The first vital step to leaning an operation is to model or map the processes used to deliver value in that operation. This allows the requisite understanding of where waste and non value-adding activity exists, and provides the foundation for improvement. Current protocols for modeling operations present the basic tenets for lean mapping, but tend to be based in manufacturing language, and are not easily adapted to capital facilities projects.
'Green' or 'sustainable' capital projects delivered using current project delivery systems seem to be laden with hidden waste. These projects tend to be more challenging to deliver due increased levels of building system integration, untraditional materials, and requirements such as recycling, total commissioning, and increased project documentation. Penn State's Lean and Green Research Initiative has examined the delivery of multi-million dollar green building projects for clients including the Pentagon, Toyota, and Penn State's Office of Physical Plant. The processes used to complete these projects are difficult to model with current lean techniques.
This paper outlines a detailed modeling protocol for evaluating the delivery processes of green projects. Blending existing protocols and the specific needs of green building projects, this protocol will help define the data collection and analysis procedures, as well as the instruments (metrics) of analysis.