Benefits of using Lean IPD

as a Strategy for Better Project Management



By Saimon Satyanathan

SKEMA Business School

India and Paris, France



The construction industry sees tremendous potential to improve the effectiveness and performance of projects. Thus, there is much wisdom in adopting Lean IPD which offers lean principles and a focus on collaboration and work flow reliability. In this paper, the benefits and restrictions experienced by participants in implementing Lean IPD are analysed. The paper eventually focuses on demonstrating that Lean IPD provides a better approach much effective towards Project Management.

The author will identify various project delivery methods including Lean IPD and then make a comparative study using the Multi-Attribute Decision-Making (MADM) analysis to illustrate the coherence with respect to some attributes. Further utilising these attributes and some selection criteria, the best possible alternative for businesses to consider for their project strategies is convincingly proved to be Lean IPD.

Keywords: Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), Lean Management, Lean IPD, Project Management, Business Strategy, Collaborative Contracting, Trust based Collaboration


Motivation: A 2017 McKinsey study about capital-intensive Infrastructure Projects reported that only 2% of construction projects worldwide are completed and delivered within the estimated time and budget frames and to the satisfaction of all stakeholders![1] Why do we still continue to see this unsettling lack of positive results, and such bad Project Management outcomes?

One way to see a feasible answer to this issue is by adopting Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) in combination with a Lean approach to be executed as a part of the Business Strategy itself.

The AIA’s Centre for Integrated Practice (CIP) defines Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) as: “IPD is a method of project delivery distinguished by a contractual arrangement among a minimum of owner, constructor and design professional that aligns business interests of all parties.[2]

It contains the following contractual and behavioural principles:

Table 1: Principles of IPD [3]

According to the Guild of Project Controls Compendium and References (GPCCaR),IPD is a unique collaboration of people, systems, business structures and practices as a method that utilises the best skills of all participants to achieve the result, increase value to the owner, minimise waste, and maximise efficiency throughout all stages of project management, which can be distinguished into 8 main Phases as mentioned below:

  • Conceptualization
  • Criteria Design
  • Detailed Designing
  • Implementation Documentation
  • Agency Review
  • Buyout
  • Construction
  • Closeout”[4]

This project delivery method was formulated just about two decades back. The objective of such a venture is to increase value (efficiency in terms of cost-time-quality-stakeholder and customer satisfaction factors) and reduce waste while ensuring that productivity improves.

When continued to apply the Lean Principles to maintain focus on Customer Value, Streamlined Processes and Continuous Improvement, we can also approach all IPD Projects for waste elimination.[5] [6] [A huge opportunity: Figure A (Appendix) shows that only around 19% time is currently spent on lean execution.[7]]

A detailed work on the similarities between the philosophy approach of Lean and IPD (reduce waste, maximise efficiency); for good Project Management, can be studied from Table A (Appendix): ‘Comparative Analysis of Lean & IPD Principles’. It is safe to agree on the fact that both eventually promulgate a change in mindsets from ‘individual’ to ‘collective’.


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected].

How to cite this paper: Satyanathan, S. (2019). Benefits of using Lean IPD as a Strategy for Better Project Management, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue I (January).  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/pmwj78-Jan2019-Satyanathan-benefits-of-using-lean-ipd-for-better-pm-1.pdf


About the Author

Saimon Satyanathan

Paris, France




Saimon Satyanathan is a multilingual project management and business development professional specialising in the engineering domains and related consulting sector. He holds a B.Tech. in Aerospace Engineering and is currently completing his M.Sc. in Project and Programme Management & Business Development, from SKEMA Business School, Paris. Saimon is also certified in several credentials including PRINCE2, AgilePM, Six Sigma-Green Belt, and Environmental Management Systems.

Born and raised in Mumbai, he has lived in several other cities in India including Delhi and Bangalore, and is currently residing in Paris, France to pursue his M.Sc. Saimon also possesses a wide array of professional experience of approximately 5.5 years in total, at some prestigious mechanical/industrial engineering and aerospace engineering related firms in India initially, in the capacities of Intern, Project Engineer and Assistant Manager (Projects). His last experience in France was a 2 months’ Internship in Strategy & Business Development at Nexans S.A., France’s biggest cable conductors manufacturing and energy company, where he conducted extensive market research (Asian markets) and developed an entry and growth/expansion strategy for the firm.

Saimon can be contacted at [email protected]  or https://www.linkedin.com/in/saimonsatyan/


[1] Banaszak, J., Palter, R., Parsons, M. (2017). Stopping the insanity: Three ways to improve contractor-owner      relationships on capital projects. Voices on Infrastructure: McKinsey & Company. (p. 8-12).

[2] Cohen, J. (2010). Integrated Project Experiences in Collaboration: On the Path to IPD Delivery: Case (January) 4.

[3] Fish, A. (2011). IPD – The obstacles of Implementation, 9.

[4] Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) | Project Controls – planning, scheduling, cost management and forensic analysis  (Planning Planet). (n.d.),

[5] Create a Lean, Construction Building Machine with Integrated Project Management. (2018, May 8).

[6] Pease, J. (n.d.). What is Integrated Project Delivery Part 2: Lean Operating System.

[7] Lean, I. (2017). Lean Construction & Integrated Project Delivery ( IPD ) Overview, 33.