A Lean Coffee

The Skanska Delta Hangar project is an impressive structure, especially with only half of its walls. At 7am, when the coffee started, it is partly hazy from fog on January 31st this year. The Job trailer has a huge long table surrounded by perky project people. I brought the median age up about a decade.

There was a discussion system in place with a group of topics and voting on the desire to cover them, for 8 minutes. Then there is a little thumbs up or down vote for 4 minutes more. It took possibly the least amount of fiddling possible for the nice middle level of fairness among the many varied interest areas in the group of about 16 attendees.

I don’t remember the other topics, although I should. I was thrilled that I got 4 “interested” votes on a topic of “IPD, Really?” I had hoped that I would get some IPD stories from this group of serious young professionals. Only two of the attendees had an IPD contract, and those didn’t have a the profit pool. I consider the profit pool projects populated with real pioneers. This group contained skilled working managers who were trying to administer contracts and develop the right-minded kind of quality implicit in Lean.

There was a discussion of one of the catchy names for one of the Lean processes, this one had its original Japanese name, but I forgot which one it was. Someone said he used a simple english phrase, like “coordinate the structural drawings” instead of the Japanese name for a truly elaborate and effectual process at the heart of the Lean management processes. Another reported that the process was excellent and effective, however, she had banned all Japanese nicknames for processes that can be well translated. There were three or four heads nodding in approval.

I took that as a practically-minded approach, this is categorizing PM activities, not developing the hip new PM thing, or in danger of sounding that way.