Lean Construction/Pull Planning Overview

Lean construction is a mixture of operational research and practical development in both design and construction. The idea behind lean construction is to adopt lean manufacturing principles and practices to the end-to-end design and construction process. This type of construction is a project-based production process. The entire process is built around the idea of continuous improvements of all facets of the construction project including: design, construction, activation, maintenance, salvaging, and recycling. There is an abundance of information needed to implement these principles and you must have individuals willing to work in a team environment to achieve a common goal.

The purpose of pull planning is to design a project-based production system that includes with the principles of lean construction. All members of the project team converge together to “reverse engineer” the project schedule, working backwards through each major project milestone. Together, this collaborative approach can greatly assist in project over site to keep end goals in reach and steady progression being made on a daily basis. By breaking down projects into parts, rather than looking at it as a whole, goals are attained on a weekly, daily, and even hourly basis, that will add up to complete project completion.

Overall, the people of these teams that apply these principles together are what drive the development of the project. Pull planning can be as simple as a written timeline with stick-it notes riddled throughout with details. These methods are in place to force all members of the project team to communicate with one another and work together prior and during project duration. It’s important to set realistic expectations and encourage collaboration when working in lean construction & pull planning principles. The goal is to maximize the output of the project team. No matter the amount of experience or skill on a project team, it’s the ability to execute these developed plans that will be the difference in the quality and underlying success of the project at hand.

Sam McGoven
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