Productivity & Innovation as a Support in Project Management

A Study through Construction Industry in Brazil


Adriano A. R. Barbosa

Consultant and Professor
Federal Institute of Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo, Brazil



Construction in Brazil occupies an important role in the economy, with direct participation in the GDP and acting on an extensive productive chain of suppliers, commercialization services and maintenance. The sector has undergone major changes in recent years, facilitated by factors such as the resumption of public investments, the creation of laws that facilitate the construction of real estate, investments and funding of external resources. However, the sector faces problems of productivity that can meet the growth needs of the sector. The aspects of lack of skilled labour, nonconformity, low quality, high tax burden, outsourcing and informality of the workforce were not yet adequately addressed and resolved. This article illustrated the economics Brazilian construction scenario. Through the use of indicators of innovation, productivity, economic growth and project management actions, the main challenges of construction in Brazil industry are reported. A proposal for implanting productivity and innovation steps in construction sites is presented, searching for possible paths for the sector allow their improvement, in times of increasing productivity and competitiveness in the global economy.

Key words: Productivity; Innovation; Construction; Developing Countries Economics; Management;

JEL code: O1; O2.


Brazilian Construction Scenario of the Last Decade: Economic growth of the sector

Civil construction in Brazil, starting in 2000, once again plays a leading role in the national economy and is on the road to a new and important virtuous cycle of growth. Construction as a development lever has important socio-economic standpoints, helping to cope with the housing shortage, as well as contributing to infrastructure solutions, which constrain the country’s rapid growth. The industry continues to be one of the leaders of the current pattern of economic growth in the country (Sinduscon, 2015).

The construction sector has a significant socio-economic role in Brazil, with a formal participation of 5.6% of total salaries paid to workers in the Brazilian economy and 9% of employed persons. The building industry needs more growth. In 2010, the Brazilian housing shortage was estimated at 6,273 million households, of which 82.6% are concentrated in urban areas (IBGE, 2015).

Data on the expansion of construction indicates that there is robust growth in the sector. Between 2006 and 2013, construction investments totalled more than 39.3% of the country’s gross fixed capital formation (FGV, 2011). Fig. 1 shows the evolution of cement consumption in construction in Brazil in the last years. However, in comparison with the growth of the country, it can be seen that Brazilian construction has not been following the real growth of its GDP in relation to National GDP (Fig. 2). Although improving compared to the previous period, the proportion of growth in relation to national growth is small, to the detriment of achieving better results and proportional development.


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Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English. Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright. This paper was originally presented at the 6th Scientific Conference on Project Management in the Baltic States, University of Latvia, April 2017. It is republished here with the permission of the author and conference organizers

About the Author

Adriano Barbosa

Sao Paulo, Brazil



Adriano Barbosa
has a degree and PhD in civil engineering, and master’s degree in production management. Consultant in construction management, quality and work safety. Fixed in Brazil, has solid knowledge in public resources management and has directed a number of domestic and foreign financial and planning projects. Acting in Latin America and Europe. Researcher professor at the Federal Institute of Sao Paulo. Author of technical books and published papers in periodicals, highligting the topic “Exploring your self-awareness”, and the tool for building management based on value added, productivity and innovation – API Tool.

Adriano can be contacted at mailto:[email protected]