As part of CIRIA’s on-going activity in Lean in Construction, CIRIA is seeking feedback from organisations and individuals who are considering, or are at various stages of their Lean Journey. We want to hear about the challenges and questions you have faced (or are facing). This will inform the development of our future programme. The survey also explores the links and synergies between BIM and Lean.


The first 25 complete returns will each receive a copy of CIRIA’s “Build Lean” guide. All other respondents will receive a PDF copy.


Lean is a term that is familiar to many in the industry, albeit often associated with a manufacturing situation. However, Lean is about a way of thinking, applying a mindful approach to work planning, logistics, collaboration, information sharing and empowerment. Most construction organisations, whether they think so or not, are employing some form of Lean approach by simply applying common sense and good communication.

CIRIA has been keen to raise awareness of Lean, disseminate success stories and produce guidance on the topic. This is central to our twin aims of performance improvement and knowledge transfer.

Our guide “Build Lean” published in 2011 describes how an organisation might trial, demonstrate and roll out lean activities. The narrative in the book describes how a fictional character, Steve, uses Lean to transform his organisation into a successful customer-facing business.

The second phase of activity produced a series of guides on specific aspects of Lean addressing the following questions:

• Which are the principal Lean tools in a construction context?
• What can clients do to promote, enable and benefit from Lean?
• How can the benefits of applying Lean be measured and demonstrated across an organisation?
• What is the best way to go about appointing and working with a Lean consultant to increase organisational capacity?

The phase also recognised the importance of congruence of different initiatives and tools and guides were produced explaining:

• How the Lean and BIM agendas are linked?
• How the Lean and sustainability agendas are linked?

Details of how to obtain these guides is set out at the end of this survey.