We believe there’s a better way to build, and we’ve dedicated ourselves to creating it. Lean Construction philosophies, tools, and practices forged the path. The adoption and innovative use of technologies add efficiencies and transparency. An ethical, relationship-focused culture driven by our devotion to safety, collaboration, and communication keeps us on track. We call it Construction Simplified. This is the way we work, and what all of us at Skiles Group strive to deliver — every day, every client, every project.
Construction simplified means smoother projects on safer sites
The construction of a facility is the destination, but our primary focus is on the journey
Skiles Group is deeply and wholly committed to utilizing Lean tools and processes, because we know they work and we know they provide results — for us, for our trade partners, and especially for our clients. They save money, save time, and save projects from failure. We don’t just “talk the talk” with Lean; we use it inside the office and out, and on every job (big or small).
The Big Room is a co-located office space where all stakeholders on the project team will come together and work. This collaborative space allows for open communication and dialogue, resulting in a more efficient and real-time work product, as well as less rework and revision. Many of the processes named in this section (Pull Planning, Lean Dashboard, True North, etc.) take place in the Big Room.
True North & Team Surveys
This exercise helps us articulate everyone’s specific goals, which provides alignment so that we are better able to move forward together in the same direction. It also yields a tool which we are able to rely on for process mapping, decision-making, and measuring our collective successes throughout the life-cycle of the project. Monthly surveys gauge and document our adherence to our shared goals, allowing for continuous improvement.
Our “Lean Machines” hold an integrated Apple TV, printer, and a computer where all of the project’s documents and plans are stored, with hyperlinks to all drawings, RFIs, and submittals. This electronic document management system allows the team to access the BIM model and review all systems in a space before they are installed, which enables our team to review constraints and clashes before they happen in the field. This saves rework cost and valuable time.
A3s & CBAs
When it’s relevant, our team uses Choosing By Advantages (CBAs) and A3s as a method to document decisions during the Target Value Design process. CBA is a system for basing decisions on the importance of beneficial differences (i.e. advantages) between alternatives. A3s document team decisions, and further add to the transparency of the decision process. Utilizing the A3 process helps us to engage in collaborative, in-depth problem-solving with stakeholders.
Pull Planning clearly defines and then sequences tasks, working backwards from their milestone dates, so that their completion releases subsequent work. Our teams conduct thorough, collaborative Pull Plans with all relevant team members and/or trade partners for all milestones on their projects – beginning in preconstruction. Pull Plans play a significant role throughout the life-cycle of our projects.
VDC / BIM
We employ BIM tools and processes in the field, as opposed to handing off the task to a separate department. This hands-on approach is more robust, and enhances the entire team’s efforts. For example, superintendents are able to direct foreman, both verbally and visually, with tools that provide unparalleled communication efficiencies.
Skiles Group’s Lean Dashboards are used in the field to facilitate the clear communication of commitments made by all trade partners. The benefits include less time spent looking for work ready to be performed; a predictable flow of work by matching available labor to actual work flow; higher throughput of work; and a greater ability to identify opportunities to improve work methods. A project’s success is greatly influenced by assigning work that CAN be done, as opposed to work that SHOULD be done.
Work Registers & Hot Topics
Our project teams hold regular, short check-in sessions to keep them coordinated and manage constraints. During these meetings, each person discusses progress, upcoming work, constraints or concerns, and if they are on track to meet the overall work plan. These items are logged on a shared work register, which provides a method of tracking and updating team members on task completion progress and identifying any constraints that need to be cleared, while equitably and transparently providing accountability.