Deploying lean methodology to ease digital transformation
The Northern and Major Projects divisions of Sisk had chosen to implement BIM as part of their strategy to drive the business forward.
The Building Information Modelling process is intended to create and manage information from the design & construction of an asset through its entire life cycle. The Building Information Model is assembled collaboratively and is a digital description of every part of the asset.
During early deployment of the BIM process the team were finding that problems such as extra costs to remodel, rework and unstructured delivery of BIM information, were still occurring, despite the expectation that using this system would prevent these issues.
One of the Sisk Digital Engineers, Nidaa Alazmeh, had recently attended a Lean Construction Practitioner Programme and decided to investigate and resolve the various problems using the lean methodology they had just experienced.
Nidaa set up a project to improve and standardise the current BIM Management workflows to realise the benefits expected from introducing BIM.
She studied and documented four specific BIM activities using process mapping and value stream mapping tools. These workflows covered:
- Production of 3D BIM models and supply chain appointment
- 3D BIM design co-ordination
- Production of a full site model
- BIM standard operation process
Each mapped workflow was analysed using understanding of the 7 Wastes to identify issues. Where necessary, Problem Solving techniques were employed to find the root causes of specific problems. Some of the issues identified included:
- Poor design co-ordination in terms of information requirements and quality standards.
- Suppliers not assessed on their ability to use suitable software packages to feed information into the model.
- Unstructured co-ordination sessions.
- Non-existent and ad-hoc processes.
For each separate workflow a solution was proposed and tested on the Manchester Circle Square project. To manage the trials the Plan, Do, Check, Act methodology was deployed. The solutions included:
- Drawing up standard workflows for each process, making communication and collaboration processes clear for all.
- Project and commercial team members writing BIM deliverables into all package appointments.
- Assessing designers BIM capability at the pre-construction phase.
The Sisk team are experiencing less rework and delays on site and ultimately have improved project certainty. As one team member put it, “You can sleep at night”.
The Regional Design Manager requested that the standard BIM workflows developed at Circle Square, Manchester were spread across the rest of the North division. They are also in the process of sharing lessons learned with other divisions of the business.
This project was submitted as evidence of deploying a range of lean techniques, enabling the Digital Engineer to successfully gain the Level 1 Certificate in Lean Competency.