This is the second of my three installments as part of John Hunter’s review roundup. John has hosted his annual blog review for three years now.  In this installment, I am fortunate enough to review the Lean Homebuilding blog authored AND illustrated (see left for an example), by JC Gatlin.

My first introduction to lean homebuilding was the Doyle Wilson case study within the lean classic, Lean Thinking. The external sensei who helped coach Doyle Wilson was none other than a close colleague of mine, Jim Cutler. JC Gatlin plumbs (no pun intended!) new lean homebuilding depths through his creative, entertaining and edifying blog…and his own cartoons are awesome. Unofficially, JC has got to be the preeminent lean cartoonist.

Here are a few of JC Gatlin’s articles from 2010:

  • 5 actions to get Building Partners committed to Lean on your jobsites. JC relates how the small town homebuilder can outmaneuver the big national guys by collaborating with building partners and applying lean together. Gatlin’s five suggested actions include the rigorous use of standard work instruction sheets, discussing first time quality inspection notes, and reviewing job readiness issues/opportunities with the building partners and then executing the related countermeasures.
  • Where do PDCAs go when they die? An excellent question! JC reviews three important steps that will help the lean practitioner ensure that the plan-do-check-act process is brought to fruition, meaning that, among other things, the countermeasures are implemented, validated/adjusted, the new methods are standardized and the PDCA is documented and archived.
  • 10 Sales Kaizens that will change your business. Everyone knows that the national homebuilding industry is a BIT depressed. Here the Lean Homebuilding blog shares 10 completed mini-sales kaizen activities – most with validated improvement results.
  • Construction-Sales Gemba Walks: Don’t get blindsided by surprises. JC reminds us all of the importance of gemba walks…and doing it as a cross-functional team, while sharing some best practices within his industry.
  • The Strategy Deployment A3. Here Mr. Gatlin provides an overview of A3’s for the strategy deployment process. Strategy deployment A3’s have become more prevalent in the recent years (many of us older lean folk didn’t use the A3 for such purposes 10 to 15+ years ago…) and help drive necessary rigor.

Please visit the Lean Homebuilding blog, read the articles, enjoy the original cartoons and comment on the posts.  JC Gatlin regularly shows how lean principles, systems and tools transcend industry boundaries.

Related post:  Blog Carnival Annual Roundup: 2010 – Evolving Excellence, Management Improvement Carnival #99