Many A/E/C industry companies begin their lean journey by implementing the Last Planner® System on projects. That is a good start, as properly implemented the Last Planner can stabilize workflow, both in the design office and in the field.

And it is only a start. If all a company is doing is using Last Planner, then it is missing an opportunity to leverage a full range of lean practices.

Some of these practices are well known to the industry and utilized in corners of the lean and design world. Example practices include are Target Value Delivery, integrated forms of agreement, small batch balanced work design, 5-Why root cause analysis, and Choosing by Advantages decision-making.

Other practices are common in the broader lean community and yet relatively rare in design and construction. Examples include standardized work, statistical process control, tiered huddles, daily coaching, A3 problem solving, and enterprise policy deployment.

Beyond the practices, vital to a thriving, lasting lean enterprise at both the organization and project level is strong sense of purpose connected to the identity and values of the people in the enterprise. We’re starting to learn now how vitally important this connection is. If you are struggling with buy-in and acceptance of lean, you need to address this concern.

So if you have started your lean transformation with Last Planner, congratulations. You have started an exciting journey. Don’t stop before the excitement really begins.