The Pipeline: A Picture of Homebuilding Production©: Foreword by Pascal Dennis

(the second edition of The Pipeline: A Picture of Homebuilding Production© was published in January 2016)

Pascal and I are friends and colleagues, as he notes in the foreword that he graciously wrote for the first edition of The Pipeline: A Picture of Homebuilding Production©.  Pascal is a professional engineer, and the president of the international consultancy group Lean Pathways Inc.  He is the author of Lean Production SimplifiedAndy & Me, Getting the Right Things Done, and The Remedy;  he is a four-time winner of the Shingo Prize for Excellence.

The Pipeline 2nd Edition Book Cover (VBW)

“When my friend and colleague Fletcher Groves told me he was writing a book explaining homebuilding production principles and disciplines, I was pleased and supportive.

“Fletcher is a man of energy, enthusiasm, and profound experience who has taught me a ton about this fascinating and essential industry (it’s been my good fortune to work with Fletcher and the great Jack Suarez on the Inland Homebuilding System).

“Fletcher is unique in that he combines a deep knowledge of Lean (also known as the Toyota Production System), Theory of Constraints, Business Process Management, and Finance – a powerful combination.  He thereby avoids the tiresome ‘theological’ debates – Lean vs. TOC vs. Business Process Reengineering vs. Six Sigma and so on – that distract and confuse.  As Ernest Hemingway once observed, in a different context:  ‘It is all true’.  The point is to integrate powerful ideas toward achieving prosperity for our business, team members, and community.

“He is also a man of decency and integrity which comes through in The Pipeline‘s sub-theme of what the ancients called Fortitude – the guts to confront brutal facts without ever losing faith in the ultimate outcome.

“I was lucky enough to grow up professionally at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, and to spend extended periods of time at leading Toyota facilities in North America and Japan.  Our (very patient) Toyota senseis emphasized the concept of a system – an organized set of parts with a clearly defined goal.  Absent a system, at best, we sub-optimize;  at worst, we waste our time.

“And so, Fletcher has done us a great service.  He has produced an engaging and accessible overview of what W. Edwards Deming has called the ‘profound system of knowledge’, as it applies to homebuilding production.  RB Builders, our fictional production homebuilding company, faces the very real challenges, and learns a powerful way of thinking and managing.

“Homebuilding has endured a terrible downturn.  But it will come back, as it always has.  If we can learn and apply the principles explained in The Pipeline, if we can learn to think of homebuilding as a system, as RB Builders does in the story, we can blunt future boom-bust cycles, and thereby reduce human misery and preserve hard-won prosperity.

“We’re early on in this essential journey;  a respected colleague suggested that, apart from a handful of progressive companies, homebuilding is where auto manufacturing was a century ago.

“The Pipeline: A Picture of Homebuilding Production© is an invaluable guide.”

Next:  The Pipeline, 2nd Edition:  More of What Others Are Saying


The Pipeline: A Picture of Homebuilding Production©, Second Edition is available through the publisher’s bookstore, and from any of the main booksellers (,, or

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