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LCI-C conference to offer tools to live lean

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by Angela Gismondi

Those looking for a “better way of doing business” in construction can learn more about the fundamentals of lean at the upcoming Lean Construction Institute of Canada (LCI-C) annual conference and training day, the institute’s co-chair Kathleen Lausman stated recently.
LCI-C conference to offer tools to live lean

The second annual conference, which will bring together practitioners from across Canada, will be held May 3 to 5 at the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel. Organizers are hoping to build on the success of the inaugural conference held last year in Calgary.

The concept behind lean project delivery (LPD) is to maximize efficiencies at every stage of a project's process including procurement, design and construction. Lean project leadership typically relies on collaboration among all parties involved.

"It's really focused on understanding and mapping value and getting there through the elimination of waste. It's about creating a flow of work so you don't have starts and stops and variations," said Lausman. "If you're building something, you don't want two days or two weeks or two months where the construction site is sitting idle, you actually want things happening all the time and likewise in the design process.

"It's not a singular, serial process, it's actually very collaborative and concurrent," she added. "That is a sure-fire way to improve on predictability of cost and predictability of schedule while maintaining a high-end quality product."

The conference will also introduce a new lean certification program.

"The whole notion around that is that we want to recognize learning and the training to get there and we also want to live lean, which is a commitment to continuous improvement and learning so it's all part of the lean principles and fundamentals," said Lausman. "At the conference we're going to give an overview of what it is, what it looks like."

There are three levels of certification: LPD fundamentals, lean project co-ordinator and lean project facilitator. It will be based on course work, training and hours of experience in practicing lean and facilitating lean delivery on projects, she said.

This year's training day will take place May 3 and there are four streams to choose from: the American General Contractors (AGC) Lean Construction Education Program; Advanced Lean Boot Camp; Choosing by Advantages; and Value Stream Mapping/Target Value Design.

"Our training modules are interspersed with simulations," Lausman noted. "It's just part of the training modality that's used in lean. We use Lego for some of the simulations and it's really powerful and it just allows people to have that 'a-ha' moment and then they feel the possibilities. It really creates a lot of vibe."

The May 4 and 5 conference program consists of sessions and keynote speakers. Award-winning author Rex Miller will speak about his book entitled The Commercial Real Estate Revolution, which provides a roadmap for changing the adversarial culture that drives many construction projects.

On May 5 keynote speaker Dick Bayer, who is currently working as the Integrated Project Delivery/lean design and construction advisor for the Centre Block Rehabilitation Project, will speak about his experience on the proposed 12-year project that's slated to improve and renovate the Centre Block of the parliament building campus in Ottawa.

"Not only is Dick a longstanding, experienced practitioner, he's also assisting the federal government with moving forward in a lean project and that's just huge," said Lausman.

Other presenters include lean practitioners working in Canada and the U.S. who will share their stories and experiences so that those in attendance can learn from them.

"We're focused on practitioners in lean design and construction talking about their lean journey either with projects or their company or things they're undertaking right now within their business," said Lausman. "We've got big stories and we've got smaller stories and lots of really good information to be shared from people who are actually practitioning and lots of learning to be had for everybody about all things lean design and construction."

The LCI-C annual general meeting will also take place on Friday, May 5. For more information about the conference, visit lcicanada.ca/events.

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