Lean PlanDo - optimising construction productivity

Lean PlanDo comprises of various components for process optimisation for improving the reliability and the flow in construction. The key focus in on planning while improving the various aspects of production control in construction projects. The following components and tools of LEAN forms the comprehensive mechanism of Lean PlanDo to be effectively and profitably incorporated in construction sites. 

PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) Cycle

Lean PlanDo derives its name from this tool and the most essential component of the process defined by Lean PlanDo. It is an iterative approach for improvements implementation. It involves; Plan (set up a reliable plan); Do (execute the plan with commitment); Check (verify result against baseline schedule, measure performance, evaluate improvements ); and Act (make changes, improve and start the next cycle).

PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) Cycle
Pull planning for an inclusive team

Pull planning for an inclusive team

Pull planning method is integral to Lean PlanDo comprising of reliable planning and preparation of the work through a process of lookahead planning or forward planning through a collective involvement of the main contractors, subcontractors, consultants and the owners. It becomes essential for the team to work on a common alignment on same critical tasks to achieve plan reliability and effective completion of works. 

For a work starting in 6 weeks, it is critical to plan the constraints of drawing submissions, authority approvals, material ordering for on-time start of that work. Similarly for a work starting in the current week, it is critical to plan site constraints of access, material storage or resources like manpower or cranes including the commitment of the subcontractor effective execution of the work as planned.  

Lean PlanDo allows the teams to pull plan together and achieve smooth production flow through a process of reliable planning and valid commitments. 

Critical Path method combined with Constraint based planning & Collective Pull-planning to ensures a everybody looks at the common picture

Lean PlanDo allows the teams to work collectively and inclusively to plan together collaboratively. Traditional critical path method of planning is enhanced with constraint based planning and pull planning techniques which is integrated in the Lean PlanDo process workflow. The rocket science behind this (proprietary xPDM algorithm from Lean Station) computes everything on the cloud and pushes updates to everyone to ensure everyone maintains a common picture all the time.

Technologically, It also simplifies the adoption process for the users as it eliminates all the pre-requisites to install anything. The work happens on a browser or in a mobile phone or from any of its apps on the mobile keeping the users completely ubiquitous from any technology.  

Just-in-time for speedier completion

Just-in-time for speedier completion

Lean PlanDo allows the teams to practise JIT and helps the teams to realise the criticality of planning and commitments. This is a technique in a production system in which materials, resources are made available just as they are required in order to minimize inventory and storage constraints and to maximize resource utilization translating to waste elimination. Just-in-time is a further optimisation of the “Pull” concept in planning. 

Poka-Yoke (Error Proofing)

This is a mechanism design and detect, prevent, correct, or draw attention to human errors in processes with the aim of achieving zero defects. Lean PlanDo comprises of numerous techniques to automate Poka-Yoke and prevent accidental mistakes in planning or work assignment. The automation also helps in achieving better control on reliability of the plan. 

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Work Standardization & benchmarking for improved performance

Work Standardization & benchmarking for improved performance

Every project is unique and every working teams are unique and thus striving towards standardization becomes critical in processes to achieve the best in the project with the available resources. Work standadization is a live, growing set of best practices, which forms the baseline for Kaizen or continuous improvement. Lean PlanDo helps in arriving at these benchmarks through its insights module and provides you a basis of measuring all your projects using a normalised scale. 

Lean PlanDo helps to improve the set standards and as the standard is improved, the new standard becomes the new baseline for further improvement, and so on, thereby making it a never-ending process. 

Continuous Flow of work for elimination of waste

Lean PlanDo allows the teams to re-sequence the plan from the master schedule to achieve continual flow of work to constantly provide, process, or construct through a progressive system of uninterrupted steps. In a construction production system, the aim is to achieve “a collective flow” from the team to maxmize performance. 

Continuous Flow of work for elimination of waste
Visual Management & Kan Ban for clarity and flow

Visual Management & Kan Ban for clarity and flow

Information visualization and communication technique through the help of visual charts, graphs and tables to increase clarity in the construction processes and to evaluate the flow through the use of visualization. Visaulization of root causes, delays and issues enable the team to bring up the issues and solve it collectively. 

Value Stream Mapping for maximizing profitability

A technique for visually analyzing, documenting and improving the flow of a process by separating the value added work from the non-value added works for improved profitability. This process becomes integral to the Lean PlanDo process of constraint identification and constraint management. 

Value Stream Mapping for maximizing profitability

Forensic analysis built into the workflow for and effective contract management

Lean PlanDo captures every critical moment when an event triggers a project delay and always keeps on track the end date of the project. The records of who caused the delay and why can be an effective weapon to eliminate complacency and over-processing in different teams.  

Work structuring & sequencing for improved flow of work

Lean PlanDo allows the teams to perform work structuring collectively based on the master schedule. Each member responsible for the work, will work together with other members to structure their work and sequence it plan for the flow of the work.

Work structuring is the most fundamental level of process design, which strives to develop a project’s process design while trying to align engineering, design, supply chain, resource allocation, and construction efforts.

Work structuring & sequencing for improved flow of work
Bottleneck Analysis for effective management of the constraints

Bottleneck Analysis for effective management of the constraints

Lean PlanDo and Lean PlanDo Insights provides an effective constraint identification and management mechanism for achieving smoother flow in construction process. Bottlenecks determine the throughput of the supply chain. Bottleneck analysis identifies constraints or the part of the process that put a limitation on the overall productivity in order to improve the performance of the process or work.

Heijunka (Balanced production) for maximising utilisation

Lean PlanDo process ensures balanced production can be achieved through a process of reliable planning and getting valid commitment from the subcontractors. This involves levelling of workload across all processes in a value stream to remove excess capacity and bottleneck in the process. This concept becomes an integral part of outcomes achieved with Lean PlanDo. 

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Hourensou (Collaboration) for effective communication

Lean PlanDo process improves accountability and the cloud mobile tool allow for true collaborations between the teams. The tool reminds the team members on how they might be constraining another member's work or notifying the other member of an early completion of a previous work for early start of works. 
Constraints play a big role in understanding how and when tasks become critical to complete and how they would affect some work i the downstream. 

Kaizen (continual improvement) for growth and profitability

Lean PlanDo Insights play a critical part in continual improvement. Kaizen in Japanese means “change for better” and should be a business philosophy for continuous improvement through all aspects. More specifically, it focuses on measuring the performance at bite sized processes and look for improvements against benchmarks and constantly analyzing the reasons behind any failures

Kaizen (continual improvement) for growth and profitability
First run studies for continual improvement

First run studies for continual improvement

As part of a continuous improvement effort, first run studies can be simulated in Lean PlanDo and are used to redesign critical assignments and streamlining the different functions involved. The Lean PlanDo Insights provide an accurate analytical feedback on the cycle times, key issues, reasons behind key issues, reliability and commitments.  The first run of any operation can be examined in detail, bringing in ideas and suggestions to further explore improved ways of execution. 

Statistical Process Control (SPC) in real-time for better command and control

Lean PlanDo achieves high control on quality in production through Lean PlanDo Insights. This is a quality control tool that monitors and control process in order to ensure that the plan reliability and commitment process are working in tandem to achieve maximum value . It uses control charts visualized in real time as Lean PlanDo insights gathers and analyzes data, and helps you determine the process flow and performance anywhere anytime

Statistical Process Control (SPC) in real-time for better command and control
The Why's leading to solving the root causes for preventive management

The Why's leading to solving the root causes for preventive management

The Why's and reasons are a management tool for problem-solving that strives to determine the root cause of a problem by asking many layers of “Why”s. It requires the workers to ask why a few times repeatedly until the underlying root or the nature of the issue  is not surfaced for its solution to be identified. Lean PlanDo incorporates preventive mechanisms built on top of this "Why" tool that helps the companies to optimise and improve their performance continually

Read more on the importance of why?