Trimble adds lean scheduling to their construction portfolio

By Catherine Sturman
Trimble will now distribute KYP's LeanSight software, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution for lean production management that enables building const...

Trimble will now distribute KYP's LeanSight software, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution for lean production management that enables building construction teams to create and track actionable work plans or pull plans for their projects.

LeanSight improves schedule planning collaboration between contractor and subcontractor and simplifies progress reporting from the field. The addition of LeanSight diversifies Trimble's professional portfolio of project management solutions.

Lean production methodology is a systematic method for the elimination of waste within manufacturing systems. "Lean became widely used in manufacturing in the 1980s," said Stan Roestenberg, CEO of Bohemen b.v., one of the oldest real estate companies in the Netherlands. "The application of lean methods in building construction is a perfect fit. Using LeanSight, our teams were able to cut production times by 50 percent on some of our recent projects."

In the LeanSight workflow, actionable progress data is available immediately after it is recorded in the field, providing project managers and superintendents with up-to-date information about their project. To ensure an on-time start, notifications and reminders of make-ready activities can be sent from the office to contractors. Built-in countdown functions can improve team readiness by making all stakeholders aware of days until start, or days until planned finish.

"Scheduling is a dynamic process that requires tight and ongoing coordination with potentially dozens of stakeholder organizations," said Marcel Broekmaat, market manager of project controls in Trimble's General Contractor/Construction Manager Division. "Pull plan sessions have become increasingly popular because they lead to improved coordination between trades. Without improved methods to document, edit and share these plans, the lean process itself can be inefficient."

The LeanSight SaaS planning and performance analysis tools are accessible via a browser-based application. Mobile applications for iOS and Android are also available for work assignments, communication and progress-tracking.

Key features include:

  • Creating phase schedules in a browser application. Project teams can build schedules for free from scratch or by importing schedule data from one of the supported platforms, which includes Trimble's Vico Schedule Planner, MS Project and Primavera.
  • Assigning tasks to project stakeholders. Team members receive notifications in their mobile application and by email. Superintendents and managers can track task acceptance status and define notifications to remind crews of an upcoming activity start date.
  • Storing all related documentation with each task. All stakeholders have easy access to updated information such as sketches and specifications.
  • Empowering teams with insightful analytics. The Analytics view provides powerful project status information such as Planned Percent Complete and overall status. An icon-based LeanSight Project Health status provides quick feedback about current performance.

About Work Plans and Pull Planning

In order to manage construction work on a jobsite, project teams break down tasks from the overall project schedule into smaller work items that can be assigned and tracked on a weekly basis. With the pull planning method, the process of breaking down tasks into actionable work items is done as a group, including all stakeholders that are involved in a project phase. The group establishes the targeted end date and then defines the work activities that are needed to complete the deliverable for that date. This way, the team "pulls" the plan towards the optimal start date, while considering the dependencies and constraints that play a role during the execution of the work. Because pull planning is done as a group, it helps to identify bottlenecks and leads to greater buy-in to the plan from all parties involved.

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Read the April 2017 issue of Construction Global 


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