Leveraging Software for Learning-in-Action Using Commitment-Based Planning

Tom Feliz1, Dean Reed2, John Draper3 & Hal Macomber4

1Director of Sales, ourPlan, Phone +1 650-776-4188, San Francisco, CA [email protected]
2Lean Construction Director, DPR Construction, Redwood City, CA, [email protected]
3Associate Principal, Lean Project Consulting, Bloomington, MN, [email protected]
4Principal, Lean Project Consulting, Campton, NH [email protected]


The Last Planner® System (LPS) allows teams and individuals to learn and improve their use of language to plan and coordinate production every day on their construction project. This paper will investigates how LPS, when consistently applied, reinforces W. Edwards Deming’s Plan-Do-Study-Act. LPS also promotes and requires effective use of key elements of reliable promising and “grammar of action” as put forth by Fernando Flores. These two theories will be explained along with others throughout this paper as a framework and management system for project teams operating in a production setting. The second half of the paper discusses how technology has been leveraged to achieve high-functioning LPS performance. A cloud-based Last Planner software application exists that helps project teams create learning through the ability to establish reliable promises. By applying Deming's PDSA method for continuous improvement, this collaborative software creates real-time feedback and learning for teams. The commitment-based actions and workflow supported by the software help teams actively engage and appreciate Fernando Flores’ language-action perspective. This paper will demonstrate through discussion and examples of three case studies of project teams who have successfully used this production-planning tool to create a network of commitments that are grounded in a learning-in-action approach.


Last Planner software, reliable promising, Deming PDSA, language-action perspective



Feliz, T. , Reed, D. , Draper, J. & Macomber, H. 2014, 'Leveraging Software for Learning-in-Action Using Commitment-Based Planning' In:, Kalsaas, B. T., Koskela, L. & Saurin, T. A., 22nd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Oslo, Norway, 25-27 Jun 2014. pp 1307-1318

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