Lean construction is rapidly taking over, and it’s important to understand its finer points if you want to progress in the business faster than your competitors. There are many points that can be attributed to the field, but in general, it can be summarized to a few important tenets that you need to make sure you’re following as much as possible.
1. Remove waste
Lean is concerned with removing waste from every aspect of your work. It makes sense that this finds an active presence in the context of Lean construction as well. There are many forms of waste in construction work – delivery times, improper inventory organization, defects, and spending too much work on a certain part of the final job. It’s important to identify the ones that are particularly problematic for your own work and remove them as effectively as possible.
2. Define a clear workflow
The less your workers have to think about the process, the better this will reflect on your overall productivity. Defining your workflow as clearly as possible is obviously important for this, and you will want to make sure that every single step of the job is outlined without ambiguity. Your workers will also appreciate the extra thought being put into navigating them around a complex environment.
3. Strive for continuous improvement
Never settle for your current status quo. If things can be improved, then seek out those improvements and realize them. It’s important to remember that sometimes the opportunity to make things better is not as obvious as it should be, and you will need a lot of experience with your field of work in order to make adequate decisions in this regard. However, once you’ve built up that level of knowledge, you will start to see those opportunities with some degree of intuition and they will start becoming more and more obvious.
4. Utilize talent appropriately
It’s not rare to see talent being utilized far below its potential in a construction company. This is becoming a more and more common problem as skillsets are being broadened and disciplines cross over to each other, and a good construction company has to always make sure that its workers’ skills are applied properly wherever they can be. There are usually some more interesting opportunities to put someone’s abilities to good work, but you have to seek those out and talk to your people to know what everyone is actually capable of.
5. Deliver true value to the customer
That one should be obvious for any kind of business, but construction work seems to predispose people to forgetting it for some reason. It’s important to always prioritize your customer above everything else, and ensure that your work actually creates value for them. It’s sometimes hard to define exactly what value is to a particular customer, which makes it important to communicate with them as effectively as possible.
6. Get constant feedback
This brings us to another important point – you need to get as much feedback as possible throughout the project. Sometimes your client will not indicate that anything is wrong, so you will have to prompt them as much as possible. Of course, this might sometimes become a bit too much for the client, so make sure that you control the flow of communication to prevent issues like this from arising. It’s best to set up some dedicated channel for feedback so that everything flows in a standardized manner, as this can prevent a good deal of possible problems.
7. Standardize everything
And this leads us to perhaps the most important point in the whole discussion. If you strive to keep every aspect of your work standardized, this will go a long way towards preventing problems and ensuring that you know how to deal with a troublesome situation when it actually arises. That’s because you will already have a good sense of where the problem could originate, as you will see what parts of the standardization process have been violated.