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Real Life Lean - 023 - Kanban Your Way To Success

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

Last weeks Lean Podcast section featured my friend Adam Hoots, his podcast episode around Time Management. In the episode he talks about how to better manage your time personally and offers up a lot of great resources. One item he touches on is the idea of a Personal Kanban Board. The article linked below explores the idea of a personal kanban board, how to set one up and how to use one to work more efficiently. Check out the article to see how and why you should implement a personal kanban board to ensure you are spending your time on the right things.

Takeaway: I had never really thought of kanban boards in terms of personal use, only for more project/team management. I think the idea of a personal kanban board reminds me of a personal scrum board - both of which I feel will help me better visualize my work and manage my tasks more efficiently.

Lean Podcast

What is a disengaged project manager and how can you spot one? In the episode below, Jason talks about how to spot a disengaged project manager and how this impacts a teams performance and a projects culture.

Takeaway: Disengaged project managers may be harder to spot than you think. They may look “busy” or “overloaded” when in reality they have disengaged from the project. This is a great reminder for me to do a little audit of myself and my team to see f we are exhibiting any of the actions that Jason describes in the episode below.

Lean Event

In the webinar below, attendees will get the opportunity to hear from an experienced architect who has implemented lean principles during the design phase of multiple projects. Kurt will be sharing what has worked and offer ways that you can implement a lean mindset in the design phase of your next project.

Takeaway: Lean is not only something to be implemented in the construction phase of a project, but has value at all stages. A lot of professionals don’t know where to start with lean when it comes to design, so this is a great webinar to learn from. One of my favorite things about webinars from The Lean Construction Blog - they are FREE!

Real Life Lean - Lean practices in the real world

I recently toured a job site with the client safety director. During the walk he pointed out a few of the recent safety initiatives the site had implemented that kept their maintenance staff safer and more organized. One of the items we spent the most time looking at were these fall protection carts that they had developed to put, permanently in each of the 8 locations they could potentially be needed.

From his experience as a maintenance team member, he remembered getting to his work area and realizing he was missing a critical safety piece of equipment, and the mental battle between doing the work without it or walking back to his shop to TRY to find it among the other tools and equipment stored throughout his shop. This new fall protection cart has any potential item a team may need, so they can focus on ensuring the correct parts are materials are being used and can feel confident that their safety equipment is all available.

These carts are a great example of someone fixing what bugs you, which I think is a great way to get started on your lean journey. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it just as to be helpful.

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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