Lean Collaborative Planning

Collaborative Planning – why is construction lastminute.com?

Construction is ‘lastminute.com’ – perhaps it’s time for some Collaborative Planning!!

Have you ever tried to manage a Construction project without a plan?

If so, you’ll know it’s difficult because things are spiralling out of your control. I have observed over the last 2 years in this industry that there is very little planning or poor planning in place. Time and time again the scenarios always the same. Why do sites run out of materials but find it acceptable to send someone across town for supplies daily? And sometimes more than once in a day? Quite often they are reactive in getting subcontractors to site when required? So what do you do?

For the past 2 years, working as a lean construction expert, this has been a common theme for many of my construction clients. I have found success overcoming these issues when I implement collaborative planning on site, which is fast becoming the tool of choice. But there are a few things you should know before you try to implement a collaborative planning tool on your own.

This blog will show you what you need to know to ensure you understand the Collaborative Planning tool (sometime referred to as the Last Planner System) and why its used to aid planning with very little time invested. This guideline shows you can reduce the cost of projects and the time it takes to deliver them by collaboratively working with suppliers in managing design and construction.  You can achieve these outcomes by involving all teams in planning the work, removing barriers to completion, measuring team performance and identify areas for improvement.  However I find these are simple practices that are rarely applied to Construction projects.

It’s all about flow

Collaborative Planning is introduced to create flow on projects and plan sequencing of work. The process creates detailed plans from key milestones and identifies interfaces that are critical to successful project delivery. This is a 5 stage process that involves the whole teams commitment to ensure its success. By following these simple steps;

  1. Programme planning – create an achievable plan, waste free
  2. Forward planning – remove constraints to ensure programmed tasks are ready to happen
  3. Weekly planning – make the ready tasks happen and measure team performance
  4. Daily planning – manage the weekly plan and progress
  5. Focused improvement activity – manage risks and opportunities

Remember the maximum benefit will be achieved when it is utilised proactively rather than re-actively. When executed effectively collaborative planning can offer the following just to name a few;

  • reduction in costs by doing more work
  • better integration of teams and suppliers
  • better reliability of task completion and coordination of suppliers
  • reduce time durations, less delays, addresses issues early

Collaborative Planning: The saviour of all construction tools!

If you’re looking for a way to stop the fire fighting last minute culture, then look no further, the lean collaborative planning tool is the best method to ensure you end up with something that lets you plan effectively. The adoption in the above techniques has been proven to generate rapid improvement in team performance, effective planning, better communication and deliver greater outcomes in a timely manner. By using this simple process and adding it to the front end of a project it would have prevented the majority of the trouble shooting situations.

5am alarm!!

The alarm has just gone off it’s 5am and here I go again onto the next construction project to repeat this process again!!


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