Pull Planning is the lean way to plan for the tightest schedule, least down time, smallest crews, all leading to a less expensive project.
Imagine you haven’t pull planned and you estimate that a segment of scope will take 3 weeks to complete, but in reality took 7 days. Because of the lack of planning, the next subcontractor doesn’t have their team lined up to start for another 6 days. That’s 6 days of lost time for a simple lack of planning.
When pull planning it’s important to make sure that every stakeholder has a say in the plan. Don’t speak for your partners and trade contractors. Let them commit to their time frames. Let them discuss their causes of variances, and let them be accountable for their faults and delays.
Tighter Schedules: By breaking down the schedule into smaller tasks, allowing each contractors or stakeholder to provide input. With accurate input from the men and women actually performing the work, we can plan for accurate durations. When we know when a task is set to be completed, we have the next set of crews and materials ready to step up. Leading us to….
Less Down Time: Imagine a well tuned scheduling machine, where when one crew is done, the next is right behind them ready to start. Materials can be delivered just in time too. Each predecessor activity triggers the next one to start.
Smallest Crews: When we have well defined tasks and well defined timelines, we can plan our crews to the exact amount of people we need. The smaller the crews required for a given task, the less overhead, the less payroll when there happens to be down time.
- Smaller crews = smaller overhead
- Less down time = less unproductive crews = less payroll without progress
- Tighter schedules = shorter overall duration = less overall expense (T&M)
There’s lots of benefits of a last planner system and pulling activities to get the most accurate schedule you can.
We’re almost to the end of Lean Mean Machine May. I’ll be finishing the month out with a pull planning webinar and an example of how to pull plan your schedule.