Is the Last Planner System Applicable to Design? A Case Study

Farook R. Hamzeh1, Glenn Ballard2 & Iris D Tommelein3

1Ph.D. Candidate, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, 215 McLaughlin Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712, USA, farook@calmail.berkeley.edu
2Research Director, Project Production Systems Laboratory http://p2sl.berkeley.edu and Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, 215 McLaughlin Hall, University. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712,USA, ballard@ce.berkeley.edu
3Director, Project Production Systems Laboratory http://p2sl.berkeley.edu and Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, 215-A McLaughlin Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712, USA, 510/643-8678, FAX: 510/643-8919, tommelein@ce.berkeley.edu

Abstract

The Last PlannerTM system has been successfully implemented in construction to increase the reliability of planning, improve production performance, and create a predictable workflow. However, some practitioners question the function of the Last PlannerTM system during design especially that design processes involve iterations and circular chains of interaction between different parties. The purpose of this paper is to report on research comprising the application of Last PlannerTM system in design. The paper describes the developments and adjustments introduced to the Last PlannerTM system to better suit design processes on a health care project in North America. Novel standardized planning practices used on the project are reported and analyzed. The study findings suggest that the Last PlannerTM system principles account for both deliberative and situated action models. On one hand, deliberative planning4 takes place at the master and phase scheduling level where a premeditated rigid course of action is undertaken in setting milestones and identifying handoffs. On the other hand, situated planning is performed at the lookahead planning and weekly work planning stages where planning takes into account changes in the environment and the uncertainty affecting inputs, processes, and outputs of design activities.

Keywords

Lean design, last plannertm system, lookahead planning, production control, lean construction.

Files

Reference

Hamzeh, F.R. , Ballard, G. & Tommelein, I.D. 2009, 'Is the Last Planner System Applicable to Design? A Case Study' In:, Cuperus, Y. & Hirota, E.H., 17th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Taipei, Taiwan, 15-17 Jul 2009. pp 165-176

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