Cutting Corners or Cutting out Waste?

0 – Pats Install Synthetic Turf At Gillette Stadium

I was watching the Bears/Patriots game yesterday and the announcers mentioned that a new artificial turf surface was installed for the Patriots, replacing the old natural grass field that got real muddy and lousy with rain and overuse.

The job was done in “8 days” as opposed to the normal time of 6 to 8 weeks, per Joe Buck.

Troy Aikman made a comment that implied basically “well if it was done that much faster than normal, there's probably something that wasn't done properly.”

IMG_1360.JPGThat's possible. But, it's also likely that WASTE was eliminated from the total installation time. They had a motivated customer (the Patriots and the NFL) with a lot of money involved, so they probably had crews working 24×7.

The Lean way to install a field (if, and only IF, a customer required it that quickly) would be to line up all of the value added steps without delays.

A normal 6 to 8 week installation is probably made of mostly waiting time, delays, and rework. Different crews are called in at different times.

Maybe the Patriots did it right, without waste and delay, rather than “working faster.”

If the percentage of non value added time in a manufacturing process is very typically 98%+ (pre-lean, of course), why would we expect that to be any different for installation of a field?


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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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