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
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.
In this thesis, the term “design” is used to designate both design and engineeringactivities, not shaping space to aesthetic criteria.