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The construction industry for many years has been considered slow and late in adopting changes and integrating with new management models. It is not surprising that it accumulates a large number of problems, vices and anachronistic management models that, among so many effects, cause competitiveness indices to fall below the average economic contribution that other industries offer to the country's growth.

If we analyze in a bifocal way, the Macro environment of the construction is entangled. Today a real estate developer who wants to invest in the acquisition of land, construction and subsequent marketing, knows that he will have to go through a veritable marathon of procedures and incomprehensible paperwork, with political overtones in order to obtain licenses, permits, etc., to build or to market the property.

Many developers today perceive this process as inevitable: "A necessary evil."

Additionally, if we analyze it from the point of view of the construction microenvironment, the scenario remains complex: poor quality, unskilled labor, insecurity, cost overruns, unproductiveness, vices, etc., a typical reflection of a work that has not evolved.

But… What failed us along the way? What kind of decisions did we make or should we take? How did we get to this condition? If we could change something: what would it be? Something is very true in this story, we cannot change the past, but if we can create a better future, that is what today's lesson is about.

Consilience, the beginning of change.

Edward Osborne Wilson, in his book Consilience: The unity of knowledge tells us about how different disciplines of universal knowledge can be integrated into a single idea, a kind of amalgam of theories and practices that, when made to coincide with the same objective brings us clarity, in a new thinking model, a disruptive, multidisciplinary vision, highly creative and full of new options.

Lean Construction represents that light, derived from the integration of various currents of thought.

In the first instance, a philosophy, whose origins go back to the highly efficient industrial production models of the Japanese company Toyota®, undoubtedly a global benchmark of practices of excellence, masterfully complemented by the integration of principles of development and human interaction: respect for people, collaboration and continuous improvement; Seemingly distant disciplines harmoniously integrated for the same purpose.

Over the years this philosophy has evolved, has been enriched with new ideas and has been a solid basis for the creation of Methodologies, which, based on the principles of standardization and continuous improvement, have allowed this thinking model to be internalized in the day-to-day life of many organizations and managerial styles.

The creation of a standard brings with it multiple benefits: controlling the variability of the operation, facilitating the integration of new members, providing structure for decision-making, etc., however, clear strategies must be followed to deploy this philosophy so that it eventually becomes an organizational culture.

Begin with an end in mind

Implementing an organizational culture based on Lean Construction principles requires the commitment of all, starting from a precise definition of the plan that describes what should be done and how to do it, defining objectives and expected indicators and then ensuring a disciplined and consistent operation, obtaining feedback of processes, products and people, and finally establish the model in an institutional way or regenerate the plans.

Virtual Design & Construction, Integrated Project Delivery, Building Information. Modeling, Last Planner System®, Etc. are clear examples of a perfect combination of ideas to internalize the principles of Lean Construction in the Organization.

The Lean Construction philosophy little by little adheres to the DNA of the organization. The strategy and tactics will shape the regulatory framework, however, tools are required to make this strategy tangible in the day-to-day operation.

CBA · Choosing by Advantages, ICE · Integrated Concurrent Engineering, 5´S, Pull Planning, Rhythmic Planning, FMEA, Balance Lines, Kaizen, CEP, Ishikawa, A3, Jidoka, Poka-Yokes, 6WLAP, JIT, Kamishi-bai, SMED, APQP, Value Stream Mapping, etc., are some of the many and diverse tools that drive the management of the operation with various approaches, from planning management, quality, productivity, to security and collaboration, etc.

Evolutionary Tools

The most significant of this level of execution is at the point that all the tools have been designed under the principle of continuous improvement: PDCA or Deming Circle, where in all cases, they arise from a specific plan and objective, they are applied As a disciplinary measure, their impact is evaluated, and derived from it, the method is institutionalized or the plan is regenerated with a better version of themselves.

The construction industry is going through an important inflection moment as it did not happen in many years, vices and inefficiencies have caused a serious deterioration in the industry, however, today the path to competitiveness this route, it only remains to be traveled with steadfastness of purpose and steadfastness of character.

Lean Construction, considered one of the great trends for the integral management of construction projects, is increasingly known, its methodology aligned and its tools correctly applied, so the opportunity to get on the train of competitiveness is passing by we and we must take it at the risk of avoiding being left out of the progress and evolution that our industry requires.

Lean Construction is here to stay.

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Juan Francisco Pérez Herrera, is Founder and CEO of Lean Construction México®, an institution with extensive experience and leadership in the Comprehensive Management of Construction Projects, directs a solid proposal focused on the evolution of industry paradigms based on the design of highly specialized academic programs, business advice for real estate leaders, and management and business certification models. He always focused on the guiding principles of productivity, efficiency and competitiveness.