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.
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.