Using lean to break down silos & create the boundaryless construction enterprise
by Daniel Bévort
February 5, 2018

impossible in a siloed architecture dependent on manual intervention. The introduction of a single integrated business application automatically aligns business activities in real time. Financial implications of operational changes are instantly captured and reported. The ability to align the enterprise means fewer surprises, lower mitigation costs and fewer operational delays. 

2. Automate processes —By operating within a single integrated business application framework, construction organizations can implement end-to-end, automated processes that span across departments and functional silos. These automated connections facilitate enterprise alignment and process synergies, enabling companies to operate and react in real time.

3. Increase visibility —The ability to understand instantly the financial impact of operational changes and vice versa dramatically strengthens risk mitigation capabilities. When holistic project status reports and KPIs are available in real time it enables project managers and other stakeholders to take corrective action and resolve minor emerging issues before they escalate into major problems that significantly affect project performance. This type of instant visibility alone is revolutionary in construction.

4. Institute best practice enforcement —Centrally managed policies, rules and processes promote disciplined behavior and enable companies to enforce best practices across the enterprise with repeatable and scalable business models, emphasizing corporate governance rather than reliance on individual stakeholder performance. Moreover, the ability to effectively analyze past performance provides enterprises the insight required to identify and learn from past mistakes.

 

To have widespread, long-term success, lean must be applied to the whole enterprise so functional and departmental silos are broken down and replaced with a system of aligned and interconnected processes that allow the entire organization to operate in real time. Only with this top-down, holistic approach can construction firms achieve productivity gains on par with those achieved in traditional manufacturing over the last 20 years and set themselves on the path to becoming boundaryless organizations.