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Lean PD Best Practices: Herrero Builders

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Herrero Builders is a construction company in the San Francisco and Greater Bay Area established in 1955. The company started its lean journey in 2005 when it decided to commit to the Lean Methodology to create real value and eliminate waste in the construction industry. Herrero Builders was the first company in this sector to create the Director of Learning position and a learning department as part of its strategic plan to become a lean organization.

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Herrero Builders is a construction company in the San Francisco and Greater Bay Area established in 1955. The company started its lean journey in 2005 when it decided to commit to the Lean Methodology to create real value and eliminate waste in the construction industry. Herrero Builders was the first company in this sector to create the Director of Learning position and a learning department as part of its strategic plan to become a lean organization. Herrero started its lean journey by creating study-action groups to read “The Toyota Way” and by implementing the Last Planner System in all its projects in 2006.

Herrero also created the first Hoshin Planning in 2007 that guided the company through the stabilization of its core processes and finally, in 2010, Herrero focused on collective value discovery, process alignment with customer values, cross-functional collaboration, visual communication and continuous improvement.

In 2009, Herrero invited all its participants to create the Herrero Way as a proof that the company could not go forward without the participation of all its employees. The Herrero Way represented the basic values needed to assure that the company was on the path of being customer-driven. Finally, in 2012, Herrero became a networked organization. The company removed all titles, and compensation became attached to knowledge. Another important point is that all employees became customers of each other and hierarchy was not a constraint to promote knowledge. Additionally, the Herrero Project VIP (Value Integration Process) was created as a leadership process of discovering collective value to define a project’s success and later delivering that value exceptionally well through the project’s entire lifecycle.

Herrero Builders started to use an integrated project delivery approach where all parties start working together at the beginning of the project and have increased cross-functional collaboration between architects, engineers, contractors and specialist contractors. With this approach, the company brings most of the stakeholders’ knowledge and expertise earlier in the product development or decision-making of the construction process.Swimlane process flows were also created to identify the activities done by each stakeholder/organization participating in the building design. All stakeholders are involved in this activity from the beginning of each project. Therefore, process maps and other visual techniques and tools are used as part of the PDCA cycle.

Swimlane process flows were also created to identify the activities done by each stakeholder/organization participating in the building design. All stakeholders are involved in this activity from the beginning of each project. Therefore, process maps and other visual techniques and tools are used as part of the PDCA cycle.

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