In Living Color

This morning the “pull plan” took place. This is a gathering of most of the subcontractors for our project to work together on the schedule of tasks. Each type of work was assigned a color of sticky-note, and the subs were asked to work out how many days they would need to do the work that they had contracted to do. Each sticky note represents a duration of days (one to five), and they were lined up on a long piece of paper representing the duration of the project.

Our project manager and the construction supervisor then looked it all over, making adjustments to the different elements of the project.

  • What needs to be done before this can be done?
  • What has to wait until the building is ‘dried in’ (i.e., has a roof and walls)?
  • What has to be done before the slab can be poured?
  • What needs to be done before the steel can be erected?
  • Can this be done at the same time as this?

The resulting colorful array is the backbone of the schedule. Details are still to be worked out, but basically everything that needs to be done is included with a duration and a plan for sequencing. By the end of next week most of the missing pieces will have been filled in, and we will begin to get a glimpse of the progression of tasks. Naturally, there will be changes, delays, adjustments as we go along. But in the big picture, we will see how this complex project will come together over the next 11 or 12 months.