Dr. Ballard is Research Director of the Project Production Systems Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. He has been teaching and doing research at Berkeley since 1989. His principle research interest is adapting lean production theory from manufacturing to project management practice. To that end, he has developed a model for lean delivery of projects, the Lean Project Delivery System; the Last Planner System, a methodology for planning and control; and Target Value Design, a methodology adapted from product development, for determining customer value and conditions of satisfaction, and steering design and construction to the delivery of value within customer conditions of satisfaction.
Dr. Ballard has worked as a manager, trainer and consultant with numerous organizations ranging from construction and engineering firms to public utilities to international oil and gas companies. These organizations include: Aera Energy, BAA, Bechtel Corp., Boldt Construction, BNIM Associates, Brown & Root, Caltrans, Ford Motor Co., HGA, Jacobs Engineering, Petroleos de Venezuela, Pacific Gas & Electric, Skanska, Sutter Health and Woodside Energy.
Dr. Ballard co-founded the International Group for Lean Construction in 1993 and the Lean Construction Institute in 1997; both dedicated to applying Lean theory, principles and techniques to designing and constructing the built environment.