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LEAN CULTURE

What is the Secret to Creating a Culture of Learning?

We often focus on the tools and the visible elements of what makes a lean organization successful, but fundamentally the essence of lean is not about tools or projects.

LEAN CULTURE

9 Lean Leadership Practices To Get The Best Performance Out Of Your Team

Steve Jobs said “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” Often when teaching classes in Lean engagement and Lean methodologies, I post two banners on the wall.

LEAN CULTURE

Psychological Safety: The Most Important Element of Any Successful Team

Although many people who might read this article may be familiar with David Marquette‘s YouTube video entitled “Greatness”, please allow me to suggest that before reading further. His brief video is based on his book, Turn the Ship Around.

LEAN CULTURE

Lean Construction Won’t Happen and Here’s Why

The concepts of lean have been applied to the design and construction of capital facilities for twenty years or more. I think it’s high time that we in the construction industry face the hard truth – lean is not going to happen in our lifetime – not really.

LEAN CULTURE

Culture Matters in Design and Construction

In the choosing, developing and managing of design and construction teams, the collaborative project delivery approach consciously seeks out teams of individuals that embrace certain core beliefs. The first core belief is that the current system is dysfunctional and doesn’t work well.

LEAN CULTURE

15 Steps to Create a Successful Training for Organizations

People always ask me: Paulo, what is the process that you follow to create training for Organizations? So, I decided to share with you the process I developed and that I’ve been using for more than 6 years. It has 15 steps.

LEAN CULTURE

Leverage This Period of Uncertainty by Working on Improving the Planning on Your Projects!

Sometime in college, many of us learned that it’s better to develop a good work plan so that project execution can happen smoothly. However, I have found some project teams struggle to find the time to work on project planning.

LEAN CULTURE

5S - Building A Lean Culture in the Field

How can 5S benefit the construction industry? It improves productivity, quality, safety and schedule. It is a core lean method to bring Lean thinking to frontline workers in the field or shop. It is simple. It costs almost nothing. And you can start doing it today. 5S is a method to keep our workplace organized, clean, safe and efficient.

LEAN CULTURE

A Deeper Meaning with Kaizen

Gemba Kaizen, Quality Circles, Kaizen Events, Rapid Process Improvement Workshops and Value Stream Mapping. These are all improvement tactics some organizations use to fix problems at the Gemba and remove waste from their Value Streams.

LEAN CULTURE

Using Plus/Delta for Feedback and Improving Social Processes

Plus/Delta is a great way to improve almost any social process. Also known as Do again / Do better and Plus / Change, it is a very simple formative feedback process that only requires 5-10 minutes, a flip chart and pens.

LEAN CULTURE

Organizational Transformation and Lean Thinking: In Perfect Harmony

Change in an organization is inevitable and necessary. This shouldn’t be earth-shattering to anyone. The people, processes, space and technology must constantly evolve. When we are satisfied with being on a plateau inescapably something will disrupt our steady movement and change the course.

LEAN CULTURE

Respect for People is Key to Lean-Driven Culture Change

Most of us know Lean, and the emphasis on removing waste to deliver higher value. What’s been largely missing in the translation of Lean from Japan to the US is the idea of respect for people as a foundation for that work.

LEAN CULTURE

Lean Meetings: A Collaboration Fundamental

Lean Construction requires a dramatic increase in collaboration – defined literally as “co-laboring”, working together. For better or worse, working together happens in meetings. As important as collaboration is to Lean Construction, one of the most common laments is, “There are too many meetings!"

LEAN CULTURE

Enthusiasm for Lean: Improving Project Team Buy-In

For many lean leaders and coaches a primary concern is obtaining the full engagement of everyone on a project team in lean practices. Despite best efforts at directing people toward lean behaviors universal lean buy-in is hard to achieve. What people are looking for is a way to create enthusiasm for lean.

LEAN CULTURE

Respect for People and Emotional Intelligence - The Missing Pillar of Lean

Lean Project Delivery and Last Planner System are big buzz phrases in the construction industry. Lean uses a collaborative approach to projects that eliminate waste, focus on adding value, and continuously improve.

LEAN CULTURE

How Lean Leaders are Changing the Construction Industry

As an engineering professional a few years into my career, I’ve focused on building my skills in a way that allows me to contribute positively to my clients, my company, and the construction industry. I quickly realized that becoming a student of Lean would allow me to do just that.

LEAN CULTURE

Seeing Through Lean Lenses

It is often said that, “Once you begin to understand Lean, the world will never look the same!” Is that true for you? Has it happened to you yet?

LEAN CULTURE

How to Create Project Success Using Lean Principles

Tracey Kidder said, “Building is the quintessential act of civilization.” Think about it. If three people washed up on a deserted island, the first thing they would do is collaboratively build a shelter.

LEAN CULTURE

Lean.... let’s do life better!

This June I will be speaking at the Canadian Lean Conference in Winnipeg Canada. My subject will be “Lean is Simple.” It is centered on how I built a Lean culture with my team at FastCap and how thousands of other organizations around the world have done the same.

LEAN CULTURE

Management By Asking Why

The 5 Whys is a management concept that has been popularized by Toyota [1]. The concept is simple - when you encounter a problem, ask why at least 5 times until you understand the root cause. Only by addressing the root cause can you truly resolve the issue and ensure that it will never occur again.

LEAN CULTURE

Why Lean? Why Now?

Lean project delivery has entered the mainstream of construction, yet Lean adoption lags among design professionals. Architects and engineers who transformed the industry by first pioneering sustainable design and later the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) remain spectators while trade partners, construction managers, and some owners embrace Lean.

LEAN CULTURE

Knowing Lean Construction is Frustrating!

I always start the training of new Lean Practitioners with a general warning. They risk to be constantly frustrated after being trained as Lean Practitioners. If they do not think they can handle it they should leave the training immediately.

LEAN CULTURE

The Pocket Sensei - How to Teach Yourself to Train Your Mind

There's a revolution happening. It’s called learning while doing. Great projects are Lean — yet the majority of Lean initiatives fail. Lean is generally misunderstood to be about the tools we use rather than the people at the place where they work.

LEAN CULTURE

What Can be Learned About Lean from an Arts Perspective

Have you ever thought about adding to your perspective on Lean and your Lean practices in design and construction? Most of what we understand about Lean is based on observations made by people with an engineering and scientific perspective on work.

LEAN CULTURE

The Present State of Lean Construction in Japan and a Better Way Forward

Many people are interested in the Japanese state of Lean Construction because Lean Construction has been born out from the Toyota Production System (TPS). Even now people who know the term "Lean Construction" seem to be less than 50.

LEAN CULTURE

Resistance to Lean & Integrated Project Delivery Part II: Develop “Profound Knowledge” to Address the Root Causes of Resistance

In the first post of this series I argued that when stakeholders do not agree on the problem, they probably will not agree on the solution. The “problem” for which advances in Lean Construction are “solutions”.

LEAN CULTURE

5 Key Ideas to Make Your Lean Implementation More Successful

As a trainer and consultant of Lean Construction, I have always been passionate about the human side of Lean. I have been observing the behaviour of people in a lot of companies regarding the cultural changes that comes with implementing Lean.

LEAN CULTURE

Resistance to Lean & Integrated Project Delivery Part I: Three Root Causes

In my role as an “Integrated Lean Project Delivery (ILPD) Coach”, I struggle everyday to understand and address resistance to positive change in the Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Industry.

LEAN CULTURE

Enhancing A3 Problem Solving with Technology

A3 problem solving has been popularized by the Toyota Production System [1]. At its core an A3 is simply a standard sheet of paper that is 11” X 17”. Despite its simplicity, an A3 is a powerful tool for problem-solving and communicating complex ideas in a simple manner.

LEAN CULTURE

How does Toyota do it?

As an entrepreneur, manufacturer, author, speaker, and consultant I love questions? When people ask questions I know what they're thinking. And if I know what they're thinking, I have the best opportunity to help them whether it be on the shop floor in my manufacturing plant or consulting with companies around the world.

LEAN CULTURE

Lean IPD: Start with the Culture, not the Contract

As real estate and capital investments drive the construction industry, and owners/investors are constantly looking for the right balance of programming, quality, safety and cost. They are forced to choose between “low price” or “best value,” two confusing terms whose actual implications are not understood.

LEAN CULTURE

Navigating Transformational Change

In my previous post (The Matter of Metrics) I postulated that having sufficient data is not enough to launch a transformational change. So what does trigger change? Some say a burning platform is needed. Where corporate viability is at stake this may be true.

LEAN CULTURE

The Future of Lean: Four Disruptors of the Decade

In the early 20th century, management theories were devoted to the idea of “one best way” to perform tasks, designed by the manager and implemented by direct reports. Like many things that must change with the passage of time, management styles evolved.

LEAN CULTURE

The research is in: A Lean team is an “A”-team!

As the first half of the year ends, it’s a great time for a quick retrospective on your New Year’s Resolutions. If you are like me, you set some ambitious goals for the year, and your business probably did the same. Often, those resolutions are stated as goals (lag) vs. targets (lead).

LEAN CULTURE

Let’s Be Kids and Continuously Improve!!

When I was a kid, I used to want to win at all costs. This is what my father taught me. They don’t keep score for nothing was the mentality. As I grew up, I have grown to accept it’s not as much about the end result as it is about the journey to get there and my daughter has reinforced this more than anything.

LEAN CULTURE

Lean Practitioners Need Buddies

I recently joined a large international project as a Lean Manager. To join the project team I moved to another country and left the most of my professional network behind. I was a bit nervous when I started my new job. How would they perceive lean? Where do I find support and inspiration?

LEAN CULTURE

Lean from the Bottom Up – A Grass Roots Journey

Almost five years ago, our formal Lean journey began when a client asked us to facilitate a Lean transformation on a large, ongoing construction project. It was considered the largest Lean implementation of its kind.

LEAN CULTURE

Is Perfect the Enemy of Good?

My wife and I enjoy the occasional TV police drama. Now before you start to question how I spend my spare time, hear me out. One day last week one of the characters in a show we frequent stated that “perfect is the enemy of good”. That phrase stuck with me.

LEAN CULTURE

The Matter of Metrics

When company leaders are confronted with the prospect of changing to a Lean Project Delivery approach they will undoubtedly say, “Show me the data.” The implication is that if the data is there to support the implementation of Lean then they will get behind the change. However, this is rarely the case as I will address later, so hold that thought to the end of this installment.

LEAN CULTURE

The Secret Sauce: How to Make all of Your Lean Projects Successful

The big buzz phrase in the construction industry is Integrated Project Delivery or IPD. Disney has a concept called ILPD or Integrated Lean Project Delivery. This uses not only a collaborative approach to projects, but also uses the Last Planner System and Lean concepts to eliminate waste.

LEAN CULTURE

5 Ways to Keep Employees Engaged When Working in Remote, Outsourced and Virtual Environments

The rise in information technology, changing market and working conditions has meant the workplace environment for some design and construction workers has evolved significantly.

LEAN CULTURE

Reflecting on 4 Years with the Lean Construction Blog and Our Vision for the Future

This Fall marks the 4th year anniversary for the Lean Construction Blog. When we started the blog in 2015, we had one simple vision: “To take many of the wonderful lessons learned that we have experienced while being part of the LC community, attending conferences, reading research papers, etc. and make it more accessible to the rest of the world.”

LEAN CULTURE

Miracle in Kazakhstan: Creating a Lean Culture in 18 Months

It is hard to believe that I am on my fifth book "Miracle in Kazakhstan." In January 2015, I accepted an invitation to come to Kazakhstan’s largest construction company - BI Group - to speak about “2 Second Lean”. My job was simple; build a lean culture in a company through interpreters.

LEAN CULTURE

So… What is a Big Room?

When you hear the term ‘Big Room’, what image does that conjure up? Are you thinking a large, open space where a big group of people can congregate? Within the realm of Lean Project Delivery, at the very basic level, you would be correct. The Big Room is a space where the project team can meet to bring the project design to life.

LEAN CULTURE

The Importance of the Owner for Lean Project Success

In Germany, there is a tendency that construction companies are the first stakeholders of the whole project process who apply lean principles or at least - lean tools. I often ask myself, how much leaner can a project/construction site become if the lean principles are only executed inside the processes of the contractor.

LEAN CULTURE

When the Wheels Fall Off (and They Will)

You’ve studied the Toyota Production System, you’ve attended webinars, you’ve read all the books. You’ve even learned a little Japanese in the process. Your team has been prepped and schooled in lean theory and seems enthusiastic about embracing something new.

LEAN CULTURE

A Self Professed Lean Simpleton

When I was in college I studied abroad in Germany for one semester. I studied German language, history, and literature. One of the books that I read was called The Adventures of a Simpleton. As I remember, it was a story of a servant class young man.

LEAN CULTURE

Effective Leadership Underpins Successful Lean Implementation

Creating a workplace culture where people hold a mindset of continuous improvement, proactivity and seek better ways of doing things is of substantial interest to the lean community. This mindset is needed to enable successful implementation of lean principles.

LEAN CULTURE

Using Lewin’s Change Model to Understand Continuous Improvement

When we are talking about Lean, we are talking about continuous improvement. Continuous improvement requires a system, process, organizational structure, and cultural change. It is necessary that involved parties understand the change process in order to initiate change.

LEAN CULTURE

Creating a Lean Culture: Communicating with HeaRT

Creating a lean culture sometimes requires participating in difficult conversations. Perhaps someone is not meeting their commitments, or maybe they're not fully present in meetings where their input is critical to the success of the project.

LEAN CULTURE

5 Tips to Developing Your Organization’s Culture and Move Towards Peak Business Performance

The current economic climate is posing real threats and challenges to many organizations’ longevity. The applicability and sustainability of organizations across the world is being questioned, resulting in many organizations wondering how to effectively respond.

LEAN CULTURE

Understanding The Difference Between Cooperation And Collaboration

Practically, the terms cooperation and collaboration are interpreted differently or used synonymously. Using the terms interchangeable to express “working together” can result in misunderstandings between project participants as the concepts behind cooperation and collaboration are different.

LEAN CULTURE

Easy Button – What Easy Button?

Construction is fascinating on all aspects – the equipment, the technology, the people – ever changing and becoming even more sophisticated. So why has the industry not increased output or efficiencies? Because it takes continuous effort and the right mindset to change. There is no easy button.

LEAN CULTURE

Courageous Leadership for Highly Productive Team Cultures

A courageous leader is one who not only takes actions that instill a foundation of trust, but cocreates a community where the wellbeing of the humans who work there are at the core of workplace excellence.

LEAN CULTURE

Improving Jobsite Culture with Digital Lean

Lean construction is understood to improve productivity by empowering our team members with clarity and the sense of ownership to optimize workflows and reduce resource waste.

LEAN CULTURE

Using the ABCs of Lean to Learn and Change

BSA LifeStuructures has been on a Lean journey for more than 10 years, beginning with the introduction to Lean thinking as a team member on the first Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).

LEAN CULTURE

10 Successful Keys to Implement Lean in Construction Companies

In this post we have compiled a set of good practices based on our own experiences that in general have worked when we have implemented Lean Construction at the company level. This post summarizes 10 years of experiences and both successes and difficulties have been considered.