What Is Pull Planning in Construction?

March 1, 2024

As construction professionals, we’re always on the lookout for project management techniques that can help us save time and resources. One method that has gained traction recently is pull planning, a collaborative process that allows for better project scheduling and communication. Pull planning has also shown to be an effective tool for reducing waste and increasing productivity. But what is pull planning exactly? And how can we implement it in our construction projects?

Pull planning is a construction methodology that focuses on identifying task dependencies and sequences. It starts with the goal and works backwards to determine what tasks need to be completed before the project can move forward. In addition to using the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), the process uses the Critical Path Method (CPM) to calculate the timeframe required for each activity.

Getting the most out of your pull planning session depends on team participation, collaboration, and consistency. To start, ensure that all important team leads and players are invited to the session. Also, provide them with the materials they need to make realistic commitments and reliable promises. These can include color coded sticky notes or project management software tools that enable a digital and dynamic process.

Once everyone is in the room, they should start by identifying the project’s key milestones and goals. Next, they should review and agree on the target dates for completion of each segment of the project. Then, they should identify and map out all of the tasks needed to reach those milestones. This is where the WBS becomes particularly useful, as it will provide a complete list of all tasks and their durations. Once the schedule is set, it’s important to track the progress and make adjustments as necessary.

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