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....

Lean Principle - Pulling vs. Pushing and the Four Most Powerful Words for Improving Productivity
“What do you need?” are the four most powerful words for improving productivity, developing a team, and building engagement. "Pull-Planning" can be used way beyond building a project. The principle is the foundation for many aspects of life and business.
Continuous Improvement: Plan, Do, Check, and Act (PDCA)
Improving productivity in construction is exceptionally challenging. It must be embraced as a journey and not a destination. It must be made into a game so that people clearly see what winning looks like and fall in love with the process.
The Six Pillars of Task Productivity in the Field
Contractors can guarantee labor productivity on their projects by leading their project teams to focus relentlessly on ensuring that these 6 Pillars of Productivity are supporting each task on the job site.