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    Balfour Beatty Construction Advances Lean Journey at LCI Congress 2015

    November 05, 2015


    BBC Lean champions join industry peers to learn, share experiences on maximizing value, minimizing waste in construction
     
    DALLAS – Lean design and construction champions from Balfour Beatty Construction joined industry peers, building owners and trade partners to collaborate and share ideas at the recent 17th Annual Lean Construction Institute (LCI) Congress 2015 in Boston. With an expanded presence at this year’s conference, Balfour Beatty is advancing its own Lean journey and intentional commitment to continuous improvement and respect for people working smarter to maximize value for clients.
     
    Featuring speakers including former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Alcoa CEO and worker safety advocate Paul O’Neill, LCI Congress is the leading conference for the Lean design and construction community. The forum brings together industry experts to discuss how to deliver better project outcomes in less time and at lower costs based on real-world experience. Balfour Beatty leaders addressed attendees and led education sessions focused on scaling Lean in the enterprise, safety and integrated project delivery (IPD) in collaborative environments.
     
    “Our commitment to Zero Waste, innovation and continuous learning is driving our Lean journey and desire to more effectively deliver value for our clients and colleagues,” said Mark Konchar, chief of innovation at Balfour Beatty Construction. “Together as an industry, it’s imperative that we continue working together to share experiences and lessons learned so that we continuously deliver increasing value. We once again left LCI Congress energized to bring new ideas and best practices to our project teams and clients.”
     
    How satisfied, really satisfied, are owners? 
    The heart of a Lean practice lies in delivering greater value to project owners. But in order to achieve that, it’s critical to understand how owners define value, and how that translates to contractors’ performance. Bevan Mace, VP of Lean and Zero Waste at Balfour Beatty, joined Stephen Jones of Dodge Data & Analytics to lead this session providing insights into research designed to establish a benchmark for owners’ perception of value.
     
    The research conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics and LCI asked owners to contrast cost, schedule, quality, and safety performance on what they would consider a typical project versus their best project over the last five years. Though the research is ongoing, initial results indicate the majority of owners assign the highest value to the adherence to project delivery, even more so than cost/budget control. Owners also say that early project team engagement is a key aspect of their best projects. Building owners interested in participating in the study can contact relentlessallies@balfourbeattyus.com for more information. 
     
    From good to great safe - our cultural journey from compliance to caring
    For Steve Smithgall, safety in the construction industry is both personal and professional. Not only does he serve as Balfour Beatty’s SVP of national operations and safety, Smithgall’s son is a carpenter. Making safety personal was the central theme of his presentation of Balfour Beatty’s transformation from a company focused on OSHA compliance to one focused on truly making safety personal. Smithgall described the company’s Zero Harm journey based on three guiding principles: zero fatalities, zero long-term disabling injuries and zero injuries to members of the public. As part of the presentation, Smithgall shared Balfour Beatty’s Zero Harm safety video as an example of how the company has changed the way it engages workforce on safety.
     
    Catalyzing Lean transformation
    Lean design and construction principles are transforming the industry, representing a significant advancement in maximizing efficiency and eliminating wasted resources. While the value of these principles are increasingly being recognized, the next challenge lies in educating and implementing Lean across the industry. As part of the conference’s “scaling Lean in the enterprise” track, Balfour Beatty’s Luis Martinez and Kevin Marck presented “Catalyzing Lean Transformation” based on their experience in successfully educating and empowering colleagues with Lean principles.
     
    Incentive programs for a design-build public work project
    As part of the IPD/collaborative environments track, Balfour Beatty’s Justin Maletic was joined by client Bob Schulz, university architect for San Diego State University, to present an in-depth case study of how a comprehensive incentive program was successfully implemented on a $47 million design-build student housing renovation project. Together, Maletic and Schulz described how an IPD concept like project incentive programs can be successfully integrated into a public design-build (non-IPD) contract. Ultimately, the client was pleased with the outcome and happy to deliver on the $750,000 in incentives with plans to utilize similar incentive programs in the future.