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Standard Operating Procedures at Skanska: Standardization and continuous improvementin the construction industry
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Production Engineering.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The construction industry has faced severe criticism against its inefficiency, high costs and insufficient quality. Besides, the building branch is one of the most dangerous occupations.Skanska Sverige AB runs an international project focused mainly on improving safety, increasing overall process efficiency and providing customers higher value. A part of this project are Standard operating procedures. These are supposed to be the best practices known at the company and should be used on sites as stepwise work instructions.The purpose of this study was to study the creation of Standard operating procedures and to propose a model for continuous improvement of the Standard operating procedures.A theoretical review concerning standards, standardization and continuous improvement is presented.Four case studies were conducted in the thesis in order to clarify what and how to improve. The case studies show that inspiration can be taken from organizations within or outside the building trade. An important new element in Standard operating procedures would be a risk analysis. The risk evaluation corresponds with Skanska´s safety strives. In order to guarantee that a Standard operating procedure really contains the best practice, the process of continuous improvement has to be well managed. The process can be stimulated by the implementation and improvement management at “Väg och anläggning” Skanska.Based on the empirical study and the theoretical framework, a model illustrating continuous improvement is proposed. The never ending life spiral of a Standard operating procedure involves all the organizational levels. The model demonstrates that small stepwise improvements are more cost efficient than large radical changes.Advantages and risks connected to the continuous improvement are described. The benefits would be both monetary and non-monetary. The key success factor of continuous improvement is the proper implementation of Standard operating procedures since it is up to individuals to keep continuous improvement alive. Both the managers on different levels and workmen must be trained and their importance in continuous improvement process must be deep rooted in their thinking. Proper training and excellent leadership would diminish worker´s resistance and prevent an unwanted phase-out.Finally, Skanska is encouraged to trust its own research. The formal content of Standard operating procedures is good enough for launching.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 69 p.
, Degree Project in Production Engineering, Second Level, 407
Keyword [en]
Standard operating procedures, standardization, continuous improvement, construction industry, Skanska
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-49737OAI: diva2:460189
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Industrial Engineering and Management
Available from: 2011-11-29 Created: 2011-11-29 Last updated: 2011-11-29Bibliographically approved

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