The Last Planner® System, or Last Planner®, is a short-term production planning system designed to produce predictable workflow and rapid learning in programming, designing, commissioning, and construction of projects. The name refers to the person on site who can ensure predictable workflow downstream. Owners, clients or construction companies can use Last Planner® to achieve better performance in design and construction through increased schedule and program predictability.
Last Planner® was developed by Glenn Ballard and Greg Howell.
The five steps of Last Planner® are:
- Master Scheduling—To start, identify your high-level project milestones for significant phases of your project, typically six months out. Examples of these milestones would be steel structure topped off, building weathertight, rough-ins complete, site finishes complete, etc.
- Phase Scheduling—Engage the last planners (foremen and PMs) in pull planning sessions to collaboratively establish the flow of work for the project milestones. Specify handoffs between trades within each phase schedule to ensure smooth and reliable workflow for the next six to eight weeks of work.
- Make Work Ready Planning—This involves looking out several weeks and identifying any constraints that would keep work from starting as scheduled. Review your plan for the upcoming four to six weeks and work collaboratively to make work ready by removing constraints. Promise work for execution in a productive and effective manner and replan as necessary.
- Weekly Work Planning—Talk through the upcoming week and make commitments to perform work in a certain sequence. Planners should only promise work that is unconstrained and start work that is ready. Engage the last planners in planning their work from the phase plan through daily coordination.
- Learning—Evaluate the successes and failures of the previous week’s plan. Review the percent plan complete (PPC) and variance categories. Identify root causes of plan failures and develop a plan for implementing lessons learned.
The Last Planner® System is a realistic way to collaboratively manage project-based production. It enables issues to be identified and resolved, and increases the chances that workflows and projects are completed on time.