How can an engineering project executed by an alliance become more lean?
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In recent years, the focus on finding more efficient solutions for project execution in the oil and gas industry has increased. In order to make the project execution more efficient, several operators have found that they are dependent on establishing closer relationships with their suppliers. The collaboration between the operator and the suppliers take the form of an alliance. In addition, using lean as an operations strategy during project execution can minimize waste, which could lead to delivering projects at a lower cost and in a shorter period of time. Allegedly, being organized in an alliance and using lean as an operational strategy are two initiatives which separately improves project execution, however the literature regarding lean and alliances is an immature field. Therefore, this thesis has created a theoretical framework in order to investigate how lean and alliance can improve the project execution. The theoretical framework consist of three elements, alliances, nine guidelines from Operational Excellence and Seven Waste. The aim of the theoretical framework is to investigate if being organized by alliance and implementing the nine guidelines will make the project execution more lean. The degree of lean is measured with the lean tool Seven Waste. The oil and gas company Aker BP ASA has newly implemented alliances as their project delivery model in addition to lean as their operational strategy. The theoretical framework has been used to analyze a project phase executed by Aker BP ASA s alliance. The theoretical framework has, in addition, analyzed which impact the nine guidelines has on the project execution. Firstly, the analysis revealed that being organized by an alliance, five of the wastes were significantly reduced. The reduced wastes were overproduction, inventory, waiting, transportation and underutilized people. Secondly, the analysis revealed that six of the nine guidelines are recommendable for the alliance to implement in order to improve the project execution. They are (1) takt and takt capability, (2) continuous flow, (3) FIFO, (4) workflow cycle, (5) integration event, and (6) standard work. These guidelines reduced the wastes overproduction, waiting, extra processing, correction/defects, excess motion, and underutilized people. Thirdly, the analysis revealed that being organized by alliance and implementing the recommended guidelines from Operational Excellence positively influenced each other in order to become more lean.