What Is Lean Construction? 6 Principles, 3 Tips

lean construction

Lean construction applies operational research and practical development principles to design and building. It’s project-based, so even though basic principles apply, lean construction is “concerned with the alignment and holistic pursuit of concurrent and continuous improvements in all dimensions of the build.”*

If you ever get asked to take part in a lean construction project, it will offer a fresh perspective on building. Lean construction principles, and the practices that flow from them, not only transform projects but also transform entire companies.

6 Lean Construction Principles

Using a lean approach to a construction project means reducing costs as much as possible and maximizing value…as much as possible. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula but following these 6 lean construction principles for your project can increase productivity, reduce re-works, and lower expenses.

  1. Identify value – You know what the customer wants. Lean construction identifies why.
  2. Define the value stream – What’s necessary to deliver customer value? Define equipment, information, materials, and necessary labor.
  3. Eliminate waste – Minimize wastefulness at every opportunity: defects, inventory, movement, over-processing (adding valueless features/activities), overproduction, transport, unused crew, and waiting.
  4. Maintain reliable, predictable flow of work processes – Quickly communicate behind- or ahead-of-time completions so adjustments can be made.
  5. Determine schedule/planning – This should be done in collaboration with subcontractors and others that do the actual work.
  6. Continually improve – Identify opportunities for improvement and act upon them. Incorporate them in future projects.

Three Tips to Enhance Lean Construction

There’s nothing easy about adhering to lean construction principles. Trusstor.com says if you’re constantly digging through hints, suggestions, and testimonials, “…it’s easier to develop a blind eye than a bold vision.” These 3 tips can help:

  1. Install sensors in work areas – Use them to immediately access operational data.
  2. Use AI – Your operational data can use artificial intelligence to pinpoint trouble spots in the schedule and task assignments by analyzing causes.
  3. Let software drive informed decisions – Data-driven management makes prioritizing communication easier, leading to fewer misunderstandings. Automated reminders and follow-ups keep you up to speed.

Construction Monitor uses software to add value to your business. Our building permit information will be presorted to your specifications. This saves you research time and provides ideas for marketing development as well as potential alliances.

There’s no better time than now. Contact Construction Monitor.

*This quote has been attributed to Tariq Sami Abdelhamid, Michigan State University.
Our blog is for informational purposes only. We don’t endorse nor recommend any software brand.

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