Lean is simply brilliant

The principles behind a lean philosophy are also proving their worth in the department of Modernisation. A new online planning tool helps to avoid idle time on the construction site. The team around Caroline Beyerle, Roland Bamert and Henning Puhl is mastering a pilot project in Zurich. 

Renovating an entire apartment block with 90 units in less than 80 working days? Yes, that's possible! Most recently in Zurich, in the district of Schwamendingen, Implenia Modernisation is completely renovating two large residential buildings: all kitchens and bathrooms, building services, roof, basement and facade. Work began in August 2018 and the first building was ready for occupancy in December.  

The key to this top performance is "Lean Construction". Caroline Beyerle from the Lean Construction department explains: "The technical term means nothing more than, for the responsibles to come together and plan their project ahead from start to finish. They concentrate particularly on the flow of value on site and on the customer's benefit." 

In Schwamendingen, Implenia is using the lean approach for the first time as part of a refurbishment project. With resounding success: "Our team meets the tight deadlines without any hassle," emphasizes project manager Roland Bamert. "In addition, everyone involved - from management to subcontractors - benefits from optimized processes." 

As a central tool, the project team uses a so-called digital construction site control system: an online platform that documents all the steps involved. At the end of the day, every company has to report back which tasks have been completed. This provides all those responsible with a sound overview of the construction progress at all times.  

"Thanks to the high level of transparency, a great team spirit has developed on site," reports Henning Puhl. Every day at 7.30 a.m., the site manager gathers representatives of all trades for a brief discussion at the site control centre. All the facts are presented - and any problems that may arise are solved with joint efforts. Puhl is enthusiastic about the great cooperation and draws a succinct conclusion: "Lean is simply brilliant". 

As Lean principles are finding their way into Implenia’s project teams ever more comprehensively and consistently, the first Lean room has been given a new Lean design in Wetzikon, Switzerland, on the purNatur project. This control station, which hosts the site coordination discussions, displays the new Lean design. Now Implenia’s efficiency in project management is also immediately visible from the outside.

The container’s design mirrors not only our corporate values (excellence, collaboration, agility, integrity and sustainability), but also the most important elements of Lean philosophy (transparency, avoiding waste and improvement). The “mobile” Lean centre is designed to represent this concept visually to the outside world and to give it a visible anchorage. Once the ongoing project is completed, the Lean container will be taken on the road, to be reinstalled at other worksites.