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Real Life Lean - 019 -Melting Pot of Ideas

Welcome to another edition of Real Life Lean. This newsletter is intended to give construction professionals worldwide 4 quick and easy resources to grow and continue on your lean journey.

Today's Summary:

Lean Article

Lean construction is respect for people. It is the reason why lean leaders dedicate their career to implementing change in their organizations. We want an industry to respect the people doing the work, the people planning the work and the people paying for the work. But respect for people can sometimes be hard to grasp. How do you show respect for people on your jobsite? In the article below Katherine Van Adzin shares 4 tips for modeling respect on you jobsite. It's not as hard as you may thing, but does require a bit of effort. You cannot have lean without respect for people.

TAKEAWAY: There are many different ways to show respect for the people on your jobsite. To me, one of the most impactful ways to show respect for people is to be open minded (#3 in the article). By being open minded, you listen to the people you work with. As Katherine states, "Simply forcing Lean on a team or a project defeats the purpose, which is to empower each individual to make improvements in their work that benefit themselves as well as others". This is so true. We cannot simply enforce lean on a team and expect great results without taking the time to hear from the people we are working with.

Lean Podcast

I love how Jason opens up this podcast with the idea of it doesn't matter if you like something, the main question is "is it right?". Jason goes on in this podcast to dive into smaller, important topics/ideas that can't fill an entire episode on their own. These shorter/smaller ideas can be so impactful when you reflect on them. Take 15 minutes to check out this podcast.

TAKEAWAY: I can see how taking the thought approach from Jason’s intro idea (Is It Right?") into lean can be really helpful in advancing on your lean journey. An example that jumps into my mind right away - It doesn't matter if you like using Last Planner System, the bigger question is "is this this the right solution for our team to plan work more effectively?".

Lean Event

Do traditional CPM scheduling and lean tools such as Last Planner System work together? If so, how can we make them work together? In the webinar linked below, we will learn how to integrate these two planning systems to more effectively plan construction and design work.

TAKEAWAY: Often times on projects CPM is the tool we use because that is how most clients want to see the schedule for projects. We then use LPS for detailed planning and make the CPM schedule align or use it as a guiding light (at least that's my experience). I am interested in hearing more about how these two tools can be integrated for more effective planning and scheduling.

Real Life Lean - Lean practices in the real world

Are you interested in hearing from more passionate lean individuals that are changing our industry? If so, you NEED to check out the link below to view the conversation my friend Justin Uyar is having with lean champions across the country. In this series hosted by Lean Construction Blog, Justin aims to find out how lean construction champions are changing their companies (and therefore our industry) while working through the resistance we all see and feel.

TAKEAWAY: Justin has a tremendous ability to engage in conversation and ask meaningful questions. My largest takeaway from these conversations is that everyone, across the country, is at a different place in their lean journey, and that is OKAY. We are all at different levels of understanding and application and no matter where we are, the important thing is we keep moving forward.

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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