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The Philosophy of Lean Construction


The philosophy of lean construction is straightforward: maximize value for your client while simultaneously minimizing waste. 

In recent years this mindset has grown in popularity. That said, while the benefits are readily apparent, results only arise through concerted efforts. On top of which, there is no standardized process anyone can just put in place and be lean. Every situation is unique.

However, as highlighted by constructconnect, there are principles which when put in to practice can help shift away from traditional construction methods and move towards more lean and efficient methods.

Identify Value from the Client’s Point of View

From the onset maintain a customer-focused approach. By building a relationship with your client and understanding what your client values, all stakeholders will be better poised to enact lean practices.
Identify Processes that Deliver the Value Stream

Once you identify what your client values, discover the methods and means best suited to satisfy the client’s desires and needs.

Eliminating Waste

Cutting back on waste begins with minimizing overproduction and wasted time waiting on materials. Also, capitalizing on your team members’ specific talents and ensuring unnecessary movement is mitigated, such as making unnecessary trips across jobsites to get more tools or materials, are further best practices.

Achieving Flow of Work Processes

Workflow should be reliable and predictable. The schedule should follow a standard sequence and workers should not be sitting around waiting on the next task.

Using Pull Planning and Scheduling

Pull planning is accomplished through subcontractors keeping open communication channels, ensuring work remains on schedule, focused and in the proper sequence.

Perfecting the Processes through Continuous Improvement

Learning from past experiences and continually improving the construction process is essential in the ongoing process of going lean.

Our insight: 

The initial planning phase is the key, everything that follows arises from this period.
Using accurate estimating data up front can play an essential role in eliminating waste down the line.
While preparation upfront is essential, being capable of flexibility and swift reaction can help save both time and materials.