Lean is a proven management strategy which originated in the automotive giant Toyota, over 50 years ago. It is now being adopted even by construction companies to manage their business performance. Indian companies like Afcons, Godrej, Tata Realty, Shapoorji etc have already adopted Lean systems and are showcasing it too.
Lean Construction challenges the conventional understanding and construction business practices. It focuses on profitably delivering what the customer needs by managing and improving the performance of people & process in the construction industry.
Lean tools & techniques help in designing right systems, processes & measures to deliver things right first time at the right cost. Essential to this is the elimination of waste – "anything other than the minimum amount of equipment, materials, parts, space, and worker's time, which are absolutely essential to add value to the product – said, Shoichiro Toyoda, President, Toyota Corp. Examples of waste can include mistakes, working out of sequence, redundant activity and movement, delayed or premature inputs, and products or services that don’t meet customer requirements.
Here are the top 5 Lean Construction techniques which an organisation must adopt for eliminating waste in order to satisfy their customers – both Internal & external
- Last Planner System (LPS) – is a planning, monitoring and control system that follows lean construction principles such as pull planning & just-in-time. In LPS, stakeholders collaborate to plan at various levels & execute the work in greater detail as crew gets closer to doing the work. It uses a proactive approach called look ahead for solving daily problems through constraint identification & issue resolution process
- Pull Planning – is all about starting with the end in mind. It focuses on the desired results instead of tasks by determining when the customer needs it and then working backwards, essential milestones & objectives are identified to achieve the desired outcome. Through Pull planning, the scheduled activities are “pulled” by the date of completion instead of “pushing” from the start date
- Just in Time – is about achieving high volume production using minimal inventories. It is an integrated but simplified system for producing only what is needed, when it is needed (not early, not late; not less, not more). It is a highly coordinated processing system in which goods are ‘pulled’ through the system to arrive where they are needed when they are needed (just-in-time)
- Built in Quality – the understanding of ‘right first time’ is essential to the lean which means design it correctly so that it can be developed efficiently the very first time. It involves an extremely rigorous, questioning analysis of every detail of product development and production, seeking continuously to establish the ultimate source of problems. Only by eliminating the cause at source can the possibility of that fault recurring be removed
- Standardized work – is a simple written description of the safest, highest quality, and most efficient way known to perform a particular process or task. It centres on human motion that combines the elements of a job into the most effective sequence with minimal waste to achieve the most efficient level of production possible under current conditions
Every business owner who wants to improve his growth & profits, should get into the business of adopting Lean management practices. Here are some typical benefits of implementing Lean Construction tools & techniques
- Improvement in Customer satisfaction
- Project on time delivery
- Cost savings
- Increased productivity
- Improved quality
- Asset utilization
- Employee satisfaction
If you wish to implement Lean management systems in your construction business, write to firstname.lastname@example.org