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Lessons from the Last Planner System® Conference

The Last Planner System® (LPS) is a production planning system designed to improve predictability while maximizing efficiency and safety. LPS is a system that engages last planners — the people ultimately responsible for getting the work done — in the planning and efficient execution of a project. 

On March 2-3, Lean Construction Blog hosted the The Last Planner System Conference. Sessions focused on how LPS can improve communication, trust, transparency, reliability, and more.  

Hoylu is proud to have been a sponsor of the conference. Below are a few of our takeaways and check out 5 Questions About Lean Design and Construction: Implementation, Tools & Coaching 


Milestone Planning: How to Start Your LPS Implementation on the Right Foot 

The LPS plan starts with a milestone planning phase. Following the milestone plan, other core components of the LPS follows including phase pull planning, make ready planning, weekly planning, daily execution, and learning. In this session, Tom Richert of RisingTerrain LLC shared a general overview on the core components of the LPS, how each component fit together, the purpose that they play, and how they help create better projects. In particular, Tom focused on how you can start your LPS implementation on the right foot. 

The planning does not needs to be efficient, the performance does, which is why you do the Pull Planning, said Tom Richert as he reviewed the 5 project planning principles:  

  1. Keep all plans at every level of detail updated and in view.  

  1. At project start, keep master schedules at milestone level of detail except for tasks to be performed at a given time in order to initiate flows of information, materials or resources needed in later project phases, long-lead items and options.  

  1. Plan in greater detail at the start date for planned task approaches.  

  1. Produce plans collaboratively with those who are to do the work being planned.  

  1. Re-plan as necessary to adjust plan to the realities of the unfolding future. 


Creating and Using a Phase Pull Plan in Construction Projects 

Phase pull planning is one of the critical conversations of the Last Planner System. In this session, Christian Pikel of The ReAlignment Group explored how to set up a team for success in collaboratively developing a phase pull plan, ways to develop trust and transparency between team members, and how to use completed pull plans in subsequent Last Planner conversations. 

Phase Pull Planning, he said, is a method for engaging in the second conversation of LPS. The goal of Phase Pull Planning is for the team to determine the key handoffs of work or information needed to deliver a milestone and achieve workflow. This continue to the we “should” be able to conversation.  

The 5 Connected Conversation 

  • Milestone  

  • Phase Pull 

  • Lookahead 

  • Weekly Work 

  • Learning  


Mastering the Heart of Lean: Making and Keeping Reliable Promises 

Promises are at the heart of Lean. Promises bring to life the lean principles of customer value, flow, pull, and produce amazing results. In this session, Peter Luff at VISION Consulting shared why promises matter and why they are different to objectives; how they increase collaboration, agility and engagement in projects; what makes for a good promise and how to spot bad ones; and how to develop your conversations to manage promises. 

Luff shared a 5-step approach to building a commitment culture:  

  1. Put in place well-defined meeting practices 

  1. Pay attention to language and mood 

  1. Spend time agreeing on the Conditions of Satisfaction 

  1. Support people on their Network of commitments 

  1. Talk about trust and distrust together  

To develop this culture of commitment, Luff said you need caring conversations. It’s important to support people in making judgments about what they can do. Practical wisdom, think together, form commitments that stretch but won’t break people.  


Demo: Pull Planning Made Easy With Hoylu 

Creating an engaging digital work environment for your team does not have to be a daunting effort. Hoylu’s Ryan Kelly, Jonathan Lee, and Joe Budzinski discussed Hoylu for Construction. Hoylu is an easy-to-use, cloud-based, construction project management and whiteboarding tool that enables distributed teams to visualize projects.   

Our software combines pull planning with digital whiteboarding to give teams the big room experience in a digital environment. With this type of tool, teams can easily monitor, measure, and stay informed by connecting everyone in real-time regardless of location.  

With Hoylu, you can easily access project plans to update tasks, add dependencies, and plot variance reasons. Our workspaces contain business logic to provide the structure of a project management tool with the flexibility of a whiteboard. So, you’ll get real-time status updates of project details, that you can access through any device. 

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