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Hal Macomber, one of the pioneers of the Lean Construction movement, proposed that we rethink construction projects as networks of promises. Why? Hal argued that a project is more powerfully seen as promises between people who care.
Leading is about WE rather than ME. It comes from a recognition that I can take care of myself while we take care of each other, the customers, and the company.
Lean leaders keep attention to what is good for customers, stakeholders (supply chain, partners, the community, etc.), team members, and the company. Aligning the interests of all is ideal.
Experimental learning follows Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s cycle of improvement which turns everyone who uses it into a scientific thinker. People typically call it PDCA for Plan > Do > Check > Act.
Thinking in systems has been part of the Toyota Way since the 1950s. We just didn’t know it, or did we? Like many other Japanese manufacturers, they learned about quality and production at the feet of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, one of the people after WWII who helped them get back on their feet.
The Toyota Way principles #9 Grow Leaders and #10 Develop People and Teams are key responsibilities of people who are leaders. It starts by developing oneself as a leader. This is accomplished with ongoing study and more importantly by leading for learning.
Why is a large construction project handled differently than a small project such as a family home? The answer is simple: it is much more complex.
Lean Construction: A comprehensive vision for the development of competitiveness in the construction industry
The construction industry for many years has been considered slow and late in adopting changes and integrating with new management models.
I wanted to start this blog post with the most important message I have for all those who read this – you don’t need to have an IPD project in order to successfully use lean tools during design and preconstruction!
Raise your hand if you have ever been in this position: You have been trying to get your team or company to start practicing Lean Construction. But, after months, there are only a few people who have even tried to utilize the new ways of working.
People commit to Lean because it promises results; organizations sustain that commitment. There is no Lean without Lean results: reduced waste; focused value, and streamlined flow. For those designing and constructing capital projects – there is no Lean without Project Delivery results.
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.
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”.
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.
A3 problem solving has been popularized by the Toyota Production System . 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.
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.
Two central tenets of Lean are “Respect for People” and “Removal of Waste“ wherever . By not investing in learning about how each individual works on a project, we give up the opportunity for the project to go from ordinary to extraordinary.
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.
“How teams work matters more than who is on them. There’s a myth we all carry inside our heads, we think we need superstars. Our research showed you can take a team of average performers and if you teach them to interact the right way they'll do things no superstar could ever accomplish.” Laszlo Boch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Our team, more than 200 of our salaried staff, a similar number of client management and roughly 1,200 craft personnel, began our Lean journey together at the midpoint of this project.
Before I retired from Intel Corporation, I was often asked what data we used to select our contracting methodology or our project delivery approach. Like many large companies, too often we used a poor recent project as a reason to try yet another approach versus having a set of objective data from which to draw upon.
Construction of new infrastructure will be an important tool for governments around the world seeking to rebuild economies devastated by shutdowns in response to COVID 19. Every dollar spent on construction projects has a multiplier effect.
In 2015, and with 25 years of experience in Construction Management, I had grown increasingly frustrated with the traditional approach to construction management and project delivery, and the associated thinking and mindset that was holding the sector back.
The delivery of construction projects often follows ‘business as usual (BAU) model. BAU has made poor project delivery pervasive in construction.
Implementing new technologies and management practices is all the rage in companies seeking to be on the knife’s edge in operational excellence.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has formed an ad-hoc group to consider whether an International Standard or similar document is needed for the “Agile/adaptive management of projects, programmes, portfolios and related governance.”
According to Koskela and Howell (2002), an explicit project management theory still lacks in prior literature. Current theories fall short of explaining issues in project management such as lack of commitment, frequent failures, and slow methodological renewal.
Have you ever visited or worked on a project that claimed to be practicing lean, but as you walked it, you saw evidence of people just going through the motions?