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Real Life Lean 028 - Missed Meetings

Happy Monday lean construction family and 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

This week we are tackling part 4 of the Project Production Management series. George and Hal are breaking down one of the most common paradoxes in construction - keeping people busy will help move the job forward. We have all come across this idea on our projects when flow is lacking. We bounce trades around to different parts of the building to work on little bits and pieces here and there, and we think we have created a smooth project. Then, variation hits, or work gets changed, and all that “busy work” we had them do now has to be redone. It was a waste of time and resources. George and Hall offer two ways to combat this in the field - reduce variation or implement countermeasures to high utilization.

Takeaway: I am 100% guilty of falling into the trap that busy workers are doing productive work. I have had crews bouncing around to all areas of the project just to keep them busy and not lose workers to another project. I really like the idea presented to combat this about making sure those “busy” workers are working on scope that has been pre approved by the “customer” (the follow up trade). This would ensure the right busy work is being completed and should eliminate the chances of it needing to be redone.

Lean Podcast

I recently came across another great lean podcast resource, and that is the Upping Your Game Podcast. It is presented by Touchplan and features some great interviews with interesting and out of the box thinkers. The episode shared here is with Clarke Ching and focus’ on a principle that is new to me called the FOCCCUS principle. Clarke is an expert in the Theory of Constraints and agile. His point of view is unique, and I guarantee you will take something away from this podcast that makes you a better builder.

Takeaway: My main takeaway, as I mention above, is the FOCCCUS principle that Clarke shares. FOCCCUS is an acronym for Find Optimize Collaborate Coordinate Curate Upgrade State again Strategically. I see this as cycle and although Clarke is talking about its use in working though bottlenecks, I see it as a great tool to also use for continuous improvement.

Lean Event

How can reality capture help your jobsite become leaner? In the webinar below from Lean Construction Institute, participants will explore how implementing a reality capture program on your project can help eliminate waste, increase collaboration and track your progress.

Takeaway: I love seeing how new(er) technology can help make a project team leaner. Our industry is adapting to and adopting more and more technology and reality capture seems to be a great way to find one source of truth for what is actually happening on your project. Using reality capture can help your team continuously improve and grow on your lean journey.

Real Life Lean - Lean practices in the real world

I consider myself someone who is extremely organized and rarely, if ever, misses a meeting, misplaces a tool or can’t find a document. Its the way I have always been and I find comfort in an organized life - inbox, desk, house, car, etc.

This past week, things got a bit unorganized because I was not being lean in my own life. Last Friday I missed a scheduled session to work on my LCI Congress presentation with my partner, leading to us having to update our presentation separately and find a new time to meet while spread across two timezones. This was 100% my fault and I felt horrible.

I needed to find the root cause of this, and it was not very hard to find - I was managing life on two separate calendars. When I started at Kanopy Group, I received my company email and company calendar. When I started supporting my current client, I received a client email and client calendar. This is the account I use to plan my day and prioritize my work. About once a week I check my company email and see if I have any activities to duplicate. Here lies my problem - managing life on two calendars. You can try to balance the two and jeopardize meetings and commitments, or you can figure out a plan to combine the two.

For me, I think it will be an easy change - I will forward all invites from my company email to my client email (and look into a tool to automate this). This should lean out my calendars and keep me on time, organized and meeting commitments.

Often times our lean lessons come from not being lean, just like this.

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