Industrial system infrastructure installations, such as those in semiconductor fabrication plants, are complex, short-term and mission-critical. They frequently encounter productivity, predictability and performance problems. We propose a strategic approach to manage such projects and substantially reduce their durations. The method, called Optimized Installation Flow (OIF), builds on lean and associated theories in the realm of production planning and control, synthesizing a method with seven principles. The results of implementation of OIF in 108 such projects show marked and consistent improvement in project duration when compared with the results of 91 other projects managed using the same company’s previous best practice “Two-week buffer” approach. On average, cycle time durations for tool installation projects were reduced by 42%-48%, without any overtime on site. The method is gradually being adopted as new standard practice throughout the construction management portfolio of the case study company. OIF is an operating strategy that has demonstrated improvement, shifting mindsets, behaviours and organization’s culture.