The Last Planner System® has been one of the most popular lean construction tools that offers a solution to tackle the problems of production management on construction sites. Since its inception almost 20 years ago, construction companies across the world have implemented Last Planner with reported success. However, even as Last Planner was originally designed to address some shortcomings of the CPM method, a particular shortcoming – namely task continuity was not addressed directly. Also, excepting PPC and Reasons for Non Completion charts, there are no explicit visual tools offered by the Last Planner system. On the other hand, Line of Balance based approaches intrinsically support the consideration of task continuity, and offer a basic visual management approach in schedule representation. With some exceptions, Line of Balance is seen as a special technique applicable only in linear or repetitive work based schedules. The authors suggest that i) there is a need for a robust theory of planning and scheduling and ii) there is a need for a more suitable approach that addresses critical aspects of planning and scheduling function for example by integrating Line of Balance and Last Planner to provide a more robust support for construction scheduling.
Lean Construction, Last Planner®, Line of Balance