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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Lean Construction Education Program

Everyone related to the construction process has an incentive to get the project done faster and at a lower cost - from the project owners who want to see results for their investment to the contractors and designers who want to do their job well and move on to the next project. Lean Construction is based on the holistic pursuit of continuous improvements aimed at minimizing costs and maximizing value on a construction project: planning, design, construction, activation, operations, maintenance, salvaging, and recycling.

To help contractors develop the knowledge needed to build Lean, the Associated General Contractors of America developed the Lean Construction Education Program (LCEP). Construction professionals at all experience levels will learn the building blocks necessary to transform their projects and companies into a Lean Operating System.

To register for the Lean Construction courses and CM-Lean exam, please follow the steps below.

This Lean Construction 101 course serves as the introductory course to the AGC Lean Construction Education Program and is the starting point for your Lean Construction journey. 

This 50 minute self-paced e-learning course provides a foundation of the key concepts and terms used in Lean Construction, providing you with the background necessary to further your Lean Construction education.

Following this course, you will be able to:

  • List examples of Lean Construction in practice
  • Discuss the benefits of Lean Construction
  • Define Lean Construction
  • Explain the origins of Lean Construction
  • Describe Lean Construction tools
  • Identify Lean Construction implementation opportunities

Click on the link below to participate in the self-paced interactive course.

Lean 101:  Foundations of Lean Construction

The Lean Construction Education Program courses are predominately offered by AGC Chapters throughout the country. Locate upcoming classes through the Lean Course Calendar (link is external)

After navigating to the Lean Course Calendar (link is external) find an upcoming course and click on the date to view the class details.

Register directly with the AGC Chapter for your courses.

If you cannot locate a Lean Construction course in your area, we recommend contacting your local AGC Chapter using the Chapter Finder, and request that the course be scheduled in the future.

If you have a large group to train, you may bring the courses in-house to your organization. Click here to see how you can bring AGC’s Lean Construction Education Program to your organization.

The highly interactive program provides 35-hours of instruction and training to provide construction industry professionals at all levels with the knowledge and skills to take advantage of the benefits of Lean Construction. Click on the links below to learn more about each unit.

Unit 1: Variation in Production Systems is an introductory course in the Lean Construction Education Program. This half-day, instructor-led course teaches the concept of variation. Following this course, you will be able to:

  • Define the different types of variation
  • Explain the concept of throughput
  • Distinguish the concepts of throughput and work in progress
  • Describe the role of variation in production operations
  • List sources of variation in construction settings
  • Explain variation mitigation techniques
  • Contrast variation mitigation techniques

Unit 2: Pull in Production is a half-day, instructor-led course that explains the concept of pull as a means to reliable production workflow. Following this course, you will be able to:

  • Compare batch-and-queue and continuous-flow production systems
  • Distinguish push systems from pull systems
  • Describe the impact of pull on production systems
  • Explain pull strategies in construction operations 

Unit 3: Lean Workstructuring is the first of two units that introduces the Last Planner® System (LPS). This system was developed by the Lean Construction Institute (LCI) to plan projects in a way that produces predictable workflow and rapid learning. This half-day, instructor-led course describes the process of Lean Workstructuring. Following this course, you will be able to:

  • Apply the methods and tools utilized in pull planning
  • Describe the concept of Lean Workstructuring
  • Outline the desired outcomes of Lean Workstructuring
  • Describe the characteristics and application of the Last Planner® System 

Unit 4: The Last Planner® System is the second of two units introducing the Last Planner® System (LPS). This system was developed by the Lean Construction Institute (LCI) to plan projects in a way that produces predictable workflow and rapid learning. This half-day, facilitator-led course shows how to conduct make-ready and weekly work planning sessions. Following this course, you will be able to:

  • Apply the Last Planner System on a project;
  • Hold make-ready and weekly work planning sessions; and
  • Calculate, track and analyze percent plan complete for a project 

Unit 5: Lean Supply Chain and Assembly is a one-day, instructor-led course that explains the concept of lean supply chain and assembly. Following this course, you will be able to:

  • Differentiate between traditional procurement practices and lean supply chain applications;
  • Identify waste and value-adding activities within the supply chain and assembly;
  • Evaluate the impact of using lean supply chain on waste elimination, continuous flow and site operations pull;
  • Identify strategies needed at the project and company levels to support the lean supply chain;
  • List examples of process improvements to the lean supply chain;
  • Expand lean beyond the individual project; and
  • Create a value stream map to diagnose and improve the supply chain. 

Unit 6: Lean Design and Pre-construction is a half-day, instructor-led course that explains the concepts of value-based management, lean in the design process and relational contracting. Following this course, you will be able to:

  • Distinguish between the varying definitions for design.
  • Define value and commonly used methods to maximize it.
  • Discuss waste and commonly used methods to minimize it.
  • Differentiate between traditional project methods and lean design.
  • Explain the various lean tools used in design and how to deploy them. 

Unit 7: Problem-solving Principles and Tools is a seven hour, instructor-led course that describes the Lean Problem Solving Process and illustrates how to use tools to solve problems in a lean manner. Following this course, you will be able to:

  • Define the difference between traditional and lean problem solving.
  • Describe how to create a team environment to solve problems.
  • Explain how to create trust to avoid problems.
  • Describe Observation Walks.
  • Identify root causes of problems. 

Candidates who successfully complete the seven AGC Lean Construction Education Program courses and provide AGC of America with a record of completion are eligible to apply for the AGC Certificate of Management-Lean Construction (CM-Lean) Exam. This assessment-based certificate credential denotes knowledge and understanding of concepts related to Lean adoption, practice and process transformation outlined in the AGC Lean Construction Education Program.

To begin the application process for the CM-Lean Exam, search for upcoming exams using the CM-Lean Exam Calendar.

After accessing the CM-Lean Exam calendar look through the available exams to determine an exam location and date that best suits your needs. If there is not a testing date near you, you can still apply to your preferred testing center. Many locations will add exam dates as needed.

You will have to complete the CM-Lean Exam Application in order to register for the exam. As you are filling out the form, be sure to select your preferred testing location from the drop-down list. You should not apply for your exam until you have completed all seven classes.

Use the maps below to locate an AGC Testing Center.


Available Testing Centers

Note: If the map is green in your area, there are no participating testing centers. Participants may contact a representative at their nearest AGC chapter using the Chapter Finder, and request that the chapter becomes a testing center.

Click on your area in the map above to view the list of participating testing centers. Once you have located a testing center, complete the CM-Lean Exam Application and choose your preferred testing center. 


This optional three hour self-paced e-learning course reviews the principles of Lean Construction as taught in AGC's Lean Construction Education Program. The course is designed to supplement learner's review and study of the curriculum's seven units as they prepare for the CM-Lean exam. Course participants can assess their understanding of Lean Construction as they experience the audio and visual content and answer the 55 review questions as they progress through the seven units of the CM-Lean Exam Prep Course. This prep course is currently available in the AGC Store for $79 for members and $99 for nonmembers.

Participants who successfully complete the Lean Education Program and pass the exam can be recognized for their accomplishment on the AGC CM-Lean Holders web directory. Further information on the Certificate of Management-Lean Construction can be found on the CM-Lean webpage.


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