We work with many teams who do a good job with Pull Planning. They bring the team together to develop a sound plan based on a well-defined project milestone. They plan each task to meet the needs of it’s customer. They sometimes even divide the work into batches of similar effort and work toward a consistent takt time that can be used to create and maintain reliable workflow. However, many teams don’t know how to capture this new, powerful plan so it can be used to execute the work.
Often, we see the plan entered into scheduling software, adding hundreds, or maybe even thousands of activities to the CPM schedule. This can be OK, but we prefer to use the simplest, most intuitive way to represent complicated information. Using an enormous CPM schedule to manage work can be like reading the phone book to plan your route to the mall. The information is all there, but the format is just wrong for the task at hand.
We see more teams using a visual representation of the batch plan that’s intuitive, concise, and easy for everyone to understand. This type of “map” can show all work on a project, the required start and finish dates, the sequence of work by area, and the status of every task. Better yet, it can show hundreds of activities and complex relationships on a single page.
These images show examples of batch schedules for interior work on two hospital projects. Similar grids are being used for each floor, posted in the job trailer and displayed on each floor of the building. Its a great way to share the plan with everyone and remove the mystery around who is doing what and when.
Could a similar visual approach work on your project? Maybe it’s time to think about trading your phone book for a map.