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  • timreallifelean

Continuous Improvement - Personal Development

Continuous improvement is a foundational component of a lean construction team and of a lean builder. As a team, you implement the PDCA cycle of Plan - Do - Check - Act and hopefully continuously improve in your execution. You may use team health surveys to check in on your project team and review the deltas that come from that session to improve your team. On a personal level, continuous improvement can be a little more difficult to find.


A little over a year ago I was sitting in on an interview for a new superintendent and he was telling us that a reason he was looking to switch companies was due to his current company's lack of emphasis on personal development. He started talking about the way that he personally focuses on his improvement - reading books. He made reference to books such as The Lean Builder or The Art of Construction Superintendents, talked about listening to construction based podcasts and staying up to date on industry news and updates. This inspired me to think differently about my own personal development and continuous improvement journey.


This was a turning point for me in my lean construction journey. Since then I have focused my time on growing my knowledge of the construction industry and sharpening my ax. While I was already working on my own personal development, I read a ton of books on leadership, building teams and mental fortitude, but never focused specifically on the construction industry. To be quite honest, I didn’t know there was anything out there for me to dive into. After learning there were outlets such as Elevate Construction or leanconstructionblog.com, I have spent a considerable amount of time focusing on improving in my role. I have used LinkedIn as a way to connect with others in the industry and have attended industry events to grow both my network and my knowledge. This lead me to a SAT (Study Action Team) that focused on taking our lean journey to the next level. This was hosted by Lean Construction Blog and was great way to meet fellow lean practitioners.


I encourage you to find that continuous improvement path for yourself. Explore industry specific media, read books and blogs to learn about what our industry is doing and get involved with others who are passionate about construction.


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