Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering


Eloise Grove

Project Title

Lean Processes for Highways Infrastructure




Academic Supervisors:
Professor Andrew Dainty
Professor Tony Thorpe
Dr Derek Thomson

Industrial Supervisors:
Salman Asad
Andrew Campbell

Director of Research:
Professor Stephen Ison

Research Period

2011 - 2015

Lean Processes for Highways Infrastructure


Amey is one of today’s leading public services providers, managing the vital infrastructure and business services that practically everyone, everywhere relies on. The services which Amey provides are diverse. Whether travelling on tube, rail, or road networks, through airports, or visiting schools and government buildings across Britain; one quarter of the UK’s population come into contact with its unique engineering design, management, and maintenance services, every day.

The recent budget cuts have made it even more important for organisations like Amey who are mainly working for public sector clients to adopt lean behaviour and practices. Considering the diverse nature of business it is not possible for Amey to develop and implement generic lean processes which can be rolled out and implemented across various disciplines and work streams. A more specific approach is called for.

The current research project will focus on ‘highway infrastructure’ market and will help Amey to investigate how best ‘lean construction’ objectives can be met in ‘highway infrastructure’ environment.

Aims and Objectives

The specific aims and objectives of the project include:

  • To carry out a detailed literature review to understand lean practices currently being adopted and implemented within the ‘highway infrastructure’ industry.
  • Examine processes currently being used on various ‘Highway Infrastructure’ contracts by carrying out a number of case studies on various contracts in Amey using both qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques.
  • Using theory and collected data propose measures to improve lean team behaviour and processes in Amey.
  • Use proposed measures in 3 – 5 trial projects and measure benefits and improvements.
  • Benchmark performance against industry competitors and the wider business community.
  • Identify and develop key value streams within the business and make improvements (e.g order to delivery). Identify methods of driving lean thinking in daily operations and ensuring senior management embrace the concept of lean and support its transformation

Proposed Research Methods

It is anticipated the following methods will be used to collect quantitative and qualitative data on existing lean behaviours and practices on Amey Highway Infrastructure projects and to identify gaps and improvement areas to meet research objectives as stated above:

  • Open and close ended questionnaires developed by the researcher for the project.
  • Project case studies on various sample highway infrastructure projects delivered by Amey.
  • Interviews with various managers with responsibility for performance improvements within such contracts.

The data would be analysed using combination of statistical techniques and a sound knowledge of data collection and statistical analysis tools is essentially needed both for data collection and interpretation purposes.

Expected Benefits and Outcomes

To develop tools and systems that will allow Amey to:

  • Improve lean team behaviour and processes.
  • Improve the performance of trial projects.
  • Embed Highways Agency objectives throughout the workforce and the Amey supply chain



Contact us

+44 (0)1509 222623

The Centre Administrator
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU

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