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This is a case study for the third step of the Production Management in Design and Construction guide. It explains how Skanska used production control to deliver a bridge 4 ½ weeks quicker than normal.
In order to keep to tight programme deadlines for the construction of a major structure (S1), the Skanska Structures Team adopted the production control technique of daily coordination meetings nicknamed the “5 at 5” to monitor and assure performance of both the project team and supply chain. These meetings incorporated the three principles of Production Management by facilitating collaborative relationships and environment, by having complete transparency and ownership of all tasks involved, and through improvement and adjustment of works from the lessons learnt every day. As a result of the meticulous planning and management of the works, along with the collaborative effort, drive and determination of the entire team, the structure S1 was completed over 4 ½ weeks ahead of the planned programme despite unexpected additional work due to a design change.
Located in Leicestershire, Junction 19 of the M1 forms the intersection between three major parts of the motorway and trunk road network - the M1 and M6 motorways and A14 Trunk Road. The existing junction suffers from several problems including congestion, delays and long queues that in turn contribute to accidents that can result in serious injuries and fatalities. The proposed improvement aims to relieve congestion at the junction, making the roads safer and decreasing journey times.
The project has a high structural content requiring the following six new bridges:
Structure S1 is a single span fully integral steel composite bridge which will carry the M1 over the new M6-A14 Link Road. The steel beams are supported on abutments consisting of concrete capping beams supported by contiguous bored piles. In order to maintain two lanes of traffic running on the M1 in each direction during construction, the structure is constructed in two halves using top down construction techniques. When the second half of the bridge is constructed, both halves will be stitched together and the area beneath the deck excavated down to the formation level of the M6-A14 link and the contiguous piles exposed and clad with facing blocks.
The original Clause 31 programme planned for the completion of S1 Phase 1 on 12th December 2014. The challenge with this was that the original planned completion date did not take into account raking piling which was additional scope due to a late design change. All activities on Structure S1 were on the critical path therefore it was vital that the planned dates were met in order to avoid any delay to the overall completion of the project. Any time taken off the programme on S1 works would reduce overall project duration and hence reduce prelim costs. As the initial programme had no float, it was clear that due to the increase in scope, efficient planning and collaboration between the all teams including subcontractors and designers would be required in order to achieve or better the planned switch date.
In order to reduce the programme it was clear that a number of activities would have to overlap and the interface between activities effectively managed. Daily production management co-ordination sessions (5 at 5) were started which were held at 5pm every evening and lasted approximately 15mins. These were led by the sub-agent and section engineer and involved the foremen, gangers and supervisors for the activities which were planned in the area of S1 in a particular week.
A dedicated room with whiteboard, drawings and programme was set up to create the correct workspace setting for these daily meetings to take place. The day’s progress was discussed, issues and hold ups were identified and actions for solving these issues agreed as a team. The planned work for the coming days was discussed, clashes identified and countermeasures put in place. The upcoming milestones were highlighted at every session so that there was no doubt as to what needed to be achieved by when.
The 5 at 5 quickly became a key tool for communicating and organising what was required from each gang or subcontractor on a daily and weekly basis to meet the tight programme deadlines. The benefits of the production control meetings are:
As a result of this collaboration and effective planning the switch was achieved on 9th November, more than 4 ½ weeks ahead of the planned programme despite extra work having to be carried out.
The benefits of the early completion included:
Tom Curran, Structures Sub-Agent, Temporary Works Co-Ordinator, Skanska Civil Engineering
m: +44 (0)78 7566 3008
There are five steps in the Production Management in Design and Construction guide:
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