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Real Life Lean 026 - Project Production Management Series - Part 1

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

Over the next few weeks we will be exploring the Project Production Management Series of Articles written by Hal Macomber, George Hunt and guests.

Flow, the ultimate goal in construction. This is what our trade partners want on every project. To be able to flow from meaningful work in one area to meaningful work in the next. When a project is flowing, people know where they need to be, when they need to be there and what is expected of them when they’re there. One of the main things that detracts a project team from flow is variation.

In Part 2 of the Project Production Management Series, Hal and George breakdown why variation is bad for your project, how it interrupts the flow of the project and offer five tips for how to combat it.

Takeaway: My biggest takeaway from this article is how variation can negate any upstream benefit your production system is seeing. Hal and George share a simple example that really helped me to understand and visualize the issues variation cause.

*Note - we are going to breakdown this series of articles each week on Project Production Management. This is week 1 of exploring these articles, with the link being to part 2 of the series. Part 1 is just an intro and can be found here.

Lean Podcast

Hoots is at it again with another great podcast, this time with Sam Dixon. In the episode below Hoots and Sam talk about all things construction and how Sam was raised on lean values such as respect for people, self improvement and responsibility. Sam shares stories from his career and the way he was raised to build successful relationships rooted in respect.

Takeaway: Sam reminds me of the Old Dawg from Adam and Buddy’s book, Old Dawg Lean Thesaurus. Sam was raised up with these lean principles before they were called lean. He started his career doing the right thing - respecting people, and continued to grow and improve from there. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the tools or the tech we are using, we forget that lean is simple - respect people, maximize value, reduce waste. Builders have been doing it for years before it was coined and termed lean, so lets not overcomplicate it. All in all, this is a great episode and worth your time!

Lean Event is a planning tool that I have used in the past to facilitate Last Planner System sessions. They are a really collaborative tool that offers some great reporting and analytics (not a sponsor, just sharing who they are and my experience). I was doing some research for a different lean event for this section of the newsletter and came across their library of webinars. I was not aware that they offered webinars, so I thought it was a great, unique, resource to share here.

Takeaway: Two main takeaways from this find. The first is there are all kinds of offering ranging from How Owners Can Maximize Project Certainty With Construction Planning Software to The Risk Of Using Spreadsheets To Manage Project Planning. Each webinar is about an hour and covers some interesting topics. The second takeaway I had from finding this library is the amount of lean content that is online is massive. I would not have thought that Touchplan had a library of webinars (though I guess it does make sense). Its exciting to think of all the other resources out there that I may have missed. Check out their library and consider scheduling a lunch and learn with your team to review some of these webinars.

Real Life Lean - Lean practices in the real world

A mentor of mine recently shared the video below with me as an example of real world lean construction in progress. I think this video does an awesome job showing how lean construction works and the buy in you can have from the field.

Takeaway: When done with the right intentions, lean construction will make a difference in the workers life. The project flow will get better and the waste that is present on construction sites will be removed. This video really excites me to see actual tradesman excited about lean construction.

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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