Field Review: Minimizing Waste with ourPlan

Allowing everyone involved access to the detailed plan, ourPlan is integral in coordinating team commitments, as well as graphically showing who is doing what, when, in real-time. (Photo by Todd Elkins)
ourPlan is a lean construction planning web application that supports the Last Planner System for optimizing short-interval planning.

A tight eight-week schedule, coupled with strict noise-restriction regulations and space limitations, required precision planning on a 12,000-sq.-ft. partial demolition and office renovation project for a national financial institution customer, according to Terry Edmondson, who leads DPR’s Special Services Group (SSG) in Washington, DC. “The surrounding residential neighborhood restricted any construction activity noise until after 8 in the morning,” said Edmondson. “Plus, the project was located on the top floor of an occupied four-story building with a dental practice and law office operating beneath—making space limited and requiring ‘just-in-time’ delivery of materials.”

To help meet the tight deadline, logistical challenges and the owner’s quality standards, the DPR team chose a prefabrication strategy for the renovation of 25 offices that required extensive coordination of the daily delivery of prefabricated wall panels (complete with electrical, door and glass).

“With no storage space onsite, the prefabricated walls were delivered in the exact number that would be installed each day,” said DPR’s Eric Castillo. “The team worked like an assembly line with multiple trades in each section involved in installation. Timing was everything; if delivered too early or late, there would be a domino effect on other dependent tasks.”

Essential to the project’s success was the team’s use of pull planning for scheduling, specifically with ourPlan, a lean construction planning web application that supports the Last Planner System® for optimizing short-interval planning. ourPlan was integral in coordinating trade handoffs and team commitments, as well as identifying roadblocks, graphically showing who was doing what, when, in real-time.

“ourPlan also has built-in reports that helped us track our commitments and performance indicators such as ‘planned percent complete (PPC),’” said Edmondson. “For this project, we ended up with a 92 percent PPC, and I’ve heard that 84 percent is usually considered very good.”

The application also gives everyone involved (including the owner) access to the detailed plan, keeping the entire team informed of the current schedule at any given time. This helped to reduce the need for constant status meetings. As a result, the project was completed a week early from the original schedule. Added Edmondson, “We’ve found ourPlan to be such a valuable tool in delivering projects that we’ve committed to a subscription plan for all mid-Atlantic SSG projects.”

To date, ourPlan has been used on more than 50 DPR projects nationwide, ranging from large-scale hospital projects to small SSG remodels.