When people are asked what they remember about the year 2020, the first thoughts will most likely be about the COVID pandemic and how it affected their lives. For the PC project team at the Martin’s Point Health Care (MPHC) Brunswick Clinic project, they will also recall using Lean construction practices to deliver a facility dedicated to the health of the Brunswick community.
Adapting: During “normal” times, we gather with our trade partners, roll up our sleeves, and collaboratively create phase plans to effectively hit milestones. COVID-19 certainly complicated this process and required a greater emphasis on virtual collaboration. PC worked with the MPHC Clinic team to adapt by using Microsoft Teams for phase planning sessions. People could be miles apart, but still see the faces and hear the thoughts of everyone else. With this, everyone stayed safely distanced from one another but collaborative communication between trades was maintained.
Flowing: On a recent visit to the jobsite, I saw how those virtually created phase plans were coming together in the real world. As I walked the job, it was exciting to see the flow of work from area to area matching the team’s phase plans. Those plans, and the color-coded batch plans, were posted on boards inside the building for everyone to see and follow. It is obvious that everyone is on the same page and collaborating.
Continuously Improving: Back in the field office, I was also pleased to see the results of continuous improvement. Obtaining sufficiently detailed Weekly Work Plans from all foremen is a consistent challenge, and it was no different early in this project. That may sound like a small piece of the overall puzzle, but it is a crucial one. The better the foremen plan, the greater the collaboration, all leading to a smoother and more efficient project process. Our project team recognized this, kept coaching the foremen from week to week, and brought up everyone’s game!
By maintaining a commitment to Lean practices, even during unprecedented times, this project maintained the schedule and executed work in an efficient manner that was embraced by and coordinated among all trade partners.
Images: These images, all taken on the same day, clearly illustrate the Lean flow of work going from one batch area to next.