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Ballard2000-Dissertation Last Planner

Ballard2000-Dissertation Last Planner

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Published by: Hector Janampa on Jun 23, 2012
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THE LAST PLANNER SYSTEM OF PRODUCTION CONTROLbyHERMAN GLENN BALLARDA thesis submitted to the Faculty of Engineeringof The University of Birminghamfor the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYSchool of Civil EngineeringFaculty of EngineeringThe University of BirminghamMay 2000
 
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Many individuals and companies contributed to this research. To name a few:
q
 
David Seymour, my thesis advisor
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Anne Seymour, for giving me a home in Birmingham
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David Hoare and Peter Deasley, thesis examiners
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Greg Howell, business partner and co-thinker
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Lauri Koskela, for his example and inspiration
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Todd Zabelle and the Pacific Contracting team for their willingness to try newideas
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Leo Linbeck III, Ed Beck and Kathy Jones of Linbeck Construction for sharingopportunity and data (3 of the 5 cases were Linbeck projects)
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Norm Barnes and the Barnes Construction team for access to projects
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Iris Tommelein, external thesis advisor and colleague at UC Berkeley
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Jeanne Ballard, my wife, for putting up with me, especially my absences fromhome
 
ABSTRACT
Project controls have traditionally been focused on after-the-fact detection of variances.This thesis proposes a control system, the Last Planner system, that causes therealization of plans, and thus supplements project management's concern for managementof contracts with the management of production.The Last Planner system has previously been successively applied by firms with directresponsibility for production management; e.g., speciality contractors. This thesisextends system application to those coordinating specialists, both in design andconstruction, through a series of case studies, one of which also explores the limits onunilateral implementation by specialists.In addition to the extended application, two questions drive this research. The firstquestion is 1)
What can be done by way of tools provided and improved implementationof the Last Planner system of production control to increase plan reliability above the70% PPC level?
Previous research revealed substantial improvement in productivity forthose who improved plan reliability to the 70% level, consequently there is reason tohope for further improvement, possibly in all performance dimensions, especially withapplication across an entire project rather than limited to individual speciality firms. Thatquestion is explored in three case studies, the last of which achieves the 90% target.The second research question is
2) How/Can Last Planner be successfully applied toincrease plan reliability during design processes
1
?
That question is explored in anextensive case study, which significantly contributes to understanding the design processfrom the perspective of active control, but unfortunately does not fully answer thequestion, primarily because the project was aborted prior to start of construction.However, it is argued that the Last Planner system is especially appropriate for designproduction control because of the value-generating nature of design, which rendersineffective traditional techniques such as detailed front end planning and control throughafter-the-fact detection of variances. 
1
In this thesis, the term “design” is used to designate both design and engineeringactivities, not shaping space to aesthetic criteria.

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