Lean Principle - Understanding Lean Construciton

Lean is a body of knowledge dating back hundreds of years focused on sustainably growing an organization.

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During the last 20 years the construction industry has been rapidly adopting some of these tools to improve productivity.  

Field Productivity: What is Lean Construction? Maximize customer value while minimizing waste by leveraging people.

Major advancements were made by Henry Ford and during WWII with the Training Within Industry (TWI) program.  

Toyota made major contributions to the body of knowledge from 1948-1975

The term “lean” was only coined 30 years ago in 1988 by John Krafcik with Greg Howell and Glen Ballard starting to apply the concepts to construction around 1995.  


The core concept of lean is maximizing customer value by minimizing waste and leveraging people.  

The book Lean for Dummies elegantly defines value-add to the customer as having to meet 3 criteria:  

  1. The customer must be willing to pay for it.
  2. It must transform the raw materials (inputs) in some way.
  3. It must be done correctly the first time.

Learn to identify and eliminate your waste

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Labor Productivity
Field labor is the often the biggest variable on a construction project - making it the biggest risk and opportunity....

Labor Productivity
Field labor is the often the biggest variable on a construction project - making it the biggest risk and opportunity....

Two Second Lean
Changing the behaviors in your organization to focus on continuous improvement is one of the most challenging and rewarding things contractors can do. Start with just getting you team identifying waste then taking the initiative to eliminate it.
Cash Flow and the 5Cs of Credit - Collateral
The 4th of the 5Cs of Credit is how much and what type of collateral the contractor will put up as a guarantee. The collateral requirements change significantly as contractors grow.
A Business Exists to Serve a Customer
Without satisfied and growing customers, nothing else a contractor does will matter. Few things are more profitable for contractors than recurring work negotiated with a select group of project owners.