The Last Planner Production System

Phase Planning

A Phase Schedule can vary greatly depending on the scope of the project. Typically a phase will take longer than 6 weeks.

Pull Planning happens in the Phase Scheduling Stage. Pull Planning is planning from the end of the phase to the beginning of the phase – A rule of “pulling” is to only do work that releases work-requested by someone else. I.e. the tiler requires the floors to be Work Ready for the tiler.

The Team who plans the Phase Schedule involve all representatives of that phase. I.e. Supervisors and sub-contractor supervisors (Representatives). The Pull Planner Lead guides and coaches the representatives to collaborate by demonstrating enthusiasm and neutrality.

Representatives write brief descriptions of tasks (typically on sticky notes) that must be performed in order to release their task to others and tasks that must be completed by others prior to starting.

Lookahead Planning (6 Weeks)

Lookahead Planning is typically 6 weeks out and rolls over as each week is completed. The lookahead should allow the Last Planner to identify requirements, resources, constraints and make sure every task requiring completion are ‘Work Ready’ for the subsequent week ahead.

Failing to have enough ‘Work Ready’ tasks ready for the beginning of the week defeats the purpose of planning. The result creates a pressured time-consuming response causing waste.

Weekly Work Plan

The Weekly Work Plan is the immediate plan and is part of the 6-week rolling Lookahead Schedule.

Typically the weekly planning involves;

1 Reviewing the previous week
2 Create the Work Plan for the following week, and
3 Determine make ‘Work Ready’ needs for upcoming week (two weeks out)

Ideally the planning happens on a Friday or during the last working day of the week.

Reviewing the Previous Week

Percent Plan Complete (PPC): Mark every task as either complete or incomplete. (is the task completed and subsequently the next task becomes ‘Work Ready’? PPC is important to drive reliable consistent workflow. The goal should be to achieve as close to 100% as possible as this indicates successful planning. The Last Planner needs to judge the size of work, variations and workforce availability and provide the right number of tasks to be completed within the Weekly Work Plan. PPC measures reliability of the planning system and NOT the productivity of the workers.

Lessons from the week: After noting reasons for non-completion, the Last Planner must perform a root cause analysis. By doing this will help the Last Planner and other representatives learn and improve next time round. Best practice is to follow The Five Whys problem solving technique that successfully uncovers the root cause of the failure. It is as simple as asking why to every answer given five times.

Plan the Next Two Weeks

The Last Planner collaborates with representatives to adjust and finalize a plan for the next two weeks. The experience and expertise of everyone should uncover any sequencing issues and may also provide alternative sequencing options should a task be non-complete from the previous week.

Ensure tasks are ‘Work Ready’ for next week and constraints identified and planned for the following week to ensure tasks are ‘Work Ready’ in time.

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