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History of KAEFER’s Global Lean Journey

Taking the steps to change

It may sound like a cliché, but every journey really does begin with a first step.  KAEFER’s Lean Journey began in 2013 while working with clients that applied this methodology themselves.  We saw how well efficiency could be increased in practice, so the decision was taken to start our own lean programme.  But we see it as more than just a way to increase efficiency.  For us, lean is a qualification programme – in relation to our staff as well as to our services.

Globally, seven pilot projects later, it became clear that lean would be the direction we took in future.  Especially since they were not just resoundingly successful, but also fit into KAEFER’s way of thinking exceptionally well.

In 2014, the KAEFER Lean Journey was extended to a further 100 projects and the global Lean Leader organisation was established.  2015 saw the number of project grow to 150, as well as an extended Lean Development Programme for Managers.  In 2016, in addition to numerous lean projects, we have successfully trained over 800 employees in more than 20 countries.

Lean is working.  Not just for our clients, but for us as well.  And KAEFER has become known for being an ambassador for lean as well as a prime example of how it’s more than a process, but a way of thinking.

Working with LEAN lets you vision your project from a new perspective.  It has given me the opportunity to explore options in all areas of the project and determine improvements while working within project constraints.  LEAN opens doors to trying new things and collaborating with other groups within KAEFER.  LEAN is not just a management learning tool, but a tool for the entire project team to ensure a positive outcome for the project, KAEFER and the client.

Tim Niehaus
Project Manager Major Projects