Pull Planning is an integral part of the Lean Construction process. Owners, the construction manager, and subcontractors work backwards from the agreed-upon completion date to create the most effective schedule. Follow the steps below to pull plan your project successfully.
1.Select Completion Date
First, identify the completion or turnover date. Write this date on a white board or sticky note and place it on the far-right side of the wall. Now, work backwards (right to left) to set the rest of your schedule.
What are the major milestones to completion? Write down your milestones on sticky notes, and place them on your schedule as diamonds (one point facing up). By mapping these milestones on your schedule, you’ll establish a framework with which to set the remaining activities.
3.Develop Activities List
All stakeholders should list out every activity that must take place between each milestone to make them possible. Use the question “what is the last activity that must occur before ______ can happen?” to encourage team members to think through the process. Give each team member a pad of sticky notes (don’t duplicate colors) and have them list out their activities. This allows team members to easily reorganize tasks on the schedule if necessary.
4.Develop Time Frame
How long will each step take? Apply durations to each activity without contingencies/buffer time (we’ll add these later).
Can any activities be shortened? Did any team members include unnecessary buffers in their time frames? Can any activities be done simultaneously? Readjust these activities if necessary.
6.Determine Start Date
What is the latest possible start date based on the information on your schedule?
Allocate additional time to any activities that may require buffers. Examine potential risks or uncertain timetables. Readjust start date if necessary.
Assure that all team members agree to, and are advocates for, your schedule. Remember, collaboration is one of the most important principles of the Lean process.