We’ve talked before about the role of pull planning in construction. In order to get a better firsthand look at the importance of pull planning in construction, we sat down with an executive from one of the largest construction companies in New England. They recently implemented QLean, VeilSun's pull planning application into the organization, to help convert from sticky notes to digital pull planning. We discussed pull planning at a high level, their experiences with specific tools they’ve used in the past, their experience with QLean, and some of their opinions on working with VeilSun.
Interview with a Pull Planning Expert: How a major New England Construction Company is Redefining Themselves through Digital Pull Planning
No matter the size or scope, every construction project seeks to benefit from strategic planning and efficient execution. With digital pull planning, construction companies using the right software solutions can achieve those goals in a cost-effective, easy-to-implement way. Plus, pull planning software lets you move faster and gives your trades real-time access into what’s going on. This blog will highlight six steps you can follow in order to keep your construction project on time and on task from start to finish.
For those of you who live in Denver, this blog will hit close to home. Literally. Since July 2018, it’s been nearly impossible to travel in or out of Denver International Airport (DIA) without encountering the MASSIVE construction project taking place throughout the main terminal. Originally scoped at around $1.8 billion (yes, with a “b”), the project has since spiraled out of control. This blog will provide a quick overview of the project, examine some common issues inherent in large construction projects, and finally offer some solutions on how to prevent large-scale disasters like this.
For construction companies, keeping the work flowing is critical to every project’s success. That’s why there’s always such a premium placed on quality project management tools. And, although a lot of construction companies rely on the traditional method of sticky note pull planning, VeilSun has found a better way. This blog will give a brief summary of what pull planning is, why it’s so great for construction, and why QLean from VeilSun can be such a perfect option for taking your pull planning to another level. (There's a really amazing white paper at the QLean link above that you won't want to miss out on.)
What is Pull Planning?
In construction, much of the work is dependent on specific jobs being finished before the next phase can be completed, and these jobs are often done by a variety of different trades that have to be coordinated effectively. Simply stated, pull planning allows you to begin at the end and work back through each key stage. And because pull planning includes all of your relevant experts in the process, it helps you to quickly identify the true dependencies and plan accordingly.
A typical pull planning workflow looks like this: using different color sticky notes, each trade creates a stack or chute of tasks necessary to complete their steps in a project. All the trades then come together and start planning backward from the final phase of the project, placing their notes in relation to each other and identifying true dependencies. Once a linear order of tasks is established, the schedule is then consolidated in the most compact, efficient way possible, creating “pulls” that are then ported onto a calendar.
Why Pull Planning for Construction?
Instead of relying on a single Project Manager to design and implement a schedule, pull planning brings together all of your stakeholders to collaboratively plan the schedule, ensuring no tasks get overlooked.
Most importantly, pull planning maximizes efficiency in your project schedule by providing every team member with clear steps to follow to accomplish set goals. The compact scheduling allows you to have as many trades as possible working on site without getting in each other’s way because the dependencies have been clearly defined.
QLean Pull Planning
We’ve shown you that pull planning is a really effective way to keep your projects on track. But why settle for good when you can have great? If you’re looking for a lean construction project management system that will maximize the efficiency of your projects, you should check out VeilSun’s QLean software. Pull planning with QLean offers continuous collaboration and execution through the lifespan of a project — at an incredibly affordable rate.
QLean gives you:
Foster cooperation, commitment, & agreement from everyone on the project
• Coordination with all trades
• Agree on a final schedule
• Eliminates miscommunication
• Real time project management, as conversations occur
• No Excuses
Develop a completely tight end schedule
• Collaborative process
• Agree who works on what, and when
• Outline order of events
• Lean & optimized schedule
• Void of gaps & miscommunications
Capture all your planning & conversations in one place
• Interface re-creates sticky notes system
• Software is a project enabler
• Update projects in real time
• Efficient, lightweight experience
• Build a lean schedule which flows in a project plan
Stop buying new software every time you begin a new project
• Never pay per project
• More economical
• No new buying decision every time you make a new building
• Project is forever in your organization
Visit our new landing page to learn more about QLean, download our white paper and see exactly how it can help your construction projects thrive. We also have an upcoming webinar highlighting QLean on September 3. Go here to learn more.
As much as things continue to evolve in the world of programming, one thing doesn’t change: the quest to make things easier. Quick Base has already perfected this art, which is why it’s become the programming platform of choice for so many companies. But we wanted to take a little time in our blog to tell you about another resource that’s just as easy to use and can be paired with Quick Base to turbocharge your productivity: Bubble.
Bubble is great for many reasons, including its intuitive, drag-and-drop interface and its sweet user portal. But instead of touting its features and benefits, we thought we’d show you them via a real-world case study.
The Rural Physicians Group works as a matching service for hospitals that have more patients than physicians. They match physicians with full time gigs to fill shifts at rural hospitals. They use Quick Base with a great deal of success in figuring out logistics, like which physicians they have and which physicians are credentialed where. They are also use Quick Base to forecast revenue, like what they pay the doctor versus hospital and how much they pay physicians to cover a set of shifts, etc.
What they wanted to do was start using that information to optimize the scheduling of physicians. Currently, they use an antiquated scheduling system that just isn’t efficient. As a service to providers (they think of doctors as clients too), they wanted to make the scheduling process more interactive. So, they turned to Quick Base and Bubble.
This is it! The final part of our talk, “Building a Better Death Star,” given at EMPOWER 2018. As a follow up to part 4, this entry takes a look at real-time budget accountability. Some estimates put the cost of building the Death Star at around $852 quadrillion. At that scale, we’re guessing budgets were also kind of a big deal. Down here on Earth, we operate with smaller numbers, but that doesn’t make them any less important. Let’s explore how Quick Base can help you make a galactic impact on your budget accountability.
We’re rolling ahead with part 4 of our talk, “Building a Better Death Star,” given at EMPOWER 2018. As a follow up to part 3, this entry focuses on managing risk in the field. Considering they had to evade Force Chokes from their team lead, the guys building the Death Star were clearly well versed in how to manage risk. Let’s see how that plays out for the rest of us with Quick Base.
We’re excited to jump right in to part 3 of our talk, “Building a Better Death Star,” given at EMPOWER 201
8. We’re following up to part 2, Imperial Best Practices: Managing Projects and Resources with this entry about scheduling from a project management standpoint. But we’ll skip the fancy intros—when you’re trying to crush the rebellion, time is of the essence.
As promised, here’s part 1 of the follow up to our talk, “Building a Better Death Star,” at EMPOWER 2018. This blog will cover Imperial Best Practices: Building Project Plans. Bear in mind that a lot of these are very common project management processes for project management professionals but are hard to institute without Quick Base.