Posted by: JC Gatlin | October 7, 2010

PDCA of the Month – “Failed Inspections” – September 2010

This is an interesting PDCA on several levels.

First, it shows the power of problem solving done by those closest to the problem in the Gemba, rather than by “Executives in a Corporate Office.” If it wasn’t for the Construction Professional using PDCA, this problem would never be identified, much less addressed. It would continue to recur and slow down cycle time.

Second, it speaks to the power of PDCA to give a company an edge over the oppressive down economy. Homebuilders everywhere are consolidating and stretching their Superintendents. In this case, the Construction Professional is managing construction in multiple communities. A few years ago, this problem wouldn’t exist because any one community had a dedicated Construction Professional, if not two Professionals plus an apprentice. A Construction Professional would ALWAYS be in his community, waiting for inspectors to arrive on the jobsite. But times change and a Lean Home Builder must be able to quickly adjust to those changes. Again, that change must come from the bottom-up, not the top-down.

Finally, it shows the PDCA cycle very well: PLAN => DO => CHECK => ADJUST. The original counter measure didn’t work. (Or at least in part.  It was too expensive.) So in the ADJUST Phase, it was re-evaluated, a new plan was devised and executed. 

© October 2010 Homebuilding Partners, Inc.   twitter-logo



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mike Hines, Mike Hines. Mike Hines said: “Failed Construction Inspections” – and a Lean fix: (via @LeanHomeBuilding) […]

  2. This is a great example. It is simple and shows how seemingly tiny steps can have a huge impact. Thanks for sharing.

  3. […] 7. Every Construction Manger in the company marked this scenario as an example of motion waste. After waiting all morning for the county inspector to arrive, the Construction Manager makes a quick trip to another jobsite. In his absence, the inspector arrives. It’s Murphy’s Law. If the Construction Manager needed to speak to the Inspector, he’s out of luck. If the Inspector needed to speak to the Construction Manager, the inspection is failed. It can — and has on many occasions – impacted cycle time. The recurring problem is so prevelent in fact, one Construction Professional addressed it in a recent Plan-Do-Check-Adjust project.  […]

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