• Lean management

Lean management

Smarter, faster and better with Lean
Like any other company that is serious about its continuity, we are constantly looking for ways to work smarter, faster and easier. Thereby a number of external factors form an added incentive: the number of large pipeline projects in the Netherlands is decreasing, international competition, and new contract forms put different demands on the relationship with clients. Therefore, accompanied by Micaela Rydell of Rijnconsult we launched the Lean improvement project in 2012.

Task-oriented control
Micaela Rydell: ‘Two years ago we started looking for ways to work smarter, faster and better. With multidisciplinary working groups and several lean workshops we analysed various everyday problems and found solutions.’ The analysis led to a clear list with improvements. One of the most important ones was the introduction of broader task-based control. ‘In this process, the importance of good preparation and planning will be emphasized even more’, Micaela says. ‘We ensure that prior to implementation and execution it is perfectly clear which deployment of people and resources is necessary to carry out the work on schedule and within budget. The contractor and project manager together play an important role. They take a close look at all the challenges and opportunities in detail. The aim is to give the project a balanced and achievable target.’

Standardizing
Over the last period much time and effort has been put into the standardization of project documentation. Daily reports, schedules and order lists are now all arranged in a fixed pattern. This way it is easier to compare them and this creates a better overview. Each project has a fixed agenda for kick-offs, which creates a better coordination between calculation, work preparation and execution. An important aspect of Lean is the inextricable link between improving structures and attention for posture and behaviour.

Practical tools
Practical tools can also lead to major improvements. ‘Before they begin a new job, all project leaders hang a sign of improvement in the shack’, says Micaela. ‘So, the project team can submit weekly all problems, for which direct actions are formulated and discussed. This helps the team to make better decisions in similar situations in the future. In the specially equipped room at the office in Tricht there is board on which the more general, cross-project improvement actions are monitored. These relatively simple resources contribute significantly to safeguarding the knowledge that we gain with each other in the Lean process.'

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