“That’s the way we do it – overcoming traditional project management limitations”

Webinar Title: “That’s the way we do it – overcoming traditional project management limitations”
Speaker: Felipe Engineer-Manriquez
Organisation: McCarthy Building Companies Inc
Date: 3.00pm, 14th October 2020

Two cross-functional teams separated by a calendar year, demonstrate how a Lean approach with geographically distributed teams exponentially delivers faster with higher quality.  The mission: bring design and construction procedures into standard better practices across a portfolio of projects spanning coast to coast and across contract types.

Presentation Slides: Click Here

22nd Annual LCI Virtual Congress, October 19-23, 2020

The 22nd Annual LCI Congress program is specifically designed for your leadership role in the industry. Each year, LCI Congress brings together owners, trade partners, members of the design community, general contractors and other Lean professionals to get inspired, learn from Lean success stories, build relationships, expand networks and foster collaboration.

  • Owners
  • Design Community
  • General Contractors
  • Trade Partners
  • Other Lean Professionals

Join more than 1,600 of your peers virtually for the premier Lean event of the year!
Developed for the design and construction industry, LCI’s 22nd Annual Congress in 2020 will offer continuous education credits, cutting-edge Lean methods and countless networking opportunities. LCI Congress is beneficial for everyone, no matter where you are on your Lean journey. As an attendee, you can expect to:

  • Learn how to start your Lean journey.
  • Deepen your learning experience.
  • Revitalize your outlook by meeting with other Lean construction thought leaders.

When you attend LCI Congress you learn from others based on their own Lean experiences. You will:

  • Discover how projects have been completed on or under budget using integrated approaches.
  • Hear how others have used Lean project delivery to obtain better predictability, consistent on-time delivery and fewer change orders on their completed projects.
  • Learn from LCI Congress session speakers, as well as other owners, how to avoid claims and costly adjudication on your projects.
  • Facilitate conversations with your peers about obtaining improved design and building performance through Lean project design and delivery.

“TAKT – the foundation for technology revolution in construction”

Webinar Title: “TAKT – the foundation for technology revolution in construction”
Speaker: Janosch Dlouhy
Date: 3.00pm, 16th September 2020

Takt was a main driver for the industrial revolution in barley all production related industries.
Construction never implemented consequently Takt as a core method.
The second Industrialization never happened in construction.
The 3rd and 4th industrialization are rising in all industries and construction is struggling.
This session draws a line from past to future.


Presentation slides to follow.

Request video link: click here

“Facilities in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities”

Webinar Title: “Facilities in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities”
Speaker: Amr Abdel-Azim
Organisation: Michigan State University
Date: 3.00pm, 26th August 2020.

On higher education campuses, we have changed the way we deliver education. The relationship between an instructor and students; student interaction in a classroom, meaning and use of a library; new education initiatives, lean approach in planning, designing and construction of new facilities; all have changed. The recent events of the pandemic with switching to virtual learning has even put more pressure on existing facilities in campuses. Planning and designing of facilities on a campus will have to tailor to changes and needs. This is all happening at a time when available funding from national and local government is dwindling down. This session will address the changes in facilities to deliver education on a higher education campus and opportunities in funding projects on campuses.

BIM implementation and management: Changing construction from the bottom up

Construction is an industry that still runs on tradition and relies heavily on pen and paper for many of the processes on the site and the office. The good news is that a digital wave is rapidly approaching the sector.

More and more stakeholders seem to understand the need for a data-driven and agile construction process where everyone involved remains connected and confident that they work on the latest version of the project.

That’s extremely important if we consider that the IT investment in construction is less than 1%. BIM is, of course, one of the areas with tremendous potential which are affected deeply by this stalemate situation in construction.

How is BIM used in construction?

Building Information Modeling could introduce a whole new level of transparency in the industry and transform the way people in construction design, collaborate and build.

For that to happen, an impeccable BIM implementation and management plan is required. That can be much harder than many might think given the confusion that there is still around the topic.

BIM should be seen as a secure, yet open, vehicle for the data of a project. Operating on a Common Data Environment (CDE) can help the different agents to work more efficiently while reacting faster on problems that emerge in the field.

The creation of an open and highly collaborative data ecosystem could play a decisive role in boosting productivity while cutting down delays and budget overruns.

In addition, the creation of a “digital twin” can be a true game-changer in the effort to prevent mistakes during the building process, increase predictability and put an end to reworks in construction. As reported by McKinsey, the efficiency rate in construction is calculated to 30% while 80% of the projects are expected to go over budget.

It becomes clear, then, that there is a lot of room for improvement in the industry. Especially, if stakeholders in construction attack the root of the problem which is fragmented communication and lack of trust between the numerous stakeholders of the project.

BIM implementation challenges

Despite the enormous value that BIM can bring to the table, some parts of the industry are still quite hesitant when it comes to implementing Building Information Modeling. Habit is still a strong force in construction and is seen as one of the main reasons behind the industry’s digital delay.

This isn’t something new for the sector considering that it’s the least digitised market in Europe. People are simply not interested in changing their habits unless they see a tangible example of the value that they can get in return.

With that in mind, it becomes understandable that stakeholders in construction should focus their efforts on digital adoption in order to break down the wall of habit and communicate to the industry why BIM matters.

Training is another factor which hinders BIM implementation. For many organisations, the task of training all their teams, both production and stuff, to the new tools and processes feels like a nightmare.

At first sight, it might indeed be both time and resource-consuming but if done correctly the return is immense. So even if production goes back for a week or two, in the long run, a solid training can make your team work in a faster and more profitable way.

At the end of the day, the initial financial investment that is required for BIM implementation can scare some stakeholders away. Nevertheless, that’s a very short-sighted approach which overlooks the end goal of introducing Building Information Modeling to your processes.

Preparing for BIM implementation: All the steps you should follow

By now it’s clear that implementing and managing BIM isn’t a walk in the park. It requires a collective effort, bold initiatives, and a proactive digital culture. Only then, it will be possible for your BIM strategy to develop and flourish.

To achieve that, there are a number of steps that your organisation will have to follow. In a nutshell, here are the main components of a successful BIM implementation and management process:

Start with some BIM education

Before you start this digital journey, it’s of paramount importance that you get your team BIM-educated. BIM is a vast topic and there can often be a lot of confusion around its true value for a construction project.

Train your co-workers in the core ideas of Building Information Modeling and initiate an open discussion where everybody can ask questions, express their concerns and eventually get on board with your vision for a collaborative, agile and fact-based construction process.

This first step can pave the way for the creation of your BIM strategy and get your organisation one step closer to a profitable data culture.

It goes without saying that at this phase, you should be fully aware of the fact that this investment comes with a high initial cost. That’s a key point that makes many organisations, especially the smaller ones, avoid taking the vital transformational risk.

The secret is again BIM education. Get to know how BIM can help your projects and understand why this investment is worth the money and the effort.

Roll out small

As soon as the training part is over and everything is good to go, a common mistake many organisations do is trying to roll out across the entire company at once. In the case of BIM, this can be catastrophic.

When implementing BIM, it is always a good idea to start with baby steps. Find a small team within your organisation and assign them to test the BIM model. Once they become familiar with the new way of communicating, working and capturing data, it’s time to take the next step and introduce the new systems and processes to the rest of the company.

In that way, you have the time to detect any unpredicted mistakes and resolve them before they have a serious effect on your entire implementation process.

On top of that, by trusting the initial testing to a specific part of your team you have now got some allies across your co-workers. In that way, introducing and developing your BIM strategy becomes even easier.

Focus on digital adoption

The construction industry tends to focus a lot on the value that the 3D model brings to the building process failing to consider the key component of it. That is data and, by extension, digital adoption.

A BIM model is only as accurate and helpful as the data fed to it. In that sense, on-site adoption is one of the most crucial factors for the success of your BIM endeavours. This is where the simplicity of the tools that your organisation uses comes into the picture.

People on site should be able to report progress and submit their latest updates from the field just by using their mobile or tablet device. The easier the data capturing progress is the simpler will be for the on-site personnel to use the new technologies and join the digital revolution that you want to initiate.

At this point, it is important to say that, of course, the 3D visual representation of a built structure can be valuable for the stakeholders of the project. Nonetheless, there are different levels of transparency depending on someone’s role in a project.

A BIM manager could use a well-visualised 3D model but the people on site they can go on with their tasks just fine by using an easy, yet intuitive, 2D version of the model. And that’s why simplicity for the user should be seen as a priority when we refer to digital adoption.

Go back and reiterate

Collecting data is one thing. Learning how to read and analyse it is another. It is no exaggeration to say that data is your biggest ally in the effort to boost productivity, decrease reworks and start building faster and smarter than your competition.

Staying consistently on top of your data and becoming better based on its feedback can pave the way for a standardised construction process which can be repeated again and again in the future, leaving no room for mistakes and costly misunderstandings.

Thanks to this approach, your organisation has the opportunity to invest in replicability. That’s the first step towards predictability which is vital when it comes to calculating the budget, resource and time needs of your project.

A culture shift comes from the bottom up

It takes heavy resource investment and a lot of hard work to drive strong results in construction. Building Information Modeling has already entered the field and made an impact on the industry but it’s still far from where it’s supposed to be.

To some extent that’s completely normal, as a groundbreaking culture shift like this requires time. However, it is important to remember that a BIM, and therefore a digital, culture can’t be “CEO-mandated”.

It should start from the bottom up. People on the site should understand why they need to change their working routine and be able to do so in a simple and straightforward way. That is the secret behind digital adoption and data-driven decision making.

“When people begin to believe in the data, it’s a game-changer: They begin to change their behaviors, based on a new understanding of all the richness trapped beneath the surface of our systems and processes,” says Boeing CIO Ted Colbert.

So the next big mission for the construction industry is to find the culture drivers which will unlock a new way of work and communication in construction. In any other case, your BIM implementation and management efforts will sooner or later fail.

Lean Team Building and Collaboration Among the Trades

Lean team building can sometimes be accomplished by unorthodox methods. Here is how a popsicle changed my perspective & opened up new avenues of communication.

How a Popsicle Changed My Perspective

Building in the South can be challenging because of its extreme climate conditions. New hires, seasoned veterans, and craft professionals can be impacted by heat stress depending on the weather, pre-existing health conditions, or by underestimating their exertion to hydration ratio.

Superintendents in the region have to frequently re-work traditional heat illness programs to fit these conditions leading up to the summer to make sure everybody knows how to stay safe.

Many programs have two elements, focusing on onsite training and procuring and installing heat relief equipment. On my projects, we develop site-specific Heat-Related Illness Prevention Plans, customized to each area’s conditions. Although I have standard protocols for training and equipment that I use for each project, understanding unique elements to the climate can help us decide where to focus our efforts. From there, we purchase controls like misters and use safety, pre-task and daily huddle meetings to reinforce the correct rest-to-work ratios alongside heat-related protocol.

Earlier in my career, these tasks became habit. Then one summer, a popsicle changed my perspective.

The Ice Cream Man and Lean Team Building

It was on that day while constructing a hospital in the desert heat of New Mexico, I went to make my rounds around the jobsite and decided to bring a box of hydration popsicles to hand out to trade contractors to make sure they were keeping cool. After being met with many smiles, I decided to make a habit of this and over time, I earned the nickname of “ice cream man.”. The craft professionals even began to hum the tune from their childhood ice cream truck when they saw me coming. During these “ice cream” breaks, the field team began to connect, share some laughs, and bond in a way that slowly began to break down some barriers. The break became more than just “popsicle time.” It was an opportunity to connect, communicate, and show the trades that we – the general contractor – cared about them.

I noticed improvements in the team’s morale and camaraderie, and it facilitated transparent discussions of what was working on the project and what could use improvement. In my mind, the simple act of giving a popsicle began to build a Lean foundation – a culture of caring – on the jobsite. If you are looking to build a cohesive team on your projects, here are a couple of thoughts on how to start lean team building.

Create Conversation – Collaboration

Step out of your comfort zone. This may mean stepping out of the office and handing out popsicles. It may be taking time out of your day to learn the names of the individuals installing the drywall. It may be asking the plumber how his weekend went and how his kid did in their sporting event on Saturday. The popsicle fostered an experience that allowed me to show the field I cared, but ultimately it broke down a barrier, creating an opportunity for everyone to pause. More conversation led to collaboration amongst team members. When handing them a popsicle, I would also thank them for their hard work. When verbally expressing appreciation to them I started noticing that trades began speaking more amongst themselves and this would initiate their collaboration on workflow as well.

Break Down Barriers – Continuous Improvement

These simple conversations helped individuals feel comfortable giving suggestions and provide feedback that impacted the entire project site. In one of those small talk conversations with a mason, he shared a near miss. He easily could have never mentioned it, but instead, he felt comfortable with sharing with the team in hopes that it would improve the safety of his fellow team members. Days later, I had an electrician point out that handrails by the elevator were now missing. In fact, not only did he point it out, but he also immediately volunteered to help put them back with ideas for better placement.

Lean Team Building

Although no one can prove that a popsicle encouraged team members to collaborate more or inspired the continuous improvement of safety practices on the jobsite, it is always true that people want to be feel appreciated. A culture of caring, established through a popsicle or another kind gesture, will go a long way – especially when things heat up.



by Mitch Rothe
Division Superintendent for Robins & Morton

Working Remotely – Virtual Design & Construction (VDC)

Construction 4.0 Report: Virtual Design & Construction

The COVID-19 pandemic presents one of the greatest challenges we have seen during our lifetimes, across all sectors – business, public and private.

This report will give you the latest CIF guidance on working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures can be sustained even in a situation where industry reopens in future. These ways of working are conducive to technology uptake and utilisation in future construction projects following the successful implementation in their business. This document is not just for BIM projects but for digital working as a whole across the sector.

To access the document, please click here. We also have a poster (A4) which is available for download here.

About BIM

The CIF Lean Construction, Building Information Modelling (BIM), Innovation and Continuous Improvement Committee was established in 2016 as a sub-committee of the CIF Executive Body. The purpose of setting up this Committee was to consider policy developments, to oversee and guide the Federation’s relations with relevant national and local bodies and to develop the Federation’s strategy with regard to its evolving relationship with client organisations in both the public and private sector in the area of Lean Construction, BIM, Innovation and Continuous Improvement.

The BIM guides listed below were prepared by the CIF Lean Construction, Building Information Modelling (BIM), Innovation and Continuous Improvement Committee BIM Working Group.

Angelyn Rowan (LCi Director) speaking at GMIT Construction Management Day

Angelyn Rowan (Partner at Philip Lee Solicitors & Lean Construction Ireland Director) speaking at GMIT 10th Annual International Construction Management Day in Galway today. Angelyn presentation investigated the “Barriers and Drivers for Lean Construction in the Procurement Process.

Richard Fitzpatrick (LCi Chair) speaking at GMIT Construction Management Day

Richard Fitzpatrick (LCi Chair) speaking at GMIT 10th Annual International Construction Management Day in Galway today. Richard shard with the audience at GMIT the Lean Construction Ireland vision for Lean Transformation in the Irish construction industry.

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