In 2011, challenged by a smaller-volume builder to combine the LeanBlitz with LeanPlan Workout, TrueNorth and TK Design launched a blend of the two to address plan, product and process issues in a time and cost effective way. The combination, named LeanWeek, proved as successful as its predecessors. One builder CFO who believed they’d worked their plans and processes as tightly as possible, wrote:
“What a pleasure it was working with your team. As you were aware, I was a bit (okay, so maybe a lot) skeptical about the ‘true’ savings we would get. We had convinced ourselves that we had scrubbed our plans on our own and were already building ‘lean’. But you said you would prove yourselves and you did just that! I have to say I was completely surprised by the outcome. All trade partners that went through the LeanWeek came with great ideas and recommendations to not only improve processes, but reduce construction cost. And I can easily say that 90% of the recommendations were true savings, not just ‘soft cost’ savings. There are literally thousands of dollars wasted on each home. We were greatly educated and expect to continue thinking ‘lean’.”
LeanWeek emphasizes plan analysis for immediate hard cost savings, adds LeanBuilding Blitz elements to capture additional product and process savings, and does it all in five days.
After all suppliers & trades have presented their improvement suggestions, your LeanTeam determines dollar savings potential and degree of implementation difficulty. There will be many cases where the team identifies hard cost reductions in exact dollars with little or no obstacles to implementation. In other cases, we rely on reasonable good faith estimates for improvements needing further study, or where implementation depends on cooperation among inspectors or other trades.
To cement the outcome, TrueNorth launches a Supplier/Trade Council of 9-12 key suppliers and trades and three builder representatives. The TrueNorth facilitator returns to lead half-day Council meetings at 30, 60, and 90 days after the LeanWeek, coordinated with same-day executive lunch briefings and Builder LeanTeam progress sessions so everyone stays focused, synchronized, and aware of progress and obstacles. Suppliers and trades take over their own leadership after three Council meetings and the process continues without further TrueNorth on-site participation, unless requested otherwise.
LeanPlan Workout consists of
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