Lean Processes & Methodologies for Design & Construction Scheduling & Planning
Cliff Moser, Stanford Healthcare Design and Construction
Facility Owners are challenged by the complexity of master scheduling a large capital programs construction project. These master schedules result in multi-organizational management of planning process that tests the builder’s team and obscure the owner’s view of construction progress. Hospital construction in California is further complicated by state mandated design and inspection services.
This master construction schedule, developed by the general contractor or construction manager, is used to demonstrate understanding of the owner’s requirements, and to procure and execute the project scope. By design it is too high level to use for the management of day-to-day execution of the work.
As owners, our experience shows that lean tools can be used to break down the requirements shown in the master construction schedule into deliverable components. These tools and processes bring transparency and engagement into day to day planning while improving design and construction team effectiveness. We used the Last Planner System® as a pull-planning methodology to leverage all available team knowledge, including owner and design team experience and coordinate suppliers and trade contractors. Last Planner promotes the ability to add design changes and incorporate new work into the project (like technology changes). Work can be rapidly re-planned, adding transparency and commitment, while removing waste from traditional construction processes.
Furthermore, owners who incorporate lean processes during construction are actively building a lean culture into its capital programs processes to achieve similar benefits and return on investment seen in implementation of lean throughout their operational systems. This includes facility operations, and clinical and patient care.
A video of what we are doing on the New Stanford Hospital on Stanford’s Palo Alto’s campus is shown below: