Subcontractor Collaboration and Breakdowns in Production: The Effects of Varied Lps Implementation

Tammy McConaughy1 & Daniel Shirkey2

1Construction Division Coordination and Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Alpha Mechanical. Inc. 4885 Greencraig Ln, San Diego, CA 92123; 858-279-1300
2Technology COE Leader |West Region, Balfour Beatty Construction, 10620 Treena Street #300, San Diego CA 92131; 858-635-7400


The benefits of Last Planner System® (LPS) implementation on a whole project are well established in literature and research about Lean Construction. Throughout the construction industry LPS has been adapted to meet owner needs; industry requirements and individualized to Construction Management specialties. However, the impacts of varying LPS structures, interpretations or deviations implemented by the Owner/ General Contractor/Construction Manager have shown diverse effects on the upstream and downstream flow of construction operations and production specifically relating to subcontractors trades. This variation has led to decreased schedule reliability and ineffective constraint analysis. There are behavioral aspects and sub trade levels of engagement to consider during the implementation of LPS. The authors through surveys, interviews, and direct observations analyzed the specialty trades perceptions of Owner/ General Contractor/ Construction Manager adapted implementation of LPS. Research analysis identifies how variations in LPS implementation lead to failures and losses in productivity, which reduce buy-in of the subcontractor trades. Potential tools, processes and behaviors to mitigate these variations are suggested and analyzed.


Last Planner System, Pull, Lean Construction, Work Flow, Collaboration, Promise, Trust.



McConaughy, T. & Shirkey, D. 2013. Subcontractor Collaboration and Breakdowns in Production: The Effects of Varied Lps Implementation , 21th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 649-658.

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