Reflection: How Takt time has changed over 2 years and what lies ahead
About the author: Mikko Hell is the founder of Mestamaster and a former site supervisor, who spends most of his time implementing takt time and supporting management on construction sites. Mikko is one of Finland's and the world's leading experts in takt time construction.
I've been involved in takt time projects for almost 9 years and I thought I'd take a look at how our construction industry has evolved from the perspective of takt time knowledge. What we do, helping to build with takt, has become significantly easier over the past couple of years. By this I mean the diminishing resistance to new ideas and how far from the basics to start training. In general, people's attitudes have become more positive as they have heard about good experiences with takt time. This is true for the group leads, site management and the top management of our clients.
Orientation and planning essential
Often attitudes and commitment improve when site orientation and planning are done well. The key is to ensure that new practices and tools benefit the site and the workers immediately, so that people are engaged from the start and engagement continues to grow as the project progresses. Here, of course, we have been gathering more experience in our own heads and improving our tools with the help of client feedback.
The number of experiences has increased
The most striking change in the past couple of years in takt time construction has been how much is already known about takt. Whereas only 3 years ago, it was only known at the contractor level by some individual supervisors, we are now at a point where the installers has experience of the subject in practically every project. I cannot claim that all the complaints have disappeared. There are still plenty of them, but the discussion is easier when there are more people with knowledge and arguments on the project.
"We are now at the point where the installers have experience of takt in practically every project"
The coming year 2023 in takt time construction
In the coming year, I expect takt to gain a stronger foothold in construction, especially where production is clearly repetitive. In the traditional heavy renovation sector, where private companies, cities, foundations and other similar professionals are the clients, takt time is already well tested. Even so, the largest clients, with the greatest potential and the largest number of sites, do not yet widely require or encourage this type of production.
There are dark clouds hanging over new property building, with new starts slowing down and in some cases stagnating. Our own project portfolio has been focused on renovation since the beginning, mainly because of our own networks. We have been doing an increasing number of new property projects, and it is for these that the benefits of the takt seem to be most clearly visible. So now the relationship is certainly shifting back more towards renovation. I have spent practically my entire career in this rollercoaster of feast and famine and the world hasn't ended in the previous throughts of construction.
The coming year for Mestamaster
Sérgio, the new driving force behind our app development, has spent a lot of time organising the software database. This is time-consuming and, in a way, work that in a perfect world is done right at the first time you start making a program. However, in real life this is not the case. You start with your best guess and as those guesses become correct information, the way you use the app and the needs for it change.
Now the features of the worklists and takt control are being made into the app, which will also be largely redone from scratch. These will be done so that we know better what parts of the whole are involved in the worklists. For example, we are already considering Last Planner-type scheduling of non-recurring spaces, which we are beginning to see as a very necessary part of the overall takt scheduling process.
Kudos to the innovators in the sector
Kudos to those in our industry who have bravely taught and adopted new innovative practices, such as Vison, Mittaviiva, UPJ, Respect Project, Lujatalo and Consti. Apologies to all those I forgot, there are already a lot of takt time builders today!