Last Planner® System in Design

Perform at the beginning of your regular Design Update Meeting, (30-45 MINUTES)

Did (Status tags, Variance, PPC)

  • What was completed in the last Stage (since the last update)? Each designer or discipline manager puts one diagonal slash through their completed activities, and then the Design Manager puts another slash through it to form an “X” and confirm it is complete.

  • Calculate and record this past Stage’s PPC.

    • Turn missed commitments 45 degrees (if using tags, or mark incomplete somehow).
    • For each miss perform “5 Why” and record on back of tag the reason for the miss.
    • Record all reasons for Variance/Misses on a variance log to identify repeat problems.
      ▪ Discuss what we’re going to do to remove reasons for misses – assign responsible person and date the “fix” is due.

Should (Review Key Dates)

  • Review deliverables/milestones coming up in the next 4-10 weeks. Are the dates still valid?

  • If there are no upcoming milestones on the plan add interim milestones every 2-4 weeks to help ensure you stay on track while working towards larger milestones.

Can (Update Plan, Make Work Ready)

  • Review upcoming design work. Are the conditions of satisfaction for upcoming deliverables well defined? Have requirements changed? Have “misses” affected others?

  • Look at work in the next Stage, does each activity scheduled to start have all information and decisions needed to begin? Rule of thumb: first do work that releases other work.

  • Look at work coming up in subsequent Stages, what information and decisions are needed in order to make that work ready to begin? Turn missed commitments 45 degrees (if using tags, or mark incomplete somehow).

    • Who will provide it, and by when?
    • What will keep upcoming design from being completed as planned (input from others, decisions by others, etc.)?
    • What info or decisions can we provide sooner that will enable us to shorten durations?
    • Make constraints visible by adding stickers, extra tags, or by some other means.

  • If your plan only looks out 4 weeks or so at this point, you need another phase pull plan!

Will (Make Reliable Promises)

  • Review one final time the tags that represent the work you will perform before the next plan update. Is there anything that will prevent this work from being completed as promised?

  • Each responsible person should confirm to the group their commitments – they have what they need to complete their tasks by the date promised.


What is it and what purpose does it serve?

The Percent of Promises Complete (PPC) is the percentage of commitments met vs. the total number of commitments made. This percentage gives the team a snapshot of how the team is doing with their commitments to each other. Reliable Promises = smoother work flow = higher productivity.

How to collect the information

At the end of each Stage, simply count the number of commitments completed and divide that by the total number of commitments made. If you are consistent with the routine check-ins, this process becomes quick and seamless with the overall process.

What to do with the information

The PPC needs to be recorded & displayed visually so that the team can monitor how well they are doing with their commitments over time. The recommended method is to use a simple spreadsheet (ask your coach for a format) with the Stage number and dates and the PPC for that specific stage. Over time, build a graph showing the historical PPC. This graph quickly shows if the team is trending up towards 100% of commitments met or if they are trending down to industry standard of 54% (for projects not using Last Planner®).


What is it and what purpose does it serve?

A variance is a deviation in the design plan, if a commitment is not met for any reason. The variance report is a simple spreadsheet recording all variances that occur during the execution of the work. Variance = interruption in work flow = lower productivity.

How to collect the information

During the routine check-ins, if a commitment is missed, the facilitator of the check-in finds out why the commitment was missed by asking 5 Why and recording the Root Cause of the Variance.

What to do with the information

As with the PPC, it is recommended that a chart be created to easily track variance reasons. Your coach has an Excel format for this. You will find a lot of the same reasons recurring as time goes on, this is normal and very beneficial information to have. Recurring reasons for variances should be thoroughly examined using root cause analysis and eliminated to increase work reliability and productivity.

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