A Complete Guide to Validation

Learn the secrets of a successful validation phase for complex construction projects with this guide prepared by LCI and ASU.


This guide was collaboratively developed by ASU and the Lean Construction Institute

What is the Purpose of this Guide?
Project validation is rarely leveraged, and when it
is, teams differ on what validation entails. As a
result of its novelty, validation is not described by
the literature. This Guide is the result of a
primary research effort by the Lean Construction
Institute (LCI) to document validation and
provide guidance to practitioners.
During the preparation of this Guide, the authors
have observed confusion among construction
practitioners as to what validation is and how it
should be executed. Thus, this Guide aims at
providing direction, education, and resources
that can assist practitioners through the multiple
decisions that they will have to make when
considering, planning, and implementing
validation. This Guide is written with the
intention to provide an unambiguous validation
framework while still leaving room for variation
during its planning and implementation.

How is it Organized?
This Guide is organized in four different chapters
and two appendices. The chapters cover
fundamentals of validation; the owner; validation
process; and approval solicitation. The first two
chapters discuss fundamental concepts and the
owner’s role, while the latter chapters detail the
validation process and outcomes. The appendices
include the summary of validation tools in this
Guide and materials collected from effective
validation efforts. Most readers will benefit from
reading the Guide from beginning to end. Others
may need specific information or may choose to
review certain chapters or their sections.

How was it Produced?
Data were collected through open-ended
phone interviews with eight subject matter
experts. Experts averaged 19 years of design
and construction experience and 10.5 years of
lean construction experience. During the
interviews, each expert was requested to
select one remarkable project validation effort
as a result, for example, of scale, cost,
schedule, complexity, or success. Within the
context of such project, each expert shared
validation aspects such as information inputs
and outputs, team and culture, validation
steps, or approval solicitation. Table 1
illustrates the descriptive statistics of the
sample of projects. In addition, experts were
also requested to shared lessons learned
gained through their cumulative validation
experience. After each interview, additional
questions were communicated and responded
via email. Interview transcripts and the
additional information were analyzed and
results produced. While the scope of this
Guide is inclusive of performance criteria
related to program/operations, quality,
schedule, and costs, it reflects a prevalent
focus on cost as expressed by subject matter
experts. Results from the interviews were
complemented with the authors’ observations
at validation sessions.

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