When you think about optimized construction practices, you think about one of the main things that encompass a well-executed project: value. Great value means lower costs and construction times, and higher levels of productivity and efficiency.
As such, value is one of the key things to look out for - whether you work in the construction industry or would like to employ the right practices in your own project. Of course, you cannot achieve greater value without optimizing the process. This is where lean construction comes in.
Lean construction is all about minimizing waste: waste of time, waste of money, waste of resources, and waste of effort. Of course, all four of these aspects of construction are inextricably linked to value. Lean construction lends itself to ‘lean thinking’. This is a mindset that encompasses dedication to the implementation of these four aspects. This information can be collected by using employee time tracking to see where your deficiencies lie.
In this article, we will explore the links between lean and delivering greater value. This includes how it is done, what the underlying principles are, and all the benefits thereof. Keep reading to find out more about how lean thinking can result in greater value on your construction projects.
How Lean Construction Delivers Great Value
Lean identifies value from the get-go
When we think of value, we immediately think about the worth that the outcome of a project demonstrates. How do we ensure that labor, equipment, and materials are all optimized to produce the best results?
However, lean thinking is also about asking not only what needs to be done, but why. Essentially, greater value stems from actually gaining knowledge on expectations. This includes truly understanding the project from the point of view of the customer. Only once you do this can you begin to provide helpful advice and define the necessary steps for action.
Once you know exactly what the customer wants, you can begin to implement all of the processes necessary to achieve that value. Lean construction does this by value stream mapping. This takes a service on the journey from request to optimized delivery by providing better risk management.
Lean identifies, analyzes, and eliminates waste
The next step that lean construction takes toward delivering greater value is to try to eliminate waste on every level of the construction project. This links with the first step of identifying value. You cannot decide what would be considered a waste without first defining what the outcome can and should be.
Lean thinking optimizes value by making sure that waste is either eliminated or at least minimized to the best of the project’s ability. At its core, lean thinking is all about this elimination of waste. It achieves this through the creation of new opportunities that do not diminish the value of the work.
The best way to create these new opportunities is to engage in a process of continuous improvement. The lean construction philosophy demonstrates a belief that continuous improvement is both possible and necessary.
Essentially, by engaging in continuous improvement, the project not only improves upon itself but also on future projects. What to do in order to allow for continuous improvement is simple:
constantly review the value expectations of the customer
and identify ways to achieve this value in such a way through which you can eliminate waste.
This way, you can make sure that you can meet or exceed the value that the customer expects. It may seem like an obvious principle to adhere to - and it is. However, lean thinking and practices are the best ways to optimize and emphasize this.
The Underlying Principles Behind Value In Lean Construction
These are some of the underlying principles behind lean construction that can contribute towards overall value delivery:
The elimination of waste. As we have already mentioned, eliminating or minimizing waste means removing anything that does not add value to the customer. These include over-production, unnecessary
transportation, inventory, motion, defects, over-processing, and waiting.
A focus on quality. Of course, building quality into your work will always result in added value in the delivery of it. This seems simple, but can often be executed in the wrong way. But, lean principles also emphasize standardization of processes. By following set standards and improving them, you can ensure you deliver quality projects.
Knowledge creation. Both creating as well as documenting and retaining the knowledge gained through lean construction principles can allow for greater value.
Fast delivery. Putting good value into the hands of your customers as quickly as possible is something that everyone wants to be able to achieve. Lean thinking helps you to offer fast delivery that doesn’t skimp on quality or value.
Achieving flow of work processes through communication. Reliability and predictability will always result in greater value. As such, another key principle behind adding this kind of value is clarity of communication, which leads to the flow of work processes. Using helpful platforms like SkillSignal can help you with this.
The Benefits Of Lean Thinking
It is clear that lean thinking and applying lean principles can add value to any construction industry project. Of course, the benefits of adding value are numerous.
It does not only result in customer satisfaction and continuous support. But, it also means saving time and money on the part of the construction company too. It enables you to execute projects with greater ease, allowing efficiency, safety management and productivity to increase exponentially.
As such, an application of lean thinking can truly yield strong business benefits and make firms far more competitive.
Delivering great value is the name of the game for most construction industry firms. Providing value truly encompasses everything that these firms are about. This includes waste elimination, knowledge creation, and the growth of the business as a whole.
With SkillSignal’s construction management software, you can start using lean construction techniques today. It helps you to simplify risk management, safety and compliance, and efficiency in your construction projects. With our easy-to-use application, you can start using lean construction principles right away. It is a time tracking app, site safety app, and management software all in one.
Overall, lean and delivering greater value go hand in hand, and SkillSignal can help you to capitalize on this by using all they have to offer.