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3rd Edition   

The topics for this edition are:
  • Lean Integrated Project Delivery - The Tools of the Trade - Part 1 
  • The 8th Type of Waste in Lean Construction

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Lean Integrated Project Delivery (LIPD) -

The Tools of the Trade

Lean Integrated Project Delivery contains a series of Lean Construction tools designed to "Lean" the project out from bid to completion 

by Mike Schopp

Design firms and construction contractors are frequently falling short of client expectations.

  • "According to a survey of more than 100 owners in public and private sectors, the majority identified incomplete drawings and poor planning as the primary culprits for cost overruns. About 80% of the respondents reported that the quality of design documents has declined to the point that subcontractors are completing the design through shop drawings." (Electrical Construction & Maintenance, Nov., 2004)

Lean Integrated Project Delivery (LIPD) is an emerging method to improve project performance and customer satisfaction. The key focus is to eliminate activities that do not add value to the project as defined by the end customer. Early involvement of key resources enables deep collaboration throughout the project. Relational contracts are employed where risks and rewards are shared with owners and the major project participants.


Following are brief descriptions of tools Lean Integrated projects use to improve project performance.


Building Information Modeling (BIMTM ): Recent products from Autodesk have brought extensive 3D facility modeling capabilities to an affordable level.  "BIM" is an integrated process that vastly improves project understanding and allows for predictable outcomes. This visibility enables all project team members to stay coordinated, improve accuracy, reduce waste, and make informed decisions earlier in the process-helping to ensure the project's success."   usa.autodesk.com


Co-Location: Go to the Gemba is a Japanese term meaning "the actual place" or "the
real place" the work is being done. A common 'project office' is an excellent way to
facilitate effective collaboration. The location is typically at the main design firm's office initially, and then transitions to the construction site. Workspace orientation should be very open to a large, central area. Large whiteboards are placed in high traffic areas. These will be used during planning activities and to display frequently updated project status summaries. Co-location allows for frequent "stand-up" brief status updates and one on one discussions with team members.

Co-location Office

Co-Location Office

Novel Scheduling Methods:   The crown jewel of the Lean Integrated Project Delivery approach is the Last PlannerTM methodology developed by the Lean Construction Institute. 


The five steps of the communication system known as the Last Planner are:


1)      Pull Planning - the general plan of what should be accomplished.

2)      Make Ready Planning - a 6-8 week look ahead so roadblocks and constraints can be identified in advance.

3)      Weekly Work Planning - a specific plan of what will be done.

4)      Daily Commitment Management (also called a Daily Huddle) - what we committed to versus what got done.

5)      Learning/Continuous Improvement - how can we do the next project better?


A stable, steady flow of well planned communication and work is the primary objective. This approach requires that those closest to the work develop the weekly schedule. Verbal commitments are made in a trusting environment where planners have the right to say "No".  The key metric becomes the Planned Percent Complete (PPC) for tasks on the weekly schedule. Many desired project results such as cost reductions, schedule achievement, worker productivity, and safety performance track directly with PPC. 


Prefabrication: Early involvement of designers and contractors increases opportunities for prefabrication. Well planned work away from the facility being built offers several project cost and time reduction possibilities. Examples include better productivity and safety as craft workers can complete most tasks at ground level and time compression if prefabricated sections of supports, piping, ductwork, and conduit can be set in place while the building is being erected. Prefabrication can also reduce the number of workers on site, often beneficial when working in congested areas. The advantages of prefabrication must be balanced by module packaging and transportation costs to the facility.


The next newsletter will cover the LIPD tools of Target Value Design and Choosing by Advantages.

The 8th Type of Waste
in Lean Construction -
Underutilized Human Resources
For American companies this is our largest form of waste.
by Ted Angelo 

Many of you are aware of the eight types of wastes in business:


  1. Scrap/Rework/Defects
  2. Material Handling/Transportation
  3. Motion
  4. Waiting Time/Delays
  5. Inventory
  6. Overproduction
  7. Overprocessing
  8. Underutilized Human Resources

The last but not least, Underutilized Human Resources, is where I will focus my comments. Working with teams over the years, it has become very apparent how, given the chance to be heard, many individuals came forward with great ideas that were implemented.


One example that comes to mind is our Service group which consisted of about 10 people. The team's objective was to look at the entire operations of the Service department, including all the processes in which documents were filed and retrieved. Specifically, they were to look at reducing the number of physical steps by 50%. This would require physically rearranging the current space layout.


Service Meeting


Meetings were usually held weekly for about an hour. At the close of one meeting, the team members' assignment was to develop a layout to address the reduction in steps.  A woman from Administration within the group went home and on Saturday morning at her kitchen table, began to lay out what she thought would be best for everyone, including the Sales and Administration personnel within the group. Since we are contractors and have a good handle on how things should be arranged, you can appreciate there was a great variety of ideas. However, after all the ideas were presented and the team voted on which new layout to use ... you guessed it, the Administration person's layout was used.


Whenever I give a tour of our facilities, I always stop at her desk and explain to the visitors how she was intimately involved in the process. Since that team project, this person has helped in streamlining other operations in our branch offices. It is truly amazing what resources you already have but don't realize, unless you create an environment that allows them to express themselves with no fear of ridicule, just open, honest dialog.



This Lean newsletter is the result of the collaboration of three organizations:
Grunau Company
Ted Angelo, Executive Vice President

Creative Project Services LLC
Mike Schopp, Project Management

WCM Associates LLC
Larry Rubrich, President

Please give us feedback with your thoughts and ideas for this newsletter!
Integrated Project Delivery is a Trademark of Westbrook Commercial Services
Last Planner is a Trademark of the Lean Construction Institute
Larry Rubrich
WCM Associates LLC
2010 WCM Associates
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