Four Reasons to Start Lean Work at the Very Beginning of Your Project

A foreman for a demolition contractor recently remarked to me that he never gets asked to participate with project teams using the Last Planner®. Construction management teams assume that since demolition is the first trade performing significant work on his projects that he does not need to coordinate with other trades.  A related dynamic is the project team delays implementing Last Planner because there are not many trades working during the early stages of the project.

This delayed Last Planner implementation hurts the project in the following ways:

  1. That demolition contractor has make-ready needs and make-safe requirements that are most effectively addressed through weekly make-ready planning. That is equally true of site contractors.
  2. The mind can only keep three or four things in working memory at a time. Even at the early project stage, there is enough activity that without recording work to be accomplished commitments can be misremembered or forgotten altogether. Weekly work plans are necessary to understand the plan for managing commitments and coordination.
  3. Implementing Last Planner when the work ramps up is difficult. Even experienced Last Planner users need time to establish weekly routines and standards for the project. It is best to do so at the very beginning.
  4. You might learn something. Personal and professional growth is a major benefit of lean work. There is no reason to delay that growth.

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