Performance Tracking – The Lean Way

A key principle of Lean Construction is being able to track and measure performance so that you can implement processes that improve productivity.

To drive toward this goal, construction managers should continually review how they track performance and make necessary adjustments. Then, as part of this commitment to continuous improvement, companies should consider using available tools to better measure performance.

Establish and Communicate KPIs

Before you can optimize performance tracking and improve measurement in construction projects, you need to start with simple but effective KPIs of the project.

Too often, the KPIs are numerous and complicated. There is an art to defining simple, direct, and critical KPIs, and it begins by keeping in mind the adage, “Tell me how you measure me, and I will tell you how I will behave.”

  • What do you need to track and measure?
  • Which KPIs directly and holistically measure success for all stakeholders?
  • Which KPIs should be discarded as being silo measures?
  • How will the KPIs be communicated during each phase of the project?

This pre-planning step captures the importance of establishing and communicating KPIs with all stakeholders before construction begins, eliminating surprises later in the project.

Per our research, the number one project constraint in the industry are misses in communication between relevant parties, which represents 57 percent of negative construction project impact.

Before construction begins, it is critical to establish and communicate the KPIs that will be tracked and measured. There needs to be a continuous effort to check in the field for the effectiveness and coordination of the communication throughout the project.

What is Core to Performance Tracking?

Once the KPIs are established, you should focus on the core elements of performance tracking. Ultimately, the goal is to eliminate waste — e.g. wasted time and materials — to drive productivity.

  • Track the availability of equipment and materials throughout the supply chain.
  • Track whether the right workers are in a position to perform their tasks.
  • Track the effectiveness of on-site communication and coordination.
  • Track the work status — and, therefore — productivity of the project.

Technology works hand-in-hand with Lean Construction principles to optimize each worker’s capabilities. The key is being able to track equipment, materials, workers, communication, and overall productivity in real-time to adjust for normal variations that occur to assure proper coordination.

Translate Information to the Simple & Effective KPIs

The whole project needs to be successful, not just individual teams. This ties back to the original need to establish KPIs that measure the project holistically and not individual teams that perform to their silos.

The overall success can be stated as delivering the project to the following:

  • Cost and timeline compared to the plan
  • Validity of change-order requirements

This is supported by measuring key supporting factors:

  • Determining whether each subtask is on-track and communicating status to stakeholders.
  • Determining how to adjust the workflow for variations and coordinating adjustments.
  • Gathering feedback from the teams to improve coordination.
  • Most important: the time & effort to complete the project; not just the percentage complete.

How to Put Each Step Together to Support the Project

Each step builds upon itself in Lean Construction. It is critical to establish simple, direct KPIs to track and improve performance.

When you put this all together, you can achieve all three project needs of cost, schedule, and quality without having to settle for “picking two.”

Using our Lean Construction approach, AMTS works with construction companies to ensure delivery of all three. We help establish and communicate KPIs, optimize performance tracking, and focus on delivering project success.

To find out how we can support your next construction project, contact our team today. We look forward to working with you.