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(PS-2949) Pull Planning and CPM Scheduling: Counterparts Not Competitors

Over twenty years ago when Lean Construction methods introduced Pull Planning or the Last Planner system, general contractors in commercial construction considered it the silver bullet to solve all their schedule issues. That did not come to pass. Why?

Pull planning was intended to be a better means of project planning and the utilization of the CPM schedule. However, CPM scheduling was thrown out by those who had not given the method due diligence or appreciation and was replaced by pull planning. Thus, a key tool of project navigation was lost.

There exists a need for both operating together on a construction project so that the master schedule reflects the efforts of the pull planning, and progress is more easily identified then communicated to all stakeholders. Such comprehensive collaboration requires discipline, effort and consistency for the desired results, the lack of which inspired the innovation of Lean Construction.

This paper outlines the roles of the Master Schedule, as developed using the critical path method, vs the roles of pull planning. It articulates the confluence of the two efforts and the need of both in unison.