Last Planner System®

Wikipedia: The Last Planner System® is a project management tool specially developed for the construction industry to implement the Lean idea. The goal is to improve the reliability of processes through structured, forward-looking and cooperative planning with the involvement of the latest planners (“last planner”). In the construction, these are, for example, the polishers of the active trades. The Last Planner System® can be used in planning and construction processes. (Ballard, Glenn: The Last Planner System® of Production Control, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Birmingham, UK, 2000 /  Ballard, Glenn: Managing work flow on design projects: a case study, Engineering Construction and Architectural Management, 9 (3), S. 284 – 291, 2002)

The Last Planner System® is used at origin without IT support. That’s why the majority of companies still use whiteboards with paper notes. In addition, tools such as the Microsoft Office (Excel, Outlook, …) and the telephone are used.

Lean Construction Trainers will forcibly use these manual tools in their training. Only manual tools can be used to run larger project examples in fast motion. In practice, the execution of a task of 5 days takes exactly 5 days. As part of a training this can also be done in 5 minutes.

In practice, the project teams want contemporary digital aids. Lean4Team makes the project more transparent and cooperative. You reduce the number of meetings with real presence to the absolute minimum. The number of e-mails and phone calls are drastically reduced.

Lean4Team automatically includes the real time spent in your projects. The most important time-based charts are created automatically and can not be manipulated. They are up to date and online for each team member viewable. Manually created spreadsheets are patient and presented to team members with a one-week delay.

The following information gives you a little insight into the Lena4Team functions.


(1) Master Plan

 This is the excerpt of a master plan of a project that runs over a period of 7 months.



(2) Phase Planning + (3) Look Ahead Planning

We have embedded the Phase Planning and Look Ahead Planning in our Kanban surface.

The tasks are shown as Cards. The one card has a lead time of 16 working days and the second task has a lead time of 2 working days. Both Cards can also be found in the Master Plan.

There are 29 participating companies in this project. Each company has its own area for the preparation of the Cards.

Each card is assigned as the user the executing person. Only the person (and on behalf of the project manager) can move the card and change the content!

 All cards can be put together individually. You have the choice of a list of 14 different attributes. You can insert most attributes multiple times.

In this example we use Task, Trade, Cards Unit, ID Tag, Responsible Person, Restrictions, Successors, Reasons for Non-Compliance, Working Time Promise and 3 Checklists.


The Working Time Promise shows the contents of the second card in detail. The work should start in two days and be finished the same day.

Our specialty: In projects, it appears that a company has only three jobs on the construction site. The responsible employee would be forced to start Lean4Team every day. That is not reasonable! If necessary, the employee can send these 3 appointments directly from Lean4Team to his Outlook as Ternmin or as a task.

The 3 checklists “Information, Prerequisites and Resources”  contain all the areas of the Last Planner System to be checked. If all conditions are fulfilled, then each checkbox receives a corresponding sign. This allows the project manager to see immediately if the company has made all the preparations for the mission. The elaborate result lists can be completely eliminated!




(4) Weekly Work Plan

Even if the project consists of over 400 individual tasks, not every task will be executed in a single week. The current tasks and process steps are arranged clearly.

When the project leader opens his project board in Lean4Team, he immediately sees in which status quo the current tasks are located.


 Using a very simple filter technique, the number of cards can be reduced in a flash. You can create the project structure plans yourself, so that you can map your projects individually depending on the time.Depending on your taste, you can use the typical sticky note form or switch to bar charts.

Each card also has a self-explanatory symbol that displays the status quo of the task graphically.





(5) Feedback Statistics

All charts are calculated in real time and made available in real time.

You can also develop your own charts at any time. For example, as a Windows 10 user, you can use the free app Micorsoft BI Desktop.

All team members can see the charts in real time. The picture on the right shows an overview of the current working time promises of all team members.

The picture on the right shows an example of the current work time promise of one team member.

The green line indicates the ideal state. When the blue area coincides with the green line, all your promises have been kept. If the blue area is below the green line, the team was better, above the team was worse.

Nobody wants to be the worst in the team permanently!

With the burn-down chart you get the same statements. Only the representation is different. The burn-down chart is also updated automatically.

Like the other charts, the burn-down chart is linked to production planning respectively the Weekly Work Plan.

 The PPC value is determined once at the end of each working week. The right picture shows the team result. The PPC value can also be displayed for each individual team member.

The manual generation of the charts requires a lot of effort. The necessary data are usually recorded only once a week.
Because all charts are automated and up-to-the-minute, everyone can see for themselves the productivity of the team and its constituents every day.

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