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  • timreallifelean

Real Life Lean 002

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

Happy Monday lean construction family! I hope this email finds you well. Today I am going to share some quick and easy to digest resources that will help push you along in your lean journey. Here is a quick summary of this weeks topics:

  • Lean Article - Eight Wastes of Lean On the Jobsite

  • Lean Podcast - The 8 Wastes

  • Lean Event - Lean Construction Blogs Last Planner System Conference

  • Real Life Lean - Organization systems to control chaos on a backpacking trip

Lean Article

The 8 wastes plague construction sites around the world. This article from The Lean Builder does a great job of breaking down the 8 wastes, sharing examples and providing tips to combat them. Identify waste on your projects, and get to work eliminating them! Total read time - 7min.

Lean Podcast

In this podcast, Jason uses real examples, from his own experiences to show the 8 wastes. This makes for a very tangible connection for the listener and helped me think about waste on my job site (and in my day to day life). My biggest takeaway - use the total knowledge of the team to solve these problems. You don't (and shouldn't) do it all alone! Total listening time - 23 min

Lean Event

Each year hosts a wonderful virtual event around the Last Planner System. I attended this conference last year and took away pages of notes, ideas and was inspired to return to my job site to improve my LPS ways. This is a great event for new lean practitioners and I am sure a veteran LPS practitioner will find plenty of actionable takeaways.

Real Life Lean - Lean practices outside of the construction world

I recently completed a 5 night backpacking trip along the Trans Catalina Trail. Backpacking is the single most important activity I do (outside of spending time with my family) for my mental health. As I was packing for this trip, it dawned on me that the organizational system I use to group and sort my gear lines up with the 5S system we implement on our jobsites. An organized backpacker has more fun, and is much less stressed than an unorganized backpacker. It is much easier to reach in your pack for the blue clothes bag than it is to empty all your gear out of your pack searching for a pair of socks. Here are some photos of my process.

This photo shows the food I pack for a trip like this.

Here is a photo of all of my gear laid out

The final two photos are of my gear sorted and packed. The organization system I use relies on colors. All hygiene and first aid equipment goes in the orange pouch and is stored in the top flap of the bag. This makes for a quick grab if/when it is needed. All cookware goes in the red pouch. It is easily identifiable and stands out in the main part of the bag. My clothes all end up in the blue pouch for the simple reason that it is the biggest I have. My sleeping gear (tent, blanket, pillow, pad) are all packed individually and sit together at the bottom of the main part of the bag. Finally, all food is packed into the round can you see at the back right of the first picture and it is set in its own pouch at the bottom of the bag.

This organizational structure allows for me to quickly access anything I need on a trip. If we are stopping for a quick bite to eat, I can easily reach in the bottom pouch for my food. When we get to camp, I know were all of my gear is to set up my tent and sleep area. Instead of spending time finding my gear and food, I can spend it looking out at views like this

Have a Real Life Lean story you think would be a great feature in an upcoming newsletter? Send me an email at

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