3 ways the Last Planner® System can drive successful project outcomes
Time management is a big challenge for the building industry. Just 1 in 3 contractors finish all their projects on time and in budget, with 70% blaming poor site coordination for missed deadlines.
What’s the solution?
For many construction companies, a new approach to project management can revitalise processes and improve project outcomes. The Last Planner® System is a production management methodology gaining ground in the building sector.
If you haven’t yet read our introduction to last planning, this methodology focuses on collaboration and accountability. Design and construction teams work together to prioritise jobs that makes sense on the ground and drives real outcomes. Its adoption has been touted as a critical opportunity for a leaner, more efficient building industry.
Interested in finding out more? Here are three ways in which the Last Planner System can drive successful project outcomes:
1. Clearer Division of Responsibilities
The Last Planner System uses a simple visual interface to make it easy for teams to get a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities and how these impact other disciplines.
All activities, dependencies, actions, decisions and important milestones are captured in one place. Each discipline picks a different colour to code their activities so they can quickly identify them on the dashboard.
The colour coding system makes it easy for project team members to identify their own tasks. Everyone can see what information and action is required, when it’s needed, and who needs it. The project scope is complete transparent, with a clear outline of who makes each decision, submittal and approval to maintain the project schedule.
2. Better Coordination
By giving each discipline their own unique appearance, The Last Planner drastically improves job coordination throughout the entire construction phase.
Understanding each task in context helps everyone involved to identify issues that might impact the design, procurement or construction process. By improving coordination, teams can quickly highlight and remove constraints and avoid unnecessary work or rework.
A study involving construction companies in Brazil found that 90.6% of those who had implemented last planning methodology had formalised their planning and control process, 87.5% had standardised short-term planning meetings and 84.4% were visually disseminating information across construction sites. Each of these benefits improved coordination, helping teams to deliver higher standards of performance.
3. Improved workflow
In addition to defining responsibilities and helping teams to collaborate, the integrated nature of last planning enhances project flow. As teams can visualise the entire phase of a project on one dashboard, there is increased accountability around work commitments. Everyone can see who needs to do what and when to keep programmes progressing as scheduled.
Visually mapping workflow also helps to identify critical upstream dependencies – whether that’s information, materials or resources – that need to be in place. And The Last Planner methodology can help construction teams to identify issues early and develop workarounds, limiting their impact on overall progress.
Finishing on time and on budget is a primary project goal, and reworks can become a major obstacle to achieving this. Reworks can account for up to 5% of the overall contract value in some construction programmes, as well as affecting timelines.
Implementing The Last Planner in projects can play a huge part in creating more efficient schedules by providing a simple method for managing activities that improves communication and coordination of activities that in turn improve flow.
Drive Successful Projects with Last Planning Principles
Last Planning is proving a powerful methodology for driving successful project outcomes – which is exactly why Elecosoft has launched a new collaborative management tool that uses The Last Planner principles.
Asta Connect aligns project teams with the overall master plan to deliver lean construction programmes on time and in budget. Project teams can work productively and efficiently by visualising all their tasks in one place.
Book a no-obligation Asta Connect demo to find out more about our latest release.