LCI Update

December 4, 2014

Sustaining Sponsors


Words of Wisdom

From: The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker, 2004, p. 114.
Toyota managers and employees use the Japanese term muda when they talk about waste and eliminating muda is the focus of lean manufacturing efforts. But two other M's are just as important…muda—Non-value-added…includes the eight wastes. Mura—overburdening people or equipment…results in safety and quality problems. Mura—Unevenness. You can view this as the resolution of the other two M's. Unevenness results from an irregular production schedule or fluctuating production volumes due to internal problems, like downtime or missing parts or defects. muda will be a result of mura.


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LCI Welcomes Our New Members!

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Upcoming Events

December 10th
Lean Turnaround & Who is the Real Last Planner
(Central Florida CoP)

January 09th
Target Value Design with Dave Umstot

January 21st
Transforming a Company Culture with Lean Buy-In
(Arizona CoP)


View all events

COAA Conference Recap

Having just returned from the 20th anniversary conference in Nashville of the Construction Owners Association of America, we can report that the level of interest and awareness of Lean design and construction by COAA's members (mostly drawn from public and institutional owner organizations, as well as numerous healthcare groups) is on the rise, judging from both the conference topics and recent articles in COAA's national magazine (see below). Numerous presentations referenced Lean as a primary or significant aspect of their content, notably a talk by Mr. Adrian Toovey entitled: Lean is also for Owners: Intel's Journey, in which Intel's approach to addressing eight wastes was outlined. (Thanks to our Intel board member, John Pemberton, for sponsoring this outstanding talk.) Some "Collaboration Carousel" breakout sessions in which attendees could self-select topics to explore also featured discussion of Lean techniques, and these were well attended. Our public owner member group, the Tennessee General Services Division (also active as COAA member), represented by division head Bob Oglesby, offered a welcome address that mentioned the importance of Lean to his organization. The conference subtitle was "Learn/Lead/Collaborate/Celebrate," and as reflected above, Lean-related discussion helped support a significant portion of the "collaboration" theme.

COAA presents award for Lean project

The Fall/Winter COAA national magazine edition provides an extensive write-up of a project that recently won COAA's Project Leadership Silver Award: the University of Washington's Odegaard Undergraduate Library Renovation. This CM at-Risk project was able to utilize Lean tools and techniques despite the challenges of having to operate in a very constrained state regulatory environment for construction procurement. Project manager Steve Tatje was determined to implement as much of an IPD-like approach to project delivery as possible. To that end, he instituted two key precepts: the project would be done in an atmosphere of trust and collaboration among all parties; and project scope would be closely managed, with little tolerance for scope changes. The GC chosen was LCI member firm Mortenson Construction, whose commitment to Lean is embodied in the company's strategic plan. Working with "IPD-ish" contracts language that met the constraints of public works law and university policy, the project ultimately won the silver award based on success in cost, schedule and quality. What were key elements to its success? Creating the culture of collaboration prior to the design phase, and nurturing it throughout the delivery process, was one. Mortenson also took the lead in a pull-planning exercise that ensured critical design, permitting and procurement functions occurred on schedule in the summer 2012 closure period. On balance, this was a great testimonial to Lean in a national magazine targeting the COAA owner community.

Safety and Lean

Those who attended the recent annual Congress will recall remarks by Will Lichtig, vice chairman of our board, who emphasized LCI's commitment to an enhanced focus on safety in our programs looking towards 2015. More and more academic sources also are citing collaboration and other Lean-emphasized techniques as having positive effects on project safety. The COAA Fall/Winter magazine includes the article Prevention through Design (PtD), based on research work by professors T. Michael Toole and John Gambatese (from Bucknell and Oregon state universities, respectively). Their research indicates that using Design Build or IPD better enables PtD than does design-bid-build, and this helps realize significant safety benefits through design/construction collaboration, qualifications-based contracting, and negotiated or cost-plus contracting (vs. low-bid) by ensuring safety management expenses are maintained in the plan and budget. Certainly many Lean practitioners in public institution projects across the country would agree.

Another academic ratification of the positive effects of Lean on safety comes from a recent paper in the International Journal of Construction Education and Research (Oct-Dec 2014) by Prof. Somick Ghosh, Ph.D., of the University of Oklahoma. He finds in pertinent part that, "…increased interactions among the [project] participants enable them to better understand and control work assignments, minimizing the chances of unexpected events leading to accidents. A Formal Daily Huddle Meeting (FDHM) is one such tool…FDHM has been utilized extensively in the projects adopting lean as one of the tools, and has been found to be effective in improving coordination and interaction among project participants."

Calling all IPD projects:

A new Michigan State University research project being conducted with NSF funding seeks to answer a question of broad interest to our community: How do communication behaviors and structures in AEC project teams contribute to the effective implementation of IPD? The study is designed to assess Integrated Project Delivery implementation as an innovation by surveying those involved in IPD projects. The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete and may be found at Participants will receive a copy of the compilation of survey findings when available.

Save the Date!!!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: June 17-18, 2015 will be the dates of LCI's next national Design Forum meeting, which we will reprise in Chicago next year. The planning team just held its first meeting, and resolved to repeat the successful format of last year's session, in which a half-day of afternoon instruction on Lean in Design is coupled with a subsequent full-day session on implementing Lean in both client services and internal firm practices.

CoP Corner

December 10, 2014 the LCI Central Florida CoP will be presenting "Lean Turnaround & Who is the Real Last Planner." Ted Angelo, the Executive VP from Grunau Company will be going over highlights from the 16th Annual LCI Congress and going over comments from Art Byrne, author of The Lean Turnaround. The second part of the meeting will consist of an activity regarding "Who really is the Last Planner"? You will understand how this Lean Tool is used in various situations whether it is used by all trades, a single trade or design team. You will participate in developing your own Planner. Don't miss the opportunity to learn by doing! Click here to register

January 9, 2014 the webinar, Target Value Design, with Dave Umstot, will be presented for the second time. The webinar will provide an overview of why owners are adopting Target Value Design, the variants the owners are using and closing with experience, metrics and lessons learned. Click here to register


Check out the LCI calendar of events for more CoP events happening in your area!

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Dan C. Heinemeier, CAE
Executive Director

Ph: (703) 387-3048 · @:

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