Working to Improve the Lookahead Plan

Thais da C.L. Alves1 & Kevin Britt2

1Assistant Professor, J.R. Filanc Construction Engineering and Management Program, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, 92182-1324, USA, Phone +1 619/594-8289, [email protected]
2DPR Construction, 5010 Shoreham Place, San Diego, CA 92122, USA, Phone +1 858/597-7070, [email protected]


The paper presents the journey of a general contractor to improve the lookahead planning process of a large healthcare facility in California. During the process managers, superintendents, designers, and owner’s representatives all come together to identify task needs and spot potential constraints that need to be removed before tasks can happen. In a large and complex project such as a healthcare facility this is a daunting task that requires intense collaboration and clear flows of information and commitments, which must be tracked throughout time. The paper describes approaches used by the construction manager’s team during the past year and a half to improve the make ready process, which is a fundamental part of the lookahead process. After trying multiple ways to improve the process the team is using a mix of on-site meetings and computer-based technologies to make constraints visible to all participants, improve the time to remove constraints, and give feedback to production crews. The process described is common to many contractors who work to keep track of commitments in projects of all sizes. The paper presents the journey the team in this project went through and some of the lessons they learned during the process.


Lookahead planning, make ready process, healthcare facilities.



Alves, T. C. & Britt, K. 2011. Working to Improve the Lookahead Plan, 19th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , -.

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