Lean needs to be understood beyond just the narrow sense of tools, techniques, and practices, and rather be viewed as a systemic and holistic approach transcending the boundaries of the shop-floor and looking at the entire organisation along with the management of the company.
Taiichi Ohno, the godfather of the Toyota Production System (TPS), told us that Lean is “a total management system”. This suggests companies need to embrace Lean as a philosophy and not just view it as a process. The right combination of long-term philosophy, processes, people, and problem-solving is needed to transform into a lean enterprise.
With attendance at Lean Construction Ireland events growing steadily, it was great to see over 60 stakeholders from across the construction sector in the Cork region engaging with the topic at the inaugural Lean Breakfast at the Radisson Hotel, Cork, on Thursday morning the 15th September 2016.
“PM Group was delighted to host this morning’s session”, said Michael Kerr, PM Group’s Construction Services Quality Manager. “The aim of these Lean Morning sessions is to facilitate open discussion amongst the various industry stakeholders, from trades to owners, on how to overcome the barriers to adopting Lean principles on our projects. It was very encouraging to see the level of engagement and lively discussions from all the delegates who had a unique opportunity to meet with their peers in an informal setting.”
“Lean Construction is about adopting new methods and new technologies in response to our clients’ requirements” he continued. “Demand is increasing from our clients, especially those in the Pharma and Biotech sector, to adopt Lean principles on projects to drive efficiency and productivity.”
“A common thread from all of the groups’ discussions was the benefit of, and need for, early engagement of project stakeholders which will work towards removing barriers and support facilitating Lean project delivery”, said Event Speaker Eoin Curham, Project Manager and Lean Champion with PM Group’s Managed Service Team at MSD in Brinny, Co. Cork.
A number of issues and challenges were raised at the different discussion tables, including traditional procurement practices, formal Lean awareness training, and the importance of senior management buy-in. These will form the themes for discussion at future Lean Breakfast sessions.
These Lean Breakfasts are expected to become a regular feature around the country, and we hope to see you there.