I take an unfinished discussion with the representative of a software manufacturer as an opportunity to write this article on social media.
Some of you already use Glenn Ballard’s original Last Planner or Alan Mossman’s advanced Last Planner System. In these classic variants, notepads with the tasks are glued to the walls in the meeting room. I did not write this article for the traditionalists among you, who would prefer to live with the classic variants in the future.
We are in the age of digitalization and it is more efficient to work with digital media. Digital media make many of your work more location independent. No one wants to get stuck in the ubiquitous traffic jams on our roads all the time. A lot of things can be done today with the help of digital support. But there is one thing we cannot do: to override the time that is constantly passing. We can only shorten operations, organize them better and save time. We can make our work “leaner”.
We must be clear about one thing. Software cannot replace the face-to-face conversations and discussions among team members as part of a project. Team members need to get to know each other personally, understand each other, trust and appreciate each other. But software can simplify many annoying and time-consuming activities. Software can prevent transmission errors. Software is merciless, impartial when it comes to time and when it is properly developed, and real-time evaluations are not manipulable.
Let’s get back to the criteria for software for Last Planner use. The software must…
- … all points of the Last Planner and the Last Planner system.
- … all verbal work steps in the Last Planner non-verbally.
- … all processes in the Last Planner.
- … all projects are always accessible to all team members in real time .
- … make changing and expanding task chains agile, fast, and easy.
- … the use of phone, email, messenger, … drastically reduce.
- … digital meetings.
- … can be fully adapted to your needs.
- … easy to use and easy to learn.
- … be a little disruptive.
Why does software need to be disruptive?
Lean Construction and Last Planner are massively involved in hierarchical business processes and team structures. Digitisation requires a rethink in all areas. Project work in the digital world is becoming more agile, transparent and cooperative. Old and old new software products, which are still primarily used by the project manager and work according to the method of the critical path and map it, have become obsolete. Consciously separate yourself from the inefficient products. Say goodbye to the hierarchical structures and all the symbols that remind you of it. Think and act a little more disruptively.
If you are looking for new software products for Lean Construction and Last Planner, ask developers if the developers meet the above criteria. You know the Last Planner well. They are the specialists. Use your knowledge. Be critical. Most providers will already fail on the first criterion.
If I should advise you on the selection of a suitable software for you, please contact me. I am a civil engineer and have been active in the IT industry for over 30 years. For me, there are other criteria for the evaluation and testing of software. I will be happy to provide you with my knowledge.
If you are interested in more articles from me, you are welcome to visit my blog.