Lean Construction Ireland: Webinar 11: The 5 Levels of the Last Planner® System_ Should, Can, Will, Did and Learn – Presented by Paul Ebbs, special guest Dave Umstot

Webinar Title:  The 5 Levels of the Last Planner® System
Speaker: Paul Ebbs
Organisation: Umstot Project and Facilities Solutions
Date: October 2017


Trevor – What is the name of the Last Planner simulation that gives a taste/demo of the system?

Villego Last Planner Simulation. We use this to introduce the basic concepts of LPS to teams before the practical application of the system. The facilitator of this simulation must be competent and experienced with LPS and it is best when they have experience working in the AEC industry so that they can relate the nuances of the simulation back to real life examples for the participants.

Ray – Do you not think that unless the client/customer insists on LSP being used, as a contractor, we are at the mercy of the Project Management Companies, who are often contract employees with their own agenda?

Ideally the owner will specify the proper use of the LPS. I would recommend not just specifying “the use of LPS” because in my experience teams often have different ideas of what the LPS actually is and often think it is just some sticky notes on a wall and that “we already do this”… On a recent project I was involved in the owner asked a pre-qual question about the bidders understanding and use of LPS/collaborative planning. Needless to say all of the bidders stated that they already used LPS or something similar and even included some photos of teams pointing at sticky notes on a wall.

Specification of how the different elements of the system will be used can be outlined in the contract documents e.g. frequency of phase plan creation & who needs to participate; requirement for weekly work coordination meetings and re-planning as required (replacing existing progress meeting format with regards to schedule performance); frequency of make ready planning (6 – 8 week look ahead window); daily huddles – who is required daily; root cause analysis to learn from system plan failures and reasons for missed commitments. We have specific examples of this if you want to contact me.

Without the owner specifying it in the correct way the chance of the LPS being used correctly reduces.

I would agree that the main contractor and trade partners are at the mercy of the PM firms without the owner specifying it correctly and ideally the owner will employ LPS consultants or coaches to help the team learn how to use the system. Learning LPS is like learning a new language and that cannot be learned in a day or without practicing it and having a teacher/coach to help the team improve their use of it.

Notwithstanding the comments above, teams can use the LPS without owners or PM firms specifying it and for those teams who have successfully used it before, LPS becomes the “way” the plan and manage commitments in projects. One company we worked with chose not to use CPM at all and got all the Last Planners in a room to create the schedule from the outset.

Click here to download Paul Ebbs Presentation in PDF

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