A behind-the-scenes look with 2018 LCI Congress Chair Kevin Labrecque

The Lean construction and design event of the year will be here before you know it. We sat down with 2018 LCI Congress Chair Kevin Labrecque to get a behind-the-scenes look at the 20th Annual LCI Congress program. Kevin is the senior vice president of Harper Limbach and has been involved with LCI Congress for 10 years. Learn more about what you can expect at this year’s Congress then make your plans to join us, October 15–19, in Orlando, FL. You can connect with Kevin on LinkedIn!

LCI: Why did the 2018 LCI Congress planning team decide on this year’s theme, “Reflecting on Our Past, Envisioning Our Future,” and how will the program reflect this theme?

Kevin Labrecque (KL): Like all of us, LCI Congress has been through a journey of its own over the years. Since this will be the 20th Annual LCI Congress, we chose a theme that encourages reflection on what has led us to this point in our careers and as an industry, as well one that captures the need to look to the future together to see where we can take it from here. Our theme focuses on learning from the past, open and honest reflection, taking a look at the design and construction industry’s current state, and deciding how we can transform it in the future.

The LCI Congress program will embrace the future with technology-centered presentations as teams see opportunities for technology and Lean to go hand-in-hand. However, the future is not just about software and tools; Lean principles must be reflected as well as new applications of processes through fresh eyes.

LCI: Each year, a new planning team is assigned to LCI Congress. What new innovations and ideas has the 2018 LCI Congress planning team implemented?

KL: This year, the team embedded more Lean processes into LCI Congress planning. Lean innovations in the planning include:

  • Establishing standard work with the help of Scrum Master Felipe Engineer-Manriquez, McCarthy Building Co., as we build upon lessons learned passed along from previous teams, minimize work for future teams and emphasize the value-added efforts with tasks embedded in Trello cards.
  • Participating in pre-planning meetings ahead of the event to orient attendees with a virtual scan of the space done by 2018 LCI Congress exhibitor HoloBuilder, which will soon be available to attendees so that they can focus on learning, not navigating, onsite.
  • Increasing the Owners’ Lean Coffee duration to give time for owners to reflect together after the success of last year’s session, which indicated a growing interest in Lean processes among owners.
  • Expanding the Learning Day opportunities.
  • Debriefing with other LCI event teams through the year (Last Planners Workshop, Owner Forum, Lean in Design Forum, CoPs) to understand the thread of conversation throughout the community so that we can continue the thread at LCI Congress.

The planning team has reflected on feedback from previous attendees who found just as much value in stories of failure as they did in stories of success. It can’t be all roses – crowds want to hear open, honest reflection. Attendees can look forward to hearing how they can steer the future of our industry.

LCI: Since this is our 20th Annual LCI Congress, can you reflect on some of your best memories from years past?

KL: My LCI Congress memories are built around my first LCI Congress in 2009 held in Boulder, Colorado, with only 125 attendees. We all sat in the same presentations and reflected on the takeaways together. I met like-minded people facing similar struggles throughout the years, and I was able to form a path forward thanks to the positive circles of influence, trust and innovation cultivated at LCI Congress events.

LCI: How will this year’s program cater to those with various Lean experience?

KL: If you preview the online agenda, you’ll see various levels of learning sessions and breakout presentations because our team wanted to strike a balance between a fundamental, intermediate and experienced perspective. Attendees will find the content relatable since the industry presentations are led by professionals from all levels of their Lean journey.

Narrow your focus to sessions based on your own needs, whether that may be influencing an owner or transforming your company’s culture based on the core program tracks:

  • Adapting Lean Principles to the Planning, Design and Preconstruction Phases
  • Field-Driven Lean
  • Kaizen — Continuous Improvement
  • Lean in 2028, Envisioning the Future
  • Lean Transformations
  • Talent Gap — Knowledge Transfer
  • Owner Interest

Lean Coffees are opportunities for practitioners to form discussion groups based on their own interests and struggles. LCI Congress is all about what the attendee brings to the experience.

Do you want to learn more about a specific topic like preconstruction or takt time? Would you like to build valuable industry relationships or understand more about next steps to take on your Lean journey? I recommend attendees come with specific target goals in mind to optimize the LCI Congress experience. When you join us, you’ll have no trouble finding peers to share lessons learned and offer new perspectives and insights to improve your next project.

Make your plans today to attend 2018 LCI Congress, October 15-19, in Orlando, Florida. Register by September 10 and save $100!