5 Pull Planning Mistakes to Avoid

Pull Planning is a collaborative project scheduling process that takes a reverse approach to sequencing. When the process works, it can save you time and money — so you want to get it right. If you’re using Pull Planning on your projects, here are some mistakes to avoid and check out more tips in our Pull Planning Beginner’s Guide 


Don’t Get Tripped Up on These … 

1. Trying to Plan in Just One Session 

Don’t attempt to Pull Plan the entire project in one sitting. If your session lasts more than 2-3 hours, your last planners will begin to lose concentration and become disengaged. Try pulling one milestone or phase of the work at a time. Break longer, complex sessions over several days. 


2. Running a Pull Plan Session Without a Facilitator  

The best sessions have a strong facilitator. Whether you are using internal team members or someone external to the project, remember that Pull Planning requires strong collaboration between trades to discuss handoffs and commitments. 


3. Working in a Silo

Collaboration is the key to Pull Planning. The process utilizes every member of the team instead of being dependent on a single individual. Pull Planning allows every person to feel essential to the success and completion of the project. Because of this, they can better understand the work and will be more invested. 

4. Loosely Defining Milestones  

Take the time to identify essential elements milestones. Projects are broken down into the most relevant and impactful pieces that need to be completed — one step at a time. With all critical parts in order, it’s easy to identify areas that need to be improved or any areas of delay. 


5. Using Paper Sticky Notes

Sticky notes have been the most popular way to structure Pull Planning but paper presents with its own set of limitations. How do you organize them long-term? What happens when the trailer door opens and they blow away? Digital Pull Planning software secures all project details in one place. It can save you lots of time organizing, digitalizing, and sharing your tasks.  


Continuous Improvement  

Pull Planning is all about setting efficiencies early to reduce the amount of roadblocks throughout the project. The team goes over things that may present an issue as the project goes on and creates a proactive plan to avoid these issues. This keeps the project running smoothly and reduces wasted time and materials. It also identifies redundancies before they can happen and keeps members of the project from having to wait on other members to resolve problems. 

Not only does it allow collaborative work, but studies have shown that the use of Pull Planning can help to increase worker safety and overall quality of the project when the right people are engaged and utilizing the method to collaborate properly. 

The beauty of Pull Planning is that it allows project managers as well as other stakeholders to see the flaws in their plans when the project is over. This keeps your team from repeating the same mistakes over and over. Each time that the time engages in a new project, they will go into it with the knowledge that they have gained from their previous projects. 

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