Lean at Landis – A Commitment to Continuous Improvement
By Tom Weathers and Jeremy Atkinson
Lean awareness and implementation is growing, which is great news for the design and construction industry. Lean strategies have been around for decades and continue to evolve as a framework for better collaboration and communication throughout the life of a building project. Dodge Data & Analytics highlights the benefits of Lean for achieving more predictable outcomes in terms of cost and scheduling. Teams become more effective at collaboratively managing risks and challenges, resources are used more efficiently, and rework is minimized - all of which leads to safer job sites and increased satisfaction of stakeholders.
Lean, at its best, is embodied in a company's culture and operating procedures while being coupled with a relentless commitment to continuous improvement. Similar to the safety revolution that transformed job sites in recent decades, adopting a Lean mindset requires a focus on change management. The Lean Construction Institute (LCI) excels at providing techniques, training, and peer-led knowledge sharing to support this change for design and construction teams throughout the United States.
LCI's techniques can feel familiar, reminiscent of the best behaviors and practices of a high-performing team, but with a rigor that allows teams to become "resiliently efficient," says Jeremy Atkinson, Landis PM. The Last Planner System is one of the most popular Lean techniques, increasingly leveraged by Landis project teams. Equally important to Landis and other lean practitioners is the Deming/Shewhart cycle, more commonly referred to as the "Plan, Do, Check, Adjust" cycle for continuous improvement. Our industry relies on being doers, so the first two steps are commonplace. LCI's collaboration techniques help foster the full cycle, leveraging the "check" and "adjust" steps to support robust learning and improvements for teams at all stages of a project.