Shadowing tradespeople: Inefficiency in maintenance fieldwork

Sanghoon Lee, Ömer Akin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


This research investigates current practices in Operations and Maintenance (O&M), from the initial phase of assigning maintenance requests through the completion of the requests, in order to identify types of inefficiency and their causes. Fifty-eight real maintenance cases have been shadowed; and maintenance activities performed by the tradespeople have been recorded with time data corresponding to each activity. O&M inefficiencies categorized into two groups, Structural and Individual, are demonstrated through specific cases. A statistical analysis is used to show how O&M tasks, activities, and categories impact overall O&M performance. The results show that tradespeople vastly underutilize maintenance data in the field due to problems with data accessibility and reliability. Based on the shadowing activity results, we observed 12+% potential for improvement in maintenance time efficiency by providing proper information support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-546
Number of pages11
JournalAutomation in Construction
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Efficiency evaluation
  • Facilities maintenance
  • Informational support
  • Maintenance activity


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