Lean Construction, Last Planner System, Construction's Lean Tools
The Last Planner System is the construction industry's Lean tool for improved scheduling, management, and coordination of subcontractor activities in the construction execution phase and our preferred method for implementing Location-based Scheduling.
The well-known issue:
"Schedules often prove unreliable, and many construction projects are delivered late or incur cost overruns and/or penalties."
The fear of delays also leads to some projects being planned with less buffer time, which is also wasteful. The theory behind LPS is that it's impossible to design a construction project in detail from the start due to the unpredictable nature of construction projects.
Therefore, it would be more efficient to plan the construction in broader frameworks and delay the detailed planning of individual activities until shortly before they need to be carried out.
Another critical factor is that detailed planning should be performed by construction management and by those who will carry out the activities, i.e., the subcontractors themselves. In this way, the practical experiences of the subcontractors are incorporated, such as knowledge of activity durations and their interrelations with other trades' activities – hence the name Last Planner System.
The collaboration established during planning meetings has been shown to carry over to the site, where subcontractors can coordinate more independently. Last but certainly not least, subcontractors are more committed to following the schedule they have created than the one dictated by the construction management.
The Last Planner System has evolved from a weekly and period planning method to encompass complete production control today. This occurred in the latest version of the method from 2020, where Location-based Scheduling has become an integrated part of the Last Planner System. The method is used both in the short and long term to ensure flow, optimize overall production, and generate learning for the next project.
How we implement the Last Planner System on your project.
Based on our experience with numerous construction projects, we understand construction times and how many resources should be allocated in various construction phases.
- Period Plan
- Week plan
- Progress reporting
- Feedback and learning
Based on the project's overall master schedule (master schedule) a period schedule is prepared (phase schedule) containing all the activities that should (should do) in the given period. In this period schedule, the activities from the master schedule are broken down, allowing for the identification and resolution of any obstacles for the individual sub-activities. (make ready). "In this way, a relatively detailed plan is formed (look-ahead plan) "for the next 2-6 weeks, consisting solely of tasks that can be initiated and carried out (can do).
The period schedule is created easily, clearly, and Location-based using Tactplan.
From this detailed period schedule (look-ahead plan) activities are jointly selected by executing parties for the upcoming week, i.e., in the weekly Last Planner meeting. Involving the executing parties in the weekly prioritization of upcoming activities ensures that only activities are initiated to which the executing parties are dedicated. During the weekly Last Planner meeting, a weekly plan is formulated, which the executing parties find realistic and genuinely possible and are thus committed to - and willing to (will dofollow this specific weekly plan.
The weekly plan is created easily, clearly, and Location-based using Tactplan.
As part of the Last Planner method, it's crucial to keep track of the ongoing status (doing) and, thus, the ongoing progress. By comparing the actual status with the planned status, the project's percent plan complete (PPC, Percent Plan Complete) is revealed. Additionally, it's disclosed which activities were completed (done) and, perhaps even more importantly, which ones were not. The latter prompts an investigation into why these activities weren't completed.
Continuous digital status registration and reporting are done using Tactplan Mobile
Feedback and Learning
This knowledge can address the hindrance that caused a specific activity not to be completed and ensure that the activity can be carried out in the future – perhaps even providing general insights that can be used in future planning.
Thus, it becomes a learning process and continuous optimization of execution across the company's project portfolio, benefiting both the environment (less waste) and contribution margins (less waste and shorter execution periods), as opposed to traditional ad-hoc obstacle resolution on-site.