Observations on construction sites have shown that even when the Last Planner System™ (LPS) is implemented only partially, it can still achieve positive results. We hypothesize that part of the explanation for this is that the weekly work meetings engender a social network among the subcontractors, with concomitant improvement in communication, reliability and trust, and in this way enhances coordination and results in better workflow. In the first step of research designed to test this idea, eight construction projects were monitored over time, using social network analysis (SNA), to explore the relationships between the extent of LPS implementations and the strength of the social networks that developed. Positive correlation was found between the two. Weekly work planning meetings appear to be the main catalyst for strengthening the social networks. Communication between construction crews from different ethnic groups was found to be strongly dependent on the LPS implementations. The next steps will seek to isolate the relationship between the strength of the social networks and the resultant work flows, both in the presence of and without LPS, to better explain the social mechanism of the LPS.
Last planner system, work flow, communication, collaboration, reliability, trust.