Lean event with Greg Howell

July 15, 2006

Yesterdays event with Greg Howell went pretty well all things considered.  The technology was a bit challenging to say the least, but we were able to get a lot of information and very important points across to the group on the Last Planner System.  Greg did a great job of explaining the evolution and history that went into the making of the system. Some of the key points from memory: What Greg realized was needed was a planning system that allowed for tracking and matching of work flow and capacity, and the making and keeping of commitments to perform tasks. Greg explained how the system moves towards greater certainty from the master schedule, through the pull phase event, 6 week look ahead, to the weekly work plan. 

The system travels along a path of what should happen, to what can happen, to what will happen, and what did happen. Greg made a very good point about how effective collaboration at the pull event phase can reveal otherwise hidden conditions and or opportunities to make requests of other trades allowing the project to be completed weeks earlier.

 We talked about how foundational accountability is to planning, and how it arises in our speaking.  There is no heavenly endowed accountability outside our own speaking, that accountability arises in the moment of your speaking a commitment. This is a fundamental shift in moving from a task orientation with a background assumption that people already are accountable, no matter if they say so or not, to a new focus on whats being spoken between two performers. Were putting people, conversations for planning, and the commitments being spoken at the center and foreground of whats happening in the production process.  This practice builds accountability on all levels of your projects, as well as your organization.  All in all it was a pretty good event, and well do it again possibly in September.     

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