Lookahead planning is a fundamental process in the Last PlannerTM system of production control, which encompasses four tiers of planning processes: master scheduling, phase scheduling, lookahead planning, and commitment planning. Lookahead planning means not just viewing near-term tasks from the master or phase schedule and possibly detailing them, but it is a process to make tasks ready and create a workable backlog of tasks. The purpose of this paper is to report on research dedicated to improving the Last PlannerTM system in general and the lookahead process in particular. The paper describes the role of lookahead planning as a connector between long term planning and commitment planning. Research is presented on two projects in North America combined with preliminary results from a survey investigating the Last PlannerTM implementation and the performance of the lookahead process. The data collected was employed to evaluate the current practice, suggest hypotheses for improvement, and introduce experiments to test these hypotheses. The study findings indicate an inadequate performance of the lookahead process mainly due to the lack of instructions such as Last PlannerTM implementation guidelines or related standardized integrative practices. The paper suggests guidelines and reports on research concerned with producing, testing, and improving the required instructions.
Lookahead planning, production control, lean construction, Last PlannerTM system, rationalizing production.
Hamzeh, F.R. , Ballard, G. & Tommelein, I.D. 2008, 'Improving Construction Work Flow – The Connective Role of Lookahead Planning' In:, Tzortzopoulos, P. & Kagioglou, M., 16th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Manchester, UK, 16-18 Jul 2008. pp 635-646