Let’s face it: Delivering complex projects on time and within budget is hard to accomplish. When working in an industry where every project is as unique and involves as many different (sub-)contractors as in the AEC industry it is even harder. And if on top of this you are forced to make the most out of old-fashion software tools or even simply pen and paper – instead of using state-of-the-art technology to keep track of everything that is happening simultaneously, it might be outright impossible.
Lean Construction is positioned to be “the next big thing” in the AEC industry, having been talked about at multiple conferences, trade fairs and other events in recent years. Originally developed by car manufacturers, the lean way of doing things aims at improving communication and coordination between project partners, enabling them to deliver the most complex projects successfully and efficiently. Nowadays, lean consultants are trying to implement and leverage this approach in the construction industry as well in order to fix the situation described above. To me, it seems like lean consultants are involved in almost all prestigious construction projects these days and there seem to be a lot of obvious reasons for this.
But even when projects are following lean management methods, they oftentimes still face one key challenge: The most commonly used tools of the AEC industry are everything but state-of-the-art technology. I refer to, for example, an analogue wall holding hundreds of sticky notes made to represent the workplan of the current week. This is all well and good, but once you’ve worked with such a “tool” you inevitably realize that it can take hours to keep the wall up-to-date and everybody on the same page, so to speak.
When I come across these circumstances, I sometimes wonder why don’t we use a digital tool instead? Wouldn’t it be great if we made use of latest technologies here, allowing us to digitally prefill a “Lean Board” with virtual sticky notes representing activities that are connected to the overall programme or schedule? A system that additionally considers the actual progress of our project based on information about everything that happened and did not happen in the last couple of days? Wouldn’t that really help us with communicating and coordinating work among subcontractors? I personally think it would.
That’s why we at Sablono have developed our Lean Board. It combines the benefits of thoroughly done project planning with the great flexibility of the agile Lean Construction approach. It will help you to create, amend and communicate your weekly workplans on an unprecedented level of detail at almost no additional effort. Here is why we think it is great:
– Sablono’s Lean Board automatically prefills according to the project schedule you have set up. Activities can be predefined in standardized process templates and can be changed, rescheduled or postponed with just a few clicks.
– Since activities are related to responsible teams, the Lean Board makes it easy to communicate who will be doing what in the upcoming weeks.
– The Board will always show what really happened on your site. It is connected to Sablono’s progress and issue database and will show you whether activities were marked as done and whether they contain quality issues, obstructions, or other important information.
– Construction projects rarely develop as planned. That’s why the Lean Board offers tons of options to adapt the workplan of each week to what really happened on site:
- Simply change the start or due date of activities.
- Easily reschedule activities that are running behind schedule.
- Flexibly create and schedule new activities to react to new circumstances.
- Change the state of activities while working with the Lean Board: not started, work started, finished.
I think it’s about time to combine a proven methodology with state-of-the-art technology to create workflows and solutions helping you to focus on the important part: Delivering projects!
Try Sablono today and experience the benefits of the new Lean Board as well as lots of other great features. We are happy to assist you with setting up your first project. We look forward to hearing from you!