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Q & A with the Trainers – Why Lean Construction is Critical on Jobsites

The construction industry faces unique, complex challenges that have the potential to lead to project delays, and wasted time, effort, and money. As a result, contractors are continually looking for ways to improve efficiency and profitability. Lean Construction is a method of production and an approach to construction that aims to maximize value and minimize waste that has picked up in popularity within the construction industry. We spoke with Ryan Popp, associate consultant, ASKM & Associates, and trainer for AGC of California’s upcoming Lean Education Program about the benefits of Lean Construction principles. 

Find out how to implement Lean Construction at your company by attending our Lean Education Program, starting September 16, and running through October 14. Spots are limited, so sign up today on our website.

picture of man in hard hat
Ryan Popp, Associate Consultant, ASKM & Associates

What common problems are attendees trying to solve by taking the course?
People are struggling with meetings that do not meet the needs of the project, as well as unreliable promises from trades, the design team, and owners. We can help! 

What examples do you have of the Lean model producing immediate, positive change on projects?
With every project we engage with, we have each team member establish what value would look like for them, as well as the project. We hear responses ranging from reducing last minute firefighting, helping clear up miscommunications of process or scope, making meetings take less time and be worth the time they take, and many others. 

One example on a recent project was to increase participation and communication in the weekly foreman’s meeting. After facilitating the meeting twice (and coaching the team along the way), we were able to reduce the meeting time by over 30 minutes, have the trades map out and commit to a realistic plan of their own creation, and generally leave the meeting understanding the work plan. 

Another time that we were able to bring value to the project was to run a Pull Plan for a 12-week project. When we did, it identified that procurement and materials wouldn’t meet the project duration, and be able to suggest a change from the owners side within 4 hours of the project start, preventing a headache that was 8 weeks down the road. 

What do you hope to provide to participants?
Honestly, giving people the space to step back, reflect on what works and what does not in our industry and on our projects is integral to the training. Once we have an idea of where we want to go from there, we can give people some powerful tools to help get there. 

What would you tell someone who is considering attending?
Come with an open mind and a desire for change! Bring your questions and your curiosity. This is a great venue to dive into the future of construction management.

What inspired you to become a trainer of the Lean Program?
Having the opportunity to start people on their Lean journey is so fulfilling! This course helps attendees address some of the biggest challenges they face every day and introduces tools and skills they can use immediately. 


Ryan Popp has helped coach and encourage over twenty project teams towards utilizing the various levels of the Last Planner®System on projects throughout New England. As an associate consultant, Ryan co-facilitates corporate and trade level trainings and coaches’ Lean journeys. Ryan’s skill sets are in Lean Construction, management techniques, and meeting facilitation.

Ryan is the marketing director for the LCI Southern New England, Community of Practice, as well as an approved instructor for the AGC. Ryan holds Construction Management Lean Certification from the AGC. He has a background in passive construction and Permaculture as it relates to design, building, and agriculture.