Lean culture for the construction industry: building responsible and committed project teams By Gary Santorella, CRC Press, New York, NY, 2011. 267 pp, ISBN 978-1-4398-3508-1 £38.99 (hb)
Publisher’s description: Given that the greatest risk factor on any project is manpower costs, problems resulting in delays, rework, or overtime will lower profits through increased labor costs. Most of these process-generated costs are fully preventable. An in-depth exploration of the application of Lean initiatives in the construction industry, Lean Culture for the Construction Industry: Building Responsible and Committed Project Teams addresses employee issues in terms of productivity and waste by applying behavioral psychology principles at both tactical and strategic levels. Written by a veteran consultant in the construction field, the book draws a connection between how construction professionals act as leaders and how their attitude and behavior affect productivity and waste daily. He expands the notion of ethics beyond the simple litmus test of right and wrong, so team leaders can adopt professional and diplomatic attitudes and behaviors toward the implementation of Lean improvements. Poorly devised organizational structures, unclear roles and responsibilities, unresolved interpersonal conflicts that are allowed to fester, and an overall lack of focus on improving team process—any of these attitudes and behaviors on a construction job can cripple productivity and result in waste and lost profit. This book demonstrates how, in a business intrinsically loaded with a wide range of people and personalities, ineffective management structures, and poor communication, Lean thinking can make the difference between a profitable, competitive construction team and mass inefficiencies and lost profitability.