Step 9: Adopt essential lean practices
Here are eight practices that are absolutely vital:
- Remember, Lean is not about dumbing down the houses.
- Make sure all hands are on deck. Everyone who touches the product and process, from the builder staff to suppliers to trades, knows where waste lies. Lean is not the unique province of construction and purchasing.
- Adopt a “religion of simplification” for product and process.
- Abandon the “they don’t charge us so the savings don’t count” attitude. Lose it — or accept the loss of significant savings.
- Redefine scopes to address Lean principles. The definition of a complete job in Lean is: 100 percent complete, on time with a minimum of waste.
- Focus on waste, not cost. Waste reduction empowers people. Cost reduction restricts their creativity. You reduce cost more by focusing on waste.
- Banish the phrase, “Well, that’s just home building.” Those words have stopped more progress than any other.
- Flow is (almost) everything. The not-so-hidden costs of batch processing are astronomical. This is one of Lean’s key concepts, but perhaps the most difficult to accept and understand, especially for senior management. (This requires an entire article, but you can start on it now. Google “Lean flow.”)
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