When lean principles were first introduced to the construction industry five years ago, project managers raced to implement the production method. The internet was rife with content about how to easily overhaul a jobsite and transform it into the picture of efficiency.
However, the number of lean construction critics have multiplied significantly in recent months. They claim concepts are near impossible to implement or, even worse, automation eliminates the need for deliberate human processes. These ideas are misleading. Lean principles are still valid for a few key reasons.
1. Lean involves seeing things from the customer’s point of view
One of the defining principles of lean construction is understanding value from the customer’s point of view. The concept encourages stakeholders, including the owner, contractor and supplier, to come together during the early planning stage of the project. The significant level of trust created from this exercise can’t be replicated by machinery. It involves compassion, collaboration and a sense of creativity that artificial intelligence is yet to possess. Moreover, the rapport gained through this service-oriented exercise is worth the time investment.
Reprinted courtesy of Kevin Clary, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.