Key takeaways from LCI Congress 2023

Playing a vital role in the design and construction industry for 25 years, LCI Congress brought together more than 1,400 industry leaders to discuss cutting-edge Lean methods and knowledge-sharing across disciplines.

Seventeen of our Skanska colleagues recently spent a week connecting and learning all about lean construction at the 25th LCI Congress Conference in Detroit, Michigan. LCI works to transform the built environment through Lean research, education and industry outreach.

Four of our Skanska colleagues were involved in presentations at LCI Congress. Here are some key takeaways from their sessions.

Leveraging lean and VDC to eliminate deferred submittals

Senior Design Manager John Medvec was part of this panel that discussed their assumptions, planning efforts, failures and recovery efforts to meet the goal of eliminating all deferred submittals.

The panel, made up of the owner, architect, Skanska and trade partners, described the Oregon Health & Science University IPA project team’s successes and challenges in accomplishing no deferred submittals and a fully coordinated model for permit submission.

The team’s presentation was selected as the best presentation overall by attendees at the conference.

How we used Takt planning to save three months and lower stress

Project Executive Jeremy Cortesio, Senior Project Manager David Sharkey and Senior Project Engineer Nathan Jefferies were part of this panel that discussed how their project team approached Takt planning.

On a 69,000 square-foot medical office building/surgery center project in San Jose, California, our team set an aggressive goal to learn how to use Takt planning and have one schedule for all team members—including designers, the owner, trade partners, the general contractor and equipment specialists.

  • Planning phase: The team’s collaborative culture and project data were used to set reliable yet aggressive schedule durations.
  • Construction phase: The team explained how the Takt plan translated to the actual location of crews and how the team tracked field progress to inform and update the plan. The team also showed how a large schedule visual in the room provided a more digestible communication of the work plan than a typical Gant chart or sticky board.

Key themes from the conference

Takt planning

Takt planning was a large focus topic and is becoming more prevalent in the industry and among the LCI Community, with many presentations focusing on the need of a consistent and predictable workflow.

Changes in the industry

The application of lean construction is slowly being spread across the industry, with more involvement from owners, construction managers and subcontractors.

In terms of conference attendance, there was diversity among the construction industry, including a variety of owners, construction management firms, general contractors, subcontractors and design companies. 

Better work-life balance

Lean methods help teams and team members have better work-life balance, as well as positively impact the mental health of workers.

Psychological safety and ensuring that all voices be heard and can contribute is so important. One of the quotes that stuck most with attendees was, “the work you do influences the person you become.”


Prefabrication in construction supports lean principles by reducing waste and improving efficiency. It minimizes material and labor waste, speeds up construction timelines and enhances safety while maintaining high-quality standards.

Prefabrication helps MWESB businesses by bringing the work closer to the jobsite in a controlled environment. This creates a safer work environment for them, helps with quality and pairs them with larger subcontractors as mentors.

Innovation, specifically prefabrication, can eliminate waste and chain of custody issues.


There is a 40 percent productivity improvement between people who follow leaders because they have to and people who follow leaders because they want to.

The closing keynote discussed how high-impact leadership is based on your character as the leader. Leaders can allow something to happen, make it happen or prevent it from happening.

“Priming the pump” was an example used, and how lean leadership needs to come from the top, down. If there’s support at the highest level of the organization, then lean will succeed. 

 Learn more about Skanska’s Data Program through our recent blog post: Unlocking business insights with data.