There were storm clouds above the Construction Training Centre as we gathered for Day 2 of the Story Bridge build, Day 5 of the overall programme. With a tight programme and an unmovable deadline, the last thing the team needed was to have a day of work washed out because of inclement weather.
But not to worry, if there was one concept that could get a build back on track after a delay, it is the adoption of Lean Construction methodologies. Thankfully we had Jon Davies, CEO of QMCA and Principal of Lean Construction Advisory along with Maria Chiozzi and Michelle Norton scheduled in to deliver a half-day workshop, training session and practical execution for our cohort. Starting with theory, the team rapidly moved through many phases from sorting through to the art of asking why, why and why to get to the real heart of a project or design challenge. But the highlight for everyone involved was the ideas of creating the Standard Pig.
Armed with black markers, paper and a brief our teams were split into pairs and asked to draw a standard pig to a very brief set of instructions, against the pressure of a ticking deadline. The results were interesting, to say the least, with ‘Party Pig’ a clear crowd favourite, but every pig was different, most missed the brief and the remainder broke the rules. After going through two more rounds of briefings and creative penmanship, we ended up with a wall of near identical standard pigs. Then it was onto applying lean principles to the Story Bridge build via a Pull Plan. As the team worked backwards through the project, cross-referencing activities against responsibilities, it became clear very quickly that taking a lean approach has the team taking a different approach to planning their delivery schedule. And by the end of the session they were far more confident in where they could save time, be more efficient and ultimately stand the best possible chance of being ready for the bridge opening at 11:30 am on Friday.
Again we are thankful to the guests who joined us today to check out the progress, offer their wisdom and be part of the build. Special mention to TMR’s Manager of BIM implementation, Bryan McSweeney who made a third visit to the site and provided encouragement to the build team and who has given freely of his time and energy over the whole project.
At lunch, we welcomed Trimble’s Ian McGregor, who took the team through the Trimble LeanSight, an application which digitises the Pull Plan and makes it available across multiple devices. Once again, we would like to thank Ian and Trimble for their support and kind offer to provide a complimentary license to all participants to a suite of their engineering and project management products.
In the afternoon the team headed back onto the site to continue the build.
After checking attributes in the 3D model, the team realised they did not need a crane to set up the I-beams on top of the bridge substructure and learned how to use the laser level in order to set up the levelling nuts supporting the I beams.
In between the showers, there was a selfie opportunity with a rainbow bringing a little light relief between the intensive build activities. While the main build was progressing, a group of the cohort had a fantastic opportunity to undertake working at height training using the amazing facilities at The Construction Training Centre – thanks to Carolyn for being a champion and organising.
And for their final activity, they took on board Jon Davies’ advice, regrouping around the last planner to reassess their achievements of the day and plan for tomorrow.