Lean Principle - Value Stream

A contractor’s value stream is every step required to take raw materials and information then deliver a completed project to the waiting hands of a customer.

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A deep understanding of this value stream at various levels of detail down to actual installation steps is the foundation upon which major productivity improvements can be made.  

Field Productivity: Lean Principle - Value Stream.

As an example consider every step required to put lighting in a conference room - these are just the highlights:  

  • Initial design requirements
  • Quotes from distributor for estimating
  • Submittals and approvals
  • Ordering, tracking and receiving
  • Moving around jobsite to work area
  • Installation
  • Inspection
  • Training of the customer
  • Punch list

This is the highest level and if you mapped out each of those in another 5-25 steps you would start to see a clear picture of what it really takes to install a light fixture in a conference room.  

Start at the highest level - what can be cut out, reduced or sequenced differently?  

Look at the details - can you use 2 screws instead of 4?  50% cost savings at that step! 

Remember that the customer just wants light - could a skylight or more windows reduce the lighting need at the design stage?  


Labor Productivity Workshop


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....

Impacted Productivity - Stacking of Trades and Installation Efficiency
Each craftsperson needs about 200 usable square feet for a productive installation. This assumption is included in production units used to estimate and budget projects. Having less than that can impact productivity up to 50%.
Lean Principle - People First (Then Process and Tools)
To optimize productivity, a contractor must focus on their people first, then processes and tools including technology as an integrated management system with a hierarchy. This is not a linear process: S.M.A.R.T. Experiments + Continuous Improvement.
Setting Standards and the Feedback Loop
Set the standard. Train to the standard. Certify to the standard. Plan the work to the standard. Execute to the plan and the standard. Check against the standard. Make prioritized improvements to the standard, training, planning, and execution.