טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentYasuer Shahaf
SubjectThe Flow of Process Information and its Impact on the
Workflow of Construction Crews
DepartmentDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Supervisor Full Professor Sacks Rafael
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

Construction projects are often characterized as complex and dynamic processes that require sharing of vast amounts of information between different parties. When examining the causes for delays and waste it seems that much of it is related to the lack or disruption of information flows.


The research documented in this thesis focused on the flow of process information, which provides construction crews with knowledge in real time concerning the various aspects of the production management process status both on-site and in the supply chains of materials yet to be delivered. There is a distinction between two kinds of information: information about the product and information regarding the process. The research examined the relationship between failures in communication of process information and the quality of decisions made by crew foremen and team leaders; and it explored practical steps to manage information about production management that are likely to improve the flow of information and therefor the flow of work itself.


The research method began with data collection in the field that included interviews with 13 project managers, construction engineers and superintendents employed at four different construction sites. The data were examined to reveal the flow of process information. The impact of the process information flow on the workflow itself was examined using three experiments. The first experiment was conducted using a serious game called "iKan" which was created especially for this research based on the conclusions drawn from the field study. Two additional experiments were conducted using Agent Based computer simulations (ABS) which model the construction of apartments in buildings with several floors with trades such as flooring, plastering, electrical works, plumbing, partitions, false ceilings, etc. The simulations were called "Emergent Production in Construction" (EPIC) and were compiled in the Virtual Construction Lab at the National Building Research Institute.


The experiments showed that there is a positive correlation between the quality of the process information flow and the work flow. Information about the process is essential for workflow management in real time. Information about obstacles that hinder the execution of tasks is needed to enable timely measures aimed at the removal of those obstacles and at improving the reliability of the workflow itself. The smooth flow of work is essential in order to achieve benefits such as reducing costs and shortening the duration of a construction project.