One project team has developed an innovative approach toward reducing the time required to administer the weekly work planning process; while providing greater visibility to the team on the relationship between the weekly plan and the phase plan developed through a collaborative pull planning process.
The team has documented their current phase plans on a Google worksheet. Each planned task has a row and a range of columns to the right of the task name, task location, and trade name represent workdays. The cells corresponding to the dates for the planned work are filled with a color that corresponds to each trade (and in this team’s case the color the trade used for the Post-It note).
A copy of the worksheet is made, and then date columns other than the upcoming planning week are hidden. The worksheet is made available to all the last planners, who then complete their weekly plan online using “X” to indicate a day a task is in progress and “C” to represent a reliably promised completion date. Ideally the work aligns with the dates planned in the pull session; and the alignment can be quickly checked against the color-filled cells. Differences are apparent, and needed adjustments can be discussed and agreed upon.
Last planners like the approach. They can sort the worksheet by location and check that needed work is planned as anticipated, and sort by trade to review their own manpower and resource needs. The construction manager likes the approach, as it reduces the administrative burden of managing the weekly planning process and provides more time for assessing the flow of the work.