One of the ways we can bring increased value to our clients and customers is through the implementation of Lean methodologies on our projects, which focuses on eliminating waste in our processes and enhancing collaboration among team members. The implementation of Lean methodologies in the construction industry is growing in popularity and use – and Skanska is leading the charge.
Lean methodologies can be used throughout a project’s lifetime, from the earliest design phases through to occupancy, managing the process with minimum cost and maximum value.
“We use Lean methodologies to identify and respond to our customer concerns and goals,” says Carmen Jordan, Lean Management Director for Skanska USA Building’s Seattle office and vice-chair of the National Lean Committee. “We focus on the end goal and how we can work together as a team to get there in the most efficient way possible, thereby spending less time on processes and procedures.”
At the recently held Lean Construction Institute Congress, an annual gathering of thought leaders, consultants, academics, CM firms, subcontractors, design firms and clients from around the world, participants shared best practices in the spirit of industry-wide collaboration and continuous improvement.
As a gold sponsor of the event, Skanska had the opportunity to present Skanska’s Lean journey: how Skanska built on the grassroots efforts of several of its offices to deliver value to customers by utilizing Lean practices to, today, having a national lean strategy that is core to Skanska’s business. Michael Zeppieri, Skanska Director of VDC Services and vice-chair of the National Lean Committee, and Rebecca Jablonowski explained how, ultimately, Skanska will encourage creative, collaborative thinking among all employees and promote a continuous effort to eliminate waste throughout our operations.
“What was most insightful was hearing how firms are striking the balance of elevating best practices developed through grassroots efforts at local offices, like our Rapid Process Improvement Workshops (RPIW) developed in Seattle, and introducing them in a way such that other offices are receptive to them, particularly offices experiencing Lean for the first time,” said Zeppieri. “There was a definite focus on the cultural aspect of Lean transformation and it was encouraging to see that – relative to our competition – Skanska is right where it needs to be.”
What does the future of Lean hold for Skanska?
“The Executive Leadership Team has chartered formation of a national Lean Committee within Skanska to help spread the Lean culture, including a rollout of Basic Lean Training and a platform for sharing best practices,” says Jordan. “Once people experience the powerful effects of implementing Lean methodologies, the more they get excited and want to use it. We’ve seen a very positive response.”