Contents Lean Construction Ireland Annual Book of Cases 2020 12 Ca e 2 We acknowledge that there is much ongoing action research into Takt application in construction, and note that this pilot implementation was primarily concerned with the DPS Production Planning team and the trade supervisors learning about the potential offered by Takt planning. The study contributed towards improved coordination of trades on-site, and confirmed that Takt and LPS complement one another. Takt and OPA demand a much deeper analysis than our traditional Pull Planning sessions were achieving. Considering space as both a constraint and an input to the production process generated greater appreciation of the importance of when a trade obtains possession of dedicated space and when it must pass that space onto the following trade. The process of sizing each task (based on quantity to be produced, for example, metres of cable tray to be fitted or number of ducting hangers to be erected) along with developing a regularity around time, and aligning this with space and optimal crew size, forced a deep analysis of the step-by-step building construction process. In turn, this exposed many conflicting issues which traditionally would be deferred and ultimately crisis-managed when it came to execution of the work. Interestingly, greater emphasis was placed on getting work ready to perform – the consequence of not getting in and out of a zone on time would cause detrimental impact to following trades. Despite the obvious benefits that would become apparent from a rigid and structured Takt application, we found that major obstacles exist within current delivery models that would inhibit a more complete implementation, including: • If required, financial compensation must be in place to enable crews work “inefficiently”. For example, a usual two- person crew may need to be increased to a three-person crew for a duration. While appearing to contradict some principles of Lean thinking, this under-utilisation may be required to ensure reliability of the Takt plan. • Resources must be readily available to replace crew mem- bers who do not turn up on the day, either through sickness or other absence. Trade commitment is critical as the Takt Train must keep moving as the entire process is adversely affected by absenteeism or reduced crew size. Buffers may be created within the plan, for example, extended working hours or Saturday work (financial compensation may be necessary), but ideally these buffers should be held in re- serve for reasons other than resource unavailability. • Lean education is an essential pre-requisite. Understanding concepts like small batch production, reliable-promises, right-first-time, 5S, SMED (applied to ensure consistent preparedness to execute the task), and PDCA are all key ingredients for successful task execution. • Behavioural and mindset change is required for those who are unfamiliar with the level of micro-planning expected. The positive learnings from the implementation are as follows: • The detailed micro-planning required by the OPA and TA stages contributes to greater success on the WWP. The in- creased preparedness of work tasks being committed to the WWP contributes to better PPC, and results in less firefighting and crisis-management. Activities of the correct size and sequence are provided to the Production Planner as well as a clear outlook on upcoming work. • The concept of small batches of work assigned in the Takt- time cycle permits tighter crew planning and management. • A mature LPS implementation and trades experienced in LPS are desirable prerequisites to introduction of Takt. • Return to work start-up post-COVID was able to utilise Takt concepts to enable social distancing in trade coordination. • The challenges encountered are now a good starting point for the impending Takt implementation on the current on-site project. Lean Initiative Improvements & Impact Summary As an overall summary, we were ambitious with the undertaking given that the construction process was non- repetitive in nature, and, whilst the first three weeks stayed on track, as soon as cumulative issues started impacting the plan, crews started to fall back into traditional crisis management. The Production Planners continued adjusting the Takt plan to accommodate change, but the discipline and trust to stick with the plan faded. The sight of floor space lying idle as some crews finished early was too tempting for both site and trade management; the urge to fast-track certain zones meant a movement away from the master Takt plan. However, the detailed planning was a success and the OPA approach continued to add positively to the WWPs – the intense focus on reduction of variability and minimisation of potential disruptors to workflow is a prerequisite for Takt. Therefore, LPS and Takt should complement each other at early stages of an implementation. The concept behind Takt assisted the post-COVID lockdown start-up planning, and both client and senior management are now committed to developing Takt concepts and increasing LPS and Takt alignment.