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James CosmanSep 22, 2020 1:40:00 PM5 min read

How QLean Can Improve Your Pull Planning Process

To ensure a project is completed on time and under budget, lean construction planning is the vastly superior approach. Lean construction projects are 70% more likely to come in under budget and 200% more likely to finish ahead of schedule. In order to maximize the efficiency in your lean construction projects, it’s important to streamline your pull planning process.

While the traditional sticky note approach to pull planning is a tried and true method, it’s also cumbersome, inefficient and full of opportunities for error. That’s why VeilSun designed QLean: to provide a virtual tool that offers continuous collaboration, built-in quality controls and exceptional time saving features.

Importantly, pull planning with QLean is much more than simply using a virtual white board. Just as with traditional sticky note pull planning, QLean allows you to visualize dependencies and easily move pulls around. However, working with QLean provides the additional benefits of immense time-savings and high level quality control. It’s also an exceptionally useful strategic tool — allowing you to perform project modeling and pre-pulls when generating quotes and bidding for projects.

Great For Virtual Pull Planning

Coordinating remote participation in a traditional sticky note pull planning session is exceptionally challenging. If you can’t have everyone in the same room, your options for managing the pulls are unwieldy at best. Trying to organize countless sticky notes on camera is a recipe for headaches and chaos. With QLean, you can easily screen-share the pull board to make sure everyone is able to visualize the pulls and follow along.

Leading a virtual pull planning session is much easier than you might think and dramatically easier than getting everyone together in a room. Once you’ve broken your project into the main “chunks,” you can schedule a video conference with the stakeholders involved. Designate a facilitator to lead the discussion and an operator to handle entering the pull. This will keep the discussion organized and maintain the flow of generating your pulls. Read our post on how to lead a remote pull planning session for additional tips on running your meeting.

Saves Time By Eliminating Redundancy

Perhaps the biggest drawback to traditional sticky planning is how it forces you to duplicate your work. After spending so much time and effort mapping out your pulls, you then have to manually transfer results into a different format. This creates a lot of extra work that can take days to enter into your scheduling systems and project management tools.

In contrast, when you plan your pull using QLean, the pull is scheduled when you're done planning. You don't have to transfer information from innumerable sticky notes into a spreadsheet or scheduling tool. Your pulls and any associated notes are captured in real time, eliminating the redundancy of manually transferring the information.

In addition to avoiding this duplication of effort, QLean has features to further streamline the process and save time. It can integrate directly with your scheduling system (ProCor, P6) to pull your master schedule straight from the planning tool. It also allows you to make adjustments in real time. You can copy templates and significantly reduce set up time. Furthermore, Qlean allows you to re-vision and do multiple versions of one pull. It helps with re-pulls by looking at the previous version, copying it, and using it as a starting point for the update — all of which help with both saving time and ensuring quality control.

Provides Built-in Quality Control

Another major drawback to pull planning with sticky notes is the potential for human error. Issues can arise from skipping or forgetting dependencies or problems with information transfer between the sticky notes and project management software. In either case, seemingly minor mistakes can eventually create huge problems for the entire pull. Using our pull planning software eliminates the problem of data transfer and has the added feature of built-in controls that ensure your pull flows properly.

The QLean system won’t let you skip or forget dependencies when creating your pull. This means when moving stacks around, you won’t ever accidentally lose a set of dependencies or misalign a pull. The system has built-in checks and balances to ensure integrity of information. As a result, you will avoid making mistakes during the pull itself by creating a logical flow of dependencies. Especially for large projects with potentially hundreds of dependencies, this feature is truly invaluable.

Works As A Strategic Tool

Beyond its value as a tool for streamlining the pull planning process as a whole, QLean is an excellent tool for pre-planning and strategy. Because the system is easy to use and allows you to copy templates and import data, it makes it possible to quickly and effectively create a basic pre-pull and wrap your head around a project. This provides you with an opportunity to consider different perspectives of the same pull without having to get too far into the weeds of a full pull planning session.

By using QLean to perform project modeling and costing before you generate a full pull, you can also provide more accurate quotes and cost-efficient bids. Well in advance of your detailed planning session, you can easily create a visual timeline and give everyone a better understanding of the whole project. Pull planning with QLean generates a Gannt chart — a tool frequently used by construction and architecture firms to drive decisions with their buyers. Consequently, QLean is an excellent strategic tool for estimating and modeling your projects throughout the planning phases.

Radically Improves Processes

The features listed above are just some of the many advantages of digital pull planning with QLean. In contrast to traditional sticky note pull planning, digital pull planning ensures consistency, dramatically reduces time spent planning, and allows for continuous collaboration and virtual teamwork. Remote planning sessions using QLean are vastly easier to organize and run. It allows you to copy templates and integrates with existing scheduling tools. The system is flexible and adaptable to your needs — it can be customized and updated in 24 hours. Ultimately, QLean is the most effective, accessible and affordable tool for lean construction projects. 

If you’d like to learn how to make digital pull planning a reality with your team, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can also access our webinar: “Virtual Pull Planning and Project Management with QLean” to watch a demonstration.

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