July 2015. 2015. On the Saint Denis ZAC Montjoie work site, several employees go about their business as usual. But is it really “as usual”? Not exactly, because today, exceptionally, they are equipped with pedometers, and a camera records every action that happens on the work site. This is part of a workshop led by Guillaume Laroche, the Lean Structural Works representative at Habitat Social (Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France). The very next day, the team and the representative will examine the results of the day of observation and, as a group, identify non-value added efforts such as overproduction, storage, transport, movements and trips that could be avoided, unnecessary wait time, and waste.
After this identification stage, a series of Lean tools will be defined collectively, then implemented, to resolve each of the problems encountered. This scenario is not specific to Habitat Social: after numerous experiments initiated by work site teams since 2011, today, lean management is finally becoming widespread. “We wish to implement Lean on all Bouygues Construction work sites, as it is the key to maintaining our development and staying competitive in our core sector, construction,” explains Pierre Barrelet, Lean coordinator for the Group under the supervision of Marie-Luce Godinot, herself appointed by Philippe Bonnave in 2016. “This means that all work site teams need to put in place this approach and be able to adapt its deployment to their needs,” he adds.
To reach the goal of 100% of work sites using Lean, representatives - called Lean managers - are now present in each entity to support the implementation of this new organisation. All share the same view of what lean management must look like when applied to Bouygues Construction: developing employees’ competencies at all levels within the company, in order to create continuous improvement by fixing problems at their root, and achieving client satisfaction.
Lean Management representatives also agree on the “field” aspect of the approach: problems on a work site cannot be detected in an office! It is best to be on site and to spend time with the teams. “Lean Management is practised in the field, with the teams: it’s about solving problems on the work site, step by step, lastingly. Bouygues Construction is already a breeding ground for the implementation of Lean, because people, their skills, and the culture of progress at the service of clients and of the company are already anchored in our values,” explains Cécile Gomez, Lean Management Director at Perform TP (Bouygues Travaux Publics).
She and Sophie Clerc, the Prevention and External Relations Expertise Manager at Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France, agree that training in the field and the role of the manager are both equally essential in the implementation of this approach on work sites. “All people, according to their role, can examine what slows them down in their work and come up with ideas for improvement or practical solutions. It is the manager’s role, among others, to initiate these reflections and to encourage the teams to think for themselves.” When applied properly, Lean Management brings all players in a project, including suppliers, service providers, site workers, and site managers, to ask themselves the same question: how to work more efficiently, individually and as a group, to satisfy the clients.