Learning from Failures in Operations

Christian Koch

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    This paper discusses failures and quality in operations in design and production of buildings. The importance of human action, interpretations and interactions in tackling complexity, fragmentation and disturbances in the building industry is underlined. Building processes encompass requisite parallelism and fragmentation due to their predominantly quantitative complexity. It is suggested that a number of critical junctions occur in these processes and that obtaining quality and avoiding failures quite often requires a series of competent and situational operation management actions. An empirical study of failures and their causes was carried out in the spring of 2004. The observation period was three month covering the assembly phase. In this period we observed 160 failures equal to a calculated cost of 80.800 euro and 8% of the production costs. However only 7-8 % end up as impact on the final product. The analysis showed that, among others, design review, project review, commencing and finalizing operations turned out to be critical junctions in the control of failures. Practical implications and improvements are discussed. The focus on critical junctions, points to supply chain management, lean construction and operational innovation in the site organisation as possible elements. Moreover the importance of flexible daily coordination is underlined.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings Third International Conference on Construction in the 21th Century, : Advancing Engineering, Management and Technology
    Place of PublicationAthens
    PublisherTechnical University of Denmark, COM.DTU, CICT
    Publication date2005
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    Event3rd International Conference on Construction in the 21st Century: Advancing Engineering, Management and Technology - Athens, Greece
    Duration: 15 Sept 200517 Sept 2005
    Conference number: 3


    Conference3rd International Conference on Construction in the 21st Century


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