Lean & the Project Manager – Delivering Improved Project Outcomes

On the 25th March Lean Construction Ireland outlined at an Engineers Ireland event how Lean is implemented on projects, the role of the project manager and give an overview of how LCi is supporting the Irish construction sector in its understanding of Lean and its implementation.

To view the event video please CLICK HERE.

Description

The project manager plays to vital role when it comes to successful project delivery as they are responsible for managing team performance, addressing daily issues and challenges whilst ensuring the client’s objectives are met. This requires the project manager to have appropriate systems, processes and project management tools in place that will create an effective and efficient project delivery environment based on collaborative team engagement and mutual respect and understanding.

Adopting Lean thinking and practices will enable the project manager to create this project delivery environment.

Lean Construction Ireland is a community of learning and practice that advocates for the transformation of the Irish construction sector through the adoption of Lean thinking and practices by the entire sector to enable and sustain enhanced effectiveness, efficiency, productivity, and profitability for all stakeholders in the value chain.

About the speakers:

Richard Fitzpatrick is Director for Programme Management and Project Controls with the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board which is responsible for delivering the New Children’s Hospital – the largest single capital investment in any healthcare project in Ireland.  Richard has over 25 years’ programme and project management experience having been responsible for managing the delivery of major capital infrastructure programmes both in the UK and Ireland.  He is a Chartered Electrical Engineer and a member of IET and also a Member of the Association for Project Management.  Richard is Chair of the Lean Construction Ireland.

Derek Sinnott is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher in the School of Engineering at Waterford Institute of Technology. He has over 18 years combined management and technical engineering experience within industry, research, and academia. His main lecturing and research areas of interest are Construction Innovation, Lean Leadership and Sustainability in the Built Environment.  He is a graduate of Civil Engineering from NUI Galway and holds MSc in Civil Engineering and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Engineering from Trinity College Dublin. Derek is a Director of Lean Construction Ireland, an all-island independent organisation that is recognised as a leading advocate of Lean adoption in the Built Environment. He is a member of the Board and the Audit and Risk Committee of the Pyrite Resolution Board

Denis Leonard has a degree in Building Engineering, an MBA and PhD in Quality Management. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Quality Institute, American Society for Quality, Chartered Institute of Building & Institution of Civil Engineers and a Member of the Institute of Collaborative Working. A Certified Lean Practitioner and Six Sigma Black Belt. He has worked in Quality Management in the construction industry for over 20 years in both the US and UK in commercial, civil engineering and home building. Denis is on the Board of Directors for Lean Construction Ireland and is Head of Integrated Management Systems for GRAHAM.

Rework Hurts People & Projects

Lean Construction Ireland Webinar
Title: Rework Hurts People & Projects
Presented By: John Morrison – Founder & Director – Frontline Coach Pty Ltd
Presented By: David Myers – Senior Associate – Shirley Parsons Project Services
Presented By: Mark Worrall – Managing Director – LC International Ltd
When: 11.00am, 23rd March 2021.

Some key headlines are:
• Workers have 70% greater probability of being injured while attending to rework
• The direct costs of Construction rework eroded the profit margins of a Tier One contractor by 19.4% over a nine year period.
• 39% of H&S incidents occur during rework
The webinar covers:
• Full findings of the research
• Its impact on safety and cost (with case studies)
• Some suggested actions and recommendations
• Best practice QA & Improvement tools
• Quality culture

 

Presentation Slides Click Here

Did Covid Kill Lean Relaunching your Lean Initiative in 2021

Lean Construction Ireland Webinar
Title: Did Covid Kill Lean? – Relaunching your Lean Initiative in 2021
Presented By: Dan Fauchier from The ReAlignment Group of California & Construction Accelerator(R)
Presented By: Andy Fulton from Construction Accelerator(R)
When: 4.00pm, 23rd February 2021.

Lean initiatives have suffered during Covid: staff layoffs, reductions in training budgets, the need to reestablish supply chains and project interruptions. A vibrant Lean culture can help us be better post-Covid, but how?
Explore new options to build a ground-up Lean culture by creating short repeatable opportunities for key staff and leadership to take the helm and reinvent together. This can be the critical element of your 2021 initiatives.

 

Presentation Slides Click Here

Lean Construction Ireland Annual Book of Cases 2020

Richard Fitzpatrick (Chair) of Lean Construction Ireland – Launch video click here

Lean Construction Ireland (LCi) is a community of learning and practice that advocates for the transformation of the Irish construction sector through the adoption of Lean thinking and practices by the entire sector to enable and sustain enhanced effectiveness, efficiency, productivity, and profitability for all stakeholders in the value chain.

A core LCi principle is that the open exchange of knowledge, information, and experiences around good Lean practices is a fundamental factor in the sector’s adoption of Lean and its transformation journey.

So, it is with great pleasure that Lean Construction Ireland launches the third publication of its Annual Book of Cases –the key Lean Construction reference publication for the Irish construction sector, from Clients and Owners to Professional Services Providers, Contractors, Sub-Contractors, Suppliers, Consultants, and Academia.

The Book provides real-world, practical, and accessible examples of Irish Construction sector organisations implementing Lean thinking and practices. Each case provides the context for the Lean initiative; details the Lean thinking, tools, and techniques applied on the initiative; and describes the impact and benefits of the initiative.These cases clearly demonstrate that the Irish construction sector is making significant progress in understanding and implementing Lean thinking and practices on capital project delivery as well as for internal operational excellence, adding real value for all project stakeholders and business owners.

To download a free digital copy of the Book, as well as to view other LCi resources and information, please Click Here.

If you would like to express interest in submitting a case study for the 2021 Book of Cases, please complete the expression of interest form, CLICK HERE

To support LCi by becoming a corporate member, please email shauna@boxmedia.ie or ring +353 (0)46 9773434

For further information on supporting the LCi Annual Book of Cases 2021, please contact john@boxmedia.ie

Lean Construction Ireland launches the Lean Construction Ireland Annual Book of Cases 2020

Richard Fitzpatrick (Chair) of Lean Construction Ireland – Launch video click here

Lean Construction Ireland (LCi) is a community of learning and practice that advocates for the transformation of the Irish construction sector through the adoption of Lean thinking and practices by the entire sector to enable and sustain enhanced effectiveness, efficiency, productivity, and profitability for all stakeholders in the value chain.

A core LCi principle is that the open exchange of knowledge, information, and experiences around good Lean practices is a fundamental factor in the sector’s adoption of Lean and its transformation journey.

So, it is with great pleasure that Lean Construction Ireland launches the third publication of its Annual Book of Cases –the key Lean Construction reference publication for the Irish construction sector, from Clients and Owners to Professional Services Providers, Contractors, Sub-Contractors, Suppliers, Consultants, and Academia.

The Book provides real-world, practical, and accessible examples of Irish Construction sector organisations implementing Lean thinking and practices. Each case provides the context for the Lean initiative; details the Lean thinking, tools, and techniques applied on the initiative; and describes the impact and benefits of the initiative.These cases clearly demonstrate that the Irish construction sector is making significant progress in understanding and implementing Lean thinking and practices on capital project delivery as well as for internal operational excellence, adding real value for all project stakeholders and business owners.

To download a free digital copy of the Book, as well as to view other LCi resources and information, please Click Here.

If you would like to express interest in submitting a case study for the 2021 Book of Cases, please complete the expression of interest form, CLICK HERE

To support LCi by becoming a corporate member, please email shauna@boxmedia.ie or ring +353 (0)46 9773434

For further information on supporting the LCi Annual Book of Cases 2021, please contact john@boxmedia.ie

The Engineers Role in a Collaborative Approach to Lean Design

Lean Construction Ireland Webinar, 27th January 2021 at 3.00pm.
Title: The Engineers Role in a Collaborative Approach to Lean Design
By: Stephen Smalley from Design ID and supported by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE Northern Ireland)
When: 3.00pm, 27th January 2021.

 

A targeted and collaborative approach to carbon reduction. The SDG target dates are ambitious…from now and over the next 10 years are critical in negating the tipping point of our planet. As a practice, Design ID recognise this and have signed up to Structural Engineers Declare, and are committed to making an impact to reduce climate change…as part of this commitment Stephen discusses the SDG’s, how material usage in building projects can be measured, monitored and reduced, and how carbon reduction via lean design can be achieved through a collaborative and targeted approach at the earliest project stage.

 

Presentation Slides Click Here

Lean Safety on the Jobsite

3 Ways to Lean into Jobsite Safety

I started in the industry over thirty years ago, setting precast concrete. Back then, construction safety was typically ignored as companies were more concerned about profits than worker safety. That never sat right with me, and it was not long before I switched to the General Contractor side of the business working my way through the ranks up to safety director.

I’ve always been a curious person by nature and, over time, became frustrated by the “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it” mentality of our business. Inspection after inspection, jobsite after jobsite, the same challenges plaguing project after project. Superintendents would often complain to me about safety equipment that was inadequate, cumbersome, and time-consuming to deal with. And even though the safety mindset and statistics have changed drastically over the past 15 years, leading many companies to take pride in their safe work practices and strive for zero incidents on job sites, the means and methods are still the same as they were many years ago. There are still dated equipment practices that have not changed.

I knew there were still countless improvements that could be made, and thought If I don’t give it a try, who will? Along my journey, I have learned that Lean and safety are interconnected, and today I’ll share three ways they support each other.

Elimination of waste = Lean Safety

If you know anything about the eight wastes—DOWNTIME (Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, Non-Utilized Talent, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Excess)—you know these are all very common on the jobsite. What you may not know is that an increase in waste can lead to safety risk and exposure. If you work to eliminate these wastes, you will notice a direct correlation with improved safety.

For example, when I was a safety director, I would always write up superintendents for issues with wooden guard rails. Leading edge fall protection is crucial in our industry because falls are always near the top for cause of injury and death on jobsites sites. The problem with wooden guard rails is that they are dangerous, error prone, and take a lot of time to install, maintain, take down, transport, and store—touching on quite of few of the eight wastes. Working to eliminate this waste gave me the idea for the safety rails system that I built and patented. The rail system is safer (insofar as no nails or screws are used, which often presents a cut or impalement hazard), less time is spent at a leading edge, and it deploys in minutes instead of hours, while eliminating ongoing maintenance during the construction project.

Think about your jobsite: what opportunities can you find to reduce waste while improving worker safety?

Standardized work

A major focus of Lean is standardized work, or work that is repeatable. Standardized work can remove risks in a process, which will lead to reduction in injuries on a jobsite. When I was a safety director, I would often see injuries that occurred due to craftsman being inexperienced, rushing, or skipping steps and taking short cuts. Going back to the guardrail example, when I would talk with superintendents and equipment managers I would ask for their thoughts around making leading edge fall protection better. They would often reply, “Deb, figure out a way to get rid of these #!$@% 2x4s! Make it simple and easy to install.”

In studying the current state in our industry for leading edge fall protection, it’s easy to see that the work was not standardized. For starters, lumber presents a greater risk of defect due to variability in grade quality and deterioration from exposure to the elements. Another variability is the skill level of the craftsman you have who are building the wood railing system. Also, excess material is common with a wood system, due to buying too much material or the waste associated with cutting the lumber. Finally, the nailing/screwing of the lumber leads to variability with the risk associated with protruding nails and screws. With the metal guard rail system that I created, work is very simple to standardize. The railing is consistent, uniform, and rolls out to the location where it needs to be installed. It does not require nails or screws to install, nor the need for a skilled carpenter.

I am sure there are hundreds of similar opportunities on the jobsite to take out the variation of work being put into place; it is up to our field leaders to be looking for the opportunities to do so.

Respect for People

Respect for people is a core principal in Lean Construction and an essential component of a safety culture. As a superintendent, your primary responsibility is doing everything you can to make sure that workers on your jobsite experience no harm. To truly show respect on the jobsite, workers must feel like they are engaged and empowered as experts who put the work in place. The best way to show that respect is by empowering the field to make the necessary changes to improve efficiency and jobsite safety.

In my career as safety director, I liked to ask the trades for their ideas around making projects safer and more efficient. I would often hear them talk about plugging into outlets where live wires were exposed, so I tried to find a solution, and eventually I got the idea to make a “current cover” product for live outlets on construction projects. The cover protects workers in the live outlet area so they can do their job without the risk of an accidental touch.

Ideas like this come when the field is empowered to ask the right questions and truly listen and respect the craftsman doing the work. Think about how you show respect to the field on your projects and look for ways to empower craftsman on your jobsite.

Our industry is always changing, but the need to work smarter and faster while working safer will remain a constant challenge for builders. But with a focus on safety through the lens of Lean Construction, we can remedy or mitigate some of these challenges and improve worker satisfaction in our industry.


Written by Debra Hilmerson, Hilmerson Safety for The Lean Builder Blog

3 Simple Tips to Deploy 5S Lean on your Jobsite

What is 5S Lean?

According to the Lean Construction Institute’s book, “Transforming Design and Construction: a Framework for Change,” 5S is the disciplined approach to maintaining order in the workplace, using visual controls to eliminate waste. The five Japanese words that begin with the letter S are: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke, and the English words can be translated to:

  • Seiri (sort out)
  • Seiton (arranging neatly)
  • Seiso (clean)
  • Seiketsu (cleanliness, daily practice)
  • Shitsuke (upbringing, daily habit)

There are many benefits to be derived from a clean and orderly project, including higher morale, better safety, and easier production. The side effects of a well implemented 5S Lean program could mean the difference between someone wanting to work on your project or someone else’s.

CANDO Program

I’ve read many blogs and articles citing Japanese companies like Toyota as the inventors of the 5S concept, but that is only partially correct. Ravindranath Pandian explains in his article LOST TREASURE: Ford’s original philosophy of ‘CANDO’ that Toyota’s inspiration for 5S originally comes from studying Henry Ford’s assembly line in 1950, where assembly line workers had applied the “CANDO” program daily since the 1920s.

Here are the terms mapped together one by one:

You may see them on jobsite posters with slightly different definitions, like this one from a project in Las Vegas as part of their site-specific program.

You can apply these principles on your project or in your office any time. Best practice is to apply them in order, one building upon the next, and then repeating daily. Here are my top three tips to put a daily 5S program into action:

  1. Deploy 5S with yourself before you deploy with your people.

“Respect for people” is both the key principle for Lean and to start your 5S program. Spend time learning 5S yourself first, so you fully understand the five words and steps and are better able to teach it. Some subtle distinctions will emerge as you practice that you won’t find via searching online or reading a book.

  1. Start with a pilot, or small team.

Onboard people to 5S, ask and answer questions, show examples of the five steps, and foster teamwork and creativity. Remember that small experiments really help people to learn faster, so celebrate the small wins. As your team learns, scale the pilot further out; you’ll know if you need posters or incentives. Projects and people are unique and have nuanced differences. I find that most people value honest feedback and encouragement over cash and prizes.

  1. Be patient with people but hard on the program.

This will inevitably introduce new processes and expectations with your team. Be patient and start slowly; see tip #1 again if you forgot why. I learned this the hard way by “telling” instead of “asking” in the early days of my construction career. We are imperfect people working with other imperfect people on imperfect projects; be patient, listen more than you speak, learn from each other, and embrace the opportunities to learn that your mistakes will offer. Don’t expect yourself or your team to execute a flawless 5S program on day one or day one hundred. Make your mistakes, learn something with your partners, repeat, and have fun.

 

By Felipe Engineer-Manriquez, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.  https://theleanbuilder.com/3-simple-tips-to-deploy-5s-lean-on-your-jobsite/

 

“Driving Collaboration: Leveraging The EFQM Model & ISO44001”

Webinar Title: “Driving Collaboration: Leveraging The EFQM Model & ISO44001”
Speaker: Denis Leonard
Organisation: GRAHAM
Date: 3.00pm, 18th November 2020.

Organizational collaboration has become increasingly important. However, most organizations still lack the knowledge and management capabilities to realize the full potential of collaboration. More formal approaches are needed to manage collaboration to provide structure and competence. The EFQM Model and ISO44001 provide the strategic and tactical tools to help achieve this. By leveraging the links between them we can use them to their maximum advantage.

Presentation Slides Click Here

Lean Construction: Improving Your Team Performance One Habit at a Time

Humans are generally resistant to change. Change requires courage, trust, and faith. We tend to stick to long-formed habits even when we realize that they are hindering progress or create pain. Forming and establishing new habits requires effort and commitment. Sometimes, painful experiences.

How does this relate to Lean construction teams?

Many construction companies use pull planning as their technique for planning construction activities. And research shows that people who plan their work get more done.

What I’ve learned, however, is that when you take one step away from the workface in construction, many of the construction managers, superintendents, designers and engineers, are actually not rigorously planning their own work. There are few individual work planning systems in place–I might participate in planning as a team, but most people don’t roll that work up in their own individual system. This even includes companies that have a strong culture around work planning.

Are you tracking your performance?

As a presenter in front of large audiences of architects, engineers and people working in the AEC industry, I often ask my audience how many have a general idea of what they are going to be working on in a particular week.

Everybody raises their hands.

My next question is:

How many can show someone a detailed plan of what you want to have accomplished by the end of the week?

80 percent of people take their hands down.

Next, I ask how many of those who have kept their hands up have framed their work in ‘yes, no, done, not done’, and even a smaller fraction of people keep their hands up.

My last question is: how many track their performance?

There’s usually only one or two people in the room who keep their hands up.

What I have found is that very few professionals in our industry are rigorous about planning their work on a regular basis.

This is a paradox because we all expect our construction teams in the field to plan their work. So why don’t we do it when we step away from the team scenario?

I believe there’s a couple of reasons:

  1. People see planning as extra-curricular, an addition to their work, and not integral to their job.
  2. People believe they don’t have time to do the planning, because getting stuff done is more important.

Why many designers are resistant to the idea of work planning

As an architect, I understand how designers work. Often, they are juggling several projects. They make a commitment to their team in the Big Room about one project, but how they manage the rest of their work, who knows? Once they leave the big room, their commitment doesn’t flow into a personal work planning system. They might plan for their team, but my experience is that less than 10% of people in our industry actually maintain a rigorous personal work planning habit on a daily and weekly basis.

As these designers are working in a collaborative environment and are making commitments to teammates on multiple projects, this is problematic. If those commitments don’t end up in a personal work planning system, it is far more likely that things fall through the cracks.

The question is: Why are so many designers resistant to the idea of work planning?

Designers often believe that their work is too volatile, too unpredictable. I often hear: “You can’t control design, it evolves and just happens. We can’t squeeze design into a box. It takes what it takes” As a result, when asked to make specific commitments they feel constrained and become deeply resistant.

Ask better questions

One solution is to be more mindful of how team leaders phrase their questions. In other words, to communicate and to frame our requests to designers in ways that are supportive to the nature of the design process. Shifting the focus to the creation of information for decision-making rather than insisting on design solutions is one way to do this.

For example, instead of asking “When will you be done with design?” phrase your questions differently: “Here’s the question we’re trying to answer; what kind of information on this design can you give me on this date?”

By changing our perspective and asking different questions that are supportive of the design process, we will still get the required information to move forward with the project without constraining the creative brains in the team.

In addition to the example above, these questions might be helpful next time you want some information from your designers:

What kind of questions can we answer about the design on a specific date?

What kind of questions can we answer in a certain timeframe?

And, apart from asking better questions, it is crucial for all Lean construction team members to establish a personal work planning habit to become more productive and perform better as an individual, allowing them to be more reliable promisers to the team.

Solutions for work planning systems

Instead of trying to handle multiple to-do lists, which do not have a time component, or numerous unstructured sticky notes, I encourage team leaders, managers, and designers to start a personal work planning habit. This doesn’t need to be complex, there are a range of simple solutions, both analog and digital.

When I teach work planning, I encourage people to start with a paper-based version. Paper is more flexible and less rigid than digital solutions. And there is something about the nature of crossing a task off on a piece of paper. It has a different feeling about how you commit and measure your work.

Analog systems include sticky-note-based Kanban systems (today, this week, next week, future or To Do, Doing, Done), bullet journaling, and many more.

It doesn’t really matter which system you choose as long as you start implementing some kind of personal work planning habit. The first step is to dedicate one hour a week, preferably on Friday afternoon or Sunday evening, to plan the next seven days. Answer the question: what are the tasks that I want to have done by Friday afternoon?

Why tracking variances is crucial 

At the end of the week, it’s important to reflect and measure your performance of that system by exploring the following questions:

  • How did it go?
  • Which tasks did not get done and why?

Tracking variances (the reason why a task doesn’t get accomplished) is crucial to understand the systemic underlying problems in your work. If over time you discover that the main reason for not getting tasks done is that you are always waiting for information from others, you have identified a root cause and can reorganize your work accordingly. Or the relationships with the people from whom you are waiting for information.

The benefits of work planning match the frustrations

In my presentations, as part of a quiz, I ask the audience about the most frustrating things in their work.

Many people reply: changing priorities, getting side-tracked, missing information, or lack of communication.

I then ask: What might be the benefits for someone who plans and measures their work?

Perhaps not surprisingly, the answers I get about the benefits of work planning are pretty much a 1:1 match for the frustrations people experience in their work, and yet, personal work planning is not accepted as an important and integral part of success in their work. An interesting fact.

If more people understood that planning their work allowed them to be more productive and get more done, if they saw work planning as integral to their work, not as incidental or in addition, they could experience a real difference.

Malcare WordPress Security