Performance measurement in the UK construction industry and its role in supporting the application of lean construction concepts

Saad Sarhan
Andrew Fox


Performance measurement has received substantial attention from researchers and the construction industry over the past two decades. This study sought to assess UK practitioners’ awareness of the importance of the use of appropriate performance measures and its role in supporting the application of Lean Construction (LC) concepts. To enable the study to achieve its objectives, a review of a range of measurements developed to evaluate project performance including those devoted to support LC efforts was conducted. Consequently a questionnaire survey was developed and sent to 198 professionals in the UK construction industry as well as a small sample of academics with an interest in LC. Results indicated that although practitioners recognise the importance of the selection of non-financial performance measures, it has not been properly and widely implemented. The study identified the most common techniques used by UK construction organisations for performance measurement, and ranked a number of non-financial key performance indicators as significant. Some professed to have embraced the Last Planner System methodology as a means for performance measurement and organisational learning, while further questioning suggested otherwise. It was also suggested that substance thinking amongst professionals could be a significant hidden barrier that militates against the successful implementation of LC.

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