'Mistake-proofing': a device to manage construction sites more effectively

T. Amir Zavichi*, Mohamad T. Banki, Faridaddin Vahdatikhaki, T. Maryam Zavichi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


During non-recession period, construction industry has a considerable profit margin in developing countries as a result of which government and related authorities are not fully sensitized and devoted to amelioration of the efficacy of the construction process. However, when recession strikes a country, the industry, in the wake of its relatively low rate of productivity, loses its economic justifiability. Bearing in mind the strikingly huge number of employment in the construction and its peripheral industries and the fact that these industries account for a considerable percentage of gross national income, devastating economic impact and pervasive unemployment as an immediate ramification of economic recession and its impact on construction industry is, indeed, beyond any doubts. The failure and inability of the conceptual models of Construction Management (time-cost-quality tradeoff, work break down structure, critical path methods, and earned value) to deliver on the mantra of 'on-time, at budget, and at desired quality' become evident to practitioner and academics; so pursuing a new management theory is inevitable. Lean construction is a management philosophy which decreases the cost of construction through elimination of waste, so it is appropriate in recession periods and since it maximize the value from customer point of view, it is also suitable during flourishing economy. Errors seem an inherent qualification in construction projects that causes rework and resource waste, if it can be redressed, and dissatisfaction for users of construction product. This paper investigates a tool named 'poka yoke', a Japanese word translated into English as 'mistake proofing'. It is a robust tool which prevents inadvertent error in work and prevents workers from performing incorrectly, this concept provides great opportunities to bring quality into project delivery and also free workers from tedious recurring job and increase safety in construction sites. The research may help contractors to manage their sites more effectively. Finally, an innovative and simple example of implementation of mistake-proofing is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2010 2nd International Conference on Engineering System Management and Applications, ICESMA 2010
ISBN (Electronic) 978-9948-427-14-8
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event2010 second International Conference on Engineering System Management and Applications - American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 30 Mar 20101 Apr 2010
Conference number: 2nd


Conference2010 second International Conference on Engineering System Management and Applications
Abbreviated titleICESMA 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates
Internet address


  • Errors
  • Lean construction
  • Mistake proofing
  • Pokayoke
  • Waste elimination


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