An Owners Only Course on Lean

An Owners Only Course on Lean

By Howie Ferguson, Construction Owners Association of America; Executive Director

Lean. Sure, of course … eliminating waste, right? Like puppies and world peace – who wouldn’t be in favor of it? But what does it really consist of and how specifically does it help with project delivery … especially from the perspective of the Owner for whom a construction or renovation project is being done?

So glad you asked!

Two industry organizations qualified to weigh in on facility/project Owners and Lean – the Construction Owners Association of America (COAA) and the Lean Construction Institute (LCI) – leveraged a diverse group of industry practitioners to develop a course that answers that question. Simply titled “Lean For Owners,” this 8-hour class will arm Owners with fundamental Lean knowledge and tangible examples of how the basic tenets of Lean can be employed on practically any project OR to improve internal processes. Those interested in diving deeper can do so through self-study or additional LCI coursework, but even those who aren’t will be able to “speak the language” and lead by example and practice.

Lean For Owners will be the 13th offering in COAA’s Owner Training Institute® (OTI), a series of classes developed “for Owners, by Owners.”  As with other OTI courses, Lean For Owners will be presented by a 3-person team consisting of an Owner, a builder, and a design professional.  This is both critical and awesome, as attendees gain enormous value by hearing the varied perspectives of all three “legs of the stool.”

OK – sounds worthwhile and good – but when, where, and who’s delivering this great content?

Another great question! Wow, you’re good.

Lean For Owners will make its debut on October 19 in Phoenix (AZ) as part of “Learning Day” – the prelude to LCI’s Annual Congress.  Registration is open here and discounts are available for members of LCI or COAA.

The instructor lineup for that first offering consists of three experienced pros who understand and believe in Lean concepts AND who know how to explain them:

  • (Owner) John Bechtel, Penn State University
  • (Builder) Kate Edwards, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.
  • (Design) Pro Kurt Neubek, Page

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain fundamental knowledge of Lean philosophies, best practices, and tools applicable to improvement of both project delivery and internal operations.
  • Understand the value proposition and why Lean principles and methods can improve both project delivery and the project delivery experience. 
  • Understand and become familiar with essential Lean tactical tools and practices, their purpose, benefits, and practical applications.
  • Become proficient in, and able to apply, three Lean practices within the learner’s organization or on the learner’s projects.

If you’re an Owner interested in learning enough about Lean to put it to good use, this course was literally constructed for you!