Lean for Young Professionals

Building awareness of Lean among students and young professionals

Lean design and construction principles are disrupting our industry; however, many students and young professionals are not made aware of Lean design and construction tools such as the Last Planner System®™ until they enter the workforce.

By learning to apply Lean to design and construction practices, students and young professionals can set themselves apart from the competition as more and more companies recognize the advantage Lean teams bring to project delivery.

The content below is meant to introduce up and coming Lean practitioners to Lean so that they can hit the ground running with a Lean mindset when they enter the workforce.

Here’s what others are saying about Lean!

The biggest impact I’ve seen through my career is the reduction of waste. I ran student organizations in college with the mentality of let’s try it and if it doesn’t work, we can try something else. Through Lean learning sessions and the LCI books, I’ve learned processes I can use to eliminate the easier spotted forms of waste and come away with valuable courses of action to attempt. Eliminating waste has increased my productivity time at work and allowed my 60-hour weeks to go to 45- to 50-hour weeks.”

– McKenzie Watson, previous University of South Florida-Tampa student now working as a Project Manager at AECOM

Why Lean design and construction?

Several research studies were conducted to identify why projects excel, and the results show a significant correlation between projects with a high Lean intensity and an increased likelihood of being completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

LCI Lean Leader mission and goals

The LCI Lean Leaders launched in 2017 to support and expand LCI’s mission to transform the built environment by building awareness of Lean design and construction practices among students and young professionals. By cultivating a groundswell of up-and-coming practitioners with a knowledge base of Lean, companies will be able to spend less resources on training and more on continuously improving processes and employee experiences.

The 2019 Lean Leader goals include:

  • Supporting the formation of student chapters focused on Lean design and construction at two universities by providing speakers and interactive presentations;
  • Increasing student attendance at LCI Communities of Practice (CoPs);
  • Scheduling and deliver five presentations at university campuses; and
  • Spreading Lean practices and tools through student competitions.

If you would like more information or are interested in bringing a Lean presentation to your university, email Shannyn Heyer, [email protected].

LCI Student Membership

Join LCI as a student member to access Lean resources and to receive discounts to LCI national events such as the LCI Congress and Lean in Design Forum or regional events at LCI Communities of Practice (CoPs) located across the U.S.


  1. Discounts on seminars, fora, webinars, workshops, AND Congress (non-transferable)*
  2. Access to all CoP events and benefits at a discounted rate (non-transferable)*
  3. Access to the Lean Construction Journal
  4. Permission to use LCI materials for research/projects (excludes teaching permission)

** Must be a full-time student at an accredited college or university. Membership subject to approval by LCI. Student members cannot attend any functions listed as corporate members only.

Get connected to the Lean community

Expanding a professional network in the Lean design and construction community can lead to a successful entrance to the workforce! To build a Lean knowledge base, get connected with a local LCI Community of Practice (CoP) and attend events such as Lean Coffees and interactive workshops with regional practitioners. Find resources such as the set of 12 videos on key Lean concepts and the Lean glossary to get started with Lean!

Fill out this brief form if you are interested in getting more involved and learning more about the Lean design and construction community. Once you submit the form, someone at LCI will reach out with next steps and to connect you with a local university faculty member, an LCI Community of Practice (CoP), or an LCI member company implementing Lean. Thank you for your interest!

To keep up with learning and networking opportunities with LCI and the Lean community, create a My LCI profile! Then, follow LCI on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube to join the conversation.