Digitally-delivered “Last Planner System”

Having used the Last Planner® System on multiple major projects across Australia and New Zealand since 2009, we recently introduced industry to a digitally-delivered version on nine of our major rail infrastructure projects in Victoria. 

The Last Planner System, or LPS, is a construction-specific lean practice that was developed in the 90s to tackle the variability that restricts productivity in the dynamic world of construction.

The “last planner” refers to those who understand the work best and oversee its execution. Typically this is the foremen, superintendents or frontline supervisors. LPS is an increasingly popular production planning and control system that engages and empowers these ‘last planners’ to progressively create better and more reliable production plans. Our customers and design teams also like to get involved and their engagement really improves how we make work ready to deliver.

We used Touchplan® to turn the traditional physical ‘planning room’, encompassing large wall panels and thousands of sticky notes, into a cloud-based platform. Perfect for the COVID-era of remote collaboration.

When starting, we saw weekly reliability increase by more than 20%. We then asked the University of Melbourne to explore what value digitally-delivered LPS was providing our projects. Their extensive research clearly demonstrated significant process and social benefits that led to improvements in program, cost, safety, quality and sustainability. The teams also felt more empowered and accountable. A great result!

Having developed these project production capabilities, standards and training resources across more than 12 major projects, we continue to build our ‘Lean Construction’ strategies aimed at continuously improving our productivity and project delivery performance for our customers and the community.