Flow Provides Focus for Project Production Management

Hal Macomber & George Hunt examine Product Production Management and will explain the key principles behind it and the power that pursuing flow via PPM has for project outcomes, profitability, and team health

Written by Hal Macomber | May 14, 2021

Welcome to Touchplan’s Project Production Management Blog Series

(By Hal Macomber & George Hunt) We just wrapped up our blog series Revisiting the Five Big Ideas Transforming the Design and Construction Industry. For the next three or four months, we are writing about Project Production Management. PPM is not a subject that is taught in most Construction Management courses, although it could be argued that it should be. The fundamentals of PPM are more closely aligned to the reality of our projects and the risks associated with them, than the more conventional project management thinking. Understanding PPM can help teams effectively identify the often overlooked risks that put the delivery of our projects in jeopardy. 

The Lean Construction Institute (LCI) was originally a DBA (doing business as) name for The Center for Innovation in Project and Production Management. Going back to 1993, PPM has been a focus of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC) and LCI. The Last Planner System of Production Control® is the one comprehensive PPM system for design and construction that people practice today. The other prevalent approaches are the Critical Path Method (CPM) for project scheduling and control and Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) for planning, designing, and controlling functional blocks (or chunks) of project scope. 

Takt Planning and Management has been an underutilized practice for pursuing flow for production of design and construction work product. Takt has been practiced since 1999 on projects I was involved in for The Neenan Company and repeatedly through the current day. Yet, the first book on takt for construction was published in March 2021 by Jason Schroeder. He shares what he learned in the last nine years he’s been experimenting with takt. And, in true lean spirit, he is publishing an updated version of the book within six months! Check it out! 

In this PPM blog series George Hunt and I along with some subject matter expert collaborators will reveal the map of PPM. We’ll make the case for PPM. We’ll share and explain the key principles. We’ll highlight the power that pursuing flow has for project outcomes, profitablility, and team health. We’ll show you how takt will change everything you do on your projects. And you’ll learn how to make it happen.

Please join us every Friday. First topic: Beware, Variation Compounds with Dependence

For a glimpse of Project Production Management in action see our video on Touchplan’s Custom Fields feature.

Lean Construction, Lean Resources, Planning/Lean Best Practice

Hal Macomber Hal is part of the executive team at Touchplan, focusing on developing business partners and Lean consulting and coaching for architecture, engineering, and construction firms to help them sustain success. Hal is one of the foremost experts in Lean construction and "Last Planner® System of Production Control" with more than thirty-five years' experience and he first introduced Lean principles to architecture firms in 1996. He has authored numerous publications on Lean subjects, including The Pocket Sensei, Mastering Lean Leadership with 40 Katas, Volume I, and also developed several Learning programs.