LCI Resource to Lean On

Posted on August 6, 2010

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A customer must occasionally venture into an industry about which they know very little and make the best purchase possible. Even with so many resources available, time is a limiting factor to knowing the past, current and future trends and best practices surrounding the purchase-du-jour. A fully-educated consumer makes an informed purchase for maximum utility.

As an owner preparing for a building project, possibly for the first time or at least for the first time in the past five years or more, lean methods are a something to get to know more about. Lean also is generally recognized as a best practice, so to speak, and has been incorporated in spirit, if not parts and pieces, in many construction industry concerns, including Integrated Project Delivery. Yet, it can be tricky converting lean principles, based on manufacturing processes, to construction.

For those who want to know the basics, the Lean Construction Institute (LCI) is a good resource. LCI is what everyone wants when they go to an industry website: pertinent and easily accessible information written so anyone can understand. For neophytes, a glossary; for those with more time and interest, readings and research—including white papers on topics pertinent to all projects. Applying the knowledge is a whole other challenge, however.

No one wants to buy a product or service and find out they could have better tailored their buy to gain more for less, more bells and whistles, even more leading technology, or whatever the buyer finds valuable. With architects and contractors throwing around lean terminology, it can be intimidating and confusing. We want to feel comfortable with a basic knowledge of current issues, comfortable enough to know we are not being taken, and can spend our guarded money with confidence. The Lean Construction Institute provides that for lean scholars.

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Posted in: Lean Design