Role of a Digital Last Planner® System to Ensuring Safe and Productive Workforce and Workflow in Covid-19 Pandemic

Kevin McHugh1, Viranj Patel2 & Bhargav Dave3

1Associate Director, Mace Technology, Ireland, [email protected], 0002-6017-4585
2Customer Success Manager, VisiLean India Pvt. Ltd, India, [email protected],
3CEO, VisiLean Ltd, Finland, [email protected],


To cope with the dynamics of production, construction managers spend a significant amount of time organising the workforce, managing logistics and controlling the flow. Underestimating the process of workforce allocation and management could lead to serious productivity, safety, logistics, and coordination problems. To exacerbate this situation, the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic has created a situation where unorganised workforce allocation and tracking could increase the health and safety risk for the project. The Last Planner® System (LPS) advocates and incorporates processes to sustain flow suggested in Lean Production theory. Hence, the complex job of creating the workforce-flow can potentially be simplified through the LPS proactive planning during lookahead discussions. The paper captures a case study where the same safety and productivity issues were heavily encountered in a project involving multiple trades (15+) and having hundreds of workers struggling in the pandemic situation. Implementing design Science approach, the team has discovered a digital workflow management system that exhibits significant improvement in coordination, control over productivity wastage and safe working environment. This research utilised a digital LPS powered by real-time cloud-based system, capable of actively tracking the agreed workforce boosting productivity whilst keeping the workforce safe and secure.


Workforce flow planning, digital, Last Planner® System, production planning and tracking.



McHugh, K. , Patel, V. & Dave, B. 2021, 'Role of a Digital Last PlannerĀ® System to Ensuring Safe and Productive Workforce and Workflow in Covid-19 Pandemic' In:, Proc. 29th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC). Lima, Peru, 14-16 Jul 2021. pp 87-96

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