LEAN

Lean Construction is one way that Caddell maximizes efficiency and eliminates waste and redundancy from the design and construction process. For maximum performance an athlete needs a lean body that is trained and conditioned to achieve specific goals.  Lean Construction likewise emphasizes the basics including clearly established goals and definitions of project success; transparency in communications among project stakeholders; maximum flow among the various project disciplines; and working “back” from schedule and quality objectives in a highly coordinated plan that “pulls” the project forward.

The Caddell Lean Construction Program is led by an in-house Lean Construction Certified Executive who ensures that these Lean practices are implemented on Caddell projects and monitors and supports these efforts. Outside Lean consultants are also included when it might benefit the project.

Lean Construction Practices

Pull-Planning:

Caddell has utilized this Lean Construction tool to achieve very significant schedule benefits on Caddell projects. It essentially involves a meeting of Caddell staff, subcontractors, and sometimes the owner and/or design firm, to look backwards from a critical schedule milestone and see what has to be done to meet that goal.  What activities are critical?  How much time will each take?  How many people are needed on that crew?  What must happen before that activity can launch?  An open planning session helps all parties analyze important issues and agree upon a detailed practical plan to get the job done.

Pull planning can be facilitated by using a white or blackboard with the schedule milestones identified and post-it notes used to mark the activities, durations, manpower, and prerequisites necessary to accomplish the task.  Caddell has also begun to utilize a new software, Touch-Plan, which is basically an electronic version of the same process.

Prefabrication | Pre-Engineering:  Another key element of Lean Construction is using pre-engineering and prefabrication to expedite schedules, maintain consistent superior quality, and reduce waste.  Caddell has employed these techniques for many years with much success.  Recent projects where mechanical, electrical, and structural systems were pre-engineered and pre-fabricated offsite include a $100M barracks complex at Fort Bragg and a new $40M Residence Hall at the University of Alabama.

Weekly Work Plan:

Caddell project teams have conducted weekly meetings and work planning with our subcontractors for decades and well understands the importance of keeping all project parties apprised of the actual workflow and naming specific weekly goals. All Caddell projects feature this Lean Construction element.

Lean Construction Case Study:

D/B New UAV (Drone) Complex at Fort Bragg, NC.   Caddell was a full 60 days behind schedule in finishing a critical facility for the Army at Fort Bragg with only six months remaining and an immutable completion date.  Scores of design changes and accommodating active adjacent runways had played havoc with the original timeline. Caddell Project Manager, Jeremy Clegg, decided to assemble all of the key subcontractors for a Lean Construction Pull Planning Conference.  It worked.  A new schedule with 100% buy-in from the subcontractors was developed that brought the project in on-time.

This project went on to win top national project performance awards with both the AGC and ABC Construction associations.  Lean Construction works and yields tangible benefits for the GC, subcontractors, and the Owner.

PLAN OF ACTION
“Pull Planning saved our schedule and gave us a practical way forward. This intense interaction with the subs also identified some schedule busting elements that the design documents had missed. We not only met our original schedule completion date, but finished critical activities early and ended the project with an official “Outstanding” performance rating in all categories— including scheduling.”

Jeremy Clegg