vPlanner V4 is now Released

We started rolling out vPlanner V4 to our user base around the Lean Construction Congress week and now the roll out is complete.  As we always do with all our major releases, the roll out will be gradual and new features will continue to be added in the next several months.  Here are a few of the things that are new in vPlanner V4 in the first phase of the roll out:

The Last Planner(R) System Phases Supported by vPlanner

The Last Planner(R) System Phases Supported by vPlanner

  • Improved Support for Takt Planning: vPlanner is the only production planning solution that supports Takt Planning concepts to drive workplan priorities based on pull planning concepts.
     
  • Mobile Commitment Manager: this is a completely new addition to vPlanner that is designed specifically for managing commitments on the workplan.  It is written using HTML5 so that users can access their commitments from any device.
     
  • Automated Messaging: We worked hard so that our automated messaging system provides relevant information without replacing the best practices of collaborative planning and daily huddles which are still required to use vPlanner effectively.
     
  • Workflow Driven Interface with CPM Tools: vPlanner continues to offer best-in-class support for P6, MS Project and LoB (Schedule Planner).  We improved the Import Manager which is workflow driven to provide better mapping and merge features so that teams can improve the alignment between the near-term and long-term planning horizons.
     
  • Automated Account Management: The new tools are designed to reduce the time administrators spend managing user accounts.
     
  • Improved Performance (64-bit support). Our project teams continue to push the envelop on what they plan with vPlanner.  Our 1-billion plus project teams can now organize their production teams to manage thousands of activities with no noticeable impact on performance.  Of course smaller project teams will benefit from this as well.
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Report from the Lean Construction Congress

This was our 5th LCI Congress since we rolled out vPlanner.  The event continues to grow and this year attracted over 1500 attendees.  We had a very busy time at the exhibit hall and were pleased to see a significant increase in Last Planner adoption on projects.  Visitors at the booth varied in their level of experience but the common theme we observed was that growing dissatisfaction with the manual approaches to implementing the Last Planner(R) approach and with tools borrowed from other industries.  Teams that are implementing LPS are realizing that there are no shortcuts to collaborative production planning and that tools like vPlanner, designed specifically to support the entire workflow are a must to sustain and scale the implementation. 

We also had two main presentations on the agenda with our project teams from Sutter Health and General Motors.  More on the presentations to follow once LCI releases the recordings of the sessions.


Report from the Takt Planning Workshop

We have just completed a successful 2-day workshop that focused on Takt Planning.  The event, held for the first time in the United States, attracted some of the best planners from large GCs, owner organizations, and trade partners.  It was held in collaboration with P2SL and Dress and Sommer, our Value Solutions Partners in Germany.

For more information on the workshop or to access some of its material, please visit the P2SL page from the link below.  We plan similar events in the near future and more in depth workshops on Takt Planning.   


vPlanner V3.0 is now Released

The latest release of vPlanner continues to offer the most comprehensive solution to support the Last Planner System. The latest release offers best-in-class integration between standard tools for master scheduling and the Last Planner(R) processes of production planning and control. It offers improved tools for production planning visualization to support Takt Planning, Make Ready Planning, and Commitment Management. More information and webinars to introduce the latest features of the new release will be available soon.

vPlanner Workflow

CAM's Symposium on Construction Collaboration

Samir Emdanat, Director of vPlanner Product Development, recently organized a symposium on Construction Collaboration in conjunction with the Construction Association of Michigan (CAM). Over 100 participants from the largest owners organizations, general contractors, design firms, and sub-contractors participated in this four-hour program which highlighted various themes related to collaboration including:

  • The industry's need for more integrated teams,
  • The leadership skills required for successful collaboration,
  • The appropriate contracting methods to create the context for collaboration, and
  • The lean tools and methodologies designed to improve collaboration.

The event took place on January 10th at the Oakland Community College, Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Presentation: A Fresh Look at Integrated Project Delivery

Matthew Jogan, Project Director with the vPlanner team was the invited speaker to present at the AIA Ohio Chapter's January 9th meeting.  The presentation focused on collaborative tools and methods including the use of vPlanner that he applies to lead the integration efforts on a number of groundbreaking projects in the healthcare, government, and commercial sectors.  

IGLC Paper on LPS Metrics by Samir Emdanat

Samir Emdanat, Director of Product Development published a paper that introduces new LPS metrics and improves existing metrics based on research that utilized vPlanner.  The paper titled "Aligning Near and Long Term Planning for LPS Implementations: A Review of Existing and New Metrics", will be presented at the 24th International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC) conference in Boston on Friday July 22nd.

 
 

Abstract

Several metrics are used to measure the performance of Last Planner® System (LPS) implementations. Percent Planned Complete (PPC), Reasons for Variance (RV), Tasks Anticipated (TA), Tasks Made Ready (TMR) are common measures of lookahead and weekly work planning. However, research to correlate the various measures to the effectiveness of the LPS implementation and the overall reliability of work execution has been challenging and time consuming. Recent studies suggest that implementations have been inconsistent. Tracking on a regular basis has been difficult because the tools used are fragmented, and, even the definitions of the metrics themselves might be misunderstood by project teams. This paper overviews common LPS metrics definitions, introduces new metrics, and presents guidance on how the metrics can be applied. This study advances the knowledge in understanding LPS metrics and their impact on schedule performance. An integrated database driven software tool that supports the LPS implementation was used to mine, analyze, and visualize large amount of data in order to review the existing metrics and evaluate the predictive nature of the propose metrics designed to align near-term and long-term planning.