In this podcast, I share a webinar held with Dr. Luciana Bardi and Darcy DeGeorge from the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport). MassPort is a state authority responsible for three airports including Logan International Airport, four maritime facilities as well as real estate in Boston.
They give an overview of Massport along with the lean engineering and construction process improvements that were implemented in the past few years, and the results and impact of their improvements on the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
You can watch the video below, or visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8Z2hpOhOoI
- Dr. Luciana Bardi – LinkedIn
- Darcy DeGeorge – LinkedIn
- Excellence in Sustainable Development Award
- Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers
- Sustainable Development Division of IISE
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Amy (A): Good afternoon. Thank you for joining us for the webcast, Lean Process Improvements and Project Delivery Initiatives at Massachusetts Port Authority, presented by Sustainable Development Division and the Massport Authority. I am Amy Strong, and I will provide technical support for today’s webcast.
I have a few opening instructions before I turn our program over to today’s presenters. During the presentation, all audience members will be muted. We will take questions after the presentation is completed. You may submit questions at any time during the presentation. When you have a question, please type it in the questions box on your webinar interface. Please draft the wording of your question as clearly as possible for the presenter. After the presentation, there will be a Q&A session that will be moderated by John Corliss. Both a PowerPoint and a recorded version of the presentation will be made available online on the webinar’s page on the IISE website five to eight days after the presentation. Now I will turn it over to John Corliss to introduce you to today’s presenters, Dr. Luciana Burdi, and Darcy DeGeorge.
John (J): Good afternoon. On behalf of the Sustainable Development Division, I’d like to welcome you all. Each year, the Division recognizes a government or nonprofit organization that has achieved superior results in applying industrial and systems engineering tools and methods to improve their own sustainability and to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In doing so, we hope to illustrate that almost everything that industrial and systems engineers do contributes to organizational, community, and global sustainability. We also hope to inspire at least some ISEs to steer their career in a direction where they can take a sustainability leadership role in businesses, governments, or nonprofit organizations and help address these critical challenges in an era of climate change.
This year’s recipient of the Excellence in Sustainable Development Award is the Massachusetts Port Authority. I’m very happy that they are with us today to share the exciting work they have been doing and the successes that they have achieved. It’s my pleasure to introduce Dr. Luciana Burdi, Director of Capital Programs and Environmental Affairs at Massport. As Director, she is responsible for the development, administration, and execution of the capital investment program for all Massport facilities. She leads the authority’s environmental permitting and management, safety program, utilities management, and in-house design, and design technologies integration teams.
In her role, Luciana is leading the shift of the Capital Programs toward a more innovative, progressive, data and design technology-driven department by adopting Lean Scrum and Lean Construction principles. She is also very committed to create a culture of continuous improvement focusing on delivering best-in-class infrastructure projects to Massport customers. Beyond this, I know that Luciana is a leading advocate for the adoption of Lean engineering and construction at Massport, where all of the infrastructure contracts that I’ve seen now require a Lean engineering and construction approach, but also for other state agencies and New England in general.
We also have with us Darcy DeGeorge, a Principal at Stantec. Darcy has more than 25 years of experience managing large multidisciplined design and construction projects. She is a registered professional engineer and holds the Associated General Contractors of America Certificate of Management in Lean Construction, and is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Darcy is a Lean champion at Stantec, introducing and educating their transportation sector about its many benefits and opportunities. Darcy has partnered with Massport to provide Lean training for their Capital Programs and environmental affairs department and develop Massport’s standards, Lean guidebooks, and templates. I’m very pleased to be able to introduce both Luciana and Darcy and for them to be able to share the exciting work they’re doing. Thank you for being here today.
Luciana (L): Thank you, John, thank you, Amy, and thank you to the Institute of Industrial and System Engineers for inviting us here. Darcy and I are very excited and we’ll try to present and we’ll try to show what we have done and what we are continuing to do. Today’s presentation, I’m trying to focus, and we will try to focus, a couple of minutes on just an introduction of who Massport is and what do we do. I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with us. Second, we’ll discuss about the UN Sustainable Development Goals, our internal Lean process we have done for more Lean as an organization, the implementation of those Lean and then Lean element, and then Darcy will cover some of our Lean training that we are doing in-house and talk to you about some additional resources.
So who’s Massport? We have three major line of business. The first one is probably the major, the one more “Famous”, is our aviation. We own, manage, and operate Logan Airport, Hanscom Field, and Worcester Airport. The biggest airport is obviously Logan, and I’m assuming that a lot of you already landed many, many times in our facility. But aside from the aviation piece, we are also a port authority, so we have the Conley Terminal, and you’ll see on the image on the right. We have the Conley Terminal, we have the Cruiseport, and we also own some seafood. We are some seafood landlord in the Autoport. And finally, our third line of business is real estate. We are a big real estate agent in some way. We issue RFQs, we issue RFP for developers to build on our facilities, and you can see, still on the image on the right, we develop 99-year leases in the south Boston and some other maritime, focus on maritime properties.
If we just focus a couple of more seconds on Logan, from an area perspective, it’s very small airport. We only have four terminals. We were the 17th busiest airport in pre-COVID, and in only 2400 acres. We have six major runways and four terminals, and we are surrounded by many communities so every time we discuss and we try to work, we need to consider the communities that we are surrounded about. In roughly two years ago, a year and a half ago, I took over in the middle of the pandemic. I took over as the Director after being Deputy Director for eight years. One of the major shift and, as John mentioned, a major element is really try to rethink what Capital Program would we deliver as value. You will hear, through the entire presentation, that I’ll always talk about, instead of organization, like how we are organized, what are the line between the units within my department, I talk about value stream because, at the end, what we do, we are a service department. We are servicing our client, and our client, the customer, is definitely the passenger that uses our facility, but the clients are our aviation, our maritime, our real estate, and our airline that use also our facility.
The big vision of our department is really to transform our industry. When we say our industry, it’s our aviation industry, our design and construction, and real estate industry. We want to provide value. We don’t want just to deliver projects. We want to provide value while delivering projects, and obviously, as a fundamental, value stream is actually delivering the best-in-class infrastructure that are needed. Our department is divided, it’s organized in four value stream, in 4+1 value stream. Lines exist within these 4+1 major value stream, but obviously, it’s the Capital Program development. We develop, we facilitate a discussion and develop the five-year step, the Capital Improvement Plan. It’s a five-year rolling step. We also manage all the programming, visioning, design, and construction of everything that gets built in our facility.
A major element is our environmental and sustainability resiliency piece, and then the technology. Technology, for a long time, it’s been seen only as an add-on, but the more we embrace the technology and the more we see how technology can really produce additional value if you look at virtual design and construction, if you look at them. But only for most, what I want to make sure that we don’t start delivering silos of excellence. We can deliver value, but if we don’t try to connect to the four pillar, we are basically staying within our little silos, so the performance optimization and excellence is critical to how we deliver, to the consistency, to better deliver our projects in any way we can.
What are we going to be focusing today? Really, we’re going to be focusing on the sustainability piece, and when we talk about the sustainability piece, we also talk about the net zero. One of the major goal and strategic priorities for the current CEO, Lisa Wieland, is really to reach net zero by 2031. Net zero for an airport, it’s easy and not easy because if you look at the 100% of our mission, Massport own we call Scope 1 and Scope 2, our own. The bigger mission are the airline and airplane. Own emission, it’s really 17% of the major airport emission, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t have to work on influencing the bigger, the 70%+, of the emission of our partners, so we started, we developed, we had a high-level roadmap that was issued in March and we hired an additional subconsultant to help us really identify what are our projects and what needs to be done to be able to achieve the net zero 2031, that is the 75th birthday of Massport, and do it, in reality, even before the 2050 goal that is the state goal.
The other element that we are going to be talking is the +1, the performance optimization, and I will now pass it to Darcy to go through the next step.
Darcy (D): Thanks, Luciana. As John introduced, Massport was named IISE 2022 Excellence in Sustainable Development Award winner. Today’s webinar, we’re mostly going to focus on the Lean process improvements at Massport, but we did want to carve out some time to overview the sustainable development portion of the award. The award submission asked us to identify direct and indirect impacts on the 17 UN goals. In our application, we identified two direct, measurable impacts, and those are circled here in green. Goal number nine, industry, innovation, and infrastructure, Massport directly supports this goal through their claimant resiliency objectives. And goal 11, sustainable cities and communities, again, directly supported through Massport’s sustainability initiatives and their standards. And then on the bottom here, an indirect impact circled in gray, goal 17, partnerships for the goals. For those of you in the Boston area or aviation industry, you know Massport has been quite active in sharing their forward thinking about emergent technologies, like Lean and BIM that Luciana just spoke about, and sustainability initiatives to drive the greater good of the community. If you’re interested in more detail about Massport’s sustainable development, our award submission included a good deal of data about the resiliency, sustainability, and net zero initiatives.
I wanted to mention that, in our meeting with John and Amy the other day, John talked about the many other goals we could’ve listed in our application, so I circled a couple of more in here in orange. Goal 13, claimant action, supported by the net zero initiative Luciana just spoke about, and goal 16, peace, justice, and strong institutions, Massport has really made a priority of diverse teams in their contract and selection criteria.
This leads us into connecting the dots between Massport’s process improvements and the support of the UN goals. The Lean processes and tools, they’ve enabled Massport to really prioritize sustainability and resiliency in their design and construction. They’re now purposefully ingrained in the design right at the outset, making them a priority so they’re not an afterthought, they’re not an obligation. This focus has really enabled the authority to build a safe, reliable, and responsible infrastructure. Now Luciana will present some process improvements that they have made at Massport.
L: Thank you, Darcy. As Darcy mentioned, I will focus, very high-level, on the many process improvement efforts that the Capital Program Department has done in the past 10 years. Yes, we started 10 years ago. I will not go in many details because I can actually speak for an hour for each of them, so please, if you are interested to go in any deeper, to have any deeper dives in any of these item, feel free to reach out. At the end of the presentation, there is an email address. I’m more than happy to spend time. Today, you’ll just get a very high-level presentation.
A bigger question every time we are looking into asking for a consultant like Darcy who wants to work for Massport to be part of a process improvement, I’m always asking myself, great, we ask our consultant to be Lean; what about us, right? I’m of the opinion that we cannot make requirements to our consultant when we first don’t try to make the same level of effort, so we will go through some. We have two major effort that we really identified and took charge. One is to look internally on how to improve our internal processes, and at the same time, asking and relating this, educating the consultant, and make sure that the consultant are embracing the same idea of continuous improvement that we have.
In this slide, we start to understand our baseline, where are we, what do we do. Ten years ago when I started at Massport, I was pretty new to anything really. I experienced Massport only by traveling to Logan, so I had no idea what the department really did, how we did it, not even the first few slides, how extensive our impact is, so I start looking on what can we really focus our major attention and where was our major pain points. We looked at consulting invoices, it was taking us a long time, contractor payment, and then also internally. Obviously, for those two, is the client, the customer, it’s all of you who work for us and like to get paid quickly, but also internally, what is internally that we do that is inhibiting, that is slowing the process? So we looked at meeting, we looked at decision-making, how long and why and who needed to be involved, project reporting, and also the technology. Starting in 2012 when I started in Massport, technology was huge advancement, so we just needed to understand how to use it.
In the next slide, you’ll see some of our summary baseline metrics, and as John mentioned, this was presented as part of our submission. We’ll be looking at really the high level, and you will see the result at the end later on in the presentation. A lot of hands-off, 20 hands-off, before even the consultant within my department. And again, let’s focus on the invoice, for example, it’s not 20 steps, 20 hands-off between department. It’s just within my department was appalling. Similar, 18 contractor, pages and pages of guidelines on how to do things that were three volumes, very organized but I always say paper is as updated as when you print it because the things can change quickly. Reporting, project work planning, and you can see here– we’ll go one by one. We’ll see some of the improvements that we did.
In our process, let’s say the high-level process is the same, and if you have knowledge of Lean, Lean Design and Construction, Lean Six Sigma, it’s really the same, so we were trying to use some consistency, so identify the process, identify the challenge, and understand the current state. Then evaluate it with the process mapping, develop implementation, the future implementation, rollout learning. Something very different between the implementation that we have done in Massport and implementation that I have done on a previous organization is the last piece. The rollout and the learning is critical. Oftentime, a lot of process improvement efforts fail not because the first three step are not done; because the fourth step is done in a rush, and the fifth step is not done and is not checked. We all know that change is difficult and it’s easy for people to just go back when nobody is “Watching.”
The next slide shows really high-level. One of my personal goal is to make sure that we share what we learn with the rest of the world. When I say the rest of the world, I really mean it because all of these guidelines and things are on our website and I tell everybody take it. We spent a year effort even on looking at how to modify our contracts to incorporate Lean and BIM. The contract, it’s on our website and I tell any other agency go take it. Going back to changing the industry, if what I learn, we’ll just keep it ourself, we’re not changing anybody; we are just changing ourselves and that will not make for a better industry going forward. So looking for, without finger-pointing, looking for waste and try to eliminate the waste and d it continuously.
The top image is the roadmap for BIM implementation. Did we do everything on that? No, we didn’t. We were actually looking to update it pre-COVID, and now we are looking at that too, the Last Planner System into Lean Six Sigma, but how do we do it? If you want to know, it’s on our website, and the Project Delivery Guide is actually something that we do internally. But all these effort brought us to some good results, so if you really look at the next slide, you see some of the major results. We went from 20 steps to 6 steps on consultant invoices. To me, six is even too much, but there are some steps, we call it orange step, that unnecessary but you have to do it for regulation or law. But from 18 to 6, that’s a huge improvement, and the way we did it, those two were the first two that we did in 2013, we were not paying consultant for 90 days, and we were able to eliminate it and we are able now to pay within the 30 days.
The product delivery guide, we eliminated the three volumes that we were not updated for ages, and we have one location, it’s on our internal system which is accessible to our consultant that wanted to do work with us, in which we identified, I don’t know if we have some slides, but we identified who needs to do what, for what reason, and there are links to the document to some forms if they need to be prefilled. So the only location, if needs to be updated, is the only places that they will go and will be done. Decision-making is great, and Darcy will touch upon when she looks at the training that we developed. We standardized how we make decisions. The decisions are tracked, decisions are I call it objectified. Oftentime, decisions are subjective; the toppest title it’s in the room makes the decision. That is not Lean, so we democratized decision-making and making sure that any decision is as objectively done as it can be done. There is always a hint of subjectivity in decision-making.
And continuous improvement, we are doing a lot of retrospective. Usually, we, in common practice, to do lesson learned at the end of the project. What we try to do is retrospective every three months. For example, we had the Terminal E project, which you see an image just behind me. Project started in 2017 and won’t be done until 2023. If we have to wait until 2023 to do a lesson learned, first, we have forgotten what ever happened in 2017, and two, it’s too big of a project not to learn while you are in it, so we do every three months. Sometimes a great session, other times, meh, but we learn and we’ll grow from there.
If you look at our history, I don’t want to spend too much time here, we started in 2013. Again, this is not an easy process. It’s a continuous process and a recommendation that I tell everyone, don’t try to bite bigger than you can. Just take little steps, continuous improvement. We started with some Lean training, then we went to the BIM Guideline, we start to do some knowledge sharing, implementation of the requisition, the Project Delivery Guide, the Lean Delivery Guide, and the Lean training. If you look at the sustainability piece, we did similarly. in 2014, Massport was, I think, the first airport that had a person dedicated, a program manager dedicated to resiliency, but from the resiliency in 2014, we developed some guidelines, the local sustainability management, all the way to 2021 with the net zero, and 2022 with our net zero and larger climate action plan.
The next slide shows the Project Delivery Guide. This is, again, a high-level. The three 100+ pages manual became the Project Delivery Guide. On our intranet, it’s called the Knowledge Owl, and they are updated. People go there, we use the training. The next slide, again, those are slides that we submitted also for the presentation, you see the original value stream mapping with 20 steps, again, just within our department, and we went from 20 to the 6 steps, and you can see the green one are only 2. So in reality, of the six steps, only two bring value, which means the customer will be willing to pay for. But the other four yellow one are those that our internal audit probably had for– because we are highly regulated, we are a governmental agency, we have to put in for audit purposes.
The next one is the dashboards. Every project delivers dashboard, and we track. On the left side of this image, probably illegible, you see that there are some steps. We do pull planning. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the pull planning, but we track the promises and what’s not being done. Critical to me is why you are not able to deliver what you promised you were able to deliver by this date, and why is not to blame but it’s is there a consistent problem that we have to address and eliminate. I hate workarounds because workarounds, yes, gets things done, but guess what? They don’t eliminate the problem; they just leave it there and it’s easier for the person behind you that has to address the same problem to just eliminate it.
The Last Planner System Minimum Guidelines, again it’s on our website. I make a joke here, I say it’s a minimum standard, that means that every project needs to do at least what’s in this little book. The Last Planner System, it’s much bigger things. The Lean Design and Construction, it’s bigger things, but something that has to be done on any project, no matter the size, is what’s inside this book. The BIM roadmap I mentioned earlier, it’s the integration of technology, virtual design, and construction in delivering project. The knowledge sharing in the next slide is really I oftentime present and go to the detail, and this is just a list of presentation because the more the industry– I learn by listening to other organization, and then I hope that other organization learn from what our experience is.
The Massport Sustainability and Resiliency Guideline, which is something that we are actually in the process of updating, we did develop those first one in 2013, 2014. After, in 2021, under the light of the larger Climate Action Plan and the net zero, we have seen the need to actually update this and we have consultants that are working with us on updating this. The next slide is just a tease-in what Darcy will talk about, rollout of our Lean internal training. Darcy?
D: Thank you. You can tell Luciana is very focused on process improvement, so she committed to a formal education program for her Capital Programs and Environmental Affairs Department of 70 people. In the spring, we held six remote training classes, 90 minutes each, and it was mandatory training for the entire department. The intent of the training was to provide awareness-level education of the Lean processes and tools. Then in 2023, we will hold six more training classes. These will be in person and these will be mandatory for the project managers. The intent of that training will be actual application so the PMs can be confident in project-level implementation of their own.
I’m just going to show you, again we’re staying super high level here, an overview of what that training covered. Module 1 was our overall introduction of Lean. The department that Luciana overseas is a mixed audience of project managers, construction supervisors, accounting, admin, permitting, planning. You name it, they have it, so to capture everyone’s interest, we knew it was really critical for the attendees to understand that our training applied to each of them personally, not just for the project delivery teams themselves. Right off the bat, we acknowledge Lean’s reputation. It’s in manufacturing. It started at Toyota. It’s popular in vertical construction, particularly in healthcare. So we really tries to set the stage, reinforce that Lean is a delivery or a management or a process approach, so it is applicable to all sectors and specialties, including the public sector, and it’s scalable to all projects or processes. It’s not just for vertical construction; it’s not just for project delivery.
Once that stage was set, we introduced the six principles of Lean, again at a very high level. We used the Lean Construction Institute graphic that’s shown on the left here, and then each of our following training modules, we highlighted a Lean principal to teach the concept in a little bit greater detail. This middle image, real quickly here, is Massport’s recommended team structure for high-performing teams. It’s a structure that blends the project team, cluster teams, core team, executive team for smooth communication. And then over to the right, the almighty expected outcomes agenda, getting back to basics on purposeful meetings and thoughtfulness about the outcome of our meetings and our topics.
Module 2 is where we focused on value, waste, and conditions of satisfaction. Luciana spoke quite a bit about value during these sessions. We explored the concept of value from the customer perspective, and of course, the waste that brings no value to our customers. The middle graphic here is a poster that Luciana and her team created, and it’s hanging in their walls in Boston. It identifies the 7+1 Lean wastes to keep them top of mind. But the core of this module was explaining the value of setting conditions of satisfaction, tracking them, and measuring them for success. There’s been a big push at Massport to design the CoS in partnership with their stakeholders, the folks she was just talking about, aviation, real estate, right in the room together. The photos on the right of this slide here are from a project we’re currently working on at Logan’s Terminal B. In that session, every stockholder had the opportunity to participate in actually defining the project priority priorities. It’s pretty powerful, and I’ll just mention that little CoS logo up there, again another image Luciana’s team created and is also posted around the building as a gentle reminder to always be driving toward your CoS.
Module 3 was our workflow module. We introduced the Last Planner System, emphasizing the importance of collaborative planning, transparency, reliability, and accountability. Last Planner System is a trademarked workflow tool from Lean Construction Institute, and as Luciana mentioned, Massport developed their own minimum standards guide to set clear expectations of how Massport will deliver the Last Planner System. Our module overviewed the five connection conversations of Last Planner. The photo here on the lower left shows what’s called a phase pull planning session where the project team gets together, either remotely or in person, in this particular case, to develop a task level schedule. We went on to explain the importance of clearing our constraints to make our work ready, the accountability and task performance that Luciana just spoke about, and finally, if we didn’t meet those task promises, how do we learn from them based on that performance.
Module 4 focused on sound decision-making and how we need to unlearn some of our old habits to allow for more reliable decisions. We introduce the two decision-making processes that, to Luciana’s point a couple of minutes ago, more objective. They use a visual, transparent, and systematic approach to making decisions. One was choosing by advantages, and the other, the A3 decision-making process. Over to the right, you see Massport as a standard A3 format for their department. Just as another note, this year, we’ve been holding a lot of choosing by advantages sessions, and we’ve been holding those with Massport stakeholders to be sure that we’re prioritizing the conditions of satisfaction and getting participation from the stakeholders while the decisions are being made and not after the fact. The goal of that collaboration or the value there is we’re focusing on the customer, and we’re inherently reducing the waste of every work that can come from misalignment in our decision-making.
Module 5, continuous improvement, of course starts with the famous plan, do, check, act cycle, taking time to understand the problem, making a plan to fix the problem, checking that the fix actually resolve your problem, and then finally, acting by formally adopting a new process. In the middle here, the Plus/Delta tool, it was a quick win opportunity for our trainees to try out right away, able to collect live feedback at the end of your meetings, and be able to improve yourself for the next one. Luciana just spoke on regular retrospectives, a little bit of a more formal process done throughout a project life or a process life so that you gain the benefit of making improvements. The session is really a reflection on your performance to date, your accomplishments, your challenges, and creating some improvement strategies. The retrospectives, again, are another all-inclusive collaborative session, full team participates, and everybody’s working together toward positive change for your project or your department or your process.
Our final Module 6 was a summary of our training modules, and we really used this time to reinforce the importance of building a Lean culture before you’re just pushing out the use of tools. We used Mural during our training sessions. This really encouraged the all voices heard atmosphere. We used the digital whiteboard to collect feedback, ask questions, really all of our interactive pieces during training, and this was a big hit with the attendees. Luciana recorded our training sessions and has them available for ongoing reference and for future use.
As with any teaching atmosphere, you don’t want attendees to just log in, hear you talk, and check a box that their training is complete. We want them to engage and absorb the information that they learned, so following training, the whole department took a competency check. The check was 30 questions, multiple-choice true or false. The results were excellent, as you can see here. All 70 people passed and 65% passed on their first try. I like to think that was, in part, because of the awesome trainers, but I might be a little biased.
And then just closing out here, in the spirit of continuous improvement, we performed a Plus/Delta at the end of each module, and then we distributed a survey link at the end of the full training class and all of the feedback was anonymous. We had quite positive results, especially, I guess I’ll say, for a mandatory department-wide training. The top two graphs, most respondents felt that the training course was useful and would help them better complete their day-to-day work. Now remember the department is varied with many different specialties, so this was really a big win for us. And then the bottom two graphs, the majority would recommend the training to their colleagues and found the material clear and easy to understand. I see Luciana popped in.
L: Darcy, something that I think was critical, as you hinted, everybody in my department, from not only project manager, from the administrative team to my consultant on-site team, all the way– I even attended. I helped them develop it and I even attended. I didn’t do the test though because it would’ve been cheating. I actually reviewed the questions when you did it. It was critical to me to make sure that everybody understood importance because it’s not only– we’re going to have a second set of training just focused on project manager, much more deep dive into the technicalities, but we needed to make sure that everybody had at least some general understanding of the continuous improvement mindset that we want to instill and it can be done from reviewing a document to delivering a project, so it doesn’t really matter. Those tools can be applied on many settings in any business. We gave a little certificate to everybody who passed the test, actually to even the second time. We also were timing, so we gave one week from the last class to do the competency check.
And then, as mentioned before, Darcy and I and Massport and Capital Program as a whole, I want to make sure that this information is available. The training is not. The training that Darcy covered is not publicly available, but a positive feedback is that I presented– again, Capital Program, it’s one of the major department, but it’s one department of a large organization. I present a similar presentation to other department, and the CEO asked to take this training and to develop it and deliver it to everybody else in Massport, so I’m now working with HR to make it less Capital Program-focused so that people in HR department can do it, people in A&F. Actually, the CFO reached out to me and said if I want to start, what should I do? This is my intent, even with making this document available, the intent is where do we start? We’ll give you where we started. Might work for you, might not work for you, you only know your organization.
A slide that I really love, I stole it from the training, is the next one. Until we stay in our comfort zone, it’s very, very good, but nothing magic can happen or will happen, so we have to push ourselves outside with the confidence that magic will happen, but it will never happen inside of our comfort zone. My last slide before thinking you all and asking John to come in is don’t worry, just try to do magic by getting out from your comfort. Thank you again. Here are our email addresses. Feel free to reach out to Darcy and me, and we will be more than happy to continue the conversation. John, we’ll give it back to you.
J: Thank you very, very much. At this point, we encourage you, anybody who’s listening, to enter in any questions into the question and answer part if you have any questions of Luciana or Darcy on this great presentation. While we’re seeing whether or not people get involved, I’m curious as to if you could talk a little bit about your path in terms of how were you introduced to Lean and what made you so passionate about implementing this at Massport.
L: I’ll be happy to. Thank you, John. I stumbled into Lean, let’s put it that way. I went to the GSD, the School of Design at Harvard, and my thesis was implementing technology into the delivery process. I’m an architect, so I was very focused on implementing technology. At DCAM in 2004, I was fascinated by implementing BIM. At the time, it was only building information modeling, and I was applying it in projects, and I was applying it using the traditional delivery process. My head is kind of research and I was frustrated by the fact that, no matter how much technology I was putting in, the process was not allowing me to see the major benefit of implementing technology. So I started researching how can I change the process, and that’s how I stumbled into Lean Design and Construction. Then from that, I went all the way through Lean. at DCAM, which is the Building Department for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I implemented the Lean, Lean Six Sigma, and Lean Design and Construction there too, trained a bunch of people, and then that brought me here to Massport, and obviously, I did let me take everything I’ve learned there and let’s bring it here. Darcy?
D: You know my answer. I was introduced to it by Luciana. My first Lean project was the Framingham Logan Express Garage in 2013 or 2014, and you live through it once and you get hooked. I’m very much about process, very much about efficiency. I get frustrated by the same things everyone else does of inefficiency, and that was it for me. I was hooked and have gone through, as you saw, more certificates and more learning, and now actually able to partner with Massport to do some training for their people. That’s like a dream drop, so that’s how I got into it.
L: I see a question from Brion. Darcy is not one of my employee. Darcy does not work for me. She works for Stantec. Let’s say she’s one of the protégé. There are three people that really– I’m a teacher. I teach at WPI; I love teaching. Something that’s beneficial to me is when I see that people like Darcy, people like another person that helped me, Ryan Couto from WSP, and another one from ???? take this and then implement it in their companies. Now Darcy is implementing Lean for other projects for other clients, and Ryan is doing the same things.
Is there anyone else? The other departments are using my Lean consultants. Other departments do not have a Director, or a Deputy Director when I was, that has that passion, but they understand the value. I have Lean consultants, and oftentime, aviation come say, “Can I use your Lean consultant to do this process improvement?” And I say, “Go ahead.” Recently, IT has advertised for a continuous improvement staff, so slowly but surely, the change is happening.
J: I want to point out, you’ll probably interested in that Brion is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, but he’s also written some books on experiences, called Lean for Good, where nonprofits and stuff have implemented Lean. There was another question on choosing by advantage, that this was a new term and Zach asked if you could give a brief description.
L: Darcy, go ahead.
D: Choosing by advantages, there’s a little variable in how complicated or how simple it can be, and again, it goes back to what Luciana said in terms of trying to make our decisions more objective than subjective. The end of the day, you are applying your facts and you’re applying I’ll call it your priorities. CBA has a whole language of its own, so I’ll try not to get into the language, but you’re basically applying your priorities to the facts. Again, it’s a collaborative process, so it’s not Luciana deciding what her priorities; it’s all the stakeholders in the room or whoever’s applicable to whatever we’re deciding on. For example, a structural component, we have our structural team, but we also have Capital Programs structural representatives. It’s a pretty systematic approach that anchors your facts and data to each other for your alternatives, and you end up with, aa unbiased as opinions can be, an unbiased accounting of what your best technical solution is. The interesting and tricky thing about CBA is you don’t apply your cost factor to it until the very end so that you identify your value of your alternative, and then, at the end of the day, it’s up to someone like Luciana, is the sticker price worth the alternative. I don’t know, Luciana, if you want to add anything more to that from your perspective?
L: No, you did great in explaining it. Oftentime, when you have to evaluate alternatives, you say let’s see the plus and the minus because every plus obviously is a minus on the other end. What CBA focuses is on the advantages and the weight of each advantage. I am one of those person that, even to go vacation, we use CBA but don’t tell my husband. But if we have to go on vacation, if you have to go home and see my parents or go see a new place, there are pluses and minuses on both hands. So we’ll evaluate, last time, we went let’s assume that one. Say, okay, go see your relatives. You have not seen him for two years. You highlight just the advantages, and then you weight based on the most critical, you call it the paramount. Which one is the most critical advantages? Is it looking for a new place better than not seeing your father? If I’ve not seen my dad in four years, because I’ve not seen him, yes, probably it’s more important than if I have seen him last year. So it kind of start weight the advantages but look at more objectively. My clients love it and I was surprised because we have a different way of doing it. We have three different, there is a more scientific one and the less different one, but it really eliminates all the subjectivity out as much as you can.
J: I know that we’re getting close to the end of time and we’ve got a couple of questions, but there’s one that’s one of my favorite questions, which is from a student saying, as a grad student, in this case, supply chain specialty, what do you think is the first step towards building a career towards sustainable projects with frugal operating processes? If you’ve got a student who is into this kind of stuff and really wants to get involved in sustainability, what’s your advice?
L: Darcy, do you want to start and then I’ll chime in? You are closer to school than I am.
D: My opinion on this stuff is always shortsighted versus the long view, and whether you’re implementing Lean or sustainability or resiliency, the impact now versus the impact of the future. The frugal part is a problem. It’s really, I’ll just be blunt, tough to get the buy-in or the spend early, but it’s always worth it in the long run. It’s always worth it. So I think the step is find the person who has the long view, who understands, like Luciana, that the investment now is worth it. That’s my two cents. I don’t know what you would add onto that.
L: I think sustainability is– every sector can apply Lean, and as frugal as processes are, there are things that were put in place for reasons. Maybe now they’re unnecessary. Oftentimes, we say, “Why are we doing this again?” And people stop and say, “I don’t really know,” as much as people step back and don’t take it as too personal. The invoicing process, it bothers me that I still have four steps that bring no value, but guess what? We have to leave it there. But look at the bright side, went from 20 to 6, we really eliminated. So if there is a mindset that continuous improvement can always be done, I think it can be done in any sector in a sustainable– the process and projects, especially in the design and construction too. I don’t know, Shri, if I was able to answer your question.
J: I think my advice to Shri is that you’ve got to be creative in your reading of job postings and stuff like that, that a lot of times, there is much more opportunity there if you know how to position your experience and you know what your strengths are. Really, it is taking your passion. I’m sure when Luciana graduated from school and stuff, she never expected to get hooked on Lean, never expected that her career would follow the path that its following, so it’s a matter of being creative and following what you want to do and finding the right places where people are receptive to you doing it.
I’m sure that Amy is going to jump in any second now, so I think that probably wraps us up, although there was a question on resistance, and maybe that’s something that can be answered in the chat or something. Amy? Thank you.
A: Thank you very much for joining us today. In closing of today’s webinar, I just wanted to remind you both the PowerPoint and a recorded version of the presentation will be made online on the webinar’s archive. I really wanted to thank everyone for joining us, and thank you, Dr. Burdi, and thank you, Darcy. We really appreciate it and have a good evening.
J: Thank you very much.