Visual Planning in construction : a study of its use in construction projects
The purpose of this master thesis is to investigate of what use the method Visual Planning can be in the construction industry in general and in the design phase of construction projects in particular.
The investigation and empirical part of the thesis has been based on semi-structured interviews with process developers, design managers and designers from Swedish companies where Visual Planning is used. The interviews have been the base for a comparative case study with the aim of providing an overview of how the method is currently used, interpreted, experienced and perceived in the Swedish construction industry and by its professionals. The master thesis has been made in collaboration with the Swedish consultancy firm Tyréns AB in Stockholm.
The results of the interviews differ on an individual level. The majority of the respondents are however positive and believe in the future of the methods. All respondents stress the lacking documentation, however, as the major difficulty. Several respondents have stressed the difficulties of working in a scattered team due to the analogue format as a shortcoming of the method as well. The biggest benefits stated are the easy accessible overview provided and the clarification of commitments, due to the active participation of the design participants, the analogue format, and the way of mapping of the information process.
It has been found that Visual Planning can be of use as a support in the process of construction project management, since it may facilitate the understanding of how to reach objectives and provide an easy accessible overview of the progress and status of a project. It should however be viewed as a complement to the process of construction project management, and not as a replacement. In conclusion it may facilitate earlier problem solving, since commitment is raised, which in the end facilitates the project to stay within budget as well as to meet the deadline.
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