The Last Planner® System Path Clearing Approach in Action: A Case Study

Paul J. Ebbs1, Christine L. Pasquire2 & Emmanuel I. Daniel3

1Research Fellow, Centre for Lean Projects, Nottingham Trent University, [email protected]
2Professor of Lean Project Management, Director of Centre for Lean Projects, Nottingham Trent University, [email protected]
3 PhD, Lecturer in Construction Management, Southampton Solent University, UK [email protected]


The “Last Planner® System” (LPS) is commonly viewed as the foundation of Lean Project Delivery. It is increasingly used in certain parts of the globe. However, LPS implementation often fades off due to issues reported at organisational, project and external levels. The LPS Path Clearing Approach (PCA) offers an antidote to these issues. The goal of this paper is to outline how the LPS-PCA helped restart a stalled implementation of the LPS through a “shallow and wide” organisational approach rather than a more traditional “narrow and deep” project approach. The LPS-PCA in action is documented within an on-going UK case study organisation. Action and covert research methods were used to introduce LPS principles, thinking and language without attributing them to LPS in response to resistance to the actual LPS. The 15 step actions within the LPS-PCA are expanded from a past, current and future state perspective. The study found that the LPS-PCA’s 15 step actions were useful as a benchmark to continuously remove constraints that blocked the implementation of the LPS. In summary, the use of the LPSPCA is recommended before, during and after organisations engage with LPS Consultants if organisations are serious about sustaining the implementation of the LPS.


Last Planner System, Path Clearing, Lean Leadership, Facilitator, Shallow and Wide



Ebbs, P. J. , Pasquire, C. L. & Daniel, E. I. 2018, 'The Last Planner® System Path Clearing Approach in Action: A Case Study' In:, 26th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Chennai, India, 18-20 Jul 2018. pp 724-733

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