Every project manager must strike a balance between delivering projects on time, staying on budget, and preventing loss of quality. In the construction sector, this balance is even more precarious than usual. Many and very diverse stakeholders are involved, projects are planned over the long term, and almost all project activities are co-dependent. Do you want to ensure high quality on time and, at the same time, provide added value for your customers? If you use the lean method as a reference, it is possible.
In recent years this working method has become very popular in the construction industry, and the diffusion of similar principles such as the Building Information Model (BIM), the 5S Methodology, or the Last Planner System it’s a test. The benefits derived from the application of the lean construction method are:
- Added value for the customer.
- A better understanding of their working methods.
It’s basically about maximizing customer value by making the best use of available resources.
Create Value For Customers
Maintaining good relationships with stakeholders must be a priority if yours is a customer-centric approach. A project is about more than careful planning and effective execution: it’s also about getting to know your customers in depth. Don’t focus on what your customer wants – instead, think about the reasons behind their needs and wants. If you can figure out how to understand your customers, you can provide personalized recommendations and manage their expectations.
Ensure a smooth communication flow by creating internal and external reports containing information on all aspects – from the status of each activity to the materials used. Keeping your stakeholders informed regularly will drastically reduce the number of unnecessary emails and phone calls. It will enable you to build and maintain good relationships with everyone involved.
A Flexible Working Method
Planning everything in detail may seem like a great way to work, but it’s not. Instead, flexible planning is required: define general objectives and follow a logical order for subsequent and consequent activities without getting lost in detail. Flexibility offers you a significant advantage: the ability to modify projects if necessary. The lean construction method helps you to optimize processes continuously. Repeating and improving each step of the method can reduce redundant and unnecessary work.
You can improve your customers’ experience through accurate and consistent communication. Arguments between colleagues can also be avoided by establishing clear rules or guidelines. A flexible working method and good communication go hand in hand. By repeating the steps of your lean method, you will be able to evaluate the planning, materials, and workforce better. And at the same time, you will encourage the contribution of your colleagues. When your employees start to actively think about how to solve possible problems and find solutions, there is a good chance that they will take on more responsibility and devote more intense effort to completing specific tasks.
Improve Your Project Management Skills
The lean method leads you to evaluate yourself constantly. Through a critical and flexible approach, you can make changes to projects in progress to obtain the best possible result, thus finding new ways to consolidate your skills while avoiding waste. Each project is unique and requires a specific approach. However, some general guidelines can improve your understanding of the processes and strengthen communication between stakeholders, allowing all subjects to remain on the same wavelength.
Only implement lean project management by analyzing the expectations of all parties involved. Creating value for stakeholders should be the prerogative for the success of a building project. The different aspects of the lean manufacturing method translate into value – not only for your company but also for your customers: less waste, lower expenses, higher quality, greater flexibility, more accurate estimates, wider involvement, and greater customer satisfaction. It is easy to convince construction companies of the benefits of the lean method.
Also Read: The CRM Process And Why It Matters: A Guide