We use a range of delivery mechanisms to support our Clients in their adoption of Lean Construction principles and their sustained realisation of benefits.

Lean Strategy Development

We are frequently invited to join our Clients at the start of their Lean journey. We help them to take a strategic view of the adoption of Lean and Lean Construction and understand the potential impact and benefit for their business as a whole. We adopt our proven approach of Understand: Collaborate: Improve: Sustain in order to design a Lean deployment approach that is right for our Client’s business and their individual set of processes, ways of working, values and culture.

Read our case study about consultancy advice on the design of structural and operational changes within Highways England to enable it to better deliver its organisational strategy, policy, purpose and objectives. 

Classic Lean Deployment

We support the ongoing deployment of Lean across a significant range of our Clients. This can be with Clients where we have helped develop the strategic Lean direction or maybe in support of Clients who have already embarked on their own Lean journey. Our team of Lean specialists and Subject Matter Experts can guide our clients on their adoption of Lean, helping to avoid pitfalls, maximise benefit realisation and ensure sustainability.

Read our case study about Deploying Lean across Highways England.

Lean Maturity Assessments and Diagnostics

In many cases, our Clients are looking to assess the effectiveness and maturity of their existing adoption of Lean. This can be due to in-house concerns on lack of progress and engagement or it could be due to pressure from Customers and Clients. In either case, we have a set of Lean Maturity assessment and diagnostic tools that allow us to determine the effectiveness of your Lean deployment and to identify any required corrective action. We also work closely with our own clients supporting the development and operation of their own maturity assessment methodologies (e.g. Highways England’s HELMA approach).

Are you as Lean as you think you are?

You may think that you operate a truly Lean organisation based on an effective and sustainable deployment. However, we challenge you to take our Lean assessment to see just how Lean you really are! Our Lean assessment has been designed to be quick and easy to use.  It asks you to score your organisation against ten key characteristics that we believe are fundamental to operating as a successful and sustainable Lean organisation.  Want to take the challenge then click here.

Lean Capability Assessment and Training

A fundamental part of our Lean Maturity assessment and Diagnostic approach is the assessment of Lean and Lean Construction Capabilities and capacities within the Clients business. We review the range of Lean skills and experience across our client’s teams along with the effectiveness of their capability building and training processes. We are then able to build a training and broader capability and experience building approach that is specific to the needs of our Clients. We can then not only improve and focus Lean delivery skills and capabilities, we can develop people capable of self-sustaining the ongoing capability build programme across our Clients teams.

Read our case study about Developing a Self Sufficient Lean Capability at Sellafield.

Six Sigma Training and Support

In some cases, the specific problems that our Infrastructure Clients face can be complex and difficult to unravel. In these circumstances, basic Lean improvement tools and techniques may be insufficient and lack the ‘horsepower’ to tackle the problem. Many of our consulting team have extensive Six Sigma capability, to Master Black Belt level, and can offer the appropriate level of support needed. We are frequently invited to provide specific technical support to help resolve complex problems. Alternatively, we can extend our capability build programme to cover and embed the more technical Six Sigma competences into our Clients organisation.

Read our case study about how Six Sigma Speeds up the Rail Network at Network Rail.

Coaching & Mentoring

We believe the most significant challenge to successful and sustainable adoption of Lean, and not just across the world of Infrastructure Construction, lies in the way Leaders behave and operate. Failure of Leaders, at all levels, to do the right things and behave the right way necessary to ensure success is the single most common cause of Lean deployment failures. At Bourton Group, we have a clear view of what constitutes Lean Leadership and what are specific Leadership Critical Success factors. We believe that one of the most effective ways of ensuring that Leaders follow the right path is to provide effective one-to-one Coaching and Mentoring in Lean Leadership. Many of our consulting team are trained and qualified coaches with extensive experience of working alongside the complete spectrum of managers and leaders from Design team leaders and Site Agents and Supervisors right up to Board level executives.

Lean Collaborative Planning

The use of Lean in a Construction and Infrastructure environment is often focussed on the adoption of Lean Collaborative Planning in its various forms. This approach aims to adopt the principles of Lean in a scheme (or programme of schemes) environment, either in design phases or construction phases.

There are three core elements:

  1. Collaborative Programme Planning
  2. Collaborative Planning
  3. Production Control

Collaborative Programme Planning is the approach to coordinating and managing the delivery of schemes within an overall delivery programme. It involves gaining the collaborative agreement of all internal and external stakeholders on an overall programme of schemes/works that is delivered in the optimum sequence, balancing capacity and demand, meeting the needs of the customer/client.

Collaborative Planning often refer to events within a specific scheme where representatives from different suppliers and cross functional teams come together to establish and agree a long to medium term delivery plan by applying Lean principles to the planning process. It involves gaining the collaborative agreement of all internal and external stakeholders on a programme of work that is delivered in the quickest, safest, most efficient, leanest way.

Production Control is the on-going control process used to ensure the Collaborative Plan is delivered. It involves ongoing measurement of performance against the plan with pro-active activities used to correct any deviation from planned timings and completion of activities. It is here that Lean improvement tools can be used to identify root causes of delays and develop appropriate corrective action.

Our team has extensive experience in supporting our Clients in adopting these methods and using them to drive significant improvements and reductions in scheme delivery lead-times.

Project Intervention Support

In some cases, our clients face specific problems and challenges that needs specialist Lean Construction capability and experience to support their resolution. All our consulting team have deep and extensive experience in supporting and facilitating focussed intervention projects that lead to specific and targeted improvements. Recent examples include: £1.5m efficiency improvements in Earthworks processes on a specific highways scheme; £0.5m efficiency improvement as a result of improving the Structures design process; On-time delivery improved from <25% to>80% as a result of a Lean intervention on a rail scheme planning process.