Lean in the Public Sector (LIPS)

The Lean in the Public Sector (LIPS) 2016 Conference was held in Helsingor in Denmark on the 13th and 14th of September 2016.


The LIPS Conference focuses on the conditions that apply for public construction, and serves the purpose to spread and advance the implementation of Lean principles and thinking in the construction industry.


The purpose of this year’s LIPS conference was to give an introduction to Lean Construction (theory and experiences) over a two-day conference:


  • Knowledge about the newest and best methods for managing public construction projects (some research, several cases)
  • Knowledge and debates on the framework conditions in the construction industry.
  • Provide opportunity to network within the Lean Construction Community.

The Keynote Speaker at this year’s conference was Peter Luke – Director of Novo Nordisk (Project Office).  Peter presented on common challenges for lean processes for Public and Private Owners:

  • Specific areas with challenges in sourcing, contracting, risk management
  • Need for upgrade of competences and tools amongst design/construct parties (contractors, engineers & owner)
  • How do we advance lean-development in the industry?

It was particularly interesting to note the advances that the Scandinavians in general are making in regards to using Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) on Public Sector projects. For example, in Finland, they have developed using IPD over the past 10 years to now having over 40 projects where IPD is being actively used on projects including significant road/rail infrastructure projects and hospital projects.  In Norway, Statsbygg (similar to the Office of Public Works in Ireland) is actively working to have at least three projects a year being implemented using IPD.

Another highlight was Professor David Mosey, PhD – Director of the Centre of Construction Law and Dispute Resolution at the Dickson Poon School of Law – who delivered a very interesting presentation on FAC-1 Framework Alliance Contract – Improved Value and New Solutions.

The conference was originally set up by Dr. Glenn Ballard, one of the founders of the lean construction movement.

Each year it has been hosted in a different country. In the past it has been hosted as far away as Australia. Next year, it will be held in Santiago, Chile; and in 2018 it will return to the United States – location yet to be confirmed.

Posted by: Pat Unger, Senior Project Manager, Linesight.


Click here to visit the LIPS Conference 2016 webpage…

Click here for the LIPS LinkedIn page…


Lean as Ideology

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.


Overcoming the Barriers to Lean Construction

Lean; Principles; Value; Waste; DMAIC; Excellence; Continuous Improvement; Construction; Architecture; Engineering; AEC; Building; Ideology; Knowledge; Events; Webinars; Academia; Clients
L-R: Eoin Curham, Project Manager & Lean Champion, PM Group’s Managed Service Team at MSD Brinny; Conor O’Connell, CIF Southern Director; Michael Kerr, PM Group Construction Services Quality Manager & LCI Ireland Core Group Member.

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.”

Engaging debate underway at the LCI Ireland Lean Morning 15th September 2016, sponsored by PM Group.
Engaging debate underway at the LCI Ireland Lean Breakfast 15th September 2016, sponsored by PM Group.

“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.

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