AGC Lean Education Program - Integrating the Building Blocks of Lean

Everyone related to the construction process has an incentive to get the project done faster and at a lower cost - from the project owners who want to see tangible results for their investment to the contractors and designers who want to do their job well and move on to the next project. Lean Construction is based on the holistic pursuit of continuous improvements aimed at minimizing costs and maximizing value on a construction project: planning, design, construction, activation, operations, maintenance, salvaging, and recycling. If what industry leaders are seeking is incremental innovation that helps them compete better against other contractors, Lean construction is ingenuity strategy.

Any transformation of organizational processes, whether in a single project or enterprise wide, is difficult. How lean is implemented within a construction firm can vary based on many factors and the lean transformation is most effectively driven and planned by individuals within a firm. Getting the needed knowledge into the correct hands in an effective manner is paramount to this process. Several factors must be taken into consideration including, variation in production systems, pull in production, workstructuring, the Last Planner® System, supply chain and assembly, design and pre-construction, and problem-solving principles and tools.

Lean is taking a front seat in the development of secondary education curriculum. There is a definite correlation between the demand for Lean education in the construction industry and its inclusion in college curriculum. While the construction industry is finding itself in Early Majority stage in the Diffusion of Innovation bell curve, education lags slightly behind. They are currently located in the Early Adopter stage, which gives tech schools and universities currently engaged in Lean education a leg up on the competition. AGC Developed the Lean Construction Education Program to educate those currently on the job within the organizations that need it now.

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10 Easy Ways to Run a Lean Meeting

I try to apply “lean thinking” into all aspects of life, not just to work and certainly not just to construction projects (if you ever meet me in person, ask me to tell you how I manage my family’s weekly grocery list). When trying to inspire lean thinking in others, I encourage them to pick something that bugs them – it doesn’t matter what it is – and work their way backwards from there. The goal is to make life easier by reducing waste and/or add value; finding ways to simplify the process by speeding up or eliminating steps and handoffs wherever possible.

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The Human Factor in the Implementation of the Last Planner® System

The aim of this post is to describe, from experience in Argentina, the impact the Last Planner System (LPS) had on a group of responsible people involved in a project. Implementing the LPS raises different types of technical and human factor challenges. Regarding technical matters, LPS improves productivity, fulfills the terms of agreements between last planners, and reduces variability. Above all and most importantly, production is planned focusing on flow and value. In this post, we will approach the human factor challenges highlighting how correctly implementing the five elements of LPS - i.e. should; can; will; did; and learn - transforms a group of people in a work team.

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Owner Criteria for Lean Provider Selection

A popularly quoted and important concept is that "Lean Transformation is a journey, not a destination". At the 2016 International Congress on Lean Construction, people at all stages of the journey were on display: beginners, in-progress implementers, advanced practitioners, etc. How can an Owner distinguish between the levels of Lean and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) experience when selecting AEC team members for a project? As an "ILPD" Coach, here are 5 questions that I recommend my clients to ask when selecting their Lean service providers.

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