-Niko Road as Vehicles use the sides
Figure 67: Deteriorated Nyawa road in Zimba
Figure 68: Large stones exposed on Ruyala road in Zimba
Figure 69: Narrowed and Overgrown Ruyala Road
Figure 70: Corrugations on Ruyala road in Zimba
Figure 71: OPRCs Model - Lean Thinking and Value Management philosophies
Table 1: The Zambian Road Network
Table 2: Origins of Output Performance Based Road Contracts (OPRCs)
Table 3: Performance Indicators for Output Based Performance Road Contracts (OPRCs)
Table 4: Performance Indicators for OPRC CREMA Contracts
Table 5: Likert Scale Analysis - Consensus and Dissension (Computation example)
Table 6: Number of Responses received from Questionnaire Survey
Table 7: Lean Thinking Philosophy in Gravel Road Construction and Maintenance
Table 8: Value Management Philosophy in Gravel Road Construction and Maintenance
Table 9: Output Performance Based Road Contracts (OPRCs) in Gravel Road Construction and Maintenance
Table 10: Collaboration in Gravel Road Construction and Maintenance (Planning, Design and Implementation)
Table 11: Lean Thinking and Value Management in OPRCs for gravel roads (perceptions)
Table 12: Conventional contracts and OPRCs for gravel roads - Comparisons Language and Word Application
LANGUAGE: United Kingdom (UK) and United States of American (USA) English were used interchangeably in this Study. This is because this style of writing has become the normal trend and no hard and fast rules are applied to that regard. Some words are used throughout the Research paper (report) to emphasize the degree to which a recommendation, policy, warrant or criteria requires adherence to and application. The following defines the intent of the commonly used words:
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This research topic is entitled ‘ Strategic Lean Thinking and Value Management for Gravel Roads ’ . The study captured 82 respondents as research sample to a case study of Output Performance - Based Contracts (OPRCs) for the Construction and Maintenance of Gravel Roads in Zambia. Purposive sampling was used as most research participants were drawn from second generation OPRCs that were active between 2009 and 2014. The study was aimed at devising new Construction and Maintenance Contract methods for gravel roads that are based on “ Lean Thinking and Value Management ” philosophies in Zambia. The established epistemological background to the study is that most of the Zambian road network is of gravel or earth standards and is therefore, imperative that they are well maintained to attain desired service levels to properly serve the intended beneficiaries (the road users). The Road Development Agency1 Annual Report of 2009 indicated that 33,000 Km of the total 40,671 Km core road network, is classified as gravel roads (unpaved)2, which are at the moment mostly in a deteriorated state.
The study revealed that currently in Zambia, Gravel Road Construction projects are commonly being realised through the use of traditional Contracts such as admeasured; by the use of Bills of Quantities (BOQs), the Lump sum and Cost plus, etc. These are mainly short term form of Contracts which to some extent, lack some components of sustainable maintenance regimes, thereby rendering the Government and other Promoters efforts futile as gravel roads sooner or later deteriorate just after the first rain season upon their construction. This was theoretical perspective which served as driver to the “Research problem”. The study noted that current forms of Contracts did not inspire, aspire and spur the spirit of ownership as the local people were left out in the planning and design stages of gravel road projects.
Despite all the attempts made by Government, through the RDA and other implementing Agencies, the Road Construction Industry in general, has failed to get the best value for money through the use of these conventional types of Contracts. One of the reasons for this failure according to Womack and Jones (2003), ‘is that it is hard to define and realise value, this is partly because most Producers [Road Contractors] want to make what they are already making and partly because Customers only know some variant of what they are already getting’. The OPRC Case study observations also revealed similar perceptions from respondents. This implied that without ‘ Lean Thinking ’ and ‘ Value Management ’ being strategically taken on board, product value that satisfies the customer would seldomely or hardly be difficult to determine and later delivered.
The study acknowledged that ‘ Lean Thinking ’ and ‘ Value Management philosophies ’ are therefore, to serve as catalysts to a better Gravel Road Construction project delivery practice in Zambia. To that effect, Zambia has for some time been implementing Output Performance
- Based Contracts (OPRCs or OPBCs) for the construction and maintenance of gravel roads. However, the study noted that Lean Thinking (Lean Construction) and Value Management philosophies are said to be relatively new in Zambia and may not be well appreciated by various business houses including the Road Construction Industry, hence not being fully incorporated in the current OPRCs. The Study has proposed an OPRC Model for Construction and Maintenance of gravel roads in Zambia. This developed from the attributes of Lean Thinking and Value Management philosophies, which aim at enhancing the OPRCs. According to Zietlow (2007), Output Performance - Based Contracts-OPBCs3 are based on “Lean Thinking and Value Management” philosophies as they strive to reduce waste and enhance value in Road Construction’ value stream. The Study; “ Strategic Lean Thinking and Value Management philosophies in Gravel Roads ” , is therefore a great stride in solving the prevalent problems of the usually poorly managed Gravel Road Construction and Maintenance Projects in Zambia.
Lean Thinking Philosophy (LTP), Value Management Philosophy (VMP), Gravel Roads, OPRC, Contracts for Rehabilitation and Maintenance Contracts (CREMA), Strategic Management, Total Quality Management (TQM), Total Asset Management (TAM), Whole Life Asset Management (WOLAM). Transformation Value Management (TFV), inter alia.
‘ Lower the water level to expose the rocks or wastes (Kaikuku) ’ (Womack and Jones, 2003)
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Zambia has a total road network of about 67, 671 Km and of these, 40,671 Km are classified as the Core Road Network (CRN) consisting of Trunk, Main and District roads (TMDs) (RDA, Annual Report, 2011: p.3, Raballand and Whitworth, 2011: p.1). The Road Development Agency4 Annual Report (2012: p.8), further states that 33,000 Km of the core road network is classified as gravel roads (and rural or feeder (earth) roads), which is at the moment in a deteriorated state. However, it is these feeder roads that offer connectivity to most agriculture productive areas in Zambia. Unfortunately, during the rainy season, most of these roads are inaccessible resulting in the cutting off communication between communities. Gravel and earth roads pose great challenges when it comes to their maintenance under the conventional type of contracts currently being used in Zambia. The current contract arrangements only offer a one off road construction and maintenance interventions, thereby relegating gravel roads to poor quality conditions, hence rendering them vulnerable in the rainy season. Gravel roads by their nature; easily get deteriorated under wet conditions due to the related adversities. The Government of the Republic of Zambia has been investing heavily in these types of roads. Regrettably no significant economic returns have been realised as gravel roads continue to get washed out every rainy season, resulting in so many emergency5 roadworks.
According to Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility [PIAF], (2009, p.124), ‘ the situation in Zambia is typical of many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa who are struggling to maintain extensive road networks from a very limited resource base. Zambia is large (752 000 km2) with a population of around 12 million, [currently estimated at 14 million]. Zambia is classed as a Low Income Country (although at the time of this study, Zambia was reclassified as Medium Income Country) with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of USD 630. Total road network is around 90 000 Km of which 20 000 Km is Trunk, Main and District roads carrying the vast majority of traffic outside urban areas. Only 7 250 Km are paved, constructed mostly in the 1960 ’ s and 1970 ’ s ’ .
Since most roads in Zambia were constructed in the 1960’s and 1970’s, coupled with lack of effective and sustainable maintenance, means that they have lived their life spans and are currently in deteriorated state. Below is the breakdown of the network by road type in
Zambia. According to Shahin (1994), gravel roads maintenance in Zambia lacked appropriate management such as the Output Performance - Based Contracts (OPRC).
Table 1: The Zambian Road Network
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(Source: RDA, Annual Report, 2009)
In seeking to solve this problem, the Zambian Government has of late embarked on a highly ambitious programme of having to upgrade most gravel roads to bituminous standards despite some of such roads not meeting the minimum requirements (Cost and Benefit Analysis) for them to receive such road maintenance regimes. However, for a Country to economically develop, it is desirable that most of its gravel and earth roads are upgraded to bituminous standards. Nevertheless, due to high demand on the Country’s resources to achieve such aspirations coupled with constrained annual budgets, as highlighted in the 2012 Annual Work Plan (AWP), it is difficult to attain such national ambitions in the foreseeable future. The reality is that Zambia will for some time, continue to have a portion of its road network of gravel standards. It should also be noted that upgrading a gravel or earth road to bituminous standards, is a costly undertaking for any Government and hence the exercise has to be approached with much caution (Brushett, 2005). The cost implications explain the reason why the USA has 45% of its roads of gravel standards (Mannering and Washburn, 2013: p.97). The RDA annual report (2010) indicated that the cost of upgrading a gravel road to bituminous standard was estimated to be about ZMW2.5 Million6 approximately USD500, 000 per km compared to ZMW300, 000, approximately USD60, 000 per Km for construction and maintenance of a gravel road. Figure 1 below, depicts the condition of most gravel roads in the rain season in Zambia. With such state of affairs, it may be necessary that OPRCs which are perceived to anchor on “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies for Construction and Maintenance of gravel roads in Zambia are promoted.
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Figure 1: Typical condition of most gravel roads in the rainy season in Zambia
Road Construction and Maintenance contracts in general in Zambia are marred with project time over runs, variations and terminations as contractors in most instances fail to complete the contracts within the approved project time, budget and with compromised quality. In some cases Contracts are only completed after an extension of the intended project completion time. A case in point is the Spinal Road project (Case-study) which was planned to be implemented within 15 months but ended up being extended to 24 months and at a higher project cost than that initially envisaged. Gravel Road Contracts are not immune to
Contract Project Management problems (Road Development Agency annual reports, 2006- 2010). Apart from the Contracts being delayed to complete, they are many cases of reports of poor quality of work output [shoddy works] which thereby fail to meet the needs of the Client. This scenario denies the road users the much needed returns on the infrastructure. When Contracts are completed, it is usually at higher costs as they are in many cases associated with many variation orders (VOs)7 which unfortunately lead to the Contract sums being higher than initially determined and approved. Because of such problems, value for money for most Gravel Road Construction and Maintenance contracts in Zambia, is not realised. However, the Government of the Republic of Zambia seems to be keen to reverse this trend, as it has stepped up efforts to ensure that Road Construction and Maintenance contracts including those of gravel roads, are completed within the original approved project time, cost and quality. Nevertheless, little success is being achieved, which therefore, is a cause for concern. This Thesis advances the promotion and adoption of “ Lean Thinking ” and “Value Management ” philosophies for the gravel road construction and maintenance contracts in Zambia. It is envisaged that the lean thinking and value management philosophies will enhance road project delivery and management in the country.
One of the reasons for lack of progress could be that the approach being used, according to the “ Lean Thinking ” philosophies, is based on ‘pushing of project work flow’. However, ‘in a push system’8 the production of goods is based upon a plan (schedule) that has been made in advance, which means production and purchase are not initiated by projected customer demand. The operation is driven by the schedule and thus creating waste. But customer or client demand can suddenly change and things may go wrong. What becomes of the schedule then? (Liker, 2004: pp.104-112). The problems being experienced by the Zambian Road Construction Industry cannot merely be eradicated through intensified efforts that compel Contractors to upscale progress of works. Consequently, the perceived customer value may only be realised when “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies are well integrated in the gravel road construction and maintenance processes (Project Life Cycle). “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” might also assist in improving gravel road projects’ delivery with accrued benefits as it is perceived to be cost effective. Benefits for gravel roads could be attained by use of “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value management ”
philosophies which have their foundations on the ‘pulling of project work flow’9 theory. The Contractors would only improve their performance if they are driven by Customer or Client specified quality (Value). The Output Performance Based Road Contracts being implemented to some extent lack more of these valuable ingredients that would otherwise be brought about through the strategic ‘ Lean Thinking ’ and ‘ Value Management ’ philosophies as shown in Figure 2 below:
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Figure 2: Deteriorated pedicle road (gravel road)
Most Gravel Road Construction and Maintenance Projects in Zambia are described as substandard or those failing to meet prescribed specifications for good gravel roads that are fit for purpose in terms of Quality and Value to Customer perspective. Consequently, most of gravel roads in Zambia are in a deteriorated state and are of poor quality, hence are failing to offer the desired level of service to road users and consequently, limiting connectivity of the rural communities to areas of economic importance (See pictures Fig.2 & 3). This largely could be because the Road Construction industry in Zambia does not strategically apply the “Lean Thinking ” and “Value Management ” philosophies. The focus of the study is to investigate whether the “Lean Thinking” and “Value Management” philosophies, are
strategic to gravel road construction contracts, for improving the process of construction and maintenance of gravel roads to meet desired quality, value and sustainability in Zambia. Figure 3: Most Gravel roads in Zambia have deteriorated due to lack of strategic maintenance (Choma to Prison ’ s farm road, 2013) Gravel roads form the highest chunk of the Zambian road network and compliment limited paved roads in the movement of people, goods and services (RDA, Annual Report, 2009). Value of gravel and earth roads is a factor that needs to be well aligned with the Road Users’ perceived demands. Value Management (VM) is more about determining what is required in the product or service as desired by the Customer. This usually involves analysis of product functions and seeking alternative ways of meeting such functions at a reduced cost but without compromising on quality. The construction and maintenance of gravel roads could be cost effective if value was enhanced through appropriate methods of road Contract strategies (Fellows et al. 2007: pp.231-236). The terms ‘Cost’ ‘Price’ and ‘Value’ can be used interchangeably and are difficult to understand sometimes. However, Cost could be defined as a must to be given, or foregone to obtain a good or service. It is simply what the buyer or purchaser must pay, usually expressed as a sum of money. Price is what the seller receives from the buyer after the exchange of a good or service. Value is said to be the worth of such a good or service (ibid). Answering research questions might solve problems of gravel roads.
The study considered the five factors of “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies as presented by Womack and Jones, 2003 and assessed their incorporation in gravel road construction and maintenance contracts in Zambia, through the use of Output Performance Road Contracts (OPRC), as follows:
- Specifying value of gravel roads from the end user perspective (Specify Value),
- Defining and mapping up value stream for a work process (Identify the steps in the Value Stream),
- Enhance and Maintain flow in work process (Create smooth flow),
- Pulling from Customer Value demand or needs (Customer pulls Value),
- Ensure perfection and continuous improvement of products to meet customer expectations and needs (Pursue perfection-Kaizen).
The main purpose of the study was to establish knowledge levels on the understanding of “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies in the construction and maintenance of gravel roads in Zambia with the view to improving the quality of gravel roads and enhance level of service for road users’ benefit. The study further endeavoured to investigate whether the 2nd generation OPRCs being implemented by the Road Development Agency have been strategically incorporating “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies in their work flow processes.
The following themes underpinned the purpose of the study;
- Establish “Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” knowledge levels of stakeholders in the gravel road construction and maintenance with a view to improve the quality of road contracts delivery.
- Investigate whether “Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies were being strategically applied in the current (Second Generation)10 Output Performance - Based Road Contracts (OPRCs) being implemented by the RDA.
- Compare value realised from the current Conventional Gravel Road Contract Scenarios and that obtained from Output Performance - Based Road Contracts (OPRCs) - which are based on “Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ”.
- Assess the possibility and viabilty of enhancement of the application of ‘ “Lean
Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” principles in the road construction and maintenace of gravel roads in Zambia through Output Performance - Based Road Contracts (OPRCs).
The study was mainly confined to the Zambian Road Construction Industry, especially to the practitioners dealing with gravel roads. The study was extended to local Training and Regulatory Institutions [NCC] with a view to investigating and establishing whether “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies were being taught to Trainees (Students) of Business Administration and Construction Project Management. This is because these same Trainees are the ones who would later be employed by the road Construction companies or be recruited by the Road Sector Agencies. Practicing Engineers, Managers and other personnel in the Zambian Road Construction Industry, also formed part of the subjects of this study. A Case-study was conducted in Chipata, Katete, Lundazi, Chongwe and Choma on the gravel road construction and maintenance projects which for some time now have been utilising OPRCs. The study was undertaken in order to evaluate the level of strategic application of “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies throughout the Whole Project Life Cycle (WPLC). The data collected from the Chipata, Katete, Chipata, Lundazi, Chongwe and Choma Output Performance Road Contracts (OPRCs) were analysed and results on the road service levels (Performance) compared with those derived from other types of contracts (Traditional or Conventional Contracts). A systematic approach to road management is needed to ensure optimum return on investment.
The main objective was to investigate whether “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies are strategically being employed as value addition drivers in the construction and maintenance of gravel roads in Zambia under the OPRCs, with the aim of satisfying road user needs. If discovered otherwise, then propose remedies and the way forward for the OPRCs as interventions for construction and maintenance of gravel roads in Zambia.
To achieve the above main study objective, a Case study of the 2nd generation Output Performance - Based Road Contracts (OPRCs) for gravel roads was adopted as the main research strategy. To establish the general understanding and appreciation of “ Strategic Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies in the Zambian Road Construction
Industry involved with gravel roads, the exploratory and explanatory approaches were used.
Secondly, Case study observations were conducted on the 2nd generation OPRCs currently being implemented by the Road Development Agency, located in Chipata, Katete, Lundazi, Chongwe and Choma districts of Zambia. This was to mainly ascertain the extent and degree of strategic application, of the “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies in the work flow processes in all project phases; namely, planning, design, procurement, implementation (including Monitoring and Evaluation) and commissioning. The results of the Case study observations were necessary for the determination of levels of enhancement of “Strategic Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies in the OPRCs and the Zambian Road Construction Industry as a whole with the aim of improving value of roads.
As earlier stated under the sub heading ‘research objectives’, Research questions were mainly developed around the areas that if considered, would otherwise improve the value of gravel roads. ‘ Lean Thinking ’ and ‘ Value Management ’ philosophies strategic utilisation in gravel roads were the main drivers of the research questions. Areas of coverage were not however thoroughly conclusive to say the least, due to the research process complexity coupled with inherent limitations and shortcomings involved with such an exploration.
The following ‘Research questions’ were developed from the stated objectives. They were developed to explore the research problem further;
1. Are the knowledge and practices of “Lean thinking ” and “Value Management ” philosophies well established and perceived by the parties or stakeholders in the Zambian Road Construction industry, namely, the promoters or owners, the financiers or funders, the Trainers, the Designers or Consultants and the Contractors or Constructors?
2. ‘ Lean Thinking ’ and ‘ Value Management ’ have been recognized as distinguished disciplines of Civil Engineering (Construction Management & Project Management) and Operations/Production Management (Scientific Management theory) worldwide. To what extent are these disciplines being advanced in Training institutions in Zambia?
3. Are ‘ Lean Thinking ’ and ‘ Value Management ’ philosophies being currently strategically applied in the Gravel Road Construction and Maintenance projects in Zambia?
4. Are Output Performance Based Contracts or Framework Contracts (OPBCs or
OPRCs) a form of contracts based on the ‘ Lean thinking ’ and ‘ Value Management ’ philosophies?
5. Can the strategic application of ‘ Lean Thinking ’ and ‘ Value Management ’ philosophies improve quality of Gravel Road Construction and Maintenance projects in Zambia?
The study participants were drawn from the Road Development Agency (RDA), the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL-ADSP) as the Client side. Other research respondents were drawn from Contractors and Two Consultant firms namely UWP Consulting Engineers and ASCO Consulting Limited. Other respondents were from the National Council for Construction (NCC) as a Training and Regulatory body. These respondents comprised Engineers, Technicians and other staff involved with the Construction and Maintenance of gravel roads through OPRCs and Conventional contracts.
Although I had worked in the road construction industry for over two decades, namely the Roads Department and the Road Development Agency, I tried to remain neutral and avoided influencing the outcome of results for the study. The inductive approach through constructivism theoretical perspective provided an effective safety measure. As from the onset the study was defined as exploratory, this meant that the researcher’s epistemology was not influence the direction and outcomes, so as to avoid biasness of the results that if allowed would impede on the study validity, reliability and credibility. Heuristic enquiries and direct observations conducted were non participatory, meaning that as a researcher, I could acquire data from respondents without coercion and duress.
The following are the hypotheses which were examined through this exploratory study;
(i) Lean Thinking and Value Management Philosophies are relatively new to most
Stakeholders and hence not strategically applied in the construction and maintenance of gravel roads in Zambia.
(ii) OPRCs are suitable for gravel roads compared to the Conventional contracts currently being used, as they enhance customer perceived value for Road users.
As earlier stated this was exploratory research, which depended mainly on the results of Case studies on the OPRCs for gravel roads, the study was therefore, allowed to flow unrestricted so as to develop, capture and examine ideas as they evolved on the above assumptions. Findings, Recommendations and Conclusions were then advanced after the lessons learnt from the study inductively. According to Salkind (2005: p.185), if you are conducting exploratory or descriptive research, you are trying to understand events that are occurring in the present and how they might relate to other factors. You generate questions and hypotheses, collect data, and continue as if you were conducting any type of research. The hypotheses are educated guesses or assumptions that are set out to guide the Study. As this is a mixed research design [Triangulation], the proposed hypotheses were examined through non statistical methods.
It is envisaged that the results obtained through this study would lead to the improvement of the knowledge of “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies by Stakeholders involved with the Construction and Maintenance of gravel roads in Zambia. It is therefore, expected that after this research, there would be better understanding of “ Strategic Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies which would culminate into better construction and maintenance of gravel roads, which at the moment were in the deteriorated state and therefore not serving road users effectively and efficiently. This study:
(i) Aims at identifying and recommending for adoption for Contract forms (OPRCs) that would bring about a ‘win - win’ situation through satisfaction of all parties in the construction and maintenance of gravel roads in Zambia by delivering value according to the Customer demand. ‘Value is what the customer wants and the rest is waste ‘ Muda ’ (Womack, op. cit).
(ii) Will consider the current work flow processes in the 2nd generation OPRCs to assess whether the “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies are being strategically incorporated. If discovered otherwise, make viable recommendations on the strategic employing of “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies with the aim of adding value through reduction of waste in the work flow processes and thereby improve the quality of gravel roads for rural connectivity and national economical development.
(iii) Will stimulate and encourage the road sector stakeholders to accept OPRCs as viable strategy, embrace and enhance “ Strategic Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies throughout the Whole Life Project Cycle (WLPC) in gravel road construction and maintenance.
(iv) Will compare and evaluate the current OPRCs process flows and flaws with regard to “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies in the construction and maintenance of gravel roads with traditional forms of road contracts.
The Thesis envisages to making of the following contributions to the body of Knowledge:
- To vividly bring to light that, the attributes of OPRCs were anchored on the Lean Thinking and Value Management philosophies through deeper evaluation; - Establishing Knowledge levels in Strategic Lean Thinking and Value Management philosophies of Stakeholders involved with the Construction and Maintenance of gravel roads in Zambia.
- Enhance value to Customer perspective by promoting OPRCs as effective Construction Project Management (CPM) interventions founded on “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies, which key stakeholders in the construction and maintenance of gravel roads in Zambia needed, to fully embrace and adopt.
The study would bring afloat principles of Lean and Value in the OPRCs in Zambia.
In the quest to improve the quality and value to customer perspective for the gravel roads in Zambia through “ Strategic Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies, this study was necessary for the following reasons;
- The Zambian Government through the RDA, has been piloting OPRCs on gravel roads starting with Eleven (11) Contracts funded by the European Union (EU) in 2006 (1st Generation) which failed to realise the expected benefits due to perceived poor contract procurement and implementation management strategies (RDA, 2009).
- The 1st Generation of OPRCs on gravel roads was mainly believed to have not realized perceived benefits because the Contractors were not conversantly aware that they were based on “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management philosophies and hence, did not fully and properly apply them in the road Project Life Cycle (PLC) and the related work flows (ibid).
- Starting from the year 2009, RDA with the support of the World Bank (WB) (ADSP- RRIF) and the European Union (EU), has been implementing Four (4) Contracts (2nd Generation) using OPRCs.
- With such well appreciated pilot programmes, the RDA is intended in the future to have most of the gravel roads on OPRCs hence the knowledge of “ Strategic Lean Thinking (LT) ” and “ Value Management (VM) philosophies ” would therefore be very necessary for contracts success (ibid).
- The Study when conducted would also assist the Road Sector Agencies and various stakeholders to foster the understanding of Strategic “ LT ” and “ VM ” philosophies, in order to improve the quality (value) of gravel roads in Zambia.
- The Sample would be drawn from the Engineering professionals and other related personnel working with various Institutions (National Council for Construction (NCC), Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ), Engineering Registration Board (ERB), Training Institutions, Association of Consulting Engineers of Zambia (ACEZ), Road Development Agency (RDA), National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) e.t.c.) in Zambia.
- The Case study [Primary research data sources] would be conducted on the 2nd generation OPRCs being implemented by the Road Development Agency with the support of the World Bank and the European Union, and these contracts were expected to be completed in 2014, hence covered the research period. Case study depended on the assumption that the OPRCs projects were to continue up to 2014. Consequently, the OPRC case study was successfully conducted as the Contracts remained operational as predicted and anticipated.
- That the data obtained from these Institutions would be reliable, valid for the purpose of this study and respondents in the case studies would be normally distributed and be representative of the research population.
- The Road Contractors and Consultants working on OPRCs would be valuable research respondents in the study and providing insights in the provision of necessary data and information.
- The secondary data to complement the study would be obtained from the RDA (Ministry of Transport, Communication, Works and Supply) and the ADSP (Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock) and the World Bank (WB) publications on OPRCs especially on their implementation and progress in Australia, New Zealand, South and North America and South East Asia without hindrance. This is evidenced by the study literature review presented in Chapter two of the Thesis.
The successful completion, credibility, validity and reliability of the study would be mainly dependent and influenced by the following two main research limitations for which the researcher would endeavour to control and manage;
- The sample of 82 subjects was used in this study as few Civil, Construction and Road Engineers and other personnel, were involved with the current OPRCs in Zambia. The Research Sample was purposively drawn from Lusaka, Southern, Eastern and Central provinces, where most Road Contractors and Consultants are based for the OPRCs and where institutional bodies such as the Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) and National Council for Construction (NCC) are well established or represented. However, case studies were also extended to some conventional contracts, such as Spinal road and Monze to Niko road in the Kafue National Park so as to compare obtained results with the OPRC contracts observations for the study credibility and reliability.
- The case study conducted in Katete, Chipata, Lundazi, Chongwe and Choma OPRCs was not without logistical constraints and challenges such as uncooperative road users, consultants and contractors who were to some extent proving to be difficult.
The research Thesis is made up of Six Chapters and is structured as follows; Chapter One covers the introduction and background, while Chapter Two presents the literature review. Chapter Three is research methodology while Chapter Four is data analysis. The Case study observations and findings on the 2nd generation OPRCs are recorded in Chapter Five and,
Chapter Six presents the conclusions and recommendations. Thereafter, glossary, references, bibliography and appendices follow through. The subsequent Chapter will provide literature review for the study, which follows the theory of funnel model as strategy of problem solving. The funnel model is used so as to delve on many philosophies and principles encompassing Lean Thinking, Value Management and OPRCs for gravel roads in Zambia.
‘ Lean thinking, is not an end in itself but a journey to perfection through continuous improvement (Kaizen) ’ (Womack and Jones, 2003).
As already alluded to in section 1.3, Gravel Road Construction and Maintenance is a discipline of the Construction Project Management on which this research was based. The Literature in the application of Lean Thinking and Value Management to gravel road construction and maintenance is scanty as these theories are relatively new in this field [Road Construction industry]. In Zambi,a these theories may not be vividly known or expressed but they form the basis for the Output Performance Contracts (OPRCs) being piloted since the year 2006. According to Zietlow, (2007, pp10-14), OPRCs were first practised in South (Latin) American Countries, North America, New Zealand, Australia, India and South East Asian Countries. These types of Contracts have also been used in South Africa to improve the quality and ensure sustainability of gravel roads. Henderson et al (2004), stated that before the introduction of these Contracts, poor gravel roads were the norm in Western Cape. They attributed low standard of construction and poor road maintenance as the reason for such poorly performing gravel roads. A more systematic approach (Lean Thinking and Value Management) was adopted in the construction and maintenance of gravel roads. This led to the development of operations Gravel Management System (GMS), which is fully integrated with strategic and tactical level systems, such as Gravel Road Management (GRM), Traffic Counting, Road Network Information (RNI), Maintenance Management and Pavement Quality Management (MMPQM). Further, Hyman (2009), defined Performance Based Maintenance Contracting (PBMC) as a contracting method that provides incentives and/ or disincentives to the Contractor to achieve desired outcomes or results. PPIAF (2009), amplifies this notion by stating that through the OPRCs the relations between the Client (Road Authority) and the Contractor is very different to that of Conventional contracts since the Contractor makes informed decisions to satisfy the road user needs. The system does not detail what the Contractor needs to do, when and where it should be done. Much leeway is given to the Contractor to develop road designs and implementation strategies. Since the OPRCs approach emphasises road product quality/value and performance in order to satisfy the road user needs, it is highly recommended by the pioneer countries that have used it including the United States of America (USA). However, it is not universally accepted owing to its infancy and inherent failures recorded by some practitioners who have used it.
Nevertheless, the responsibilities left to the Contractor are sometimes substantial and may spell a disaster for longer period contracts, if not well management. For longer contracts, the client should pay particular attention to pertinent issues before hand (ibid). However, PBMC or OPRC represents a departure from the conventional or standard practices of road construction and maintenance. With this new system of contracting “ Lean Thinking ” and “Value Management ” philosophies, are utilised to enhance road quality/value and waste reduction. The reason for it being resisted by some practitioners is the limited knowledge on its attributes as it is new to many (ibid). The main objective of OPRCs or PBMC is to address the dynamic and vulnerability nature of gravel roads by providing tools that aid proactive “ Lean thinking ” and “ Value Management ” based methodologies, which are drivers to informed decisions on appropriate maintenance actions. Most countries in the Sub-Sahara region do not carry out road maintenance regularly and delayed maintenance direct and indirect costs11. Neglected gravel roads steadily become more difficult to use followed by increased vehicle operating costs (VOCs) and lead to poor connectivity of communities (Burningham and Stankevich, 2005). This is because of poor road construction and maintenance strategies such as using contracts devoid of “Lean thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies. On the contrary, Output Performance Based Road Contracts (OPRCs) incorporate these theories in road construction and maintenance projects (ibid). It should also be noted that Road Construction Project Management has evolved over the years to act as a vehicle in delivering projects aimed at serving humanity from various transport and connectivity challenges as presented by nature. The adverse conditions associated with nature, have necessitated human beings to engage in various road construction and maintenance activities in order to ease the effects and also in pursuit of travel comfort enhancement, the human races have always strived. Basically, “Construction activities, on the other hand, have maintained their fundamental role in shaping civilisation all around the globe. Wherever people are, there is some form of construction such as gravel road construction and maintenance. Construction has also been affected by the society in which it takes place and also affected enormously by many aspects and fabric of the society itself (Tezel, 2007)”. This is to say that the environment has a bearing on the kind of Construction activities that will be initiated. Construction has mostly been carried out through projects to deliver or attain perceived needs and benefits. Maylor, (2010: p. 4), defined ‘a project as a task which has a beginning and an end but should not be repetitive’. For construction projects (including road Construction and Maintenance) to achieve the intended goals and targets, they have to be properly managed. Larson and Gray, (2011: p.3) indicated that; All of Mankind ’ s greatest accomplishment - from building the great pyramids to discovering a cure for polio to putting man on the moon- began as a project.
By definition, Project Management12 is said to be a carefully planned and organised effort to achieve a desired objective or need and the Project Management Institute (PMI) further defines a Project as a “temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service, result” (Larson and Gray, 2011: pp.3-18) . A project is also said to be temporary in nature and has definite start and end dates (Heldman, 2009). So a project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product or service (Duncan, 1996, Choudhuri, n.d). Project Management is used in Zambia and the World over in many business sectors including the Road Construction industry. The Construction industry is generally said to be unique in that it sometimes involves working on sites that are remotely located and of different landscape with varying conditions (different project environment) (Bertelsen, et al 2006: pp.3-5). It is therefore, difficult in such conditions for a client to be assured of a product of desired quality in accordance with Contract specifications.
The Road Construction Industry involves several Stakeholders, such as the Client or Promoter, Contractor, Consultant and the road users. Client’s main objective is to receive a road facility that meets and satisfies his or her needs. Value for money in every road project delivered, is therefore, of great essence to the Client. The Contractor’s main task is that once engaged, may provide the Client with the specified road product (fit for purpose) according to desired quality, within the allotted project time, within project budget and that at least with a profit as he/she has to sustain the business. The Consultant on the other hand, seeks to ensure that the interests of both the Client and the Contractor are reasonably and fairly met. Further, the Consultant has to play impartiality to avoid the violation of the Contract from both parties namely the Client and the Contractor points of view (Hendrickson, 2008,). It should be noted here as Heggie, (n.d), observes that road transport is the dominant mode of transport in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) carrying closer to 90 percent of the region’s passenger and freight transport, providing transport to 70 percent rural inhabitants. However despite the importance of gravel roads most of these roads are poorly maintained and are mainly impassable in the rainy season.
19 Time, Cost and Quality (TCQ) are the three important salient factors of Construction and which have to be managed through project management principles. The deviation in the management of any of these three variables of Construction, results in the failure to meet the intended objectives of the parties. It is for this reason that Construction Project Management (CPM) becomes a very useful tool in order to keep these three factors of Construction, namely Time, Cost and Quality in good and consistent check (Burke, 2004). In order not to lose or confuse readers with the jargons of “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” theories as they apply to many business entities or domains, the literature search has deliberately delved in most relevant areas before narrowing down the discourse to the construction and maintenance of gravel roads in Zambia. This approach was upheld by Salkind (2006: p.80), by stating that “the review of literature is not to be a novel, but most good literature reviews build from general argument to a more specific one and set the stage for the purpose of the research”. This approach is known as the funnel model13, the method which I have opted to judiciously follow in the review of literature for this study (ibid).
For some time, Road Construction projects have been realised through use of Contracts such as admeasured; through the use of Bills of Quantities (BOQs), the Lump sum, Cost plus, etc. Despite all the attempts made, the Road Construction Industry has failed to get the best value through the use of conventional type of Contracts. The reason for this failure according to Womack and Jones (2003), ‘is that it is hard to define and realise value, this is partly because most Producers (Contractors) want to make what they are already making and partly because Customers only know some variant of what they are already getting’. “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” could be therefore, a great catalyst to better Road Construction project delivery for which the Zambian Construction industry might benefit from. Zambia through the Road Development Agency has since 2006, been implementing Output Performance Road Contracts (OPRCs), which are believed to operate on “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies. The pilot OPRCs (2nd generation) being implemented on gravel roads in Choma, Chongwe, Katete, Chipata and Lundazi, came into effect in 2009 and were expected to end by the year 2014 (RDA, 2007).
“ Lean Construction ” and “ Value Management” philosophies on the other hand, are perceived to be new in Zambia and not well appreciated by various business houses including the Road Construction Industry. Conducting this research for the ‘Strategic application of “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” principles in the Output Performance Based Contracts (OPBCs) with a view to reducing waste and enhancing value in Construction’, envisaged to contribute in solving problems of the usually poorly managed Gravel Road Construction and Maintenance Projects in Zambia.
The main focus of “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” philosophies in the Construction and Maintenance of gravel roads in Zambia is enhancing road(s) quality to Customer perspective. Fryer et al. (2008: p.306), assert that Managers have always been responsible for the quality of goods and services produced by their work teams. In this sense, there is nothing new about quality management. But the emphasis given to delivering more systemically and in every aspect of business has certainly grown over the years. This reaction accounts to at least three factors;
- Poor quality in components, production and service to clients;
- The impact, during the 1980s, of BS 5750 Quality Systems and its international successor, the ISO 9000 series; and - A reduction in clients’ tolerance of poor quality.
In Production and Manufacturing, many clients are not keen to accept products of poor quality due to varied range of choices available to them and their well informed position. “Clients perceptions of quality are also very important. Clients quite often assess quality in terms of how they experience the product or building in use, rather than its components and assembly. However, many firms that experienced quality assurance inspections, perceived little, if any, improvement in the services they were offering. Indeed, many firms (including clients) argued that BS 575014 was unsuitable for construction” (ibid). Nevertheless, road users in most cases have little influence on the quality of road product delivered to them by Contractors. Zietlow (2007), suggests that it would be better however, that road-users perceptions of quality for gravel roads are taken into consideration throughout the Whole Life Project Cycle (WLPC), especially at inception, design and implementation phases. The OPRCs on gravel in Zambia are therefore, not exemption to the above assertion.
Further, Fryer et al. (op. cit. p.307-308.), indicated that many firms have introduced benchmarking as substitute to the earlier quality regulating tools such as ISO 9000 and BS5750. It involves studying the best practices and achievements of competitors and others in the field and adopting them as standards for improving the company performance. Benchmarking can be integrated with TQM or used as part of any quality system. It can include looking at the process in, and product/service features of other industries. Indeed, this is sometimes where the most creative improvements can be found. So important is activity in a highly competitive environment that organisation may set up a research department to do their benchmarking activities. Benchmarking is the way organisation enhance quality through a process of learning from other organisations or projects that have excelled in the past in the area of quality and value addition. For the Construction and Maintenance of gravel roads this will call for evaluating contracts such as OPRCs that have been successful with a view to draw lessons from them and if possible replicate them to other gravel roadwork assignments in the quest to improve quality, value and performance to customer [road user] perspective.
The benefits of quality for any product such as gravel roads worth to be appreciated by the customer [road user] or client, need not be over emphasised. No well informed road user will desire a road product of poor quality unless such a one does not understand the meaning of quality or value, from his/her own perspective due to lack of informed opinion or position. The desired road user value is that which offers the best product functional attributes “fit for purpose”. “An important approach to obtaining business, from which professional practices and contractors can benefit, is to sell on quality and not on price, as many successful businesses already do. The quality of any product is what should dictate what price it should be sold at to the customer [road user]. Many other companies in other industries other than the Road Construction industry, have found it a better policy to go for a higher value - added product or service, than for low cost, low quality product or service” (Fryer et al. op.cit.p.310.). Therefore, a good quality gravel road would be constructed at reasonably higher cost in order that the perceived services value of the customer, the road-user could be realised or enhanced. This may prolong the road facility life and reduce cost of maintenance or better still defer it.
Quality assurance is to stay in conformity with specifications of a desired road product or service. Total Quality Management (TQM), is the holistic process of ensuring that desired quality of road product or service is attained. “TQM is really a business philosophy based on commitment to customer satisfaction; it involves organising the business to deliver consistent customer satisfaction by careful design of products or services; and creating systems that deliver the chosen quality standards reliably. The growth of global markets and tough international competition will ensure that quality remains high on project or organisation agenda, but overt expression of quality concerns in concepts like TQM may recede, as thorough quality assurance becomes routine-internalised in the culture and management systems of the organisation” (ibid:p.307.). At this stage ‘ Lean Thinking ’ and ‘ Value Management ’ principles become necessary to the replacement of TQM for salvaging the customer perceived value. TQM is also complemented by Total Cost Management (TCM)15, which also holistically looks at project planning and control of resources, cost, profitability and risk (Hollmann, 2012). Schaufelberger and Holm (2002), assert that Total Quality Management is a management philosophy that focuses on continuous process improvement (Kaizen) and customer satisfaction which when integrated in gravel road construction and maintenance management, may register better returns for the end users.
Womack and Jones, (1996), highlight that “ Lean Philosophy ” emerged in 1900s from the production and manufacturing industries”. ‘ Lean ’ does not mean cost cutting but rather places emphasis on the reduction of all forms of waste and enhance value adding activities from the customer point of view. Since “ Lean Philosophy ” is a means of improving quality of products through waste removal, it is not limited to a particular type of industry but is applicable to various types of industries and businesses such as the construction and maintenance of gravel roads. What is of essence however, is how the Lean principles such as Value, Value Stream, Flow, Pull and Perfection (VVFPP) are incorporated in the work processes. Applying Lean principles in the construction and maintenance of gravel roads in Zambia implies that the ‘ Lean Philosophy ’ five principles aforementioned need to be systematically, efficiently and effectively utilised to achieve road user perceived results.
Sezen and Erdogan, (2009), explain that ‘ Lean ’ is a systematic approach to enhancing value to customer perspective by identifying and eliminating waste through continuous improvement (Kaizen), by flowing the product at the pull of the customer, in pursuit of perfection. ‘ Lean ’ originated from Toyota Production System (TPS) in the 1900s, which gave emphasis that suited the customer needs and only delivered at the request of such customers. It underpinned its success on the principle of pull process diverting from the original traditional way of production which used the push process (Mass production or Fordism). Toyota is considered as pioneer user of the “ Lean Thinking ” and “ Value Management ” theories as since thus;
Many of the concepts in ‘ Lean manufacturing ’ originate from Toyota Production System (TPS) and have been implemented gradually throughout Toyota ’ s operations beginning in the 1950 ’ s. By the 1980 ’ s Toyota had increasingly become known for effectiveness with which it had implemented ‘ Just-In -Time ’ (JIT)16, manufacturing systems. Toyota is often considered one of the most effective and efficient manufacturing companies in the world and the company that sets standards for best practices in ‘ Lean manufacturing ’ . ‘ Lean Manufacturing ’ or ‘ Lean Production ’ first appeared in the 1990 book (The Machine that Changed the World17 ) ” (Mekong Capital, 2004).
‘ Lean Manufacturing ’ has made tremendous strides to Toyota Motor Corporation which started as small family business called Toyoda with the intention of producing farm tractors to emerge as such a magnificent world class car manufacturing company. Chambers, (2010), resounded that the story of Toyota Motor Corporation is mainly the story of an extraordinary group of entrepreneurs and engineers who performed miracles every day. And it is also, in part, a brief look at this great island nation of Japan in the modern world. Figures 4 and 5 presented here under section 2.2.2, outline ‘ Lean Thinking ’ development and progression as a Philosophy.
Largely the theory of ‘ Lean Manufacturing ’ evolved from the ‘ Traditional Mass Production thinking ’. In Mass production, Henry Ford felt that production throughput, would be improved if skills and trades were grouped together along the assembly line (Fordism). The following two factors are the perceived benefits of grouping skilled people and equipment together;
- Economies of scale - Mass production thinking was about squeezing the most production possible at the lowest cost per unit out of every piece of equipment or every worker in a manual operation. Similarly by organising people into teams or departments, you can focus on best practice in each professional speciality and squeeze the highest productivity (or innovation) possible out of each person.
- Apparent flexibility in scheduling - When workers of the same skill are grouped together, it is easier for the department manager to schedule available resources, such as machines and human capital to any job that comes along the assembly line. The group is dedicated to that department and are no longer free to undertake any other work that might come up outside its profession or skill domain.
In mass production, exchange of information across departments becomes a challenge and results into the formation of a department exclusively for information dissemination and management contrary to ‘ Lean Thinking ’ which encourages feed forward18 and interaction. Since people and equipment have been organised by speciality, there must be a creation of another speciality, the material handling department or planning department to move material (Liker, 2004: pp90-94). However, in ‘ Lean production ’ , teams are integrated and are organised in working platforms or ‘ process islands ’ capable of handling different work assignments as they emerge, through voluntary worker talent, competency and proficiency. This would result in improved or maximised human capital utilisation and reduction of wastes in the work processes such as waiting and unnecessary labour motion. This also would enhance skills transfer among team members and encourages collaboration and consultation before decisions are arrived at. Wilson (2010), advances that Ohno described the TPS as consisting of many techniques that are designed to reduce the cost of production or manufacturing. This involved removing waste and is built on two pillars namely Just in Time (JIT) and Jidoka19. This approach would greatly improve gravel road quality and value as workers involved would be exposed to skills or trades a situation which would translate into customer or user satisfaction. Further, a culture of stopping to fix a problem immediately it is noticed in the work flow process (Value stream), which if not might compromise on gravel road quality or value, would be inculcated in the workers concerned.
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Figure 4: Timeline of Lean Production (Adapted from Womack, 2003)
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Figure 5: Summarized Timeline for Lean Thinking (Adapted from Womack, 2003)
As highlighted by Womack, et al. (1996) and as already been stated in section 2.2, the ‘ Lean theory ’ originated from the Toyota Production System (TPS) which mainly focused on value addition through waste elimination in the production process. In the 1950’s Ohno, one of the founders of Toyota Motor Corporation, learnt lessons from the work of Ford whose automobile production company based on the philosophy of Mass production (Fordism) ‘Push theory’ advanced the automobile industry to greater heights through the lean production philosophy. Many of the key principles were pioneered by Henry Ford, who was the first person to integrate an entire production system, under what he termed “flow production." Following World War II, the Toyota Motor Company adapted Ford’s principles as a means of compensating for its challenges of limited human, financial, and material resources. The Toyota Production System (or TPS), which evolved from this need, was one of the first managerial systems using lean principles throughout the enterprise to produce a wide variety of products at lower volumes and many fewer defects than competitors. The “ Lean and Value ” philosophies, according to Womack and Jones (2003), are not limited in application to production and manufacturing as they can be used in many business entities such as the construction and maintenance of gravel roads through the OPRCs. This is for the simple reason that the “ Lean and Value ” philosophies are versatile, flexible and all encompassing by the nature as:
The Lean producer combined the advantages of craft20 and mass production21, while avoiding the high cost of the former and the rigidity of the latter. Lean producers employ teams of multi skilled workers at all levels of the organisation and use highly flexible, increasingly automated machines to produce volumes of products in enormous variety dictated by the customer orders ’ (Womack et al., 2007).
The most striking difference between mass production and lean production lies in their ultimate objectives. ‘ Mass-producers ’ set a limited goal for themselves. This translates into acceptable number of defects, a maximum acceptable level of inventory (waiting through over production and processing) and narrow range of standardised products. To do better, they argue, would cost too much or exceed inherent human capabilities (ibid.).
On the contrary ‘ Lean producers ’ , set their sights explicitly on perfection: continually declining costs, zero defects, zero inventories, and endless product variety as demanded by the customer. No lean producer may have achieved perfection and non will, but the endless desire and quest for perfection, on part of lean producers, continues to generate surprising results worth appreciating ’ (Womack et. al, op.cit.).
The ‘TPS’ has of late become commonly known as the ‘ The Toyota Way ’ (TTW), (Liker, 2004: pp.35-41). Because of focus on Thinking, ‘ TPS ’ is also now being referred to by Toyota as ‘ Thinking Production System ’ . Lean principles were summarised into 14 principles called ‘ The 14 Toyota Way Principles ’. These are key “ Lean Thinking ” principles which when holistically and heuristically applied in the Construction and Maintenance of gravel in Zambia roads may offer unprecedented benefits to the users.
As already alluded in section 2.2.3, ‘‘ Lean Thinking ’ was developed from the Toyota Production System (TPS) and focuses on the value adding activities by removing waste ‘ Muda ’ in the work flow process. ‘ Muda ’ is the Japanese word you really must know. It sounds awful as it rolls of your tongue, because ‘ Muda ’ means “waste”, specifically any human activity which absorbs resources but creates no value: mistakes which require rectification, production of items no one wants so that inventories and remaindered goods pile up, processing steps which are not needed, movement of employees and transport of goods from one place to another without purpose, groups of people in a downstream activity standing around waiting because an upstream activity has not been delivered on time, and goods and services which don’t meet the needs of customer (Womack and Jones. 2009)’. The ‘ Lean Thinking ’ approach has made tremendous achievement for Toyota that today the Company boasts on being on top of the list of the automobile industry. The principles of ‘ Lean Thinking ’ works for all sectors be it Road Construction or Manufacturing, avoiding it therefore, is missing out on an opportunity to improve road product quality.
As the ‘ Lean Thinking ’ is based on the principle of waste reduction and hence value enhancement in the Value Stream. ‘ Lean Thinking ’ also provides a way to make work more satisfying by providing immediate feedback on efforts to convert waste or ‘ Muda ’ into value (ibid.)’. ‘ Lean Construction ’ seems to be a relatively new theory in Zambia and its principles are therefore seldom used in most Road Construction Contracts including the recently introduced Output Performance Road Contracts (OPRC) types for Construction and Maintenance of Gravel Roads. Not employing ‘ Lean Thinking ’ philosophies limits the Road Construction Industry ability to realise its full potential in delivering Value to Clients. This therefore, is a problem needing immediate solutions for gravel roads in Zambia.
To be ‘ Lean ’ is not to be ‘ Mean ’. Many organisations have misinterpreted ‘ Lean Thinking ’ to mean cost cutting initiatives and profit extraction from the downstream of the value supply chain. For effectiveness, value should be specified from the customer standpoint. The use of engineers to design product value with the intent of meeting customer needs is not any chance lean. Other executives’ belief is that customer may not have capacity to define value and therefore, qualified technical experts are able to specify it on their behalf, claiming that “the customer will want or like it once they explain it”.
LEAN IS … A mindset, or way of thinking, with a commitment to achieve a totally waste-free operation that ’ s focused on your customer ’ s success … .It is achieved by simplifying and continuously improving all processes (Kaizen) and relationships in an environment of trust, respect and full employee involvement … .It is about people, simplicity, flow, visibility, partnerships and true value as perceived by the customer. ” Ref: David Hogg, High Performance Solutions.
“ LEAN IS - from an operations perspective … Lean production cuts costs & inventories rapidly to free cash, which is critical in a slow economy. It also supports growth by improving productivity and quality, reducing lead times and freeing huge amounts of resources ” (ITC, 2004:pp. 2-5).
“ Lean Synchronisation ’ , or just ‘ Lean ’ , it was originally called ‘ Just-in-time ’ (JIT) when it started to be adopted outside its birthplace, Japan. It is both a philosophy and a method of operations planning and control. Lean synchronisation aims to meet demand instantaneously, with perfect quality and no waste. This involves supplying products and services in perfect synchronisation with the demand for them. When first introduced, the lean synchronisation (or ‘ lean ’ or ‘ Just-in-time ’) approach was relatively radical, even for large and sophisticated companies. Now the lean, just-in-time approach is being adapted and adopted outside its traditional automobile, high volume and manufacturing roots” (Slack et al, 2010-p431). The Lean theory is an avoidable ingredient of any production process such as Construction and Maintenance of gravel roads. (See figures 6, 7 and 8, traditional and Lean Synchronisation)
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Figure 6: Synchronized Lean and Value context in projects (Adopted from Kelly et. al, 2006)
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Figure 7: Traditional approach-Buffers separate stages (Source: Adapted from Slack et al, 2010)
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Figure 8: Lean Synchronisation - Deliveries are made on request (Adopted from Slack et al, 2010)
- Evans and Lindsay (2011: pp.209-263), assert that “ Lean Production ” refers to approaches that originated at the Ford Motor Company in the early 1900s, but which were refined and modernized or improved by the Toyota Corporation Company (TCC) later in the century”. As with the ‘ Lean Thinking ’ philosophy, ‘ Lean Production ’ approaches focuses on the elimination or reduction of all forms of waste. It involves identifying and eliminating non-value -added activities throughout the entire value chain or the value stream to achieve faster customer response, reduced inventories, higher quality, and better human resources. As one article about Toyota observed, to see the Toyota Production System (TPS) in action is to “behold a thing of beauty”. “ Lean Production ” is facilitated by a focus on measurement and continuous improvement (Kaizen), cross-trained workers, flexible and increasingly automated equipment, efficient machine layout, rapid setup and changeover, just in time delivery and scheduling, realistic work standards (standardization), worker empowerment to perform inspections and take corrective action, supplier partnerships, and preventive maintenance. Some benefits claimed by proponents of lean production include the following (Evans and Lindsay, 2011: pp.348-367):
- At least 60 percent reduction in cycle times
- 40 percent improvement in space utilisation
- 25 percent greater throughput
- 50 percent reduction in work in process and finished goods inventories
- 50 percent improvement in quality
- 20 percent improvement in working capital and worker productivity”
“ Lean Production ” if incorporated efficiently and effectively, may enhance the quality and value of gravel roads in Zambia which in return may lead to boosting the economic activities in the rural or far flung areas. However, to realise the above stated benefits, Companies (Road Contractors) require putting in their very best to ensure that there is detailed planning for effective and efficient implementation of gravel Road Construction and Maintenance Projects. Projects are said to be vehicles that are used to organise team efforts and manage the implementation process including that of gravel Road Construction and Maintenance (ibid.). Wastes in gravel Road Construction and Maintenance mean compromising on quality, increased cost, project time overrun and failure to deliver value to Customer perspective. Employing ‘ Lean Production ’ principles would result in improved road product quality and value enhancement aimed at satisfying the client and end users.
Further, “ Lean production” presents a very different model. Production is managed so that actions are aligned to produce unique value for the customer. Project duration and cost are considered in “ project-as-production system ” terms, making concern for project total cost and duration more important than the cost or duration of any individual activity. Coordination is accomplished in general by the central schedule while the details of work flow are managed throughout the organization by people who are aware of and support project goals (as opposed to activity or local) performance. Value to the customer and throughput, the movement of information or materials to completion are the primary objectives of “ Lean production”. Improvement of results from reducing of waste that is the difference between the current situation and perfection (Howell and Ballard, 1998: pp.2-5).
1 The Road Development Agency is the Institutional charged with the responsibility of construction, maintenance and caring of all public roads in Zambia through the act of parliament number 12 of 2012.
2 In this study unpaved roads are those roads surfaced by gravel or earth other than bituminous or concrete materials. xxii
3 OPBCs or OPRC-Output Performance Based Contracts which focus on project outcomes referred to as service. xxiii
4 The Road Development Agency is the Institution charged with the responsibility of construction, maintenance and caring of all public roads in Zambia through the act of parliament number 12 of 2012.
5 Emergency roadworks are unplanned but necessary road maintenance interventions with the aim of restoring accessibility. 2
6 Refers to rebased Zambian Kwacha (ZMW).
7 Variation Orders (VOs), changes made to the approved contract leading to increase or decrease in the work scope, project time and cost.
8 Push Work Flow System, is the type of production process which is based on schedule without driven by Customer perceived Value demand. This according to Lean Thinking is one form of waste generation and therefore not preferred and recommended means of road project delivery.
9 Pulling Work Flow System is the type of production process which is based on Customer perceived value demand and aims at reducing waste according to Lean Thinking theory.
10 Second generation OPRCs are the current gravel road contracts being implemented by the Zambian Government through RDA under the ADSP programme with part of the financing from the World Bank (WB).
11 Maintenance direct and indirect costs are some form of investments that need to be ploughed into maintenance activities.
12 Project Management refers to the process used to ensure project control and quality assurance, etc.
13 Funnel Model or Theory, is process which begins with a broader view and constricts or narrows down to the most pertinent issues of the research, activity or operation.
14 BS 5750 is British Standard code (Quality systems) which regulated quality of products and was the successor to ISO 9000
15 TCM - Total Cost Management Framework, is a technique which considers whole project cost from planning to close out. 23
16 Just-In-Time (TPS) manufacturing system aims at delivering a product to the customer just when it needed
17 James Womack, Daniel Jones and Jones Roos: The Machine that changed the World, Simon & Schuster, 1992.
18 Feed forward - is a process of disseminating information at every stage of work flow (Value stream) even before Customer demand and is more effective as a form of communication than the Feedback process.
19 Jidoka- is the culture of stopping to fix a problem immediately it is noticed in the value stream (Machines with human intelligence) is a foundation for ‘ building in ’ quality.
20 ‘ The Craft producer used highly skilled workers and simple but flexible tools to make exactly what the customer asked for, one item at a time ’ (Womack et. al, 2003).
21 ‘ The Mass producers began to use narrowly skilled professionals to design products made by unskilled or semiskilled workers tending expensive, single purpose machines ’ (ibid.).
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