A Last Planner System® Workshop was held at Aram on November 22nd, 2018, led by Farzad Hashemian. The workshop included three parts. It started with an introduction to LPS and its background. We discussed project performance, facts and figures and the reasons behind the productivity improvements of manufacturing projects compared to construction projects. The interactive workshop continued with an explanation of Lean production definitions and principles. Afterwards the various types of waste were explained, from which the topic led on to the impact of using Lean principles on the improvement of project performance. A very well thought of introduction!
The Last Planner System, created and owned by the Lean Construction Institute was initiated in 1993 after it was found that normally only about 50% of weekly work plans were completed by the end of the plan week. The initiators felt that there was a mismatch between existent theories of construction management and the observed reality, and that a paradigm overhaul was needed.
Next in the workshop was a well-managed LPS simulation. Attendees were supposed to follow the instructions to perform the tasks they were given. In order for this part to be finished perfectly, a combination of teamwork, planning, and at the same time cooperating with other teams were needed. Due to the experience and team work of the attendees who were mostly Aram’s Project consultants, the outcome of the workshop was interestingly good, according to the instructor!
In the third part we learned about the components and procedure for implementing the LPS. A number of Aram consultants, including the instructor, were already using the LPS principles, so that there was opportunity for constructive discussions and for sharing experiences, which added a lot of value to this part of the workshop.
The Last Planner System puts the emphasis on moving from “Should Do” to “Can Do” – instead of planning theoretically and hypothetically, the participants in a project are asked to ensure they have all the means and resources to do the tasks that they are assigned, instead of finding out later on in the process that they cannot actually complete their task yet due to constraints. We also learned about the five components of the LPS: 1- The pull planning, 2- Make ready planning, 3- Weekly Work Plan (WWP), 4-Daily huddle, 5-Planned Percentage Complete (PPC) and Reasons for Variance.
The combination of the introduction, simulation, and at the end, the definitions and methods for the implementation of LPS in the interactive atmosphere of the workshop led to valuable takeaways. By involving various stakeholders of a project while applying LPS components on the project planning and control, the human factor shifts more towards the creative and constructive role of the planning in the project. Clarifying the constraints, removing or providing concrete plans for them to be removed and eventually put the constraint free activities and short duration tasks on the Weekly Work Plan, brings the planning and control process closer to reality and the results become more predictable. One of the utmost important factors while implementing the LPS system is the human factor. As mentioned earlier, this element has a significant impact on the outcomes.
LPS is an effective method to improve the efficiency of project performance. Its implementation needs special skills and experience. The combination of LPS and experienced project consultants will definitely result in valuable outcomes. For more information please contact us!