Eliminate waste, increase productivity - A quick guide to Lean practices for construction professionals

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Did you know that 80% of the people who deliver on time stick to their budget?

Written by LetsBuild

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The construction site is where the money is being made or lost. As a project manager or site foreman, you should at all times have a detailed overview of everything that is happening there. That’s the only way to track change and react to critical issues on time to keep the heartbeat of your project stable.

Construction surveys show that if you get to deliver small tasks at least 80% on schedule and up to quality, you will eventually manage to deliver the entire project on time and without going over budget.

Free ebook: Why WhatsApp and Excel aren’t enough for running complex construction projects

That’s why if you are a project manager, it is your responsibility to break down the master plan into smaller, manageable blocks so that you can create and maintain a regular rhythm to your project.

How can you achieve this? By making the programme available to your teams in the cloud using a single source of truth. Many project managers structure team communication on apps that are not made for construction.

Their programme is on a big paper chart, their detailed plans on MS project, the document approvals on several email threads, random updates pop up on WhatsApp, reports on Excel, and that one important thing they can’t remember in a phone call with a guy whose name they forget. Like that, it’s impossible to keep track of what’s happening on site because data has no value when it’s not linked properly.

Read more: I use MS Project. Why would I want to use something else?

Raul Hernandez, VP of Business Development, at Grupo Provivienda understands that well. After connecting his on-site teams with each other and with the project information in a single data source on the cloud, he was able to reduce the time needed for building a house from 330 to 60 days and save up to 15% more on production costs (e.g. material inventory).

“The thing that changed it was a live programme that helped us avoid downtime between activities,” explains Raul A. Hernandez Sosa.

At the same time Matt Ghinn, Project Director at VolkerFitzpatrick, strongly believed that planning is king. If he delivers on time, he will stay on budget. In other words, he had to complete as many tasks as possible within a certain time frame.

Like that, he increased on-site completion from 60% to 85% and went from 5 weeks behind schedule to on time in 3 months. How did he do that? By implementing 3 secrets:

  • moving the schedule to the cloud, as he had already done with his documents.
  • replacing WhatsApp, Excel, and MS Project that were holding his projects behind.
  • giving all his teams access to the same schedule to avoid tedious emails, phone calls, or text messages.

“We’re not phoning out, we are not using WhatsApp groups, we’re not sending emails. The programme is just live, it’s there and all data from the site is captured,” says Matt Ghinn.

If you also believe that planning is king and want to reap the same benefits as Matt, download our free ebook here.